This third stage gives him the feeling “I am me and nobody else!” Ego at its full peak. At this time the youth is always ready to fight, to explode. Aggression, violence, competition, ambition, revolution – all enter into his blood and bones.
The fourth stage is from the twenty-eighth to the fifty-sixth year – middle age – inflated beyond the natural capacity. The balloon is inflated beyond the natural capacity. The natural capacity is attained by the twenty-eighth year; that’s how far the balloon can go. Between twenty-eight and fifty-six it starts getting beyond the limit of the balloon. Hypertension arises. These are the most difficult days.
Up to twenty-eight you were taught to inflate the ego more and more, so you go on inflating. It has become a habitual thing. For twenty-eight years you have been practicing only one thing – through education, through teaching, through conditioning – inflate the ego. Now it has become a routine: you go on inflating without thinking at all that there is a limited capacity to the balloon. You go on pushing more and more air in – hypertension arises. So it is somewhere between twenty-eight and fifty-six that you start getting high blood pressure, heart attacks. It is somewhere between these two ages that you have to consult the psychotherapist, that you start becoming shaky, that things don’t seem to go the right way, as you had expected them to go, as they were at least appearing to go up to twenty-eight. Now they are no longer going the right way. Everything seems to go wrong.
You are succeeding in life; you have money, you have prestige, respectability, but somehow you are disappearing in it. You are losing your being, your peace, your rest. A restlessness, a great restlessness, a feverishness arises. These are the most difficult days. These are the days when a person becomes physically, mentally ill. Anxiety arises, anguish arises, psychosis and all kinds of neurosis enter into your being. This is the fourth stage.
The fifth stage is from fifty-six to one hundred and twelve, the ultimate expansion. Just on the verge, any moment, of exploding. You are ready, just a puff more and you will explode. No more inflation is possible. This is the time when a person starts hoping that now death should be coming, starts thinking about death. Not only starts thinking, but having a kind of hope that “Death will come and relieve me of all this burden.”
Then the sixth stage: the balloon explodes.
Out of the sixth there are two possibilities – the seventh stage has two possibilities – the Eastern and the Western. The Western possibility is: you die, and you are reborn again as an uninflated balloon in some womb. Death is the seventh possibility if Western psychology is allowed its full say. If there is nothing like religion, then out of the sixth the seventh is born automatically. You die here, you know only one way of being, you are again born in a womb – again an uninflated balloon – and you start the same circle, the same repetition, the same rut.