Stages of Life (The Internal Monads)by DAVID GREGG
Learn About Life Stages & Rites of Passage
Without warning, your life has suddenly toppled down around you. Maybe you lost your job, or your spouse wants a divorce, or you got diagnosed with a terrible disease — but whatever the malady, you feel disoriented, frightened and lost. The skies have darkened in your life and you are desperately seeking shelter. This is the dark night of your soul, and you are uncertain if 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 all human beings encounter during a lifetime.
The internal monads (sometimes called rites of passage, milestones or stages of human development) are a chronological series of life lessons, marked by seven major transitional points. The change that occurs at these stages can be difficult and even traumatic for some souls, but if handled successfully, a peaceful plateau unfolds that extends to the next monad.
Three Kinds of Monads
The Michael teachings recognize three types of monads (or units of experience):
1) INTERNAL (the topic of this article).
2) EXTERNAL (interactive monads that involve two people in a parallel or reciprocal relationship).
3) CYCLIC (or experiential), which involves specific experiences recognized and validated during a soul age stage.
Read more about the latter two in the article on external monads.
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.
Stages of Life | Understanding Transitions | First Monad | Second Monad | Third Monad | Fourth Monad | Midlife Crisis |
Fifth Monad | Sixth Monad | Seventh Monad | Seven Stages Within Each Monad | Hero's Journey & Internal Monads
Introduction (Seven Stages of Life)
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 in terms of soul age progression, the spiritual, as well.
The internal monads, as described by Michael, do not encompass an entire life stage as depicted in Western psychology. In fact, much of the life is not spent in a monad at all. The monads are thresholds to pass through; transitional periods that after they end the life continues on.
Using reincarnation as a measuring stick, soul age shows how much a person has grown from their experiences in life, and the internal monads provide the lessons needed to grow.
The first stage is BIRTH; the child takes the first breath and instills hope for the life to be lived. EARLY CHILDHOOD is second, 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 questions 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 life experiences 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).
Some channels consider the monads two through five the most important, as choice impacts their successful transition; however, all the monads have positive and negative poles that must be nuanced to complete them. As a result, each monad has a vital function to fulfill in the soul's development.
These cycles found in the Michael teachings that seemingly repeat themselves on all levels show the unlimited expression of how growth works in the Universe. Similar to being cast from the Tao, the internal monads portray a mini reenactment of a grand cycle, where we are flung from the wholeness of all that is, find ourselves reduced to a fragmented state, and then journey back again to the grandeur of oneness. All of life follows this pattern, from a micro level to macro.
The Internal Monads are the Seven Stages of an Individual Soul Age Level
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 reincarnation cycle. In other words, seven levels times five soul ages equals 35 steps.
Narrowing it down further, the internal monads represent the seven sub-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 steps in a reincarnational cycle.
The Internal Monads and Biological Age
The internal monads usually coincide with biological age, marked by common rites of passage during a lifetime, such as birth, the shift from adolescence to adulthood, the life review in the golden years, and so on. Depending on the lifespan of the culture, the biological age of these transitions is subject to minor adjustments. The monads of the hunter/gatherers, for instance, occurred earlier in the life to accommodate the shorter lifespan. Still, the chaotic nature of living during the time of prehistoric man led to an exaggeratedly slow progression through the soul age stages.
The Monads Must Be Finished in Order (One thru Seven)
Because each monad builds on the previous one, you must finish each stage in order. The lessons are sequential and not mastering them would be like taking trigonometry before learning algebra. This progression of monads augments the earlier lessons, and they energetically ascend like a staircase. Jumping ahead is akin to removing a tread and riser from a segment of the stairs and leaving a gap that prevents climbing further.
Completing Each Monad in the Positive Pole
Before graduating to a new soul age level, the seven monads must be completed in the positive pole. Due to the inherent difficulty this involves, it may take several lives to complete the internal monads for a particular soul age level. This is validated by the number of past lives most people accumulate during a cycle. The average number is in the low hundreds. But theoretically, the cycle from infant soul to old could be completed in only 35 lifetimes, provided that the transition from one soul age level to the next was smooth sailing.
The complication is that the internal monads often begin in the negative pole, which explains the inner turmoil that occurs. Self-aware souls may find a detour around this outcome, but the challenge comes when false personality reacts defensively to the onset of a monad, resulting in an almost certain and inevitable slide to the negative poles.
A monad is finished when the challenges have been addressed, the lessons learned and any 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.
How Essence and the Overleaves Manifest
Not surprisingly, success in validating the monads plays an integral role in the clear discernment and unambiguous manifestation of essence and the overleaves. If one needs a good reason to study the internal monads, it would be this. Otherwise, the shadows of false personality obscure the truth. Those younger than age thirty-five are still under the influence of parental imprinting and the family icon. And if the fourth monad ends in the negative pole, the true personality never manifests.
Resuming Monadal Work From a Previous Life
In the event that the monads are indeed not completed in a single life (and this is common), the monadal work would resume in the next lifetime where the work was left off. If, for example, the fourth monad was left unfinished, in the next incarnation, the monadal work would continue at the fourth. Because essence keeps track, this means that for any earlier monads previously finished, the work would not need to be done again at that corresponding soul age level. This would give the effect of coasting through any completed monads (although there is generally a review of the lessons).
There can be other reasons for lingering at a soul level, such as external monads, a need for a more thorough review of the level in different lives and cultures, and so on. The soul rarely follows a rigid, connect-the-dots agenda.
A possible conundrum of this process is when these completed monads are re-encountered in the next incarnation, students may naturally wonder, for instance, how the soul could not complete the first monad, considering that it comes with the poles of either + Vitality or – Life that must be navigated. In such cases, however, it is not a monad. It is just birth. The work has already been done and instilled in the psyche of the incoming soul.
Conversely, if death occurs following the fourth monad, that early departure is not counted as the 7th. It would be out of sequence and not reinforced by the lessons learned in earlier monads. It is simply death.
The Percentage of Essence Manifestation and Internal Monads
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 conflict is created by this tug-of-war, and it is not resolved until the lessons of transition are accepted and peace made with them.
Learning to manifest essence at a higher percentage should be an obvious way to complete more monads in the positive pole. Think of essence as similar to the life-affirming radiance of the sun. If one has a vitamin D deficiency (which can lead to depression) the suggestion is normally to get more sunlight. Hence, false personality is a symptom of not receiving enough light from essence. The lower the manifestation of essence, the higher the likelihood of struggling with the internal monads.
The time between each monad is called the inter-monadal period. When a monad is completed, many years may go by before the arrival of the next monad. The internal monads are never a non-stop progression from one monad to the other. A passage of time exists in-between where no work is being done on a monad. An internal landscape of peaks and valleys exists, with long stretches of plateaus, followed by occasional obstacles that hinder passage.
Confusion About the Monads
Students sometimes confuse soul age manifestation with the internal monads. Old souls, in particular, rarely manifest at their full soul age until around age 35. These internal shifts in perspective lead some to believe that they’re experiencing a monad.
Another red herring occurs when memorable life events are associated with a monad and mistakenly believed to be a life stage. The internal monads do bear resemblance to the steps of the hero’s journey, and those steps correspond with many events in life. But that does not mean the life event is one of the seven rites of passage.
On the surface, the monads may appear to be archetypal patterns easily applied to anything, but in the Michael teachings, they are stages (or milestones) that mark the arc of an entire life journey — not just individual segments. The internal monads are never taken in one lump, like swallowing a bottle of pills, but spread out over a lifetime.
Rare exceptions to the rule are when a soul age level is being transitioned during the middle of a life. In this case, the monads may not coincide with biological age and seem to appear out of order.
In some regards, one might draw a parallel between the internal monads and the book of Genesis. In the early stages of life, a look into the eyes of a baby reveals the loving light of essence. Over time, though, as the personality develops, symbolized by eating fruit from the tree of knowledge and tempted by serpents that offer life's indulgences, the personality finds itself cast from the innocence of the garden, with the fall of man represented by a world of opposites — good and evil, black and white, and all the self-centered desires and emotions that plague the personality as it develops a separate consciousness. In other words, the birth of ego.
The fourth monad, where essence attempts to reintegrate with the personality, is a restoration of the fall. Ancient mythology and its stories of heroes and monsters often portray this division between essence and ego. These darker archetypes are really just aspects of the hero that have not reintegrated this split in consciousness.
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
Self-awareness is the key to navigating the internal monads with less stress and more confidence.
When a redundancy of Michael Math exists between a monad and a soul age -- for example, 3rd monad/young soul (both number three energies) -- the monad will present extra challenges for someone at that soul age
The first half of life (from around age 2 to 35) 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 make life meaningful and rich with experience.
Not in his goals but in his transitions man is great. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
All monadal 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 (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 uncertainty (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 inclination 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.
How do the internal monads work when there's a transition to a new soul age level during the middle of the life?
Transitioning to a new soul age level mid-incarnation is never arbitrary. Extensive work is done pre-incarnationally to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible. Even with preparation, the shift may be uncomfortably jarring to the personality, with an emotional upheaval similar to a mid-life crisis — although this may not coincide with the fourth monad, and the level of struggle is not usually between false personality and essence. Because this new perspective of life changes so dramatically, the soul naturally feels unbalanced and confused. The beleaguered person may wonder if they know who they are anymore and may even question their sanity.
How this works on a monadal level is as follows:
The reasons behind the mid-life shifts can vary, but the preparation is always the same. The earlier soul age level is completed during the previous life. No loose ends remain. The transition, however, does not occur in the astral. It is held back until a designated point in the next lifetime. When that life begins, any monads before the shift are stuck in limbo until the transition to the new soul age level occurs. At that point, the process gets interesting.
If the transition occurs at the third monad, for example, that monad and any ensuing ones do double duty. The third monad would energetically serve as both the birth monad (and a transition can feel like a birth) and the third. The fourth monad, of course, would energetically serve as the second monad and the fourth. This process of doing double duty continues until the earlier monads are caught up. Transitions do not occur past the fourth monad.
The experience can be intense, and it is the primary reason transitioning during the middle of a lifetime is rarely done.
Do the Internal Monads Give a Taste of all the Soul Age Lessons in Each Lifetime?
To a limited degree, this is true. Our caveat is that while the internal monads survey these perspectives in each lifetime, they are not burned into the psyche as intrinsic values. The third monad, for instance, will mimic the young soul’s need to come into one’s own during that period, to create financial stability through a career, to lay a foundation for the life ahead, both through individual agency and alliances with others on a similar path. Young soul objectives then flavor the 3rd monad. And this goes for a baby soul entering the third monad or a 7th level old.
Remember, though, these are ephemeral tastes only; not lifelong perspectives that shape the entire incarnation. The primary soul age and level are the overriding value system that guides the soul.
But to a limited degree, as we said, the first monad conveys a taste of the infant soul perspective; the second monad, baby soul; the third monad, young soul, the fourth monad, mature soul, the fifth monad, old soul, and the last two monads, a brief peek at what is yet to come.
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).
First, some history. Sarah Chambers introduced the concept of internal monad abdication. Abdication can be found in other aspects of the teachings — abdicating external monads, abdicating agreements and so on — but her work pioneered the distinction between the choice of abdication or leaving a monad incomplete in a negative pole.
From what Michael has repeatedly said, when it comes to abdicating a monad, it is far, far worse to finish a monad in the negative pole. The reason should be obvious. All negative poles are fear-based and allow unfettered entry of the false personality and applicable chief features. That shift, if you cannot right the ship later, leads to psychological and interpersonal life challenges.
Thus, abdicating an internal monad, while not always the best decision, is more favorable than sliding to a negative pole. Abdication is mostly considered a NEUTRAL choice, neither positive or negative. It doesn’t involve a polarity that lodges you in the deceptions of false personality.
In some cases, a person may become so overwhelmed by the challenges of life that an upcoming monad gets set aside in favor of psychologically alleviating the workload; just one less thing on the plate to deal with. In grade school, it's your hall pass; in a popular board game, it's your get-out-of-jail-free card. In other circumstances, essence may consciously choose abdication during the life to make room for other objectives related to the life plan. In a nutshell, you take a vacation from your monads.
Some souls may choose a curriculum that provides a more comprehensive course of life on Earth. It's all choice. Souls can take their time during the reincarnational cycle, others speed through. To take their time, however, they need to slow their progression through the soul age levels to sample those rich, growth-inducing experiences in multiple lives and multiple cultures. Abdication of a monad can be one way to slow the progression.
From the soul’s standpoint, there’s really no race to the finish line here. These respites or coffee breaks along the spiritual path are common.
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 (except the sixth and 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.
Does Essence or Personality Choose Abdication?
There are two types of internal monad abdication: Personality-driven and Essence-driven.
An abdication of an internal monad by the personality is never ideal, but it proves useful when pressing forward might cause irreparable harm, either on a psychological level to the personality or to others.
Abdication can serve as a useful stopgap when simultaneously navigating a monad and dealing with the pressures of life are unsustainable. Life is unpredictable, of course, and not all contingencies are available for the soul when things become untenable, but when circumstances are right, and those vary, abdication serves a useful purpose. While abdication by the personality is unplanned and not the optimal solution, the life ahead is never lost. Growth opportunities still abound. The itinerary has merely changed and both personality and essence will adapt to any new trajectories that arise.
In a life where the abdication of a monad is essence-driven, all pre-incarnational arrangements are carefully crafted to work in tandem with a life lacking the normal monadal transitions. The milestones from Western psychology may still apply, dependent on the rituals of individual cultures.
Traditional challenges, such as the hand-wringing experienced during the often tortuous ordeals of the third or fourth monads, are shelved in favor of essence fast-forwarding to the life task with less resistance. The reasons for this are many, but typically involve an interest by essence in more thoroughly experiencing a soul age level, or doing concentrated work with a group of souls from that incarnational time period (usually cadence mates).
Download PDF File of Internal Monad Abdication
How Do You Know That You've Successfully Completed a Monad?
The completion of an internal monad comes with the usual feeling of finishing any cycle in life. There's a sudden change or transition, followed by a series of escalating challenges or struggles because of that change, and an eventual end to the struggle.
During the length of the monad, there's almost a feeling of having the flu. Muscle ache and high fever, however, are not part of the symptoms but, figuratively, there's a sensation that you've come down with something, that something isn't right. This psychological shift remains in force over the entire duration of the monad.
With the third monad, for example, there's a sense of unrest (even dread) over how you will make it in the world, that perhaps you don't belong there. With the fourth monad, there's growing anxiety that you are not the person you thought you were and everything you've done so far now seems inadequate and out of alignment with whom you wanted to be. With the 5th monad, you may look back at your life with dismay over things never accomplished. Fantasies of starting a new career unreasonably late in life or finding a meaningful life project to fill the gaps left by missed opportunities, may follow.
When this psychological malaise no longer occupies your attention, the monad has run its course. In some cases, the monad was not completed but abdicated and put aside for later.
If you completed a monad in the positive pole, the prior sensation of discontent would end, and there may be the impetus to approach life with a renewed vigor and anticipation. If you completed a monad in the negative pole, nothing would seem to have changed, and you may go through the motions of life with little hope of altering your direction or making a significant transformation.You become the proverbial wilted flower, unable to make a course correction, and ultimately, feeling discouraged.
The best way we know to successfully navigate the internal monads is through self-awareness.
The Internal Monads
1st Monad (Birth)
Most traumatic for the Infant Soul
1st Monad is Complete at Birth
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 around the first breath.
Lessons about dependency are at the forefront of experiences learned both during and following the advent of the 1st monad. Dependency, in this context, not only instills a nurturing bond between the infant and the caregiver, but the unconditional love received, imprints the incoming soul with a compass point that guides the soul from the point of its first breath to its rebirth and reunion with essence at the fourth monad. Unconditional love and its life-affirming infusion is the only imprinting not needed to be discarded later in life.
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, 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.
With an abdication of the first monad, the infant is delivered still-born. Sadly, the death of a child is a devastating loss for parents, but for an in-coming soul that, for multiple reasons, has had a change of heart, the exit point is convenient. Some souls incarnate too hastily, especially younger souls, and a reality check may settle in just before the first breath. Chalk it up to getting cold feet.
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 must 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.
First Monad Lesson: The experience of dependency
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. The child learns they are a distinct being. Without this developmental window, a child could lack the awareness to discern the self from others, and a lack of boundaries could result from not learning that reality is separate from the mind.
At this stage, the child learns to walk and talk. The increased mobility allows the child to make intentions and break free from co-dependence. Little by little, the toddler processes the world through the five senses and views the home environment and surrounding area as stable and grounded aspects of reality.
For an adult, an earlier childhood exit from the 2nd monad in the negative pole (solipsism) can lead to sociopathic behavior, and in extreme cases, the deviant, narcissistic tendencies associated with serial killers — although most sociopaths are nonviolent and not prone to criminal activity.
The centering and sexual orientation are also set during the second monad.
With the development of greater motor skills and cognitive enhancement — rudimentary problem solving, language recognition, the formation of mental imagery, an ability to learn from trial-and-error — the division between essence and personality takes hold. The personality begins to exert more autonomy, striving for greater independence, and an establishment of boundaries. This shift from essence to a higher percentage of personality often results in a contest of strength, with a defiant stance that may include mood changes, emotional outbursts, physical gestures like slapping things or others in frustration, and behavior frequently labeled in psychology as the terrible twos.
This phase, perfectly normal for children this age, gradually wanes after the second monad transition is complete. With essence now a back seat passenger, a loss of wholeness is created. But the evolution of the personality is under way, and will continue to thrive unabated until the fourth monad, where an opportunity exists to restore the wholeness once lost.
With an abdication of the second monad, the centering never solidifies in the child, and in most cases, a state of permanent disidentification ensues where the child never connects to the real world, living in a disassociative state similar to autism. Although, not what we would refer to as clinical autism.
Abdication of the second monad is rare. It may occur following a prolonged illness or when a lack of bonding exists between the parents or other caregivers in an institutional setting, prompting the child to withdraw into their inner world completely, a more nurturing sanctuary reinforced by a strong connection to the astral. In fact, after an abdication of the second, from the standpoint of the personality, the child permanently has one foot in the physical, and one foot in a higher plane.
Michael's Comments On The 2nd Monad
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.
Second Monad Lesson: Individuation
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, a time of excitement and adventure for the young adult, with the alluring possibility of going to college, finding a job, developing an intimate relationship, and getting out into the world.
Growing up, though, while staying in step with the irreversible march of puberty, can be terrifying. With the exacerbations of peer pressure, raging testosterone levels, sexual attraction and fears of rejection, adolescents rarely know where to turn for help. They experience closer bonds with friends, seek greater intimacy, but are easily hurt and often feel betrayed. Feelings like "nobody understands me" are prevalent at this juncture, and there's a need to be with others undergoing the same experience. Learning to master these necessary social skills, with their accompanying frustrations and setbacks, are crucial in successfully navigating the third monad.
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.
Amplifying the pandemonium, the seven chief features emerge during this monad, often one-by-one, in a chaotic flurry that mimics a house on fire in the psychology of a restless youth. This accounts for the emotional maelstrom experienced by most adolescents. They may take each chief feature for a test drive until the most prominent of the seven settle. When the internal warfare has reached its apex, the primary and secondary chief features officially become embedded, sometime between the age of 16 and 20, give or take a year or two.
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 drawn the young couple together no longer exist, and there's a push to move on.
Antisocial behavior often characterizes the onset of the third monad. Troubled teens, increasingly feckless yet contrarian, want to be on their own and begin to rebel against authority. They may eat dinners away from the family unit, and feel embarrassed if forced to take part in family outings.
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 vacate the family nest. 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. They often blame their failures and disappointments on others, and sing this song as a lament to all who will listen.
With an abdication of the third monad, the hurdles of adolescence are set aside in favor of survival. At this point, the personality was ill-equipped to navigate the demands of the monad and neither felt pulled to the positive or negative polarities, choosing to take a rain check on the intensity of inner growth that raced toward them.
When personalities side-step the third monad, they appear as ghosts in their own lives, lacking true identities. They may swim from one side of a pond to the other, mimicking the movements of those around them, but rarely leave ripples.
In the positive pole (DIFFERENTIATION), the adolescent resolves the uncertainty and intensity of their "identity crisis," a psychologically disorienting phase where the teen searches for their role in society, and finally discover who they are, gaining their independence as autonomous young adults. They develop a personal identity, the emotional intelligence to engage in healthier relationships with family and others, and the life skills necessary to make a contribution to society.
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.
Third Monad Lesson: Adult Independence
4th Monad (Midlife)
Most traumatic for the Mature Soul
Escaping the bonds of imprinting and false personality, with a concentrated effort on the life task
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 realize that you've reached the top of the ladder and find that it was against the wrong wall.
Before the onset of the fourth, you had been existing on autopilot. Your choices were often the product of learned beliefs and thought-patterns, unexamined habits and repetitive behaviors, and societal acculturation. Your personality lacked objectivity and identified with the mind and its accoutrements, its thoughts, feelings, possessions, status, accomplishments, with little attention spent on introspection. After the tempestuous weather of the fourth monad strikes your shores, however, you may find yourself disillusioned with your former way of being and caught off balance.
An intense amount of reevaluation often occurs as a result. You have spent your early adult years building a career, managing a marriage, and raising a family. Everything has gone as planned (for the most part). 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 gone off course and you have lost your way. Nothing makes sense.
It all seemed so promising in the first half of your life. You followed a path of success and ambition. You were making your mark in the world — albiet a self-induced somnolence of conformity — that met 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 crucifixion event in the life. You must die to be reborn. You are not the son of god, 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 work of essence now comes to the forefront of your life.
The focus of the monad is to break away from the stranglehold of false personality and parental imprinting. Imprinting from a parent can overshadow the true soul age and overleaves, and false personality, of course, obscures everything. The family icon, certain expectations psychologically embossed onto a child, is also reevaluated and discarded, as necessary.
Bad habits and addictions that hinder healthy essence contact, such as chain smoking, binge drinking, thrill seeking, and a variety of sexual obsessions, are often let go surprisingly fast during the transition of this monad.
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 Boggart, a shape-shifting creature that 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 creates intense emotional upheaval for a time as the personality grapples with the emerging influence of Essence. Over-achievers, those ambitious souls that lived for their careers, can suffer the most as the brakes are hit and their momentum in life comes to a halt.
Friends, family, and co-workers are understandably dismayed when confronted by such radical change in a loved one. In instances where the personality shift seems acute, discussions of intervention are not uncommon.
Along with the assorted craziness of the period, which can include massive life changes across the board — inexplicable divorces, new careers, changing religions, dropping old friends, the adoption of new beliefs and values —the fourth monad is a highly introspective time. Like a museum curator who meticulously examines the minutest detail, every nook and cranny of the personality is inspected, and any parts of self that no longer fit are tossed aside. As a result, considerable contemplation occurs during this transition.
Life really does began at forty. Up until then, you are just doing research. — Carl Jung
The Fall of Man and Rebirth
In Genesis, the Fall of Man symbolizes the expulsion from Paradise (or in reality, the astral plane/spirit world).
Souls incarnating into physical bodies now feel separated from the unity provided by a greater connection with others in the astral, and lead more egocentric lives. This creates a divided nature between personality and essence. Where before the soul could access the totality of the whole, now a duality exists where the world seems divided into opposites.
In the first half of life, where external achievement is emphasized, personality pulls the strings, becoming acclimated to the body, surviving the angst of adolescence, and forging a career path, often with a family in tow. With ego at the helm, however, objectivity is in limited supply, and acts of karma often proliferate in destructive doses of anger, envy, pride, hate, and fear.
The fourth monad then marks the potential return of objectivity and an opportunity for essence to reintegrate with the personality and emerge as an active presence in the life. This constitutes the second birth of the soul (or rebirth), and any old programming from the past, including those fragmented parts of the self formed through negative conditioning, are let go in favor of the loving light of essence, with a focus on inward growth.
Adults that fail to successfully transition the fourth monad continue their lives as before, mired in adolescent tendencies, fixated on the trappings of youth (with a fear of growing old), and unable to move forward.
Making the Transition
Successful assimilation of the fourth monad is usually completed by the early forties, catapulting the person into the "Life Task", the soul's primary project. With change comes renewal and the prospect of living as the authentic self.
Many useful agreements and external monads are pulled into the life at this time; 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 (SELF-REALIZATION), the overleaves fully manifest and the true personality emerges. This not only allows work to begin on the life task, but the overleaves are now readily perceived and validated and the manifestation of the true soul age level is possible. The transition includes a psychological shift from youth to mature adulthood, a spiritual evolution that passes from a state of living unconsciously to conscious awareness.
With the influence of essence, the psychological maturity of the personality stabilizes and greater states of intuition, like the blossoming of a sixth sense, are possible. Relationships formed during this period are mutually beneficial, based on healthy commonalities and not sustained out of mere convenience or neurotic needs for dependency. Both partners develop a clear sense of self.
In contrast, finishing the fourth monad in the negative pole (AQUIESCENCE) results in the false personality taking over entirely. Any growth possible from the influence of essence ceases and the person retains the mental and emotional framework of a young adult for the rest of the life. Relationships carried over from earlier, where both partners often lean heavily on each other for psychological support, continue their co-dependent dysfunction. The most common symptoms of a negative shift are depression, apathy, confusion, inexplicable fear, feeling lost, no sense of purpose or direction, and a desire to just “give up.”
The familiar patterns of false personality, with its old habits and limiting beliefs that governed the earlier part of the life, remain. True to the definition of the word, the personality acquieces the opportunity to create an alliance with essence and stifles the possibilities for spiritual growth and self-realization.
In a figurative sense, the negative pole of this monad is like a dilapidated 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.
Given 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.
With an abdication of the fourth monad, feelings that something significant has been lost may ensue, prompting internal questioning, with visits to therapists and self-help gurus, and searches in a physical sense, such as strange impulses to travel or move to unsuitable destinations that only lead to further frustration and disappointment.
The characteristic emotional upheaval of the fourth monad rarely manifests after abdication, with no unsettling jaunts into the mid-life crisis, but it casts a pall over the rest of the life that something is missing or was left undone.
Common Reasons for Emotional Upheaval During the Fourth Monad
- Intense Self-Reflection:
- Fear of mortality:
- Regrets and Unfulfilled Dreams:
- Identity Crisis:
- Resistence to Change:
- Navigating Life Transitions:
- Feeling Stuck or Lost:
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, Sideways, Thelma and Louise and American Beauty are all representative of the midlife journey and its challenges, including the midlife crisis.
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 understands 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 disparities in their relationship. Known as the death flower, the chrysanthemums symbolize the death of Elisa's spirit. She has abdicated the fourth monad.
Famous stories that depict the transition to the fourth monad as a form of rebirth, where the main character casts false personality aside and finds redemption through the self-realization of the authentic self, include The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Beauty and the Beast, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and most famously, A Christmas Carol, with the transformation of the cold-hearted miser, Ebenezer Scrooge.
Ebenezer Scrooge, that irascible and covetous old skinflint from the Charles Dickens literary classic, is the quintessential model of the midlife crisis happening a little later in life, perhaps as a last ditch effort by essence to awaken Scrooge from the egoistic excoriations of his narcissistic slumber.
Unloved by his father, abandoned to a boarding school, and left with nothing but painful ghosts from the past, Scrooge imprisoned his anguish and emotional vulnerability behind the trenchant fortifications of the chief features and false personality. He had lost touch with his feelings, and like Marley’s ghost, wore the chain he had forged in life, link by link, and yard by yard.
Scrooge is a fine example of the self-examination that often befalls those during a fourth monad transition, revealing in the novella, at the behest of the three spirits that visit him, his unconscious patterns and twisted morality that left him disconnected from his fellow human beings.
Although the literary character of Scrooge is an extreme example, it shows that the fourth monad acts as an internal alarm clock to awaken those that have gone astray from their soul’s objectives. By the end of the story, Scrooge confronts his inner demons and discovers that there is joy in transformation. He learns that the shadows of the things that may be are not the same as the shadows of things that will be. Change is possible.
To quote the story, "He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew."
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 they 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.
Fourth Monad Lesson: Self-Awareness
The lessons here involve shifting from a personality-driven perspective to one that is primarily essence-driven. Through self-reflection, prior beliefs, behaviors and choices are carefully reviewed to see if they are aligned with current values and goals. Previously unexamined patterns, the vehicles of false personality, such as limiting beliefs, unhealthy relationships, negatively-charged emotional triggers, and other areas of resistence that no longer serve the higher good, are let go in favor of more objectivity.
The Mid-Life Crisis
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
Divorce, career change, desperate attempts to cling to lost youth, all prevail during this negative stage of the fourth monad. The mind can seem besieged by a fever of doubt and a successful life with all the trimmings can feel like it was wasted in pursuit of something that no longer has any meaning. There may be an irrational fear that the only chance to steer the life back on course hinges on one life-altering decision, a decision later regretted.
The midlife crisis is not experienced by everyone that transitions through the fourth monad. Reactions to this transition can differ. Soul age may be a factor, as well as the emotional maturity of the soul or the circumstances involved.
At its most troubling, 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 represent the life you had previously envisioned, but it will be a more accurate rendering of your true self.
Useful Tips During a Midlife Crisis
Make no rash decisions regarding relationships. This often happens to people struggling with the mid-life and they later regret such actions. What's happening is that the ego/false personality is fighting against the greater emergence of essence (or higher self) in your life. You're transforming your divided nature, the light and dark aspects of yourself where the ego-consciousness previously held the reins and essence was a dim memory. In the fourth monad (and subsequent foray into the mid-life crisis), your essence desires greater expression and less separation. This creates huge disruptions in all the things you once held dear, and the confusion can be immense and create intense anxiety. Take shelter and wait it out. This is just a passing storm. Perspectives will change and your thoughts will become clearer.
The worst thing you can do is abandon existing support systems. That only makes things worse. The mid-life crisis is an internal battle. There's an urge to blame external things around you, but that's just a ruse fabricated by ego. Don't buy a sports car, don't divorce your spouse, and don't quit your job — at least until you get past this dark night of the soul. What you're experiencing is just a phase. The scenarios you've envisioned are nothing but illusions. Don't feed them energy. They'll only take you down unwanted paths.
Michael's Comments On The Midlife Crisis
The midlife crisis, as it's 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, depending on the individual soul age perspective.
For the infant soul, the appearance of essence is a terrifying intruder that has 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 are 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 65-75 (but sometimes as early as age 56)
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 joyfully or painfully reviewed. What was accomplished and what was not are then duly noted — ideally without feelings of regret and with a genuine appreciation for the lessons learned.
This monad can take the longest to complete, up to a year and a half. It often correlates with what astrologers refer to as the second Saturn return (age 58-59), which only exacerbates the level of anxiety.
The pressure to review the life, arduously and assiduously, can overwhelm, with life’s experiences, choices, failures, relationships, and traumas all painstakingly examined. The success of raising children (if any) and prior participation in external monads will also come under scrutiny during this time, and if anything remains on the checklist, the fifth monad can be a wake-up call that time is running out.
Although some souls use the review as a period to pass judgment on what they did and what others did to them (the negative pole of EVALUATION), self-immolation is not the most productive use of this stage. This monad is already prone to bouts of depression, due to dreams gone unfulfilled and the vitality of youth lost in past sunsets, so take care not to swamp the benefits of this rite of passage with excessive negativity.
With an abdication of the 5th monad, a realization that the life has entered its golden years, that autumn approaches, is not acknowledged and there are attempts to reset the life to what it was before; to keep doing business as usual. On the surface, this may seem like a positive endeavor, a heroic attempt to live life to the fullest, but reality comes full circle in the end and opportunities for a fruitful life review and the benefit that brings are lost.
Making the most of the fifth monad is most comfortable for those that view the theatrics of their earlier life with a humbleness toward the hurdles once faced, as well as with a playful spirit that welcomes the joy and laughter they once knew (the positive pole of APPRECIATION).
Like the fourth monad, an impetus for significant change, perhaps long neglected whims and fancies that had simmered in the background, may appear as possible realities during this transition. Pipe dreams, for example, of retiring to open a used bookstore or to move to a foreign country (whatever stirs the blood) may reveal themselves as legitimate choices.
The fifth monad is a highly creative stage, where in retrospect, the reality of the earlier life is malleable and can be re-envisioned in ways that ramp up the joyful memories and smooth 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 if you reframe your perceptions in creative ways that bring more light into those darkened corners.
Imagine painting, for instance, the arc 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. This makes room for new life goals.
Downsizing the life with the task of only keeping what is most essential can make moving forward with goals easier to attain. Like the fourth monad, follow the impulse to let go of dead weight — let go of those tendencies to hoard, let go of social committments long past their useful luster, let go of the agonizing fluctuations of the stock market, and let go of emotional baggage from the past that only drains the soul.
Overall, if you complete the fifth monad in the positive pole, it can be like getting your "second wind" in life after many decades of hard work and hurdles to overcome. Similar to the perception of the old soul, and if circumstances allow, the fifth monad offers an opportunity to just BE.
Making the Transition
A successful transition through the fifth monad involves relinquishing concerns regarding what should have been accomplished and finding peace in the accomplishments that unfolded and how they helped shape the soul you are today. Your earthly legacy is not as important as the work you did as a personality in partnership with essence. Your true legacy springs from that alliance and how it affected your personal choices and your dealings with other people.
Did you move through life with tolerance for others? Did you err on the side of kindness? This is your real legacy, not the number of material trappings you acquired over a lifetime, or a sizable portfolio of stocks, bonds, and cash investments. Not that you should judge such enterprise if it feeds your soul, but the fifth monad is about YOU, not your acquisitions.
Even if your lifestyle didn’t grant as many opportunities to practice loving kindness, the point is to appreciate who you became during your life, and worry less about material accomplishments. If you find yourself lacking or wish you had done things differently, the 5th monad can offer the needed course correction to make adjustments.
To successfully transition through this stage, feel gratitude for everything you’ve become, including any shortcomings, and use the time you have left to instill the changes in yourself that you feel best reflect who you want to be.
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), TOKYO STORY (Yasujirō Ozu’s masterpiece), 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), DRIVING MISS DAISY (starring Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman).
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 resurgence 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.
Therefore, an obvious gift of the 5th monad concerns what we call the psychological extinguishment of those parts of life that left emotional scars. The passage of time may alter the effects of unpleasant experiences in a way that rewrites the past — at least at the psychological level that still presents these memories as burdens to bear.
We do not suggest you forget these experiences or pretend they did not happen, but reframe them using the perspective afforded by years of personal reflection and your lifelong understanding of the human condition.
This psychological distance created by time allows you to see things as they were in the here and now, rather than from the limited perspective of a younger adult or child. Draw on the hard-won wisdom your passing years have afforded you, and not only see the reaction of yourself during an event, now bolstered by your new understanding, but understand the motivation and behavior of another — in this case, the perpetrator that shared your experience. Permit yourself to let go of your resentment or anger that time’s buffer has given you. Nothing is gained by nurturing painful memories.
Forgiveness can release you from memories that imprisoned you for decades. Your act of release grants you autonomy from the experience, and by your choosing, you are no longer held hostage by its grip.
Memories of physical or emotional abuse do not comprise the brute force once generated by muscle, bone, or mental cruelty. Your old experience is simply an electrical impulse in your brain that you have allowed to haunt you throughout the years. Reframe the experience with the benefit of greater hindsight, with compassion for yourself and those forces that conspired against you, and send them on their way. Release the perpetrator by understanding the motivation behind their behavior, no matter how unjustified they had been, and let go of your judgment and pain. Do this not only as a kindness to yourself, but as a cathartic act afforded by the transitional energy of the 5th monad.
With each release, there is cleansing, and with every cleansing, there is renewal.
Fifth Monad Lesson: Gratitude
6th Monad (Dying)
The sixth monad is like the setting sun, surrendering gracefully to the twilight of life.
It's the acknowledgment that the day's work is done, and the soul prepares to rest before the dawn of a new beginning
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. Souls that created unhealthy attachments to the physical body may needlessly struggle during this stage.
The Five Stages of Grief — denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance — may or may not develop during this transition, and in no particular order. These expressions of grief are common patterns experienced in this monad, but are not applicable to every person nor expected.
As in life, as in death, honoring the dignity of the dying is paramount, and providing love and emotional support helps ensure less anxiousness regarding the inevitable conclusion that lies ahead.
The veil often thins for those near the final stages of this monad, and deathbed reports of the dying experiencing visitations from departed loved ones or kindly spirit guides are not uncommon.
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.
Seven Levels of the Sixth Monad
Exercise: Steps to Self-Realization Using the 7 Levels of the 6th Monad
Capitulation - (Nurturing): As you face the reality of your terminal illness, focus on nurturing yourself with compassion and care. Surround yourself with loved ones who can offer support and create a peaceful environment for your journey. Embrace the emotional process of accepting your situation while acknowledging any fear, anxiety, or distress that arises.
Anguish - (Innovation): During moments of anguish and emotional intensity, find innovative ways to cope with the challenges you're facing. Explore different emotional support methods, such as counseling, therapy, or connecting with support groups. Allow yourself to express your emotions and find outlets for creative expression to process your feelings.
Struggle - (Empowerment): Empower yourself during this phase by making choices that align with your values and desires. Communicate your needs and preferences to your loved ones and healthcare providers, ensuring that your wishes are respected. Engage in conversations about your legacy and how you want to be remembered.
Contemplation - (Insight): Use this time of contemplation to gain profound insights and find meaning in your life. Reflect on the lessons you've learned throughout your journey and the impact you've had on others. Engage in conversations about the experiences and wisdom you wish to pass on to future generations.
Illumination - (Illumination): Embrace your role as a sage during this phase, sharing your wisdom and insights with those around you. Engage in conversations that bring illumination and guidance to your loved ones. Take the opportunity to express your gratitude and appreciation for the people who have been significant in your life.
Liberation - (Transcendence): As you face the final stages of your journey, embrace your spiritual connection and find ways to transcend the physical limitations. Engage in spiritual practices that bring you peace and comfort, whether it's prayer, meditation, or connecting with your beliefs. Seek moments of spiritual transcendence and connection.
Catharsis - (Legacy): In this final phase, focus on tying loose ends and leaving a meaningful legacy. Express your love and farewells to your loved ones, cherishing the time you have left together. Consider writing letters or recording messages to be shared after you're gone, leaving behind a profound impact on their lives.
Throughout this exercise, remember that each step is not just about self-realization but also about leaving a lasting impact on the lives of your loved ones. Embrace the opportunities for connection, communication, and expressing love during this time. Utilize the steps to realization to make the most of your remaining time, finding comfort, and creating meaningful moments with those you care about.
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.
Sixth Monad Lesson: Surrender
The main lessons here often involve reconciling with the impermanence of life, letting go of attachments, and balancing the expected emotions of joy and regret that inevitably surface following a long life that now ebbs toward a conclusion.
Surrendering to the process opens the door to healing and closure.
7th Monad (Death)
At the seventh monad the soul exits the body. The lifetime of hard-won experiences comes to a close.
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 plane will then be conducted by those who specialize in this work.
If all goes well, though, spirit guides and loved one's generally offer support during the 7th monad. They assist with the transition, and help the departed soul adjust to its new state of being: a state of physical embodiment to a state of existence on the astral plane. The caterpillar transforms into a butterfly. From there, the soul continues its journey in a different form.
The key to this process is to accept the transition as a natural occurrence in life. Try to enter the next world in a state of grace and ease, and know to the depth of your soul that more awaits you beyond the physical realm.
The astral, by most accounts, is a place of unparalleled beauty that radiates love. You will be safe.
Upon your passing, you will encounter departed friends, relatives and loved ones. Even long-lost pets arrive to greet you. Think of it as a homecoming because it truly is your home. You had just forgotten about it.
The Seven Levels of the 7th Monad
1) FATALISM (Negative Pole) - The soul exits with a sense of fatalism, resigned to its fate, pessimistic and despondent, with a cynicism and bitterness so cold and intractable that its vibrational levels even overwhelm the terminal illness that plagues the body. At this point of no-return, and with no hope, all is lost.
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 Tasks of the Seven Stages Within Each Monad
You have now learned about the seven internal monads, including the terms and definitions of each of their levels. In this channeling, Michael reveals the unique tasks of each level and how they build on the structure through the progressive stages of initiation, integration, production, consolidation, expansion, appreciation, and ultimately, completion.
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 a checkpoint 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 to 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. These are not terms for the levels of each monad, but the tasks of those levels.
1) ESTABLISHING THE FOUNDATION
2) LEARNING THE RULES
3) EXPLORING THE POSSIBILITIES
4) REFLECTING AND ASSESSING
5) EMBRACING THE BIGGER PICTURE
6) ELEVATING OTHERS
7) TYING LOOSE ENDS
The task of the first level is ESTABLISHING THE FOUNDATION. 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 unrest. 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 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 level.
The task of the third level is EXPLORING THE POSSIBILITIES. 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 REFLECTING AND ASSESSING. 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 EMBRACING THE BIGGER PICTURE, 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 ELEVATING OTHERS helps lead the soul to attain ever-increasing levels of awareness. The soul continues to grow in progressive increments, 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 TYING LOOSE ENDS awakens. The remaining task involves bringing things to a close and incorporating 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.
[Note: To learn more about the monomyth, just Google the term. There are many sites that go into depth on the subject.]
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 few 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 monomyth) 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.
1) I know its been previously said that if someone dies prematurely, perhaps between the 3rd or 4th monad, their death is not considered the 7th monad. Could you elaborate on that?
Remember that the internal monads are a series of life stages. They adhere to an established order for a reason. Each stage solidifies the commitment to the life plan, including any lessons derived from the experience. The progression serves as a mold for how the life is shaped. Each life has a beginning, a middle and an end, This framework of a story develops during the life and the monads act as turning points, adding necessary structure and an impetus to move the story forward to its conclusion. As every story has a beginning, there is also a culmination. The 7th monad serves as that culminating point.
How the life concludes is just as important as how the life begins. A life that ends well gives rise to transcendence, the positive pole of the 7th. A life that ends in bitterness, becomes mired in states of fatalism, the negative pole.
The reason why a premature death is only a death and not a genuine monad is that the story of the life has been rendered incomplete. These accumulated experiences are ordered and made meaningful through a natural arc that builds in significance with the arrival of each new monad.
Imagine the monads as an ascending staircase that climbs to an eventual destination. If the monads were assembled out of order the stairs would climb up and down with little sense of direction or purpose. The internal monads, however, are not random. They are specific points during a life journey that follow a chain that is linked from one to the other.
It is true that an earlier monad left incomplete may be revisited before embarking to the next one. The natural order, though, is never deviated from. If upon arrival of the 5th, the 4th had been left incomplete, an opportunity to readdress those issues still exists. If successfully completed (and this can be difficult at a later stage), the 5th monad would follow next.
A death that occurs outside the natural progression of the monads is like a "save game" feature seen in some of your older video games. When the game is resumed in an ensuing lifetime, the true monadal work starts anew where the game had left off.
2) Some students have past lives in the hundreds. Does this mean they struggled to complete their monads and took longer to progress in soul age?
Many reasons exist why some students have a higher percentage of past lives. The number of previous incarnations, though, is rarely an indication of being better or worse at mastering life's lessons. Typically, a high number of past lives reveals that the course curriculum, so to speak, was more stringent and immersive. The intent was to pursue an advanced degree in the grand cycle, whereas someone with considerably fewer past lives was merely interested in the survey course.
This degree of study is like everything else, a matter of choice. It often means the internal monads may have been abdicated more frequently to make room for a full plate of other learning experiences, such as the externals monads, multiple agreements, and time spent assisting others with their life lessons, both in the physical and the astral. The deployment of a high number of concurrents (or simultaneous lives) is more likely with souls that choose to be journeyman of a particular cycle on a planet, and this includes more time serving as spirit guides.
This course agenda, therefore, is a busy one with every conceivable way of expressing life sampled, including tours of duty in all the major cultures from the past.
3) How does the influence of concurrents affect the progression of monads?
Because concurrents help expand the reach of essence, somewhat like fingers on a hand, there exists both an interdependence and deep connection that unites the concurrent to the whole. This sense of unification does not, however, prevent a concurrent from evolving on its own.
To illustrate, if one out of four concurrents successfully completes its seven monads before the others, this does not mean the work being done by the remaining concurrents is somehow reset. Why strip away the growth potential of other concurrents still working through their monads? Think of our hand again. The fingers are all connected, they are united to a greater whole, yet they can still move independently if so directed. Hence, when one concurrent completes its monads, any remaining concurrents still incarnating will continue their work. There is no game reset because one concurrent made it to the finish line first.
After the lives of the other concurrents are completed, the collected monadal work is compiled into a whole. Because one concurrent finished the 7th monad in the positive pole, the next life spawned by essence will start at a new soul age level. The incomplete work done by the other concurrents, however, will be absorbed and reexamined -- perhaps struggles arose with certain monads -- and those issues may reemerge as potential learning opportunities when the next incarnation from essence begins a new round of monadal work. In other words, the work was not lost, only re-purposed.
Applying the Internal Monads
One last question: How can students 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.
About David Gregg
David is the webmaster of MichaelTeachings.com and also moderates the Michael teachings discussion list at Yahoogroups. He has been a Michael student since 1996 and began channeling as a tool for spiritual enrichment. He is also a professional musician and plays the saxophone, clarinet, and flute, with a lifetime love for jazz and classical music. He enjoys literature and book collecting, and writes short stories in his spare time.
He occasionally writes reviews and profiles of jazz musicians at his jazz blog, Jazz Reader.
For more information about the internal monads, I recommend
the book Spiritual Turning Points by Victoria Marina
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