The Quarterlife Crisis

From the Web: Nature, Science & Tech

New research shows profound crisis among people in their twenties

Researchers tell us that one third of all people in their twenties feel depressed, and increasingly insecure. As ‘The Guardian’ reported recently, “New research by British psychologists shows that educated twenty and thirty-somethings most likely to be hit by pre-midlife blues…. The survey found that 86% of the 1,100 young people questioned admitted feeling under pressure to succeed in their relationships, finances and jobs before hitting 30. Two in five were worried about money, saying they did not earn enough, and 32% felt under pressure to marry and have children by the age of 30. Six percent were planning to emigrate, while 21% wanted a complete career change.”

“Quarterlife crises don’t happen literally a quarter of the way through your life,” said lead researcher Dr Oliver Robinson, from the University of Greenwich in London. “They occur a quarter of your way through adulthood, in the period between 25 and 35, although they cluster around 30.” Bearing all the hallmarks of the midlife crisis, this phenomenon – characterized by insecurities, disappointments, loneliness and depression – is hitting twenty- and thirty-somethings shortly after they enter the “real world”, with educated professionals most likely to suffer.

To me this ‘quarterlife crisis’ is simply a typical sign of a Saturn return. Most of my friends turned over their lives completely around the time of their first Saturn return, dropped out from where they were and went to India or South America, took sannyas, got a divorce, moved to another city, changed jobs. This is a healthy way of dealing with the vibrations everybody is subjected to during this planetary constellation, which happens about every 28 years give or take. Even folks with not much knowledge about astrology know this.

I also sense that if a person doesn’t tune in to those energies and rather resists the changes that are so powerful at the time, yes, one could end up depressed because one didn’t get into the flow of life.

The psychologists have even come up with four stages, which to me seems quite insightful to me.

“Phase 1, defined by feeling “locked in” to a job or relationship, or both. “It’s an illusory sense of being trapped,” said Robinson. “You can leave but you feel you can’t.”

Phase 2 is typified by a growing sense that change is possible. “This mental and physical separation from previous commitments leads to all sorts of emotional upheavals. It allows exploration of new possibilities with a closer link to interests, preferences and sense of self.

“Up until then you may be driving fast down a road you don’t want to be going down. A minority of participants described getting caught in a loop, but the majority reflected on a difficult time which was a catalyst for important positive change.”

Phase 3 is a period of rebuilding a new life.

Phase 4 is the cementing of fresh commitments that reflect the young person’s new interests, aspirations and values.

Osho often speaks about the significance of the seven year cycles:

”It has to be explained to you that Gautam Buddha left his palace when he was twenty-nine years old. Jesus started his teachings when he was thirty years old; Zarathustra went into the mountains when he was thirty years old. There is something significant about the age of thirty, or nearabout, just as at the age of fourteen, one becomes sexually mature. If we take life as it has been taken traditionally, that it consists of seventy years… those who have watched life very deeply have found that every seven years, there is a change, a turning.”

Osho, Zarathustra: A God That Can Dance, Ch 1

Spontaneous Celebration at the Ranch

So instead of going into a depression and downward spiral, may all young people pull up their socks and move forward and upward with joy. The adventures are out there and inside too – dare!

Bhagawati for Osho News

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