I think that one of the reasons it has taken me so long to address the next stage of The Unbroken Path is due to the complexity of the issue, and that it has taken me quite a while to deal with the conflict myself. That, and I’ve been doing other stuff. Though Erik Erikson described the stage of psychosocial development of “Identity vs. Role Confusion” as occurring during adulthood, he also stated that the caps on ages for stages are not fixed and actually quite fluid. While the average human comes to grips with this conflict by the age of 20, people of genius and those reluctant to acquiesce to the industrial model often take a little longer. Thought I’m not gonna toot my own horn and call myself a genius, I do acknowledge that I have a bit of an issue with being industrialized and can only assume that my reluctance toward assimilation serves as the reason for my being a late bloomer.
Anyway, this stage is about learning what we are capable of, the roles that we are able to play in society. Often based upon our relationships to others, this is the stage of understanding fidelity, the loyalty that we extend to people even though they may have different belief systems, be they religious, political, or other.
Personally, I’ve had a bit of a struggle with this from time to time. I’ve played many roles and seen how I could be of assistance in the world, but I do feel as if this stage has been extended. Nevertheless, I also feel that I have finally come to grips with the conflict and am ready to move on in our little game of “let’s become a functional human being.”
Steve McAllister is the author of The Rucksack Letters and How to Survive an Estralarian Mind Meld. He posts regularly at InkenSoul.com, and sometimes posts atAnything Arts, Sarasota Music Scene, and Elephant Journal, and is currently the Director of Operational Development for the Common Wealth Time Bank in Sarasota, Florida. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.