Stages of Development

Jung grouped the stages of life into four general periods—childhood, youth, middle life, and old age. He compared the trip through life to the journey of the sun through the sky, with the brightness of the sun representing consciousness. The early morning sun is childhood full of potential, but still lacking in brilliance (consciousness); the morning sun is youth, climbing toward the zenith, but unaware of the impending decline; the early afternoon sun is middle life, brilliant like the late morning sun, but obviously headed for the sunset; the evening sun is old age, its once bright consciousness now markedly dimmed (see Figure 4.4). Jung (193 l/1960a) argued that values, ideals, and modes of behavior suitable for the morning of life are inappropriate for the second half, and that people must learn to find new meaning hi their declining years of life.

FIGURE 4.4 Jung Compares the Stages of Life to the Suit's Journey through the Sky, with the Brilliance of the Sun Representing Consciousness.

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