The Ancient Romans believed that time is cyclical. Our perception of time tricks us into believing it is a linear progression. Loops and repetitions are an essential part of time and we can feel it happen even in our own lives. Like the seasons, every seven years our life course registers a dramatic shift, and we can feel it both mentally and physically.
1st Cycle (0-7 years)
The child is the center of his own world during his first seven years of existence. The adults revolve around the child trying to satisfy his every need. The child is exploring and completely focused on himself. Some psychologists have called this a ‘masturbatory’ phase.
2nd Cycle (7-14 years)
The world is a new and exciting place in this phase. The child starts exploring the world around him. Empathy is not his strong suit. His curiosity leads him to even be destructive at some level such as breaking his toys to see what’s inside. The lack of interest in the opposite sex makes this what psychologists call the ‘homosexual’ phase.
3rd Cycle (14-21 years)
Sexual fantasies make their first appearance and children begin to explore their relations with their own sexuality through the opposite sex. This is effectively the beginning of their entry into adulthood.
4th Cycle (21-28 years)
This is the phase that Shakespeare in his poetry described that the stage of the ‘soldier’. Youths become focused on their careers and gaining power and prestige counts for more than getting in touch with their feelings. Ambition becomes the driving force and opportunities seem limitless and full of potential.
5th Cycle (28-35 years)
This is the phase of settling down. It comes with acceptance that all our desires might not be possible to achieve. People start looking for security and stability and feel running after momentary things serves no purpose. It’s the age when the car loans and insurances are bought.
6th Cycle (35-42 years)
This is the halfway house in life. From age 35 onwards people start becoming the establishment. Rules are no longer meant to be broken but become the basis of your mental security. People become set in their ideals and any questioning of that becomes uncomfortable. We become conventional by choice.
7th Cycle (42-49 years)
The need for religion starts to seep in. We have to start believing in higher powers when for the first time our bodies start giving out and the physical decline of ageing begins. Hair turns grey and taking medicines now becomes a part of daily life.
8th Cycle (49-56 years)
This starts the sexual decline. Men are forced to contend with their own identities. The wonder of sex that they discovered as teens has also now finally run its course and no longer interests them.
9th Cycle (56-63 years)
This is like a second childhood. We start losing interest in the world and the people around us. No matter how much you might’ve told yourself that even as an old person you would be ‘up to date’, you realize that after living for as long as you have you stopped caring after a point.
The Final Cycle (63-70 years)
We finally reach out to our inner selves and presciently realize that the end is coming. Life has come full circle and the winter of old age leads one back to the metaphoric mental womb in preparation for a peaceful passing on.