The eighteen stages are stages in a cycle. Each cycle consists of the beginning of a project, the successful accomplishment of this project and then its eventual decline and final breakdown. It describes the rise, the success and the fall of any undertaking, project, business or kingdom.
The stages could be seen as separate moments fixed in time in this overall process. They describe the continuingprocess as if it consisted of different steps that can be lifted out separately.
The stages are the same for each series, so they can be applied to all of them. We just need to bear in mind that the first few series have fewer stages, it is as if they have skipped a few. Further down the line we get progressively more stages, as if there is more differentiation between each stage of development in the later series. For further information on this I would like to refer to the chapter ‘Further comments on the stages’.
I have given each stage a number instead of a name. It is easier to work with numbers than to remember 18 different names in the right sequence. Later on I added some names to describe the main characteristics of that stage.