“Deep Maturity” Merit Badges:
Preliminary Criteria
Adam Blatner

Posted October 6, 2008      Return to:         Lecture 1                Lecture 2          Lecture 3          Lecture 4         Lecture 5

These are all very, very tentative, provisional, designed just to evoke thought and discussion. Please add your own. Communicate them to me. Write your thinking up as a short paragraph or essay. I invite your communications, suggestions!  adam@blatner.com
Taking on a significant addiction and struggling with it for more that two weeks; breaking the denial barrier, and becoming sensitive to the denial barrier.  25 points

Conquering a significant addiction and remaining “sober” or “addiction free” for two years.  75 points.

Taking on a mild addiction or moderate “habit” (one that doesn’t disrupt your life so much, but still drains it of some of its potential or vitality) and struggling with it for more that two weeks; breaking the denial barrier, and becoming sensitive to the denial barrier.  20 points

Conquering a significant mild addiction or moderate habit. 35 points.

Working out with a spouse or adult child a co-dependency pattern and backing off from enabling: 35 points.

Facing a moderate decision and fulfilling all 4 criteria of decision-making: (35 points)
  (i.e., (a) not rushing in, nor unduly putting it off; (b) really identifying and evaluating, weighing both pros and cons; c) seeking consultation from a reliable and not too emotionally involved other as consultant; and (d) ensuring that your approach is basically ethical.

Re-evaluating a desire, opinion, or belief and finding that parts of it are based on illusion.  10 points.

Refining a religious or spiritual belief, making a finer discrimination, re-positioning yourself so that you can appreciate the extremes.  10 points

Considering you might have been mistaken about something that you had previously thought or believed in an unquestioning fashion. 5 points.

Investigating that question and deciding that your previous thought needed revision, and figuring out what that revised thought, opinion, would be. 5 points.

Listened to your intuition when a decision or action wouldn’t make much difference, following your impulses: 5 points.

Letting your intuition be a significant element in weighing a decision (but not necessarily the deciding factor): 5 points.

Becoming spontaneous so you feel that it wasn’t you who did something—whether it be singing, dancing, making up poetry, coming up with an idea—letting yourself be inspired, or getting into “flow.”  5 points.

Find a way to Hope in your life: 15 points

Be able to share hope with significant others   10 points

Be able to have fun, keep a twinkle in your eye on at least one occasion on 5 days out of a week: 15 points

Notice tendencies to becoming judgmental about your adult kids and the ways they’re raising their kids, conducting their lives versus letting go, laughing at the “fuddy-duddy” complex in your mind: 10 points. (Extra five if you tend to blame your kid’s spouse more than your kid, and can let go of this tendency.)

Noticing a desire to accumulate points and being tempted to fudge on the criteria, or to stretch the achievement in order to qualify; and resisting that desire so that instead what is gained is a deeper desire to learn the lesson, absorb the spirit of the principle involved. (i.e., resist cheating)

Mentor someone effectively: 3 points.

De-clutter your life. 0.2 points / box.

Discuss with someone and feel that you have introduced a measure of rational coordination to your jumble of ideas that constitute your philosophy of life. Correlate your thoughts with other wisdom traditions. Find a book that mirrors your thoughts. 1 point per item.

Select a hero. 1 point each, requiring a small explanation as to what criteria this person has exhibited or manifested that makes him or her worthy. (The person need not be pristine or pure in every way—but the quality must be something you would want to emulate or have your kids emulate.

Recognize a neurosis and begin to work on it. 3 points.

Resolve a mild neurotic symptom. 5 points

Begin to write your memoirs. 0.1 point per page. The goal here is to reflect on your becoming within your historical context.