By November 28, 2015 10 Comments Read More →

Carl Jung’s Archetypes – The 4 Stages of Life

Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung (1875 ? 1961), the founder of analytical psychology, 1960. (Photo by Douglas Glass/Paul Popper/Popperfoto/Getty Images)

Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung (1875 – 1961), the founder of analytical psychology, 1960. (Photo by Douglas Glass/Paul Popper/Popperfoto/Getty Images)

Luminita D. Saviuc, Purpose Fairy
Waking Times

“Thoroughly unprepared, we take the step into the afternoon of life. Worse still, we take this step with the false presupposition that our truths and our ideals will serve us as hitherto. But we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning, for what was great in the morning will be little at evening and what in the morning was true, at evening will have become a lie.” Carl Gustav Jung

According to the Swiss psychologist, Carl Gustav Jung, there are 4 archetypes, 4 stages that we go through during our lifetime, and these stages are:

1. The ATHLETE Stage

At this stage, we are mostly preoccupied with our looks, with the way our body looks. During this stage we might stay for hours looking and admiring our reflection in the mirror. Our body, our looks are the most important thing to us, nothing else.

2. The WARRIOR stage

During this period, this stage, our main concern is to go out there and conquer the world, to do our best, be the best and get the very best, to do what warriors do, and act like warriors act. This is a stage when we continually think of ways to get more than everybody else, a stage of comparison, of defeating those around so we can feel better because we have achieved more, because we are the warriors, the brave ones.

3. The STATEMENT stage

At this time, this stage in your life, you realize what you have achieved so far is not enough for you to feel fulfilled, to be happy… you are now looking for ways to make a difference in the world, for ways to serve those around you. You are now preoccupied with ways to start giving. You now realize what you chased after until now, money, power, possessions etc. will keep on appearing in your life but you no longer attribute them the same value as before, you no longer are attached to those things because you are now in a different stage of your life, where you know there is more to life than that. You receive them, you accept them and you are grateful, but you are ready to let go of them at any time. You are looking for ways to stop thinking only about yourself, of ways to receive and start focusing on living a life of service. All you want to do in this stage is give. You now know that giving is receiving and it is time for you to stop being selfish, egotistical and self-centered and think of ways to help those in need, to leave this world better than it was when you arrived.

4. The Stage of the SPIRIT

According to Jung, this will be the last stage of our life, a stage where we realize that none of those 3 stages are really who and what we are. We realize we are more than our body, we are more than our possessions, more than our friends, our country and so on. We come to the realization that we are divine beings, spiritual beings having a human experience, and not human beings having a spiritual experience. We now know this is not our home, and we are not what we thought we are. We are in this world but not of it. We are now able to observe ourselves from a different perspective. We are now capable to step out of our own mind, out of our own body and understand who we really are, to see things the way they are. We become the observer of our lives. We realize that we are not that which we notice but, the observer of what we notice.

2500 years ago, Lao Tzu (abt.551-479 BCE) was trying to teach us just that, was trying to teach us how to get to this last stage of life, this spiritual stage: “Can you step back from your own mind and thus understand all things? Giving birth and nourishing, having without possessing, acting with no expectations, leading and not trying to control: this is the supreme virtue.”

What are your thoughts regarding these 4 stages of life and in which one do you think you’re in? You can share your insights by joining the conversation in the comment section below.

About the Author

Luminita D. Saviuc is the renowned inspirational editor and creator of PurposeFairy.com. Please visit her excellent and enlightening site, where this article was originally published.

Like Waking Times on Facebook. Follow Waking Times on Twitter.

~~ Help Waking Times to raise the vibration by sharing this article with friends and family…

  • Lisa Jackson

    What a great article, I do belive I am just starting my journey in the finle stage of Spirit with open eyes, heart and soul I journey on. Life is a challeng but it is worth it. Blessed now Blessed be Blessed IS

  • Gailsunday

    In my life I have been studying, immersed in the Tao, The Eightfold Path, (and Erich Fromme’s “The Art of Loving”), since discovered in Humanities class in HS at age 16.
    Its value to me is beyond compare, to anything else, it is the Golden Rule put to Action in daily existence. Stage 1 was in my early teens, and after my ‘discovery” Stage 4 began bypassing 2 and 3 or a combination of 3 & 4, by taking out the egocentrics of stage 3, one can be a spiritual warrior…..would not change my life course for anything……the spiritual quest, the shining soul, have found nothing more worthy, more inspiring…..in its seeming singularity, the results is openness to everything. And, the Freedom attained from worldly wants, the recognition of the difference of wants, and Needs…..And Needs, are few….ie., sustenance, shelter, breath, water…..in being met, is consistent contentment…..never had much care for the vaporous state called happiness….too fleeting, too illusive, not worth the pursuit, momentary, and has a flipside, its opposite…again, negates its value….. however, unless one encounters the Eightfold Path. my suspicion is, to know the pursuit of happiness to be a waste of time, not pursuable, requires lots of life experience to gain that awareness…..the Eightfold Path is a Shortcut…..so much more useful than any other route encountered for me, and believe the world would be a better place if more were exposed to it..

  • rcopple7

    I like your comment, Carol. If everyone does his or her own shadow work to strengthen their light to confront evil, it will lead us to make the right economic, political, and ecological changes as well. I feel like I am alone and I am alienated from both political and spiritual groups because I want to work on the spiritual and political at the same time. The spiritual groups are apolitical and the political groups don’t seem to emphasize the spiritual aspect equally in reference to the perennial philosophy. Many New Age people have no clue what the US government is doing to the world with its neoconservative or neoliberal foreign policy bent on creating an empire through imperialism.

  • rcopple7

    First of all, I want to say that I did not post the exact same comment below on purpose. When I noticed the first comment was not showing I reposted it. Just now I noticed it was posted twice. Sorry about that. To Dimitri I want to say thank you for responding to my particular comment. It shows that two people can like quantum physics, the new medicine, new biology, the perennial philosophy, for example, but strongly disagree when it comes to economic or political systems. I too do not like any form of authoritarianism or totalitarianism. That is why I choose democratic socialism over authoritarian socialism or any type of fascist, corporate, or casino capitalism. Possibly, if everyone truly focuses on genuine spiritual transformation, the best economic and political system will evolve naturally.

  • Dimitri Ledkovsky

    Psychological testing and surveys have indicated that most of the human population doesn’t “mature” much past the Athlete stage, which could be equated with the infantile or adolescent narcissistic stage of development that should end around age 15-16 for most, but doesn’t. Glorification of “forever young” is endemic to our culture.

  • rcopple7

    ​In the fourth stage, “we realize that we are not that which we notice, but the observer of what we notice.” If Carl Jung were living today, would he be promoting meditation, the perennial philosophy, quantum physics, Conscious Medicine, the new biology, and democratic socialism? I would like to think and believe that he would be promoting those things because that is what I recommend for the salvation of the planet and the world.

    • Dimitri Ledkovsky

      I wouldn’t include democratic socialism. It invariably leads to the psychopaths taking to the helm. Rather non-authoritarianism of some type without the “ism” attached to it, which would lead to proscribed behavior.

    • jerry quick

      I think we have to realize that social evolution comes in stages. Democratic socialism may be the best next step.

      • rcopple7

        Jerry, I agree that democratic socialism, and ultimately international democratic socialism, could save the planet from destruction. But a lot of people will also need to emulate Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King. A lot of people will need to meditate.

  • rcopple7

    In the fourth stage, “We realize that we are not that which we notice, but the observer of what we notice.”
    If Carl Jung were living today, would he be promoting meditation, the perennial philosophy, transpersonal psychology, quantum physics, Conscious Medicine, the new biology, and democratic socialism?
    I would like to think and believe that he would be promoting those things because that is what I recommend for the salvation of the planet and the world.

Thank you for sharing. Follow us for the latest updates.

Send this to friend