"Stage 5 (Fowler)." Early Midlife and Beyond
"This stage develops a 'second naïvité'," fowler uses in reference to Paul Ricoeur. Here they are reunited symbolically and concretely.
The individual can connect things that seem incompatible. One can endure living with paradoxes (Bergstrand, 1990).
"Negative Capacity" (Bion)
Unusual before mid-life, Stage 5 knows the sacrament of defeat and the reality of irrevocable commitments and acts. What the previous stage struggled to clarify, in terms of boundaries of self and outlook, this stage now makes porous and permeable. Alive to paradox and the truth in apparent contradictions, this stage strives to unify opposites in mind and experience. 347, in Conn)
In the same reasoning, something emerges that we need to be noticed in terms of the new age. Fowler further describes how the individual here is free from group, tribe, class, religious context or nation… On a deeper level, this criterion is certainly good enough for NA as well, but superficially it describes a stance that occurs everywhere within NA.
"… and whith the seriousness that can arise when life is more than half over" (i Conn, p.
The danger here is to become paralyzed, passive, "giving rise to complacency or synical withdrawal, due to its paradoxical understanding of truth" (i Conn, p. 547)