Figure 1 below shows a cyclical picture of a person's life which encompasses all the phases of their physical and spiritual development. It also indicates the connection to the previous and future cycles. It was not designed to look like a small foetus - it just turned out like that!
From the time of their own conception right through to the moment of first parenting, each person has (at least partly) been a product of their parents' experience whilst simultaneously being a student of life. Since every child has been conceived in, gestated and then born from out of the woman, the primary relationship and the most binding one, is with the mother
As the book's title suggests, I believe this primal relationship is the most profound and important one we can have, especially since it forms some of the earliest physical and mental patterns we accrue and hence causes many of the subsequent situations we encounter in our lives.
In each phase of these cycles, whether it be a boy or a girl, brought up by the mother, the father or both parents, a child needs a mentor, someone to guide them not only with theoretical advice, but also by living example. For at least the first couple of years every child's primary mentor is their mother. During these years, most learning is either by way of instruction or infusion - picked up from family rituals and the parents' lifestyle choices. "That's just the way it is" - the child thinks ……… that is until they are about 2 years old when all such understandings are fit only for testing and breaking!
At every stage of our development,experi-ences are impressed into our physical and psychic nature such that the patterns we carry forward into the next phase significantly control the events which follow. To grow up into a well balanced and mature individual, a child needs to fully experience, comprehend and eventually transcend each phase of their growth cycle. This process of learning, understanding and then letting go is what I would define as maturing. Satisfactory maturation allows accrued experience to be wholly assimilated into all the following phases.
It is like the construction of a house whose foundations may only be small compared to what they eventually support. They must be very firm and go deep enough. The next phase, the flooring, stands and depends upon them, with the walls upon the floor, the roof upon the walls and so on. As every builder knows, omissions or shoddy work at any stage, particularly at the beginning, will only lead to damage and eventual collapse. There are lots of people today, walking around like that. They are commonly known as "damaged" people and very frequently come from a dysfunctional family, in my view, a "house" poorly constructed from the foundations upwards.
It would therefore benefit us greatly to have wise parents who are also our teachers to help us with those experiences which enrich us and prepare us for growing up. Ideally, parents should actively help children in their process of maturation rather than assuming society or life will automatically do it for them. "Oh, he'll grow out of it" we so often hear. Often this classic line is just a cop-out for a parent who has no idea how to stem the tide of events they find beyond their understanding or control. Such a statement is patently false when one observes just how many kids do not grow out of situations they were not wisely guided through. Such a statement is plainly irresponsible when one sees the number of adults still behaving like immature children. Frequently, the necessary guidance is abrogated to social institutions or the child's own peers rather than dealt with by those who know and love the child the most. Perhaps a relation-ship based on mutual respect was never formed in early life, or perhaps it broke down some time later. Either way, it is the parents' responsibility to initially develop such trust and to maintain, repair and restore it if needed.