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8 Phases of your Soul`s Growth
by Barney Battles
In the modern western world, we tend to think of ourselves as having fixed and immutable personalities; essentially, we are who we are, and nothing is going to change that. But from an outside impartial perspective, who and what we are when we are born is something quite different from the being who leaves this world at the end of our life. At the heart of this transformation is the soul, which goes through eight distinct phases as it journeys from cradle to grave.

#1 Exploration
You only need to watch a young infant interact with their surroundings for a few minutes to witness the inquisitiveness and wonder of a young soul. Everything is new, and the soul is fascinated by every aspect of its surroundings.

#2 Learning
When we are young, our minds and souls are like blank canvasses, ready to be painted. In this metaphor, it is we who hold the brush, but others take our hand and guide it. In the learning process we trust in our elders, parents and teachers to impart upon us honestly the ways of the world.

#3 Quest for acceptance
As well as learning about the external world, when we are a little older we learn about ourselves. Unfortunately this is often confused with how others perceive us to be. Thus we learn that we are ‘naughty’, ‘greedy’ ‘clever’, ‘nice’ and a host of other adjectives. As children, we also begin to modify our behaviour to earn the acceptance of our parents and peers.

#4 Independence
The flight from the parental nest and the end of education mark a significant upheaval of the soul, and often a noticeable transformation. Not only must we fend for ourselves, we are also freer than ever to choose our own paths and forge our own fate.

#5 Searching
Whether for purpose and meaning in life or for a soul mate, we all go through a period of searching in our lives. Unfortunately some of us get stuck in this phase and our spiritual development becomes stalled. Finding it hard to settle on any one thing to apply ourselves to, we may become lost and feel a little adrift in the sea of life. Deep inner knowledge and meditation upon your soul’s essence can help you to find what you’re looking for when you become caught up in the waves.

#6 Interdependence
Once our searching is through, we begin to learn the true value of communion with other souls. No soul is an island, and we all need the nourishment of friendship and empathy to sustain us as we grow older. With a helping hand from fate we will find our soul mate- the person whose soul is attuned to our own like a radio receiver.

#7 Understanding
With age comes wisdom, or at least so goes the theory. A truly mature soul will develop a deep understanding of the world, and the people around them. Understanding without judging or attempting to control things opens the soul up to new levels of reality and inner strength. Not all souls reach this level of growth, no matter how long they endure.

#8 Acceptance
At the pinnacle of the soul’s development is an inner acceptance of all things in the world, the universe and the spiritual realm. Acceptance of what is, rather than yearning for what could be, brings true peace to the soul and a deep sense of inner harmony and balance. Only by passing through each of the preceding seven steps can the soul reach its full potential and take its rightful place in the cosmos.  

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