A few remarks on the temporal phases of human life

Author: Andras Laszlo

Own translation from Hungarian

There are three adequate views on time as a streaming durance (duratio fluens): 

a) linear time and time-view, – b) cyclical time and time-view, – c) radical time and time-view. Not only are these three types of conception of time and temporality all valid, considering all of them together is the only acceptable position.

Time -as streaming durance- is simultaneously linear and cyclical. Radial time appears in the interrelation of streaming durance (duration fluens) and static durance (duratio stans). This is the time of entry of time (as static durance) into time (as streaming durance) and in the same time it is the time of exit from streaming durance directly to the level of created static durance (duratio stans creata), and indirectly toward uncreated static durance, ultimately toward absolute super-temporal timelessness.

The individual-personal existence and life of corporal man in the state of the earthly-human world begins in time (in tempore) and ends in time (in tempore) but on higher levels of existence (that are always present) other beginnings and other ends are always present, in addition to other durance, together with the two-way nature of linearity, cyclicity and radiality. The interplay of these determine the quasi-rhythmic gradation of durance of human life.

The normative minimum of human life is -according to traditional views- 72 years; in the Far-East they also consider 81 years or even 120 years, but -from an astrological point of view- even 96 years, 100 years and 108 years, or -according to some schools- 60, 64 and 84 years of duration are also of special significance.

It is crucial to consider a 3 grade division, although it is generally neglected. The ages of youth, maturity and seniority are valid differentiation but don’t allow for further gradation.

It seems that a four grade division is more valid  especially if -similarly to the yugas- we focus on the ratio of 1:2:3:4 as progression of durance.

Here we have to take 70 years and 90 years -of secondary significance- as a base, since on the other hand, their base years of 7 years and 9 years are of primal significance. Thus:

1 x 7 years = 7 years; 0-7 years childhood

2 x 7 years = 14 years; 7-21 years pubescent/adolescent

3 x 7 years = 21 years; 21-42 years pre-mature age

4 x 7 years = 28 years; 42-70 years mature and post-mature age

In this gradation seniority starts above 70 years and this roughly corresponds with the conclusion of activities oriented outwards. This is when one truly needs to begin turning inwards.

In other way:

1 x 9 years = 9 years; 0-9 years childhood

2 x 9 years = 18 years; 9-27 years youth

3 x 9 years = 27 years; 27-54 years maturity

4 x 9 years = 36 years; 54-90 years seniority

Old age, in this setup, begins after the age of 90.

We receive a more clear and precise picture if we combine these life-duration gradations with the planetary classifications of astrology.

According to the 9 year basic gradation:

0-9 years Luna

9-18 years Mercurius

18-27 years Venus

27-36 years Sol

36–45 years Sol 

45–54 years Sol 

54–63 years Mars 

63–72 years Jupiter 

72– ? years Saturnus 

According to the 7 year basic gradation:

0–7 years Luna 

7–14 years Mercurius 

14–21 years Venus 

21–28 years Sol 

28–35 years Sol 

35–42 years Sol 

42–49 years Sol 

49–56 years Sol 

56–63 years Mars 

63–70 years Jupiter 

70– ? years Saturnus 

According to the 12 year basic gradation:

0–12 years Luna 

12–24 years Mercurius 

24–36 years Venus 

36–48 years Sol 

48–60 years Sol 

60–72 years Mars 

72– 84 years Jupiter 

84– ? years Saturnus 

These three different systems of gradation are valid together and have to be considered together besides strict consideration of the two types of tetractys-gradation.

Details of the 7 year base gradation for the first 7 years of life:

0–1 age Luna – Luna

1–2 age Luna – Mercurius

2–3 age Luna – Venus

3–4 age Luna – Sol

4–5 age Luna – Mars

5–6 age Luna – Jupiter

6–7 age Luna – Saturnus

This partial gradation also appears in the later stages of life but not so sharply and unequivocally.

According to Tradition, human life in Satya-Krta-Yuga -in the Golden Agen- would be between 4000 and 4320 years and it may have lasted even longer; in Treta-Yuga the duration of earthly-human life weas 3000-3240 years; in Dvápara Yuga this duration was only 2000 or 2160 years; in Kali Yuga -in the Dark Ages- the length is 1000 or 1080 years or less, while in the terminal period 100 or 108 years is the general maximum; people usually live shorter and only in exceptional cases longer than this.

Astrology considers life circles of 60, 72, 84, 96, 108, 120, (132), 144 years but many follow also the 100 year Frank Glahn life circle. Post mortem it’s possible to create a life circle that’s based on actual life duration = 360° key and retrospective this of course is more valid than any other life circle.

Quantitatively, life span -in terms of prospective- is generally not known, thus in order to determine a spiritual life plan in broad terms, thinking in terms of a 72 years long life, although life may be much shorter and longer, too, may be acceptable. If somebody has already past their 72nd year, they can switch to a 144 year life span (divisibility by 36 is especially significant).

Special modes of life conduct, tasks and responsibilities belong to each age (life phase) which – if they remain unfulfilled- may lead to the accumulation of significant  -even fatal- disadvantages on the path of autotransmutatio spiritualis et metaphysica.

There have been strictly exceptional cases, exceptional lives, exceptional individuum personales/persona individualis’ who transcended/transcend the conduct of life determined by otherwise valid frames, also in regards tasks related to age; for example those who follow one of the regular -in exceptional cases irregular- paths of YogaYoga -as the ascesis of metaphysical realization- may exonerate one from the otherwise obligatory caste-laws (varna-dharmas) and age-laws (ásrama-dharmas). 

In the world determined by Indian-Hindi tradition, the following ásrama-dharma circle belonged to the varna-dharma of the bráhmana-varna (age law appropriate to the Brahmana caste), according to gradual phases:

1. brahmacári(n) phase

This refers to the adolescent age that corresponds to the period of intense study in order to establish an increasingly spiritual life-path.

2. grhastha phase

This is the period of the head of the house, of the husband, father. This period is dedicated to establishing a family,  to increase material wealth, to beget children; all aspects of all these must be subordinated to the principles of a spiritual-metaphysical orientation.

3. vánaprastha phase

Once even the youngest child of the bráhmana-father becomes independent and he has no other task of unconditional validity, the father-husband must leave his home and move to a sylvan hermit community so his life may be oriented exclusively above and beyond life.

4. sannyási(n) phase

The old age reached in the sylvan hermit community presents a new task for the bráhmana: he has to leave the hermit community in order to live the remaining of his life as a wondering, fully homeless hermit-ascetic fully dedicating his life to achieving metaphysical liberation –moksa-.    

These life-phases were loosely connected to the life-phases of temporal gradation; the relative tight connection meant an optimal approach and if this was not hindered or excluded by something, the adjustment to these was also considered to be a quasi-task.

To draw a somewhat ironic opposite to this we could say that the “average man” today is infantile until the age of 36 and then -almost immediately- becomes senile or at least starts to become senile.

The nine year cycles – with a plus-minus one-two-three years accuracy- are extremely important. Most people “stop” around the age of 27, and become idle; their views become fixed by then and even if they manage to change a little, this will no longer be real change: it will stay within the already developed and coagulated frame-scheme and even if they adopt new views, they do this the same way as they adopted the one they are about to replace. People on a very low level get stuck as early as 18 and their life -first of all regarding views- will be sustained and determined by what they have internalized up until then. Nowadays it’s becoming an “achievement” if somebody reaches this stage around the age of 36 – let alone 45 or 54, which is increasingly becoming exceptional.

People with spiritual orientation should never become idle and we know that people with true spiritual orientation never stop, never become rigid and “ossified” even above the age of 100, if they live that long, or any time after that.

We must be at the highest spiritual level right in the moment before death (and of course in the moment of death) irrespective of when this takes place. A biophysiological slow-down could happen and this is “permissible”, but actual mental deterioration is absolutely not.

The “eternal youth” of the body in the Kali-Yuga is possible only to exceptional Viators of exceptional paths and even for them, less and less so. To keep the soul significantly intact and uncorrupted is however a prerequisite for a spiritual man and the soundness of the spirit is a conditio sine qua non, which is self-evident.

In the current stage of Kali-Yuga the spirit’s influence on the body is not so significant as before but it is able to prevent its determinant effects on the body in regards the spirit and the soundness of the spirit. The body is usually capable of exerting a strong effect on the soul, and through it, also can also influence the spirit. Those who define themselves as the followers of a spiritual – metaphysical path, have to definitely reduce the direct and indirect -significant-  influence of the body on the soul and on the spirit. The difficulty of completing the tasks that are aimed at this is extraordinary and -considering our era- this difficulty will only increase with time.

When one grows up, one must become fully adult; this is indispensable for the mature preservation and increase of awareness; one must achieve this by preserving the child in oneself while in the same time excluding all infantilism. To lose the child in myself prevents my spiritual-metaphysical realization, just like if I don’t become perfectly adult. An infantile adult is who -despite growing up- remained a child without ever reaching true, mature adulthood. Adulthood – without the preservation and subsistence of the child- quick reaches the initial phase of senility.  The fading away of the child in ourselves – to put it strictly: in myself- is the main meta-somatic cause of the development of senility.

To sum it up: both infantility and senility, although differently, prevent spritual-metaphysical realization.

A child (especially a baby) is closer to the origin and through it to what has no beginning. An adult on the other hand has reached or approached the state of mature awareness, the state of vigilant maturity. The state of the baby -even though it’s continually decreasing- is given; the state of the adult -starting from the middle of life, being exposed to natural contingencies- is declining unless a decisive inner (we could say supra human, life-transcending) resistance develops against this decline. A counter-movement is required that’s striving for ascent: not only for actual ascent but also for stopping or even for slowing the pace of decline. Whoever relies only on the physical plane must die young if he wants to avoid getting old in a state that’s approaching the sub-human and thus finishing his earthly life.

In relation to the earthly-human temporality, praeexsistentia and postexsistentia belong to timeless existence. This however, is by far not the absolute supra-temporal-timeless eternity (aeternitas), just a temporality that is so different that in relation to the generally experienced durance, it means -even if only relatively- an actual quasi-timelessness.

We definitely submit to the unconditional certainty of the reality of human praeexsistentia and postexsistentia and we generally accept -with appropriate amendments- the theological positions related to this -which could be quite varied. We reject redincarnationismus vulgaris; we can’t accept the tenets of moderate postulatio redincarnationis either. Regeneratio tendentionalis is universally and unequivocally accepted from a metaphysico-traditional point of view. This is indisputable. The question is if there is anything acceptable -in addition to the reverse stream of carmically determined tendencies-  that may be related to the basic tenets of the nuanced and restrained teachings of re-birth. The answer must also be nuanced, moderate, diverse and ambiguous. Proper treatment of this would require a whole team of authors. Since this is not our objective now, we can’t deal with this range of questions even tangentially here. What we can say is that the firm rejection of redincarnationismus vulgaris and the non-acceptance of redincarnationismus subtilis belong to our basic tenets but these don’t necessarily mean the complete denial of factualitas redincarnationis. 

Life – embedded in a higher domain- doesn’t start with birth, with biological conception, not even with occult conception and similarly, it doesn’t end with biological and or even with perfect death (including all the subsequent temporal facts). The way of praefecundalis and postmortalis life beyond life is immensely complex, multifaceted and ambiguous and the related questions and answers also contain several aspects and dimensions.

The totality of life is much broader in scope than the rhythmicity and cyclicity of ages and their gradation or the possibility of their gradation. This however doesn’t contradict the classification of the duration of life into various phases, as a fully reasonable and well founded procedure both in terms of validity and justification.

Life can be hardly planned. An eventually successful life-conduct -from a metaphysico-traditional point of view- is minimum ambivalent. If we do consider it possible and positive, the most explicit and deepest consideration of the age-phases is essential; these should be studied both in general and specifically in relation to our-my own lives/life. The former fosters the latter and -when it comes to recognizing principles- the latter depends on the support of the former.

Temporal existence as a duration is related to the multiplicity of cycles. The smallest ones are in the order of magnitude of  ten thousandths of a time-second and shorter, the largest ones may be “measured” in quadrillion years. The study of these doesn’t belong to the domain of metaphysics in a strict sense, but metaphysically determined cosmology and anthropology are important pre- and side studies for building the foundation for the immersion in metaphysics.

Modern man is insensitive toward everything that exceeds and points beyond his earthly-human existence in a vertical sense, upward. But man of this era is not necessarily modern (although he generally is). Modern man doesn’t consider the gradation of life based on duration and phases even if he informatively knows about these, if he has read – heard about the consequences of their application.

The attention of people of our era who are capable of detaching themselves from modernity definitely extends to the occult background concatenations of life. This is not metaphysical orientation yet but – in optimal cases – it may prepare it, introduce it, it may build its foundation. This is why we need to judge such things in a positive light until there is no fixation on the occult “only”, since this fixation may become one of  the major obstacles on the path to the metaphysical. Learning about and understanding the (often modern) occult schools of this era reveals the existence of the already mentioned danger and its complex nature. (Although we don’t consider the extensive and detailed study of occult schools indispensable -besides being interesting- we still consider it important.)

Earthly – human life is not in the least of earthly origin. Kali – Yuga -which is first and foremost a state of consciousness- generally subsists. (To affirm this, doesn’t contradict our solipsistic position.) Human life runs its course among the conditions of Kali – Yuga, but Kali – Yuga itself is not independent of higher realities of consciousness and existence. This understanding must be projected into the interpretation of the phases of human life.


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