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imagemia<\/strong> khalifa – nike air foamposite one" style="max-width:450px;float:left;padding:10px 10px 10px 0px;border:0px;">Fulfilling my spiritual destiny has surely proved a greater task than I could ever have imagined. Back then, in my younger days, a few months was a long time, what I might be doing ten years ahead was unthinkable, and the underlying concealed presumption was that I had an impossible number of years before me. Youthful hubris is based on the expectation, "I will never die! I will live forever!" Unhampered by duty and responsibility the condition of youth is so light it may fly where it will. The ballast that is formed from adolescent depression, hidden fears, and impossible yearnings hardly feels connected to the wings of vision, incubating initiatory energies, and innocent ambition. Unreal as this may be it fulfills the need to remain relatively stable and not be overwhelmed by the daunting task of a human life. So much is possible (and in time impossible or at least unlikely). The threat of having the ground taken from under you, of being shipwrecked in a storm of emotion, and of succumbing to the fascination and allure of death-energies is borne alongside and in a greater contrast to the blinding light of true vision and the torrential inspiration that characterize the late teens and early twenties.

Much has been written and spoken about the seminal years or the seminal period of early childhood. What is that exactly? Is it the first moments of life that gives rise to the schizoid condition of rejection and abandonment, reinforcing the forever-damaging idea that the world itself is eternally untrustworthy? Is it the first year or so in which oral fixations and lifelong expectations of the likelihood of nourishment in its various forms is formulated and set in the deep longings of the psyche? Or is it the first nine years of life through which we pass only to be confronted with the hypocrisy and compromise of the adult world, which we appear to be entering and which we may feel terminally disgusted with? Many more thresholds, stages, and gateways for growing awareness take place through early life and all are in their various ways seminal, shaping, and determining the relationship of the individual to the environment.

But less focused on and sometimes neglected is the marvelous time of late adolescence into the early twenties. During this period the young adult traverses a bridge between the fading atmosphere of childhood innocence and idealization and the dawning horizon of adulthood, independence, and self-responsibility. It is a time that will never happen again. This might be said of any developmental stage, but the emotional and psychological challenges of this particular stage of life development form the underpinnings of an individual's life. He or she is still vulnerable to the merging and perforation of pure relationship while striving to attain the self-confidence and poise the adult world demands. The compromise is in giving up or giving away vulnerability and the potential to be deeply affected, "touched" by another, by events, by circumstances. The english porn movies torrent of life experience the young adult is about to meet may swamp, overwhelm, and devour her. Life may appear as a deluge of the unknown as the steep learning curve of autonomous existence approaches.

In this period too many of us experience great bouts of inspiration and the intimation of transcendental possibilities. The flow of gifts from our inner muse contends with our need to face the practical demands of the material world, which can cause tension between the demands of our inner and outer worlds. Children of the 1940s and 1950s are a case in point. Swamped by idealism and reactive rebelliousness many late adolescents and early twenty year-olds made pilgrimages to the great civilizations of early spiritual consciousness - India and Egypt for example - in a bid to align themselves with belief systems, inner practices, gurus and teachers that offered a sense of meaningful existence. This was a golden era for the spreading religio-spiritual organizations that had begun to flourish in the West as a result of increased communication, accessibility of world-wide travel, and the openness to new, essentially oriental, spiritual philosophies. The Maharishi's school of TM, the Hare Krishna movement, Yogananda's Self-Realization Fellowship, Muktananda's Siddha Yoga, and Maharaj Ji's Divine Light Mission are just a few examples.

The corollary of this was the downside of disenchantment, disillusionment, and often despair. As the promised liberation and enlightenment failed to materialize, would-be spiritual aspirants returned to the grayness of routine worldly lives courted by the allure of the material life. Employment, family, property, and wealth became the new focus for those seeking validation in an increasingly opulent worldly culture in the 1980s and 1990s.

The outward journey from early promise, innocent engagement, and wide-eyed receptivity into embracing practical realties and societal approval through conformism related to the inner journey just as much. When the inner world is ruled by deluded thoughts and fantasies of salvation, tendencies toward personal liberation or self-aggrandizement may easily lead to disappointment over time.

Richard Harvey is a psycho-spiritual psychotherapist, spiritual teacher, and author. He is the founder of The Center for Human Awakening and has developed a form of depth-psychotherapy called Sacred Attention Therapy (SAT) that proposes a 3-stage model of human awakening. Richard can be reached at info@centerforhumanawakening.com.

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