The Stages model I use comes from a book called Nature and the Human Soul by Bill Plotkin. Life is viewed in eight stages, two each for Childhood, Adolescence, Adulthood, and Elderhood. As you can see in the diagram below, each stage has a number, a part of the life cycle, a Task, a Gift, a Center of Gravity, and a poetic metaphor.

For example, the time I spent tripping in the counterculture, from ages 21 to 28, corresponds to Plotkin’s Stage 4 – Late Adolescence. As you can see in the diagram, two aspects of this stage are:

Task: Leaving home (the adolescent identity) and exploring the mysteries

Metaphor: The Wanderer in the Cocoon

I have used the number and the metaphor for the links into this section, below.

1. The Innocent in the Nest

2. The Explorer in the Garden

3. The Thespian at the Oasis

4.The Wanderer in the Cocoon

5. The Soul Apprentice at the Wellspring

6. The Artisan in the Wild Orchard

7. The Master in the Grove of Elders

8.  The Sage in the Mountain Cave



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