Stages vs Cycles

This is a brief note to mention the difference between processes, stages, progress, and cycles. It is a question in many of our minds if some process is a stage in a progression or a stage in a circular cycle. If we gain something through hard work, have we progressed, or are we going to wind up back where we started? We all know that life is a series of stages, but, again, do we wind up where we started, or is there something to hold on to at the end? And so on ...

Or is it a spiral process where we advance but also double back on where we've been (as Jung discussed at some point in his writing)?