As humans we all display various levels of maturity in our behavior. Generally we would expect that people behave according to the levels of maturity of their years. In other words, a forty year old would act like a forty year old and a twelve year old like a twelve year old, and so on. However, we all know that this is not the case.
As I see it, there are seven levels of maturity. They are, Infant, Toddler, Child, Adolescent, Adult, Master, and Angelic or God-like. I feel that man, even in his imperfect state, can, with some effort, attain to the Master level.
One can be a fully-grown person and not be emotionally or spiritually mature, or they can be a person young in years, but be mature in both areas. As we grow from infant to adult we have more and more experiences and develop a greater capacity to digest and understand the events that life has to offer. As we mature, we become more flexible. We have a greater capacity to find peaceful solutions to our differences with others. We become more independent, ultimately achieving interdependence. With greater maturity comes more kindness, compassion, and respect toward others, along with self-confidence and clarity of purpose.
There is a book titled Transforming Your Dragons by Jose Stevens that describes the various stages of maturity and how an adult would act if they were fixated at the younger stages.
As I describe the Adult and Master, take the time to think deeply on these qualities and be honest with yourself as you consider how fully they are expressed in you life. If you see an area where you need to mature, then set that as a goal to work toward.
People that have reached the Adult level of maturity emphasize "being" over "doing". Quality rather than quantity. Their view of life is to emphasize the good rather than the negative. They don’t get too disappointed if things don’t go their way, they just re-evaluate to see what they need to do differently. They realize that there is always something to learn from every situation. They know that failure doesn’t mean defeat, and success isn’t always permanent. Instead of resisting life and what it has dealt, they find a way to adapt to it and take the suffering out. They live by the principle that they cannot harm others without somehow harming themselves in the process.
Adults have also learned how to learn, and therefore how to solve problems quickly. They are highly capable people who have experience and wisdom and do not get caught up in petty obstacles if they can at all help it. They are honest with themselves and others. They have healthy boundaries. They know when and how to say "No" when it’s in everyone’s best interest. They believe in the spirit of the law rather than the letter.
They have succeeded in balancing their thoughts with their emotions and actions. Therefore, their approach is usually appropriate to a given situation. They are stable. Instead of complaining, or losing their temper, they quietly take action to try to solve the problem. Rather than blame others when things go wrong, they accept responsibility and seek to correct the problem.
They have the capacity to forgive themselves and others. They may be very intelligent, but they speak in simple terms that are easy to understand. They have respect for all living things, and the resources of the planet.
Adults will have their own problems, but are not afraid to ask for help when they feel they need it. They are aware that no person is an island and that successful living means cooperation with other human beings. While pursuing personal growth, they will contribute to the welfare of others by modeling adult behavior. Adults teach by example. They are real. Genuine.
Adults may be rich or poor, famous or obscure, and socially powerful or quiet. They can be found in all walks of life and in every race. They move in and out of all social classes without necessarily identifying with any one class in particular. They are as at home with the poor as with the rich, regardless of their economic status.
Some people never become adults and some people do so at a young age. The same is true of achieving the Master level of maturity. Masters are quietly powerful and effective and have the ability to communicate with anyone. They have a unique calming effect on others and their presence can disarm tense situations. They have natural authority and people listen to them with respect. They can move mountains if necessary to accomplish their goals. Their goals are altruistic.
Masters maintain a balance of emotions, rationality, and action. They display wisdom and are only interested in the truth. They focus on the greater good of humankind. While they know themselves well, they are not focused on themselves. They are kind but firm. Serene and tranquil. While not perfect, they have mastered their negative personality traits so they are no longer controlled by them. Money, fame, fortune, and power are not the motivating force in their lives. They are motivated by love and compassion. While having righteous indignation, they neither judge nor condemn. They have a genuine love for people in all walks of life, and leave judging up to a Higher Power.
From my current perspective there is not a huge difference between Adult and Master levels of maturity, I guess we could say that the qualities of the Adult just become more refined in the Master. Perhaps too, being a Master means that we have mastered being human. Not just realizing that we have limitations, but accepting them and becoming humble within them. I’m not talking about self-imposed limitations that with maturity can be overcome. But rather limitations divinely given such as our inability to read the hearts of others, or to control the future or the lives of others. A Master would do what they could to heal the pain of suffering humanity be it physical, emotional or spiritual while recognizing their limitations. Masters not only recognizes, but also submits to a Higher Source.
Can we achieve adulthood as imperfect humans? Of course. Can we achieve the level of Master? Yes, I think we can, although it may take us a lifetime to achieve that goal. But it is one that is certainly worth striving for. And if we haven’t already begun, then now would be a good time to start.