This week’s edition of New Dimensions Radio features an interview with Michael Toms on my book The Human Odyssey, which was released in 2008. In the book I take the reader on an experiential journey through the human life span from pre-birth to death and beyond. Using material from fields as disparate as brain research, mysticism, mythology, anthropology, and world art and literature, I attempt to construct a picture of each of 12 stages of life: prebirth, birth, infancy, early childhood, middle childhood, late childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, midlife, mature adulthood, late adulthood, and death. One of the key tenets of the book is that each of these stages has its own unique gift to give to humanity. They are, as follows:
- Prebirth – Potential
- Birth – Hope
- Infancy – Vitality
- Early Childhood – Playfulness
- Middle Childhood – Imagination
- Late Childhood – Ingenuity
- Adolescence – Passion
- Early Adulthood – Enterprise
- Midlife – Contemplation
- Mature Adulthood – Benevolence
- Late Adulthood – Wisdom
- Death – Life
We need to support each stage of life, within ourselves (for we carry each stage of life inside of ourselves as inner forces), with our family and friends who are at different stages than our own, and with the broader community. We need to keep in mind that as we go about our day, we encounter individuals at different stages of life, who have different needs, agendas, desires, hopes, and goals. The infant needs to be held and loved, the adolescent needs to be initiated into adulthood, the elder needs someone to tell his life story to. We need to do what we can to fight child abuse, elder abuse, adolescent suicide, and other lifespan problems. Most of all, we need to recognize that each stage of the journey is precious and needs to be considered as an integral part of the whole spectrum of human development.
To order the book, click here.