Life has an inner pattern, it is good to understand it. Every seven years, physiologists say, the body and mind go through a crisis and a change. Every seven years all the cells of the body change, are completely renewed. In fact if you live seventy years, the average limit, your body dies ten times. Each seventh year everything changes—it is just like changing seasons. In seventy years the circle is complete. The line that moves from birth comes to death, the circle is complete in seventy years. It has ten divisions.
In fact man’s life should not be divided into childhood, youth, old age. That is not very scientific, because every seven years a new age begins, a new step is taken. P.24
Osho, in the book, Maturity: The Responsibility of Being Oneself, describes the human life cycle as including 10 stages in seven year spans. Osho’s description is very helpful in understanding the primary motivation and functioning of a person during each stage of life.
It may be helpful to use our understanding of these seven year stages of human development to see how churches can function and help meet a person’s developmental needs at each stage of a person’s life.
UU A Way Of Life is focused primarily on people over 42 and particularly for people 56 and older. People over 56 are concerned primarily with the purpose of their lives and how they can actualize their potential. Their years of raising the next generation are over for the most part and so they are ready to refocus their attention on their own development.
While cultivating an interior spiritual life is important at each stage of life, it is even more important as one matures and finds that the things of the ego are not ultimately satisfying and fulfilling. More than in previous stages of life, they are aware that the idea that the idols in the world of the ego will make one happy has been a Big Lie.
Having had this dawning that the things of the ego does not make one genuinely happy, one then starts a search, in earnest, for the things that would be satisfying and fulfilling and help one bring to comforting completion the purpose of their life.
This search brings one to an experience of one’s own intrinsic holiness and this awareness contributes to peace and bliss and takes the whole world one step further on its evolutionary path to sanctification and enlightenment.