Mature Soul Perceives Others As They Perceive Themselves

Hi Fellow Michael Folk,

So I've been contemplating this off and on for almost 30 years: "The Mature Soul perceives others as they perceive themselves." As opposed to... what? Does this mean that mature souls have a hard time seeing past the public persona that another person projects? Or...what? After all this time, I'm not sure I understand what this statement about mature souls really means.

What think ye?

Stacheman

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SHEPHERD:

I've scratched my head about that one a lot, too. I think we all do that to some degree. If, for example, someone thinks of himself as being stupid due to heavy self-deprecation, he broadcasts that to others. Others tend to assume that he's the expert on himself and take his word for it. It requires a little work to get past that projection. It's a wonderful thing when we see the gifts in others that they don't yet see themselves--it might help them believe in themselves more.

The mature cycle focuses on the development of empathy. Priests, whose positive pole is compassion, have a head start on that, whereas kings and warriors, oriented in the outer world, come late to it. But the mature cycle is about delving into our inner world and exploring relatedness, so mature souls can feel other people’s issues especially keenly. If they haven't yet gotten past the subjectivity of that and learned to frame their perceptions in a larger context (the speciality of the old soul cycle, although this can be done earlier), they can be pulled into those perceptions and mistake them for reality.

The early Michael channeling established templates and generalizations. Now, we're filling in the subtleties. One can be a mature soul or anything else and not fit the stereotypes.

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I have also pondered the meaning of the Michael’s statement, "The Mature Soul perceives others as they perceive themselves".
I agree with parts of John's assessment but think there is more to consider in our interpretation of its meaning. 
We need to also acknowledge the differences between the early, middle and late Mature phases of self, consciousness, and spiritual development. 
Much changes between and within the early and late stages (as with all the levels within and across stages).

We also need to be mindful of individual differences. Transpersonal and consciousness studies, and psychological research, shows that progress in is not linear nor straight-forward in any individual. This is shown to hold in a variety of research including Faith Development, Moral Development, Cognitive Development, et al.

As a class (or cohort group) we can note general trends, but in an individual - development is not by way of straight-forward progression.
Many people with advanced awareness or skill in some areas of development will not be as developed in other areas, and vice versa. 

I notice that Mature people (especially those whom are open to others) can be interested in and even fascinated by people. They may get drawn consciously or unconsciously into relating to not just the presenting persona (competent, independent, successful, witty etc) but drawn to the pain, negative patterns, intensity and drama of relationships with people. But it should be noted that this can be a positive or negative experience for the parties involved. (This is not necessarily being 'sucked in' as John writes).

This propensity to dive in deep can make Mature people empathetic friends, and gifted therapists, advocates, and healers. Many hurt, wounded and suffering people will respond to having such an ally.  
However without the joy in this process, and without self management and support for the Mature helper from friends, colleagues and loved ones, this can also mean burn out, overwhelm, health issues, and even situational depression. 

Alternatively I do see other Mature people just try to avoid the ‘messiness’ of being with people so they work and live alone. They sense or know that behind what is presented to them (by way of the persona), and in themselves is messy stuff - the shadow and its unconscious drives and impulses - and they "don’t want to go there". So they can sense past the persona but do not have the desire for contact, as they don’t see the benefits outweighing the potential costs and compromises for themselves. (I also know Old Souls who live in reclusively, and Baby Souls too - they both want simple lives).

For myself as a late Mature soul, at this stage my response is to limit, avoid, or at least manage those relationships I find too demanding of me. I no longer practice as a Psychologist, despite a Social Worker saying what is the best Psych in the country doing living at the beach and not working as a therapist.  
My direction is less personal these days, and Im happy to keep my membership, teach and write, but the days of getting right in there with people and getting alongside them, and fiercely loving them and demanding them to wellness are over. Not every responded to that approach of course; but there have been many miracles of love and healing with people in my life. We hold each other in our hearts and at times they find me out and contact me and we remember that healing fire we walked through together with great love and much courage. We faced fear, suicidiality, disintegration, hopelessness, and desperation and they know I relentlessly held them in my eye and in my heart. 

I think Martin Buber’s conceptualisation of respectful and sacred relating in the “I-Thou” - has been interpreted in the MT as applying especially to Mature Souls.
I have operated from this perspective in this life. For me it means to see the sacred in other, to see their persona and also to see what they do not see - and that can often make me feel uncomfortable as I hold their secrets too.
I can see the Ego with its defences, the self limiting beliefs, the games, the roles, the conflicts, the stuck or denied parts of self, the yearnings, the wounded self, the family ikon, and I seek to see and tap into their essence, and even their past lives will sometimes flash into my mind’s eye.

Other mid and late Matures will see others in a similar way as well. Surely this is seeing people 'as they are' - Warts and All! (My hat's off to Freud, Perls, Berne, Rogers etc).

Yet to acknowledge John's statement I know some early and level mature people including therapists who are limited to seeing people at the level of their self image - but surely there are limits to the capacity of the therapists' healing work? They are the expert - the person is the patienT. No equality there. Perhaps they would do well with Infant or Baby or Young Souls who are facing developmental crises or whose lives are chaotic, and who need support and guidance (even rescuing or parenting) to take the next step. I cant see how they would be able to 'see', nor help, mid/late Mature or Old Souls who are suffering from world weariness and existential crises.

However by way of contrast, I notice our Old Soul teen just accepts people and ignores their issues. He doesn’t get in too deep but his warmth is broad and accepting. Will that change with time for him - I don’t know.
I see in our two young souls (in their 20s) a lot of positive projection and transference, with their friends and relationships, as well as loyalty, devotion, playfulness, and protectiveness. I also often see an Us and Them/ Insiders and Outsiders paradigm, that is very nice for those on the inside. It makes me uncomfortable but that's where they are at and my viewpoint is usually incomprehensible. Although in a moment of self reflection our daughter (25yrs) said when she was looking in to herself in meditation she didn’t see much there. I said well that is because you are a young soul and have an exciting journey in front of you. She said she 'had a feeling about that actually' - she was delighted with the thought of the gains ahead.  

We do need to be mindful that any stage theory presents difficulties when applied to individuals without the fuller picture of who they are. Soul age is one part of a persons/souls identity. Isolating stages as key will be too broad brush and miss the subtlety, complexity, and varibility of beingness. 

Each age offers gifts as well as challenges. The Mature age has much to offer each of us and the world by way of creativity and ideas and relating - and in seeing beyond what meets the eye. Freuds and Bernes concepts have even crept into modern thinking and idiom. Who hasn’t heard or used the terms - Neurotic - a Try Hard - Fixated - Im Ok Youre Ok etc.

Old soul-dom isn’t the be all and end all - despite a bias that sometimes creeps into our thinking. I have Old Soul friends who I love yet who are self-cantered, intolerant, proud, and can who use their power manipulatively. Im sure Im not seeing them as they present themselves - as cool, sophisticated thinkers who think they are smarter than the average bear. They are more than all that. I have other Old Soul friends who are very cool and detached, brilliant and inspiring - but if Im looking for warmth I go to a Mature friend. It's Horses for Courses! 

I aim to celebrate the best - and leave alone or limit the rest - in the Infants, Babies, Youngins, Maturins, and Oldies I encounter.
Fiona

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There's a certain amount of truth to this: it's difficult to see something that you don't have any experience, personal or vicarious, with. The rest of it, though, I think is muddled pop psychology which comes from some brands of psychotherapy. I've learned over the  years to be very suspicious of anything that comes from psychotherapy: they're mostly dealing with broken people, not relatively normal people who are dealing with their lives relatively well.

John R
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