By the end of the Young Soul phase, an uneasiness arises that something is amiss. All the wealth, power and acclaim aren't quite enough; profits and winning no longer have transcendental value.
Thus begins the search of the Mature Soul period. The questions "Who am I? Why am I here?" are asked with frequency in these lives. These are trying, intense times; emotions open up, boundaries between people break down. Seeing another person's point of view becomes possible as people become deeply immersed in relationship issues. Suddenly it's clear everybody has feelings, and these feelings are usually either interesting or unavoidable. One of the reasons Young Souls are able to direct so much energy towards success is that their inner lives aren't calling for attention. This allows their energy to flow easily after externals. Not so in the Mature period. It is a stirred-up, introspective time. There is more emotional centering here, more intensity, more schizophrenia, more pain, more suicide, more love, more sensuality, and probably more drugs to intensify it all than in any other period. Boy George, Sean Penn, Richard Burton and Marlon Brando have (or had) lives that illustrate this tendency toward immoderation, Sally Field, while pregnant with her third child, was quoted as saying, "It's scary to think that there will be another human being in the world that I will love that much." Her lament embodies the typical Mature Soul intensification of feeling.
Creativity flows. Philosophy and art come into prominence. Illusion and distortion of reality are inevitable as a person opens up because there is not a clear path nor an easy way to sort through all the feelings. Nothing is so solid as in the Baby and Young phases. Being flexible is not easy. Until the last couple of decades our culture provided few guideposts for this vexing set of lives. The hippies with all their "flow" and "beingness" facilitated everyone's understanding of the Mature Soul phase and helped disassemble some of this society's blinder adulation of Young Soul consciousness.
Because they are often misunderstood and perceived as disturbed, when actually just perceiving more than the Baby or Young Soul, Mature Souls often gravitate towards a community of other Mature Souls where they can be understood. Berkeley and Cambridge are two notoriously Mature Soul cities in the United States, as is Amsterdam in Holland. Both the creative and the gay men's communities in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York are a mixture, but tend to be Mature in flavor. Mature Souls enjoy the company of other Mature Souls for their emotional potency as well as for the "being on the same path" kind of feeling. They appreciate Old Souls for their information and perhaps an occasional rest, while Young Souls are enjoyed for their reminders of how to push forward in the world.
This, like the Young Soul phase, is a time when many people rise into prominence, though less now through ambition and power, and more from vim, verve and dash. Notice that the individual's character tends to be full, usually quite interesting and creative in the Mature period. Painter Vincent Van Gogh suffered continually from the intensity of his feelings, while Paul Gauguin hoped to find solace from them in the peaceful South Seas. Jean Genet, Truman Capote and J.D. Salinger each gave an intense, Mature Soul flavor to their writing. And, don't forget Barbara Walters, the TV interviewer who is always interested in helping people reveal their most intimate feelings, and Morton Downey, Jr. who rather cynically aggravates people's feelings.
Notice the pep, excitement, enthusiasm and intensity with which these stars live: Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Frank Zappa, Randy Newman, Holly Near, Janis Joplin, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna and Barbra Streisand. Like Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Michael Douglas, Elizabeth Taylor, Vanessa Redgrave, Molly Ringwald, Jack Nicholson, Dennis Hopper, Charlie Sheen, Warren Beatty, Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland and a host of others, most of our actors are Mature. Crusaders Ralph Nader, Gloria Steinem, Oliver North, Abbie Hoffman and Tom Hayden are all Mature and occasionally inflamed. Carlos Castaneda, Lynn Andrews, Terry Cole-Whittaker, Brugh Joy, Shakti Gawain, Dan Millman and Elizabeth Clair Prophet are Mature spiritual seekers, teachers and authors. Mature Souls will seek higher education but often gravitate towards smaller non-traditional schools. This period has its own priorities and inner sense of direction. For example, Mature Souls will sometimes, much to the bewilderment of their Young Soul relatives, purposefully turn away from a well-paying, high status position to choose something more in line with their developing priorities, whether more casual, more risky and creative, or more save-the-world.
This whole period is marked by exploration, much of it inner, but plenty of it outer. Madonna's mother probably didn't picture her innocently named daughter wearing a crucifix and odd underwear while prancing on stage one day.
A person may fall in love with opera, jazz, Pavarotti, Mozart, chamber m usic, tango, polka or playing a Pan flute while he gathers mushrooms from the woods. Non-traditional religions, meditation, and metaphysics start to look interesting, while outer horizons broaden with unfastened lifestyles, sex of all sorts, art of every type, gourmet and foreign cuisines. Out of the high sensuality of this period there may come a passion for sushi or fine wines and the ability to distinguish and appreciate exquisite nuances in flavor.
In fact, most of the first-rate, four-star chefs around the world are Mature.
Countries with Mature Soul attributes may tend to put more attention on social relationships than on material goods or efficiency. Examples are Italy, Greece, Egypt and Mexico. Italy has had about 50 postwar cabinet crises. In Mature nations the question comes up, does a country really need a smoothly functioning government, or is it more interesting to keep juggling? Sometimes "little" things like a crumbling infrastructure won't receive attention until disaster is clearly imminent.
England, even with its stolid roots, is a little off balance due to its entry into the Mature phase. With the advent of a socialism which aims for a more equal distribution of wealth, the average Briton is suddenly more focused on internals than on the never-ending struggle to maintain a power position in the world. People are less interested in nose-to-the-grindstone hard work, but not just because their basic survival is supported by the socialistic system. They have changed on an inner level and now finally have a leader, John Major, who reflects their Mature Soul consciousness.
Around mid-1987, many Young Soul countries, like Israel and the U.S., started nosing into a Mature consciousness. This happened because suddenly their populations had more Mature Souls than Young, and the old balance started changing. Those countries will still feel primarily Young Soul in ambiance and action for some time to come, but you'll notice within them, though, that the desire to make sure everyone is taken care of crops up to a greater and greater extent. Since Mature consciousness realizes we are all in this together, importance may get attached to the rights of animals, whether dolphins, farm animals, near-extinct species, rabbits, monkeys or rats used for medical research or fur bearing animals used for warm clothing. On a slightly different tack, Mature Souls are also likely to be the ones patronizing pet cemeteries.
Poland and Russia are countries brimming with Mature Souls where strong agreements exist for assets to be divided fairly, for everyone to have equal shares of the wealth. Marxist theory is very much Mature Soul in flavor, if not in actuality. The ruling groups in both those countries have been heavy, hardy Young Soul types who have managed through thick and thin, by hook and crook, to hang on to the power. And then you have Mature Souls like Lech Walesa and Mikhail Gorbachev who are aiming to wrest it from them.