It would seem to me that most children come in a spiritual state, which then perhaps 'diminishes' into an individuated state when they are first learning the 'mechanics of being human' so to speak. This level then seems to often 'diminish' into consensus reality as they are forced into specific cultural and social and gender roles by their immediate environments and caregivers. Perhaps that is what the Soul expected and why it chose those parents and that specific environment...?
"It would seem to me that most children come in a spiritual state, which then perhaps 'diminishes' into an individuated state when they are first learning the 'mechanics of being human' so to speak. "
To me this is not correct. You are perhaps confusing the natural innocence of children with their level of spiritual evolution. They are not the same thing.
It takes many lifetimes to move along the evolutionary scale even a small amount in the great majority of cases. This measures the evolutionary stage of the Soul itself, not the personality. To the Soul each new lifetime is just one more opportunity to advance itself at least to a small extent. The basic nature of a Soul is pure, and we see this reflection in early childhood. But soon enough we start seeing the places within that Soul, brought in from the past, appearing. Because that is the actual nature of that Soul, operating in its actual state of self-awareness - after all, evolutionary stages represent degrees of self-awareness, vs externally defined expectations of who one is and is supposed to be.
I don't see it as souls "diminish" into an individuated state. If you think about it, 70% of Souls haven't even reached the individuated state. Thus how can they diminish into something they don't even know in the first place?
We are born here, and as we fully enter the body in the first years of childhood, we find ourselves operating from the same m.o., the same self-reality, self-identity we left with, perhaps in old-age, in the last go round. In other words, we start exactly where we left off, literally. Which explains the so-called rebellious child, who simply is more evolved than its parents. Its a pretty strange feeling to be 3 years old and realizing you understand way more than your parents do... Whereas other children, perhaps even siblings, are quite content to simple accept the reality put forth by the parents.
Or, alternatively, ask a child what they seek, and they will almost always request immediate gratification or something material, as perhaps is expected in a consensus-reality Soul. So, do children mostly start in consensus, and then perhaps individuate as they age? If the Soul generates the Ego that it requires in a certain life, is that Ego in place in extreme youth...or does it come forth later in life, after the conditioning of environment/society/culture impinge upon them?
Nothing is inherently stated that a Soul in an individuated state is not going to have the same desires for immediate gratification that other humans have. It comes with the territory. I would say the difference is, as a Soul evolves, the nature of its relationship with the desire for immediate gratification changes - it becomes more OK with the reality that its not going to get everything it wants when it wants it. It matures in that way - more inherent acceptance of the laws that define human life in a body.
Again, a child starts where it left off. An individuated child is going to display a sense of alienation from an early age. It will feel different. In some cases it will be born into a family that can not relate to that child's reality at all, which has the effect of throwing that child back on itself, to further deepen and develop that necessary individuating process. In other cases the child will be born into a family that itself is in an individuating process, or beyond, that will validate that child's natural ways and teach it that what is right for that child is what that child knows is right for itself, no matter anyone else's opinions on that matter.
It is unique for each child/Soul - there are no generic rules. Its all dependent on the nature of that Soul's past, and the nature of the life lessons that Soul has planned for itself in the new incarnation. A principle that in EA is called Evolutionary Necessary - certain experiences are simply necessary to bring about the desired growth. In some cases those experiences can feel painful, lonely, and difficult, in others more inclusive nurturing and warm. It all depends on what that Soul has decided is the most effective method for bringing forth the insights it wants to develop in the present life.
In terms of what you said about a child of yours exhibiting signs of both 3rd stage consensus and 1st stage individuated: (I am just commenting on that phenomena. Not making any statement at all about the evolutionary stage of your child or if your assessment is correct). That is what would be described as at the cusp of a change in evolutionary stage, which itself can take several lifetimes to really settle into the new stage. The person will go back and forth, exhibiting signs of both. Yet they will be predominantly in one or the other, which reflects the place of actual evolutionary stage. At some point the actual crossover occurs, and then it progressively shifts forward from there.
There is discussion in another current message board post about having Pluto at the exact cusp between two houses - this phenomena is quite similar. One archetype is culminating, a new one is being birthed. Prior to the actual conjunction, the dominant archetype is the old one. Once the conjunction has occurred the dominant archetype is the new one - in that case there will still be traces of the old exhibited at times, as it is familiar and has been the prevailing m.o. for a long time. Over time the imprint of the old progressively weakens and the archetype of the new progressively strengthens.
We can't measure the shifting in evolutionary stage by looking at a two dimensional birth chart, as we can to chart the oncoming conjunction of Pluto and a house cusp, but the phenomena is basically the same - the old is slowly yet progressively replaced with the new. The issue is, new always feels insecure unknown and uncertain, old feels safe known familiar comfortable. Thus our tendency to stay with what we know. But it becomes like a child whose growing foot no longer fits comfortably in a favorite sneaker - its becomes too small to contain the foot, so ultimately it must be released and move forward into a new pair of shoes, shoes that need to be broken in, gotten used to, made my own so to speak. Which does gradually occur.
Also, a related question: Has any study been done on the mapping of childrens' evolutionary states with those of their parents? For example, do consensus-reality-level souls usually come as children to consensus-reality-level parents...or would it be that consensus-reality-level souls come as children to parents who are of a higher level, in order to help that child expand into a higher evolutionary stage? Or, is it an unnecessary question, as the Soul comes to whatever family can provide a chance to learn the appropriate lessons for that Soul's evolution?
the answer, I would say, is
"Or, is it an unnecessary question, as the Soul comes to whatever family can provide a chance to learn the appropriate lessons for that Soul's evolution?"
Every possible combination can occur, as necessary for the evolution of the Souls involved.
Remember, its not just the evolution of the child - the Souls of the parents have their own evolutionary intentions. When an "advanced" child is born into a consensus family, something within the Souls of those parents has also desired this situation, as it will result, at some point, in their own evolutionary advancement, even if they strongly resist it.
The work of the EA astrologer is to look at the overall dynamics of all concerned and try to discern why these experiences have been necessary for both the child and the parents.
I seem to remember however (not positive) Jeffrey saying that in the majority of cases the evolutionary stage of the parents will be close to the evolutionary stage of the children, as in the same or one stage higher or lower - 1st stage indiv and 3rd stage consensus, etc. The parents stage can be more advanced than the childs, which has its own reasons for being. Every possible combination occurs.
I also realized I should say something about a phenomena called masking or hiding - a soul that creates an outer reality in which it operates, and has itself convinced it is, at a level below its actual state of spiritual evolution. (This is often associated with the Pisces archetype - hiding.) Reasons for this can vary but quite commonly include intense traumas that have occurred in past lives relative to its actual state of spiritual awareness, it being perceived as different, outside the mainstream, challenging or threatening to the existing order. And in the present life that Soul says to itself "who needs more of that? I'm just going to act like I'm "supposed to", and convince myself that I'm not really as different as I feel I am". And it will live that way, perhaps for a really long time. Such Souls are identified when doing readings for them because on the outside they are living very conventional lives, yet the degree of depth and insight they exhibit goes well beyond the nature of the outer life, even the physical appearance - dress, manner of speaking, etc., they have adopted.