Everybody is brought up as a child. That is your first way into the world; that’s how you have been trained for years, to remain a child. Everything was ordered and you were expected to obey. You have become very dependent – you always go on looking for father figures, you always go on looking for authorities to tell you what should be done, what should not be done.
Maturity means the understanding to decide for oneself, the understanding to be decisive on your own. To stand on your own feet – that’s what maturity is. But it rarely happens because parents spoil almost every child, more or less. And then there is the school and the college and the university – they are all ready to spoil you. It is very rare that somebody becomes mature.
The society is not happy with mature people. Mature people are dangerous people because a mature person lives according to his own being. He goes on doing his own thing - he does not bother about what people say, what their opinion is. He does not hanker for respectability, for prestige; he does not bother about honor. He lives his own life – he lives it at any cost. He is ready to sacrifice everything, but he is never ready to sacrifice his freedom. Society is afraid of these people; society wants everyone between seven and fourteen – and that’s where people are.
In the First World War, for the first time psychologists became aware of this strange phenomenon. For the first time on a large scale, in the army, people’s mental ages were researched. And it was a strange discovery: the people in the army had an average mental age of twelve. Your body may be fifty, your mind remains somewhere below fourteen.