The Infant Soul
BY PHILLIP WITTMEYER
So much that can be said about Infant souls is the same as can be said about infants and children. The Infant soul Age is to the soul as the first decade of a life is to a person. Even as children are learning to walk and talk, so Infant souls are learning the basics of getting around in the world. Children are new to the world in a physical sense. In a psychological sense, Infant souls are new to the world, and consequently they do not know very much about what is going on. The shallowness of the Infant soul shows in the lack of depth in the look in their eyes. Infant souls also like the company of children — they are so much alike in temperament and perception. Their needs and drives are both primitive and elementary.
Like children, Infant souls are weak in understanding, and they are often in need of guidance. Like a toddler learning to take its first steps, Infant souls are in need of holding the hand of an elder as they learn to walk. Children may knock things over as they try to navigate the environment. They do not know the value of things they encounter and may break them. They often hurt themselves with their clumsiness and ignorance. So it is with Infant souls in their attempts to cope in a complex world. But children grow up and usually learn to handle the situations of life, whereas Infant souls do not: they are immature all their lives. One solution to their lack of understanding is to get settled in a life station where someone, an older soul, tells them what to do and takes care of them, much like a child has to be taken care of by adults.
Like children, Infant souls are not well socialized. In the worse instances, they can be uncouth and lacking in social grace. They can be deficient in “taste” and “class”. They often lack sophistication in dress and manner, just as small children who are simply not yet aware of these things. However, at their very best, they are innocent and simple, even as children are.
Infant souls are at one extreme of the range of Maturation — the lower end of the scale. Infant souls only make up about one percent of the population. Consequently, they are generally considered unusual and strange. They are strangers in the world, and they find the world strange. They don’t fit in with the mainstream of society, which is predominantly Young and Mature at this stage in history. For this reason, Infant souls are usually shunned by older souls. Older soul children may make fun of them and taunt them. Older soul adults may avoid them and demean them. Everyone looks down on them. Everyone, even if they do not understand psychological maturity, expresses the desire that they would “grow up”, “quit being silly”, “stop being foolish”, and “quit being childish”.
If they have a worldview at all, it can be said that Infant souls have a simplistic perspective based on a superficial understanding of life. They are rarely interested in the greater overview of life, but instead are wrapped up in their own little arena of events. They cannot easily cope with more than this. A Infant soul is “a babe in the woods” when it comes to dealing with our complex society. The older souls (Young and Mature) who dominate the events of the world, are involved with issues and perceptions which are quite beyond the capacity of the Infant soul to negotiate. And if you don’t really understand what is going on, why pursue it? So they rarely get involved in, or even show a deep interest in, the wider and more complex aspects of life, such as politics, religion, humanitarian causes, show business, the arts and sciences. They dabble in the limited, elementary, and simple things of life — home and family, or a routine job or odd jobs working for someone else. Often they do not even pursue a lifetime career, preferring to go from one menial job to another. They tend to live in the moment.
Infant souls do not have very much inherent knowledge. By this I mean that they do not have extensive experiential background stored in their subconscious memories. Infant souls simply believe what they are told: they absorb a lot of information just as children in their early years accumulate an enormous amount of basic information, and they readily adopt the teachings of their parents and society — but without modification because they do not have the breadth of perception to know otherwise. Their concepts are not well founded. Sometimes Infant souls latch onto some pretty “kooky” notions because of their simplistic worldview and lack of experience. It is amazing what people can believe when they do not have much knowledge and experience on which to base their beliefs. They are gullible because they do not have enough depth of personality to recognize a silly idea or suggestion. They are easily fooled, and some older souls who are not very morally advanced themselves may enjoy playing tricks on them and making fun of them for their primitive ways and perceptions.
However, it should not be thought that Infant souls are intellectually deficient. Of the Infant souls known to me personally, several have been college graduates. One was an engineer, a partner in an engineering firm. Two are architects, and one is an insurance salesperson. Another was a ministerial trainee. Intelligence is a factor completely separate from soul Age. There are bright and stupid people in all Ages. Each of the above Infant souls has absorbed the culture and knowledge of our society very well. The hardware of their brains is functioning fine. The thing that distinguishes them psychologically is that their perceptions are shallow and simplistic. They are weak on savvy and common sense. This is often mistaken for lack of intelligence, but the two deficiencies should not be confused. Because of their simplicity, no matter how intelligent or otherwise gifted Infant souls may be, they rarely rise to prominence or notoriety in the world. Older souls do not acknowledge that Infant souls have anything worth contributing. Michael named no famous Infant souls other than Ethelred the Unready, and I have not come across any in my Charting of notable persons.
Infant souls stay with the familiar. They stick to what they have done before. They dislike change. They get comfortable in limited routines, not venturing off of the accustomed paths because it would be anxiety-provoking. Unfamiliar experiences bewilder them, so they avoid experimenting with new experiences. Whatever interest they may show in things is usually cursory, shallow, unsustained, and superficial. They lack the concentration to delve into a subject fully and deeply.
There is nothing intrinsically wrong with being a child, of course, and the description above should not be construed as condemnation or judgment of Infant souls. It is just that they are primitive, even as children are. At their best, Infant souls have a childlike innocence and naiveté about them that can be charming (but most people do not find this childishness charming in adults like they do in children). The best thing about them is that they are usually genuine. Like children, they do not have enough savvy about things in general to pretend to be anything other than exactly what they really are. Their range of experience is too narrow for them to respond outside their own natures. They do not believe in things they have not personally experienced.
Infant souls are not yet a part of societal institutions. They are not yet acculturated. Like babies, Infant souls are more deeply in the grasp of the species, so they show more “animal” behaviors than adults. Young children have to be socialized over a period of many years — which often means being taught to pretend to be this way or that way in order to get along with others even when you don’t really mean it. Infant souls, especially in the early Levels, are at a stage where they have not been fully socialized in order to be civilized. Therefore they do not know how to be phony. This also means they are tactless. In the later Levels, they can be taught the ways of civilization, but it is still not truly a part of their nature. Older souls, Young and later, are inherently civilized.
One reason for this is that the Infant soul Age is an Aspect of the Termination Process. What this means in terms of perception and behavior is that the Infant soul typically follows the motto, “Don’t do it”. As the summation of all the Traits in the Termination Process, the Infant soul Age partakes somewhat of the characteristics of all the Aspects of this Process. Like a person with the Submission Goal, Infant souls dedicate themselves to their work. Like a person in the Perseverance Mode, they apply themselves consistently to getting their work done. Like a person with the Martyrdom Feature, they see themselves as patient and long-suffering in their tasks. Like a Warrior, they want to conquer the world and make everyone around them march to their drumbeat. Like a Cynic, they are the mavericks and renegades of society. Like a person in the Sexual Center, they like sensual stimulation and enjoyment.
An appropriate motto for the Infant soul is, “Let’s not do it”. They do not know how to confront the world effectively. If they even have a job or career, they usually stick to something undemanding and unchallenging. They need something that does not tax their limited capacity. The more complex and subtle occupations are used by older souls for transformation. Infant souls often avoid such stimulation because it reveals their ineptitude. They usually find such careers frightening rather than exciting.
Infant souls often find the whole business of living to be fearful, since so many things happen which are beyond their comprehension. This is not necessarily so: they are also possessed of a lot of foolishness, and “fools rush in where angels fear to tread”. If the Overleaves include the Power, Passion or Aggression Mode, they can get themselves in a lot of trouble as they bumble and stumble headlong through life.
One thing about firstborn souls (first Level Infant) is that, being newly generated in the universal creative spirit, they are at once both closest to the source of truth, and farthest. They are at the end of divinity and the beginning of humanity. They instinctively sense their closeness to the Source in terms of time, and yet their farness in terms of understanding. As such, they are unspoiled by involvement in the physical plane. They are clean of “karma” — unfinished business from past lifetimes, according to the theory of reincarnation. They have no subconscious links with other lifetimes. There is a freshness and originality about them, just like there is with children who are as yet unsullied by the pain, evil, trauma, responsibility, and rigor of adult life. Firstborn souls have no conscience — only parental and societal programming to guide them. Firstborn souls truly do not know the difference between right and wrong in social behavior, so it is necessary to teach them this. In the theory of reincarnation, this knowledge becomes inherent as the soul develops Character — understanding which is carried over from lifetime to lifetime. Older souls (Mature and Old) are inherently socialized. They understand intuitively that it is wrong to lie, steal, cheat, and murder. This they have learned through karma.
Infant souls perceive themselves as “me” and others as “not me”. They treat other people as objects, not as people like themselves. Therefore they may not see anything wrong in lying, stealing, cheating, and murdering if it seems superficially to further their personal advantage. There can be a lack of subtlety and sensitivity in ethical issues.
Infant souls experience sexuality as simple animal lust driven by instinct, without the complications of higher meaning present in older souls. They lack finesse, variety, and subtlety in lovemaking, as with everything else. They are clannish about their families, since dealing with strangers is often too much of a challenge for them to cope with.
In religion, as in everything else, Infant souls typically believe whatever their parents teach them, not having the capacity to believe otherwise. Whatever religion, if any, was traditional in the family is carried on. They rarely depart from parental instruction even when they are grown. Infant souls are easily “programmed” by authority figures or life experiences. Also, they are easily manipulated by unscrupulous individuals.
Infant souls typically have a very narrow range of responses to life. If they are confronted by something they do not understand (which happens quite often), they usually exhibit two types of reaction. One is that they will withdraw: run away and hide in fear and bewilderment. The other is that they might launch a blind, savage attack on the confronter or the confronting situation. Both of these are appropriately primitive response patterns, not unlike that of animals. Infant souls are dealing with survival issues, and most of the Infant souls on the planet are members of primitive tribes where these issues are being dealt with on a daily basis.
Infant souls have a very simplistic interpretation of life. If they are intelligent and knowledgeable (in an educational sense), they think they have things figured out pretty well, and marvel that other people (older souls) make things so complex. Older souls (Young and Mature especially) are deeply involved in more subtle and complex issues, and they marvel that Infant souls have such a shallow and superficial understanding of the issues.