Classification of maturity
With a few exceptions, Bodisei don’t use age to classify maturation of their members. Instead, this is done in two ways. The first is the personal ability of a member, meaning those who possess more intelligence, wisdom, skill, etc. are considered more mature than those with less. Though this may very per individual, it often moves fairly linear with the second classification, which follows certain important points in a Bodisei’s life.
|Non-Bodisei Classification||Begins:||Usual age|
|Infant||at birth||0 (birth)|
|Child||upon the ability to speak||1|
|Teen||upon the ability to call upon visions at will||10|
|Adolescent||with beginning upper turning||15|
|Adult (young)||with beginning lower turning||Between 20 and 25|
|Adult (middle aged)||when upper and lower turning are complete||Between 40 and 50|
|Elder||at age 500||500|
Note that the classifications used here are only rough descriptions used to clarify their Bodisei “equivalent” in the best and clearest way possible. Bodisei themselves don’t use names for the classifications, but classify by the points in life listed in the second column.
Only at one point is age clearly used as a classification. Those who reach the age of five hundred standard years are called Elders. As noted before, Elders are held in high regard by the other members of the group and as such ‘Elder’ is a sort of honoring title.
Up until their “teens”, Bodisei children are often under close guidance of their family and/or other older members of the group. During this time they are first educated by the men and women (usually of their mother’s generation) in their family and once they have the ability to call upon visions at will (and thus become “teens”), are placed under the guidance of an Elder. As soon as the upper turning begins, and the “teen” becomes an “adolescent”, they are considered to be able in most situations to act independently from their elders. But it isn’t until the start of their lower turning that they are considered fully “adults”.
Behind the Scenes
This element of Bodisei society has come about with far less outside influence than the aspects in the last two entries. The table and the notes accompanying it, emphasizing the importance of an emic perspective (in short, looking at matters from an insider’s viewpoint, in this case that of the Bodisei themselves) when seeking to gain insight on a people, once again very much reflect by anthropological background. The influence of anthropology on my writing was also something a friend of mine immediately recognized when I showed him the Bodisei file years ago. That felt pretty good! It’s nice to know my study and my writing are actually more intertwined than I had initially thought! ^_^
My study did not come into play, though, when the idea for the creation of the classification came about. I’ve always held that age is far from a reliable indicator of maturity, intelligence, skill, or basically anything other than how long ago a person has been born. Age tends to be accompanied by knowledge and experience, but physical age far from always reflects mental age. This view, combined with specific moments in a Bodisei’s life has translated into the Bodisei classification of maturity. The category of Elders might appear out of place in light of a people that doesn’t seem to pay much value to age in any other context. The idea was probably that by the time you’re 500 years old, especially as a constantly travelling Bodisei, you’re bound to have picked up quite some knowledge and experience to share with others. And that is something the Bodisei respect greatly. So, while it could still be interpreted as somewhat contradictory with my earlier mentioned view on age and maturity, I suppose it makes some sense, in the right context. Or as a certain Jedi Master would say:
And that brings us to the end of today’s look into the life of the Bodisei. I believe there’s only two more entries and we’ve gone through all the information I have written! Man is this going quickly! Well, until then there’s still more to come for at least two days, so I hope I’ll keep seeing you around! ^_^