Seven Year Cycles

If you google on almost any topic related to “cycles,” you wind up with a flood of information.  Scientists define life cycles for everything from insects to stars.

Cycles abound in spiritual and esoteric traditions, ranging from newspaper horoscopes to “Days and Nights of Creation” lasting millions of years.

I was searching for something simpler than that.  Biologists say our bodily cells renew themselves every seven years.  Parallel to that, I’ve noticed my world of ideas, interests, and ambitions changing, sometimes radically, over a similar time frame.  I’m not the only one.  Google on, “seven year life cycle,” and you get 5,400,000 hits.  Although Rudolph Steiner wrote on the subject, most of the entries I found were generic, analogous to newspaper horoscopes.  Here is Aquarius.  Here are your life tasks between the ages of 21 and 28.

No doubt Gemini’s, and seven-year-olds, and seventy-year-olds each have things in common, but I was looking for individual accounts of people who find their ideas, concepts, and aspirations changing every seven years or so

What brought this to mind was thinking of 2005, a year in which I experienced many beginnings.  One night I woke up at 12:30am, grabbed a pen and a notebook, and wrote the opening pages of my first novel.  The momentum grew, and I finished the first draft five months later (in retrospect, it was pretty bad, though I doubt that I’ll ever have so much fun writing again).

Aided by a sabbatical from work, and energized by visits with family and friends I hadn’t seen in years, I was bursting with fresh energy, new ideas, and new ambitions.  Many threads in my life seemed to become clear.  I jotted some down in a notebook.  I underlined things I was very sure of.  A bit of skepticism remained, so I made  note in the margin:  “check back in five years.”

Six years later, in most respects, I am not the same person.  I don’t really read or aspire to write the books I cared about then.  My spiritual ideas have shifted.  What I value and want to accomplish are not the same.  My overall outlook is different.  I’ve noted these seven year changes before; this was just more pronounced.

Once again I have to conclude that most of the contents of consciousness are in flux and do not capture the “core” of who I am or who anyone else is.  The metaphor I use is the mirror.  A mirror is not defined by what it reflects from moment to moment.  “I” am not what passes through awareness, “I” am the indefinable awareness itself.

This is wisdom that’s thousands of years old but I believe it more and more as time goes on.  This is the koan:  what is a mirror beyond what it reflects?  What is the heart/mind beyond what it conceives?

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