Shakespeare had been described the 7 stages of life on the basis of their physiology. Life continues with several transitions and by transcending each stage “a man” continue with it. At a particular stage his behavior is different and so is the moral consciousness. “He” is truly dependent on his caretakers in his infancy followed by a totally different behavior in his adolescence. His curious behavior denotes his childhood while his bold and fearless attitude signifies his young age. The sense of responsibility comes with the age and experience, which peaks in his middle age. Faded memories are the part of the ‘old age’coupled with the uncertainty of life which is followed by the silence of death.
Mentally Humans bear 4 different phases with 4 transitions. Thus mentally there are 5 stages of life as follows:
- Infancy- The age of learning
An infant lacks the ability to develop his own thoughts and personal values. We are taught by our caretakers and peers around us, the skills of survival amongst the society. It is evident that a child is the reflection of his elders, as he imitates what his elders ought to do. The major function is played by the society itself i.e. to help us reaching our goal of self-sustenance during our mimic period. This stage lasts for 10 to 15 years (till adolescence).
- Teenage- The age of exploration
This is the stage when we learn from our failures and explore our own world. We fall and rise and fall and rise again until we beat our own limitations. We give our self-scores for everything and compete for our own potential. Now happens the many “First time experiences”, first pimple on the face or first sex. This is the stage when we may get trapped in bad fellowship or may become a rising star. Here the major role is played by our peer group, one should find a suitable group for him, a group which resemble our thoughts and helps us in worst situations. Another goal of this stage is to experiment new things, for example, choosing the set of subjects for higher education. And then stuck to the one forever that goes well. This stage may end in two ways a). A well-settled life that results from our-our right decisions. b). A struggling life, where we discover ourself every time but able to find nothing.
- Middle age- The age of responsibilities and commitments
It starts as soon as you are done with your experiments with life and start focusing on your single career. In this age, we focus on achieving our goals and making our unique identity in the world. This stage usually lasts from the 30s to the age of retirement. It gives us the opportunities to achieve many things. Different people achieve different goals on the basis of what they have discovered for them selves. Be it leading a political party, or becoming an artist or living a peaceful life with our soulmate and children. The same man is now a “father” who is committed to his responsibilities of sharing his experiences with the new generation and to cast them in a self-reliance adult. Once we accomplish our target we are filled with self-satisfaction. This stage is followed by retirement from responsibilities.
- Old age – The age of retirement
Having fulfilled the duty of developing the siblings into the adult, completed teaching them to become self-assistant, now comes the age of having some leisure in our hands. Retirement or “the age of vanaprastha” (in Vedas) comes when you believe there is nothing left to be achieved in life. It’s time to endow our legacy to the next generation. Whatever you have achieved till now, its time to pass on the legacy to the willing abecedarian.
This stage has physiological and social importance as the business, security, popularity, beauties and the hope of youth all fades in the air, Eternity alone remains. Man become more inner-directed and the firm belief in our soul and eternity never make us feel helpless. And if we lose this belief the true meaning of the life will slip away.
- Senescence- The silent of death
There’s a peace in death. No one’s mortality is forever and one day we all will have to merge in that Supreme power. People die defending incomprehensibilty of life over the inevitability of death forgetting that death will always outvie the uncertain life.
Senescence comes after the old age. It is not a sudden process but the destruction of the body starts with the old age itself. The falling of teeth, pigmentation of hair, wrinkles on skin and reducing the density of bones all are signs of senescence coming closure each step. Death is certain for all and everyone to surge some popularity in society for being remembered by them even after death.
Conflicts between transitions
The transition is the time between an end of one stage and beginning of another. This is not a period of dormancy but an intermediate stage of physiological and moral development. Conflicts occur during the transition and may lead to an imbalanced stage. For each stage, there is a reshuffling of one’s moral status and priorities. Old relation ends and new relation begins. Meanwhile, in every stage of life, we become more inner-directed. People who belong to the stage 1 reflects others personality via themselves while people from stage 2 are dedicated to pushing their own boundaries and try new things. Those who are in stage 3 are committed to their responsibilities and during stage 4 they are done with all achievements. Conflicts arise when they face trauma and failed to achieve anything at the certain stage.
To move beyond each stage we must be concerned with our goals and reach them with dedication. This is how life goes on.