Without warning your life has suddenly toppled down around you. Maybe you lost your job, or your spouse wants a divorce, or you were diagnosed with a terrible disease -- but you feel disoriented, frightened and lost. All you know is that the skies have darkened in your life and you are desperately searching for shelter. This is the dark night of your soul and you are uncertain if you will live to see the morning.
(Cue spine-chilling music)
What you have just experienced is the somewhat exaggerated onset of the fourth monad, one of seven stages of life that many human beings encounter during a lifetime.
The internal monads (sometimes called rites of passage or stages of human development)
are a chronological series of life lessons, marked by seven major transitional points during the lifetime.
The change that occurs at these stages (or turning points) can be unusually difficult and even traumatic for some souls, but if the change is handled successfully, there will be a peaceful plateau that extends to the next monad
The first stage is BIRTH; the child takes the first breath and instills hope for the life to be lived. The second is EARLY CHILDHOOD, where the child learns to walk and talk and develop self-awareness. The third is ADOLESCENCE, where the young adult seeks independence and learns to make his way in the world. The fourth is the MIDLIFE, typically a tumultuous period where the adult begins to question the meaning of existence. There may be less interest in playing the societal game at this stage and an urge to write a new story for the remainder of the life. The fifth is the LIFE REVIEW (or golden years). At this point the experiences of the life are evaluated and compared to what had been originally intended. The sixth is DYING or the onset of what will cause death, and the seventh is DEATH and the return to the astral (or afterlife).
In this article each monad is examined separately, with channeling from the Michael entity to bring additional insights to the concepts. A study of the midlife crisis is also channeled, as well as how the fabled Hero's Journey (of Joseph Campbell fame) is reflected in the monadal archetypes.
A basic understanding of Michael terminology will make this article easier to understand for those new to the teachings.
The stages of life have been studied since antiquity. The ancient Greeks divided the human cycle into ten distinct stages, and William Shakespeare trained his verbal elocution on the subject with his Seven Ages of Man speech in the play, As You Like It.
In the Michael teachings, the life stages are called internal monads. They not only outline the physiological development and psychology of a human being, but the spiritual, as well, in terms of soul age progression.
Using reincarnation as a measuring stick, soul age shows how much a person has grown from their experiences in life. The internal monads provide the lessons needed to grow.
To expand on the idea, there are five soul age stages in a reincarnational cycle: Infant, Baby, Young, Mature, and Old. In each of these stages there are seven levels that must be passed before moving up to the next soul age. German channel, Varda Hasselmann, calls these the thirty-five steps in the reincarnational cycle. In other words, seven levels times five soul ages equals 35 steps. Narrowing it down further, the internal monads represent the seven stages of each soul age level. With the inclusion of the monads, you could then amend the earlier number and say there are now 245 reincarnational steps in a cycle.
Before graduating to a new soul age level, each monad must be completed in the positive pole. Due to the inherent difficulty this involves, it may take several lifetimes to complete the internal monads for a particular soul age level.
The challenge is that all internal monads begin in the negative pole, which explains the inner turmoil that often occurs. A monad is finished when the challenges have been addressed and the issues properly resolved in the positive pole. Leaving a monad from the negative pole can result in staying there in all subsequent monads, or not completing them in that lifetime.
With their inherent duality, the internal monads are like two sides of a coin. They are almost Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in nature, where the positive pole represents the true personality of the soul, and the negative pole reveals a shadowy side that lives in fear and illusion. Much anxiety and internal warfare is created by this tug-of-war, and it is not resolved until the lessons of transition are accepted and peace made with them.
Several Key Points
Each internal monad brings a substantial shift in perspective
The internal monads are the necessary life lessons needed to complete a soul age level
Before graduating to a new soul age level, each monad must be completed in the positive pole.
Monads can be completed in the positive, negative, or neutral position (abdicated)
Failing to successfully complete a monad means the transition to the next monad comes with unfinished business
A life is considered incomplete if the work of the 5th monad is not addressed
The first half of life is about the personality: skills and abilities are developed and ego is given full reign. At the second half, essence reemerges. All parts of self are
brought together to create a whole. The goal is transformation
Why Are The Monads Important?
Surprisingly, the internal monads have not always drawn much attention on this site, so I asked Michael why the monads are important for students to know and understand.
The internal monads (or stages of life) govern how the individual life progresses in an incremental line of growth, measured by the cultural and internal milestones achieved. The internal monads provide the measuring stick needed to gauge the growth accomplished during a lifetime and what necessary calibrations may be required to further that advancement. A good understanding of the rudiments behind this advancement is crucial when navigating through the rough terrain that often accompanies the arrival of a new monad.
If the arrival of a new monad could be met with enthusiasm and an honest resolve to embrace the forthcoming adventure that's unfolding, the growth process would be less stressful and anxiety-ridden. Too often people resist these growing pains, seeing them as obstacles to avoid or hare-brained moments of insanity that must be clinically dealt with. Transitions, however, are a necessary part of the growth cycle. With every new beginning something must come to an end and that need not be feared. Fear is only a marker that the reign of false personality is feeling threatened. When you move beyond such obstacles, growth will be the result.
Embrace these changes in your life, for they are what makes life meaningful and rich with experience.
Not in his goals but in his transitions man is great. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
All transitions come with an ending and every ending comes with a symbolic death.
During this time of disorientation and despair, a new beginning will emerge. Wait for it. The pattern is always the same -- an ending, followed by a period of confusion, followed by a new beginning. In seasonal terms, you could describe it as the trees losing their leaves in fall (the ending), a long winter of discontent (a period of loss and emptiness), and the joy of spring (the new beginning).
The key to understanding transitions is to recognize these natural cycles when they occur and work with them rather than fear that all is lost.
Each monad contains seven levels of its own (and this is elaborated on later in the article), with three parts that tend to stand out.
1) Something ends and turmoil may result
2) A state of limbo (like being in the eye of a hurricane)
3) A new beginning
With every new beginning an opportunity normally follows. Watch for it. Hints of the new direction may not be obvious at first. The initial inclinaton may be more subtle and more about an inner knowing. It is important to understand what is emerging within and flow with that new way of being.
With a flick of a finger you can turn a light switch on and off. That you suddenly find yourself standing in darkness is rarely frightening because you control the process. Personal choice dictates if the room is lighted. With the transition of an internal monad, however, you do not have this control. Your only choice is to go along with the ride -- no matter how wild it turns out to be -- or jump off somehow, and find your life in a ditch.
The nature of monads is not so much about control, but to trust in the new direction your life is taking and be open to the opportunities that reveal themselves. While the onset of a monad is often accomplished with an ending that feels sudden and bewildering, this storm also arrives with a sunny day on the other side of it. Seek shelter if you must, but know that in most instances the warm rays of a sunnier life will eventually return to you again. This too shall pass is useful guidance here.
Difference Between Abdicating a Monad and Completing One in the Negative Pole
This question has been a source of confusion among many students (including myself), so I asked Michael for clarification.
Even the internal monads are subject to the eternal dance of duality on your plane. A monad may be completed in the positive or negative pole, with an alternative choice of abdicating the monad altogether, a neutral decision. In occurrences of abdication, indifference marks the process and the life moves forward without addressing the pivotal life lesson. The choice to abdicate is a valid one and may occur during lifetimes when a fragment does not want to feel overwhelmed by too many growth-inducing experiences.
As for possible ramifications, abdicating a monad (with the exception of the seventh) means any successive monads will not be thoroughly examined. This does not mean the lifetime is without purpose or somehow wasted, only that several of the traditional milestones normally experienced are set aside till the next lifetime. Unpleasant side-effects of abdication may leave the soul drifting through life or feeling a little lost.
Completing a monad in the negative pole, however, brings more unfavorable complications. In this scenario, psychological disturbances may plague the soul, compounding the arrival of new monads with the unfinished business carried over from the previous one. Anger, depression and a spiritual malaise accompany those who complete a monad in the negative pole.
The arrival of a new monad does bring an opportunity to continue work on an incomplete monad, but the work is more difficult.
The Internal Monads
1st Monad (Birth)
Most traumatic for the Infant Soul
From age 0 to 3
Instills hope and vitality for the future ahead
With the start of the first monad comes the hope of the life to be lived. The incarnational agenda, the karmic lessons, the agreements, the infusion of truth, love and energy -- these are all implanted before the first breath.
In the positive pole, the spiritual vitality of the child fuels continued growth and extends the life cycle of the human species. The incarnated soul first learns about choice at this monad.
In the negative pole (life), the child is solely functioning from the instinctive center and lacks the vigor to participate in the normal flow of sentient life. If the child dies before age 3, the monad is incomplete; if the child continues in the negative pole, clinical insanity is the usual outcome.
Michael's Comments on the 1st Monad
The function of the first monad is two-fold. First, the birth process, as it is, marks the fundamental purpose of the life. In other words, the intention to LIVE. This may seem like overstating the obvious, but the actual birth process, the arduous endeavor to emerge from the birth canal and take that all-important first breath of life, sets the intention and the groundwork of the life to be lived.
Second, the birth monad involves the necessary acclimation of the soul to the body. The newly incarnating soul takes the body for a test drive, so to speak, gaining valuable knowledge on how to expect this new vehicle to handle, and what, if any, structural weaknesses are present that the incoming soul might be forced to endure during the lifetime. If the body does not meet expectations based on the soul's life plan, a buyer's remorse sets in, and the soul may choose to abort that life. This is uncommon, however.
2nd Monad (Childhood)
Most traumatic for the Baby Soul
A crucial marker in early development. Child learns to walk, talk and become individuated
In extreme cases, exiting in the negative pole leaves the personality so solipsistic that nothing is real but the self
The second monad, starting around age 2, begins the process of developing an identity in the incarnating soul. Without this developmental window a child could lack the self-awareness to discern the self from others. A lack of boundaries may result.
At this stage the child learns to walk and talk. The increased mobility allows the child to make intentions and break free from codependence. During this monad the centering and sexual orientation is also set.
At the adult age, a childhood exit from the 2nd monad in the negative pole can lead to sociopathic behavior, and in extreme cases, behavior associated with serial killers -- although the majority of sociopaths are nonviolent and not prone to criminal activity.
Michael's Comments On The 2nd Monad
To begin, the second monad lays the groundwork for much of what is to transpire during the lifetime. Second monad framework not only grounds the soul in reality but solidifies the connection between the soul and the body, creating a focused identity and establishing important psychological parameters for the developing child: this is ME and these are OTHER people and not me.
Souls unable to make this psychological shift risk the danger of withdrawing into permanent fantasy worlds, with the development of known disorders such as schizophrenia and autism. Even at a more functional level, the soul may exhibit expressions of narcissism or sociopathic tendencies.
For the child that exits this monad in the positive pole, the wonders of the outside world begin to reveal themselves, inspiring the child to explore and learn about its physical limitations -- and more importantly, what limitations may be overcome through the use of imagination and intention. This can be a magical time for the young child as it begins to create a new life.
3rd Monad (Adolescence)
Most traumatic for the Young Soul
Manifests between mid teens to early 20s, but can continue as far as the 30s
The heaviest karmic period of the life
The third monad marks a period of independence and enterprise.
This can be a time of excitement and adventure for the young adult, with the alluring possibilities of going to college, finding a job,
developing an intimate relationship, and getting out in the world.
Growing up, though, can be terrifying for some. With the exacerbations of peer pressure, raging testosterone levels, and fears of rejection,
adolescents often don't know where to turn for help.
Feelings like "nobody understands me" are prevalent at this juncture, and there's a need to be with others currently undergoing the experience. In the world of literature, The Catcher in the Rye is the quintessential book about teen rebellion. Many teen films on the market (like The Breakfast Club, A Clockwork Orange, and Rebel Without a Cause) have made a small fortune exploiting this rite of passage. Indeed, this experience of mutually shared pain can lead to experiments involving smoking cigarettes, sex, drugs, alcohol, and other forms of escapism. The third monad can also be a period of great self-loathing, and most youthful attempts at suicide happen during this transition.
Karmic formations are heaviest at this stage of life, including karmic child agreements and sexual karma. Both the hormonal intensity and general inability to view the world through anything but the false personality can lead to indiscriminate mating and drama in relationships. Most relationships that occur during this period often dissolve once the monad has been completed. The commonalities that had initially drawn the young couple together no longer exist, and there's a push to move on.
Finishing the third monad in its negative pole (SEPARATION) can prevent the completion of the fourth, instilling a sense of discontentment and anger that includes an unwillingness to move forward or "grow up." Failure to complete the monad can also leave people feeling shy and aloof, with little desire to leave home. Worst case scenarios reveal highly confrontational people, full of rage, and unable to deal with authority. Getting into arguments at the drop of a hat and having little respect for the personal boundaries of others are other common patterns.
Reality checks like the passing of parents or beloved relatives can be especially traumatic for someone at this stage. Souls lodged in the negative pole will often grieve over lost loved ones for the rest of their lives and desperately cling to the past while the rest of the world appears to race ahead without them.
Symptoms of the Third Monad
The teen suddenly desires more independence and rebels against authority.
There may be a loss of interest in old hobbies, sports and other favorite activities.
Struggles with low self-esteem and wanting to fit in.
Grades drop sharply in school.
Appearance and personal hygiene become an issue.
Teen associates with questionable peer groups.
Depression, drug use, and other destructive behaviors may ensue.
Michael's Comments On The Third Monad
The third monad can initiate a period of profound anxiety and unrest for an incarnated soul, pitting feelings of desperately wanting to belong with a contradictory desire to alienate themselves from all established norms. The angst this creates is felt by both the monad recipient and concerned friends and family. Interestingly, not all souls feel this conflicted during the third monad, and instead, embrace this door to greater independence with a sense of awe and excitement. Souls more susceptible to a wide range of mood swings and emotional turbulence, however, are the most likely to get caught in the undercurrent of this monad and sucked down into a spiral of confusion and despair.
Family members of such a confused soul should be available to LISTEN and DISCUSS. Souls dealing with this monad can appear calm and balanced one day and rebellious the next. Rather than judge the behavior, it is important to acknowledge these are normal cycles of behavior for this monad, and to simply be present for the person, listening to their grievances about life -- tolerating erratic flights of emotion -- without judgment or unreasonable restrictions. Most souls caught in the throes of this monad only want to be HEARD.
4th Monad (Midlife)
Most traumatic for the Mature Soul
Escaping the bonds of imprinting and false personality
Often occurs around age 35 but can manifest as late as the mid-50s
To quote Joseph Campbell, at some point during the fourth monad you come to the realization that you've reached the top of the ladder and find that it was against the wrong wall.
An intense amount of re-evaluation often occurs during this period. You have spent your early adult years building a career, managing a marriage, and raising a family. Everything has gone as planned. Then something happens and it all changes -- a loss of employment, or spouse, or an inexplicable feeling of unrest. You now question your priorities and reexamine your dreams and aspirations. The grand design you had once envisioned for your life has suddenly gone off course and you have lost your way. Nothing makes sense.
In the first half of your life you followed a path of success and ambition. You were making your mark in the world: a self-induced somnolence that conformed to societal expectations. With the arrival of the fourth monad, however, you were given the opportunity to WAKE UP.
In the film "The Matrix," Morpheus tells Neo, "You take the blue pill and the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland, and I show you just how deep the rabbit hole goes."
The fourth monad is a metaphor for a shift in consciousness. You choose to follow the white rabbit.
For many this can be the crucifixtion event in the life. You must die to be reborn. You are not the son of god, however, but the son of your authentic self, ESSENCE.
This stage also forms a bridge between the yin and yang in your life. It becomes a path to wholeness. Before, you had only emphasized one half: you were a one-sided coin that only came up heads; you were only one flavor of ice cream, and everything tasted like vanilla. With this bridge to greater wholeness you are learning to integrate essence (or higher self) into everything you do.
The main focus of the monad is to break away from the stranglehold of false personality.
In some ways the fourth monad is a form of self-exorcism, and like an unruly demon, false personality tenaciously fights for its survival. Similar to Harry Potter's doppleganger, which takes the form of its victim's worst nightmares, this monad is like a mirror of fears, and the best course of action is to simply face them one-by-one and laugh at them until they go away. As expected, this process will create intense emotional upheavals for a time as the personality seeks to express the emerging influence of Essence.
Along with the assorted craziness of the period -- which can include massive life changes across the board -- the fourth monad is a highly introspective time. Like a museum curator who meticulously examines the minutest detail, every nook and cranny of the soul is inspected, and any parts of self that no longer fit are summarily tossed aside. Much contemplation occurs during this transition.
Successful assimilation of the fourth monad is usually completed in the early forties, catapulting the person into the "Life Task", the soul's primary project. With change comes renewal.
Many useful agreements are pulled into the life at this time; less karma occurs, more appropriate relationships are formed, and a stronger sense of purpose emerges. A desire for finding greater meaning in life becomes a priority, and there is less interest in being as impressive on life's stage. All preoccupations with sustaining a self-image are gradually let go.
If completed in the positive pole, the overleaves will fully manifest and true personality finally emerges. In contrast, finishing the fourth monad in the negative pole generally results in the false personality taking over entirely. The most common symptoms of a negative shift are depression, apathy, confusion, inexplicable fear, feeling lost, no sense of purpose or direction in life, and a desire to just "give up."
The negative pole of this monad is like a dilapitated mansion that haunts your soul. If you look through its dusty windows and glimpse the outside world, you see the light of your soul's potential. Many people, however, choose to keep their blinds drawn. For this reason the fourth monad is rarely completed in a single lifetime. Several attempts are usually required.
With a proper amount of guidance, however, incomplete monads may be finished on the positive side if there's a willingness to seek reconciliation with the issues and resolve them.
The Midlife in the Arts
Books like The Awakening (Kate Chopin), Mrs Dalloway (Virginia Woolf), The Sportwriter (Richard Ford), That Old Cape Music (Richard Russo), The Brooklyn Follies (Paul Auster), Rabbit Is Rich (John Updike), Seize The Day (Saul Bellow), and films such as Wonder Boys, Fatal Attraction, 10, Lost in Translation, and American Beauty are all representative of the midlife journey and its challenges.
In John Steinbeck's short story, The Chrysanthemums, Elisa, the main character, is 35 and unhappy with her life. She is married to a caring husband, but neither understand each other. They do not share any core values. Her husband is about doing things and being productive, and she responds more to the aesthetic values of beauty. It takes the midlife monad for both of them to realize the disparaties in their relationship. Known as the death flower, the chrysanthemums symbolize the death of Elisa's spirit. She has abdicated the fourth monad.
Symptoms of 4th Monad
A growing sense of dissatisfaction suddenly pervades your thoughts.
You suddenly come to the realization that your old ways of doing things no longer work for you.
You find yourself asking, "Is this all there is to life?"
Friends and family members comment that you have changed and seem concerned.
You begin questioning everything that once mattered to you.
You begin seeing new opportunities in your life -- not always knowing what they are but searching nevertheless.
You undergo a major transition in your life. Something comes to an end and you find yourself scrambling to figure out what to do next. But you feel a certain peace about the change, even though family members may be panicking.
You begin to wonder if you ever knew yourself at all.
Michael's Comments on the Fourth Monad
The fourth monad is frequently imbued with the stigma that the arrival of this stage brings an intense disruption of life activities, followed by intense soul searching. This may be the case for many incarnated souls but the function of the monad itself can also be a peaceful transition, like awakening from a long dream and feeling relief that the troubling events in the dream are not a reflection of reality.
The fourth monad, in fact, should be as invigorating as you might feel after a good nights sleep. You have been asleep for the first half of your life and are now waking up for the first time to a new perception of reality, one guided and in alignment with essence (or higher self).
In many circumstances this would be welcomed as a joyous occasion. What happens, however, is that suddenly seeing the world through the eyes of essence can terrify your false personality, generating fear and causing the shadowy self to do anything possible to fight for control again. The push-pull of false personality versus the dictates of essence can cause a destabilizing effect that in your darkest moments can feel like you no longer know who you are.
Countering these symptoms is perhaps more scalable for older souls, but the arrival of the fourth can still be navigated by anticipating its arrival, understanding the symptoms, and not succumbing to fears that you are losing your identity. The negative reactions shouldn't be altogether surprising, however. False personality sees essence as an intruder, a home invasion robber that must be prevented from crossing the threshold of the home.
The dark night of the soul
Life no longer makes sense. The old ways of doing things have stopped working
There may be an urgent desire to recapture what was lost in youth
The mid-life crisis is not experienced by everyone that transitions through the fourth monad. Reactions to this transition can vary greatly. Soul age may be a factor, as well as the emotional adjustment of the soul or the circumstances involved.
A midlife crisis can feel as if the jigsaw puzzle of your life, that pastoral landscape scene you had spent years building piece by piece, suddenly slid off the table onto the floor, leaving scattered pieces from the rubble of who you once were.
The picture you later reassemble may not be the life you had once envisioned, but it will be a more accurate rendering of your true self.
Michael's Comments On The Mid-Life Crisis
The midlife crisis, as its commonly called, is a state of psychological upheaval that plagues many souls when they refuse to surrender to the loving influence of essence (or higher self). The experience varies widely depending on the individual soul age perspective.
For the infant soul, the appearance of essence is a terrifying intruder that's occupied the body and there isn't enough space for both to exist.
For the baby soul, there can be agonizing guilt over established beliefs versus the new perspective essence brings, challenging much of what the fragment had learned in life up to that time. In such circumstances the baby soul may retreat into the emotionally safe dogma of a fundamentalist religion.
For the young soul, there can be an inexplicable desire to revert to youthful ambitions when goals were clear and unwavering. An irrational glut of materialistic acquisition may accompany this period, somehow symbolizing earlier aspirations in a desperate attempt to recapture youthful visions of the self.
For the mature soul, an examination of relationships occurs, with a temporary madness that recklessly tests the boundaries of established relationships, forcing unreasonable demands and expectations on partners, with marital affairs and divorce the typical outcome.
For the old soul, there can be a search for greater meaning in life, accompanied by profound feelings of dissatisfaction and a feverish exploration of philosophical questions that solve little and ultimately leaves the old soul feeling lost and depressed.
In all the soul age perspectives, surrendering to essence and allowing the new insights to act as a solvent for the creaky gears of false personality, is the mechanism that makes life flow again and helps to heal the emotional upheaval of this transitional period.
5th Monad (Life Review)
Most traumatic for the old soul
Many internal questions like, What have I done with my life?
Typically occurs between the age of 60-75
The fifth monad marks the stage in life when the soul looks back at the fruits of its labor. An assessment of the life occurs, where the roads both traveled and not taken are reviewed. What was accomplished and what was not are also duly noted -- ideally without feelings of regret and with a genuine appreciation for the lessons learned.
Although some souls use the review as a period to pass judgment on what they did and what others did to them, self-immolation is not the most productive use of this stage.
Making the most of the fifth monad is easiest for those that view the theatrics of their earlier life with a humbleness for the hurdles once faced, and a playful spirit that welcomes the joy and laughter they once knew.
The fifth monad is a highly creative stage, where the reality of the earlier life is somewhat malleable on retrospect, and can be re-envisioned in a way that ramps up the joyful memories and smooths over the sharp edges. The goal is not to be in denial of what transpired during the lifetime, but to realize that the life is still evolving, and perceptions of old events can change. Perceptions can be re-framed, for instance, in creative ways that bring more light into those previously darkened corners.
Imagine painting the arch of the life on a giant canvas. The new colors selected are not an attempt to hide painful secrets, but to add healthier perspectives to what occurred long ago, and in the process, stimulate healing.
Growing Old In Films
Hollywood has not always depicted the retirement years with a realistic brush, but some films have captured the period with a surprising level of sensitivity and wisdom. Here are several examples to consider, both old and new.
HAROLD & MAUDE (starring Ruth Gordon and Bud Cort), YOUTH (starring Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel), THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL (starring Judi Dench and Celia Imrie), ABOUT SCHMIDT (starring Jack Nicholson), AMOUR (starring Emmanuelle Riva) AWAY FROM HER (starring Julie Christie)
Symptoms of Fifth Monad
Reveries of youth are revisited. An intense looking back begins
Feelings of regret for what was not accomplished
Find yourself imagining the roads not taken
A need to review the whole of what your life has meant
Feeling an unexpected ressurgence of creativity
Fantasies play out like, If only I knew what I know now
Feelings of wanting to let go of the nonessentials in life
Michael's Comments On The Fifth Monad
The 5th monad essentially places you at the summit of your life experiences, providing a vista from which you can view the greater expanse of all that has transpired during your lifetime. The advantage of this overarching perspective is two-fold:
One, an expansive review of your life where you relive the sometimes emotionally charged battlefield of events you endured without the visceral immediacy of the experience, is an obvious advantage when the goal is to review the life lived with the necessary distance needed for an objective appraisal.
Two, the lessons during that lifetime are easier to understand when a buffer of time and space exists between the actual events. Acting the role of a character on stage expresses the visceral immediacy we spoke of earlier, but it does not offer the perspective that someone in the audience would have as they watched things unfold on stage from a greater distance. The 5th monad thus provides the perspective of being an audience member in the theater of your own life.
6th Monad (Dying)
This monad serves as a reminder to not take life for granted. At the realization of the upcoming death, regret, anguish and anger may surface.
Coming to terms with this monad involves letting go of what cannot be changed and accepting this stage of life -- not as a cruel card that was dealt, but as the natural unfolding of a life well lived. Letting go with love and appreciation for the lessons learned, both good and bad, will ease the life toward ending in a state of peace.
Michael's Comments On The Sixth Monad
As we've said through other channels, the sixth monad marks the onset of what will cause the eventual death. This can fall under the guise of a stroke, a heart attack, or a number of other terminal illnesses.
With this monad, if time allows, there exists potential for expanded growth during this period if the dying personality not only accepts the impending departure from life, but also uses the experience as a model to help others face their own mortality with greater dignity. For the dying person, the time before the passing -- be it a couple days to several months -- becomes a window where genuine gratitude and appreciation for the life lived may be awakened on a conscious level. This lays a foundation for the transition to the astral and even the next lifetime. In this instance, death is not an ending but a beginning. Even for those who do not believe in an afterlife, this appreciation for the life lived is a crucial step toward exiting the sixth monad on the positive side.
7th Monad (Death)
At the seventh monad the soul exits the body.
In the positive pole of transcendence, the soul greets the astral (and the beginning of the new life) with a sense of wonder. In fatalism, the negative pole, the soul leaves kicking and screaming, angry or despondent about the sudden demise; or the soul exits in a misanthropic cloud of cynicism. In extreme cases, the dark attitude of the soul may lower its vibrations to the point where it cannot enter the astral plane. This can occur with drug addicts, perpetrators of violence, the clinically insane, and so on.
A soul retrieval from the etheric planes will then be conducted by spirit guides who specialize in this work.
Michael's Comments On The Seventh Monad
The seventh monad is a peculiarity for many students, since the death of the body is typically instantaneous and final. It doesn't seem like much is involved. Appearances can deceive, however. The attitude that one takes to the deathbed can greatly alter the overall experience, both in the initial transition and how the astral world presents itself.
Although the human body will instinctively fight to survive, a soul that faces death courageously rather than in a state of terror, will transition more peacefully and without negative side-effects -- such as clinging to the life just lived with regret, resentment, and deep emotional attachments. Oddly enough, those with religious backgrounds sometimes transition easier due to their beliefs. Ultimately, the soul successfully passes despite any resistance to the process. A more positive transition is preferred, though.
The Seven Phases Within Each Monad
When I asked Michael about about the phases (or levels) within a monad and why various channels got different terms, they said the labels are not as important as understanding the function of each monadal phase. What are the patterns, the individual tasks, and so on. They then gave me some terminology. When I asked if their list pertained to the poles of the monads, they said it may or may not coincide with the actual poles and that shouldn't be a point of contention. They were only suggesting the task (or function) of each phase.
With that in mind, I asked them for further examples, and I channeled the following material.
Beginning with each monadal phase, from one through seven, the incarnating soul is gradually opening itself to new perspectives that challenge the fragment to expand the sum of self knowledge about itself and how the life journey relates to the rest of the world. Each monadal phase, therefore, is a crucial marker in how to assess the progress of the journey and evaluate any divergent paths that result from following a particular fork in the road. Indeed, the monadal phases represent forks in the road, and there is much to be learned from the road not taken. To clarify further, envision each phase as checkpoints where the map that charts the possibilities of your life has run off the edges of a map and the next monad represents a new map. A new monadal phase then presents an opportunity to reinvent your life, to discover new ways of doing things, to make choices that break free from the shackles of routine, and renew the flow of life when it becomes stagnant.
The individual function of each monadal phase closely coincides with the developmental progress of the personality as it ages from birth to death. Certain psychological changes, often linked to cultural rites of passage, are obvious markers that loosely coincide with the advent of a particular monadal phase; however, it is important o acknowledge that these designations are not set in stone.
With that said, the following list expands on the function or task of each monadal phase.
The task of the first monad is INITIATION. As the new monad is activated, an energetic framework gets established, creating the scaffolding, so to speak, from which the necessary work on each successive level of the monads can be built on. Since this means on an energetic level structures from previous monads must come down, the abrupt change from the old to the new can be distressing and cause considerable stress. Change, especially when it involves the inner world of an incarnated soul, can be a daunting challenge, with the shock of the transition exacerbated further by the necessity of something ending to make room for something new.
The task of the second level is INTEGRATION, learning the rules of the road. At the second monadal phase, the incarnating soul begins to integrate the lessons of the monad on a conceptual level, comparing old ways of doing things against a growing urge to test out a new paradigm for how to approach life. The inherent balancing act should be obvious, with the soul frequently feeling out of kilter or off-balance during this phase. Successfully integrating the new paradigm is the goal necessary for completing this phase.
The task of the third level is PRODUCTION. At this monadal phase, the soul has integrated the rudiments of the monad-- although considerably more fine-tuning will be needed -- with an attempt to make the most productive use of the lessons in the world. The new paradigm is now fully developed, creating a template that the soul may model themselves on as they live their new way of being and test it against the world around them. This can be a difficult phase, with a push/pull effect as the soul expands their boundaries causing reactions and friction with others, with the result that the world may push back every time the frustrated explorer attempts to push forward. The key to getting productive during this phase is to express the new way of being without infringing on the boundaries of others.
The task of the fourth level is CONSOLIDATION. At this phase the incarnating soul has begun to consolidate the lessons required to complete the monad and must now take stock of what stands in the way, specifically internal challenges, some of them hidden in recesses so deeply entrenched that they had never encountered them before. A period of sorting things out exists during this phase, mostly at an internal level, and not as much attention on external activities. Much reflection is given to what has transpired in the earlier phases, and preparation -- based on the accumulated data, is carefully collated to make plans for the final half of the monad. The fourth phase could be thought of as a way station where the cargo carried gets assessed and evaluated before continuing on to the next part of the journey. While considerable work gets done at this level, the sense of internal strife is considerably less, and for that reason some souls are content to remain at this phase and not continue further. This is a valid choice and work not completed during this monad will be readdressed in the next lifetime. In metaphoric imagery, the fourth could be seen as the eye of the hurricane.
At the fifth phase of EXPANSION, the preliminary studies and testing are complete and the incarnated soul is ready to ramp things up, as it were. The work is now about expanding the outward reach of the new perspective, and the change within is now an external reality at all levels of expression. This phase is about getting the bigger picture of what the monad entails and putting it into practice in an expanded way.
At the sixth phase, a level of APPRECIATION for the new perspective that helps lead the soul to attain ever-increasing levels of awareness. The soul continues to grow in his level of awareness, and now seems to incorporate his new understanding in ways that impact the people around him. Finding the greater good and using his new perceptivity to enrich and elevate the lives of those around him becomes part of a mission to make the lessons learned from the monad more meaningful and profound. We hesitate to say this is a state of evangelism, but one of the prerequisites for completing this phase in the positive pole is that the gifts of the internal lessons are used to help others, thus validating his comprehension of the monad and putting it to use.
At the seventh phase a satisfying sense of COMPLETION awakens. The remaining task involves tyeing up loose ends and anything learned before. More specifically, the monad is now considered mastered to the extent that the new way of being may be fully expressed and carried forward into the world where the insights are tested in the pageantry of life -- a life that now seems considerably different than before, but ripe with possibilities for new choices and new opportunities for growth.
The Hero's Journey & The Internal Monads
Seeing a connection between the internal monads and aspects of the Hero's Journey, I asked Michael if this was true.
Your observations are correct.
Although the monads cannot be exactly aligned to each step as outlined by Joseph Campbell (the steps are not of equal proportion), the Hero's Journey is indeed a universal manifestation of the internal monads. The most pivotal of the steps in the journey do loosely align with the monads, in a series of psychological archetypes experienced by every culture in the world. This correlation answers the question why the same universal story is present in disparate cultures that share little commonalities.
Applying the archetypes to your knowledge of the monads would be beneficial in understanding the psychological dynamics of the life stages, along with playfully applying them as your create your own life story.
The journey itself is a useful device for mapping out a trajectory for any life obstacle you face. As long as you reduce the steps to seven stages, your problem solving strategy could follow the stages of the monads, then overlay the steps of the journey to fire the imagination to seek more creative solutions.
As we review the steps of the hero's journey (or mono-myth) the stages most in alignment with the internal monads are as follows:
1st Monad --> The Call to Adventure (the refusal of the call occurs if the child dies and abdicates the monad)
2nd Monad --> Supernatural Aid (sometimes called Meeting the Mentor), this is a period of protection and guidance from the parent. The child has chosen the adventure of life and has begun to explore.)
3rd Monad --> Crossing the Threshold (those trapped in the extremes of the negative pole find themselves in the Belly of the Whale).This marks the period where the young adult leaves the parental nest and seeks independence and a life of its own.
4th Monad --> A combination of stages are included here. Atonement with the Father reflects the emergence of essence; the Woman as Temptress represents the seductive lure of false personality as it battles to block essence; Apotheosis is the death and rebirth event that starts a life more noticeably guided by essence.
5th Monad -->The Ultimate Boon is the reward of a life well lived. The goal of the quest has been achieved.
6th Monad --> Crossing the Return Threshold begins the voyage back to the spiritual realms.
7th Monad --> Master of Two Worlds is the transition to the other side, with the symbolism of being a master of both domains.
Applying the Internal Monads
One last question for Michael: How can a student apply what they have learned about the monads?
To apply the information about the internal monads (or stages of life), understand the core function of each monad and observe any signs of its presence in your life. The arrival of a monad may be both subtle and dramatic. One tip for knowing that the symptoms are indeed the stirrings of a monad and not just a passing whim, is to note if the new feeling or sensation comes with a herald of something changing in your life. All monads must bring an end to something to create a new beginning. The ending does not need to be dramatic, but it will seem weighted with finality. The tree has not just died, so to speak, it has uprooted itself from the ground and cannot be replanted. This sense of finality heralds that change is afoot.
At this point it is wise to calmly observe the possibilities that could emerge from this transition, and not react with fear and anxiety. Fearful reactions only unleash the sword of false personality, which views this change as an opponent to conquer, thus starting a negative spiral of emotional reactions that not only fail to serve the higher good, but prevent positive steps forward.
Not seeing the object of change as an advancing storm but as the light from a morning sunrise with a new day ahead, lays the psychological groundwork to accept change in your life with more awe and grace.