We are Everything; Good and Bad. Yet in the writing of my “Three Ha’s for Seven Ages” it struck me that each of the first six acts appeared as though bereft of goodness. Silly of me. Not one of them is entirely negative. Not one of them ought to be declared insufficient, inadequate, insupportable, inescapable or even irreducible. In fact, the inherent value or goodness of each role or part or Meme that we play is the very reason we sometimes are reluctant to give up that role as a predominant part of our repertoire. It is for reasons of their great value to us that we find ourselves caught up in the habit of so perpetually playing our perseverant part, given our penchant for specific predilections, and proclivities. No wonder, as we head to an eventual grave, we thereby may happily cling to one or the other of our favored roles that best suits us in any of Seven Stages.
First, in utter self-centricity we are self-sufficient. This is not self-actualization but rather a non-need of any others’ approval, an ability to find shelter and food and entertainment independent of the company we keep. It is that skillful and crafty state of depending on no one, of sensing how to survive, of learning the tricks of the trade and deploying the arts of self-hood such that there is no need to impress, no need for an audience, no need for an ‘other’. In the seeming selfishness of the very young we readily see it; a veteran like me oft stumbles too. See how subtly it may build yet again on any of us playing with the possibilities in Role Seven? In letting all ‘just Be’ (which is the very essence of Total Integration) are we not perhaps unwittingly beginning again with an ultimate reactionary focus on ‘just Me’? Where else then, do we have yet or not to be?
Our Second role, having not yet enough of the self to exercise it as Selfishness, happily succumbs to the needs of immediate others and give our loyalty and dependability and trust and servitude and humility. What fortunate people our family members may indeed thereby be!
Most invigorated of all, the Third Role drives us to succeed, never gives up, overcomes all difficulties, can be counted on to lead, to achieve, to attain, to gain. It is that which will not be traduced, abused, calumniated against. It is that which will not be left by another in the dirt.
Our Fourth stage makes us loyal community members, staunch supporters, gives us national pride, gives us a sense of compassion beyond ourselves and in our congregations gathers us into prayer and political groups and foster-care groups and charity organizations that do great good.
The Fifth act contributes inclusively. It employs and deploys the other, the different, the unique, the colour, creed, and clan. It provides opportunity and mobility and plans for growth, and it drives an economy toward stability and discipline and order. Bravo the Boss! Your loss, his loss.
The Sixth age is our check-point of reality over nonsense, our insurance that standards of education and housing and health and even religion are as fair and equal as possible, and it is very vocal in the face of unfair practice, ethical disputation, and argumentative bias.
And the Seventh, most heavenly of all, is that age where everything is important and nothing really matters; a moment by moment mindfulness no longer here nor there. Still, beware the selfishness of selflessness, ha!, lest there be little good in mere belly gazing at the bye and bye.