The Phases of life




     The Seven Ages of Man by William Mulready, 1838, illustrating the speech




All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.  At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the canon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,

With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part.  The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

Jacques from Shakespeare:
As You Like It Act 2, scene 7, 139–143


This speech comes from William Shakespeare's As You Like It spoken by Jacques, a discontented, melancholy lord in a monologue in the second act.  In it, he compares the world to a stage and the fact that we are only player on it.  He lists the seven stages of life, sometimes referred to as the “seven ages of man”: infant, schoolboy, lover, soldier, justice, pantaloon, and second childhood, "sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything".  This is one of Shakespeare's most frequently quoted passages even Elvis used some of it.

There has been much written on the stages or phases of life, from the bible in Ecclesiastes 3:1, through Shakespeare to modern times.  One of the most celebrated is Mary Sheehy “Passages” and its later update, “New Passages: Mapping Your Life across Time.”  In these books, Sheehy traces life’s challenges and feelings through the different stages of life.  The first book caused a sensation in the 1970s helping many people to define their lives.  Written before the baby boomers radically changed overall life patterns, Sheehy updated the first book adding a second adulthood that the newer generation was experiencing in the second book.

Some say the first book is out of date, written 1974, but it still has much to offer.  Both books should be on the intuitor’s “to read” list.  Read the first for the older sitters who were raised before the baby boomers.  The second is for the sitters in the baby boomer’s generation and later.  If you want to become a good psychic intuitor, keep up with the current life trends.

In the course of my research, depending on whom or what you read, the stages of life are defined differently.  For the purposes of the intuitor, I have developed my own ranges and names for the different stages.  What is presented here is not intended to be anywhere near a complete explanation of the phases of life.  The subject has been discussed in more books than one can read in a lifetime.  This book presents only what may be necessary for the intuitor to start to understand life stages for readings.  To fine-tune the intuitor’s knowledge of life stages, he is encouraged to do more research.

The ages of the different stages tend to overlap.  Everyone grows at his or her own rate and no one age range could fit all individuals.  Because of this, attempting to pigeonhole personalities and traits to exact ages is difficult.  The intuitor should focus the reading onto a phase that seems appropriate to the sitter.  This is determined through the cold reading techniques discussed in earlier chapters.  To help the intuitor during a reading, a few examples of statements for each stage have been included to guide the intuitor during the reading.  As always, the intuitor is encouraged to develop their own.

There is information included for phases the intuitor would not normally give a reading; this includes children and the very aged.  Often during a reading, the sitter will ask the intuitor about people in these ranges, such as children or parents.  The intuitor should know some information of people in these phases to offer reasonable statements.

The ranges discussed in this chapter are:

·         Infant and toddler (0 – 5)

·         Childhood (5 – 14)

·         Confusion and the Terrible Teens (13-19)

·         Late teens / early 20’s (17-23)

·         Emerging Adulthood (20-27)

·         Maturing (25-41)

·         Mid life (40-60)

·         Elder hood (60-80)

·         End Stages (70 - )

Each phase is explained in detail in the book.

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