Why GROWING UP might be more important than any other global issue
I am going on a limb here so I would love your perspective on this Blog.
Our Culture is immature.... Just look at the news, and the top 100 Google search.
I don't want to sound like an old man, pointing fingers at the younger generation, because this topic has nothing to do with your biological age....
The kind of maturation I am writing about has also nothing to do with where you came from, if you are formally educated or not (although it may help) or what color of skin you where born with.
Just before we begin, a few words of warning—
1. To be clear— What I am pointing here is NOT a “Bad, better, best” scale of maturation, but one of simply growing up.
2. I am relating this Blog to culture I live in. I don't think for a moment that what I write about has any relevance for people who are currently starving, in a war zone, homeless or in any other life threatening station.
3. We have seen how so many ‘mature’ cultures of the past thought it was a good idea to enslave, indoctrinate, and kill ‘immature’ or ‘bad/evil’ others. So, this topic is already loaded with the horror and trauma of the past. However, if you follow the logic of my Blog, you will see that I am pointing at a radically different process of growth and maturation. And if not, please do me a favour and write your concerns and feedback in the comments below so I can make myself clearer.
Okay, what does healthy maturation look like?
Growing up is the human capacity to hold (more and more) diversity of opinions and perspectives. It is the 'collective pool' of discovered creativity and social-cultural solutions. The deep democracy of the soul, which is the ability to hold multiplicity and diversity within ourselves (and between us and others!).
On an individual level, growing up includes at least five aspects of the psyche:
1. Greater depth of subjectivity;
2. Expansion of creativity;
3. Somatic integration;
4. Transformation (personal unity as soul);
5. Psychological development;
Each one of these five aspects should have its own Blog because I think that most systems of development miss (at least) one or more of these aspects. All five emerge through intra-subjective inner work, contemplative practices, peer support (or group therapy), art-based inquiry, psychotherapy, solitude in natural environments, and many other forms of soul inquiry and psycho-cultural interventions.
Growing up like a rain forest
Think about the process of growing up as a rain forest: Greater species diversity ensures natural sustainability for all life forms and healthy ecosystems can better withstand and recover from a variety of disasters.
So it is with our psyche. When it comes to our inner work, growing up is a key factor in our collective and personal psychic strength. Without diversity, consciousness is weak and it is more easily threatened or manipulated. Without diversity, consciousness is narrow, thus affecting our wellbeing and vitality.
Let’s take corn as an example. There are dozen varieties of corn with a multitude of diverse colors, tastes, adaptability to different climates (not to mention the aspect of beauty). Although corn is one family of grain, its diversity allows it to flourish. Once we created a “terminator seed”, we risk more (and more) pesticide control and we lose the natural ability to adapt and evolve. The same can be said about the mind: If we say that the ways we understand the world should only be one way, we loose adaptability, perspective, and beauty. Some forms of political or social ideologies (like with the big seed companies), wish to create dependency on their diagnosis of reality. In this hierarchical model, the farmer on the one hand and the citizen on the other hand, become dependent and ‘enslaved’ to the system in order to receive 'the right solution'/seeds....
We should be wary of the voice that speaks of ‘efficiency’ or ‘an easy method of fixing problems’ because these ‘improvements’ can become “killer seeds” to the mind. They can jeopardize inner abundance... Because of this, (pushing away other ways of knowing, other ways of understanding), we are truly creating a mono-psyche. This is happening in our minds as it is happening in the world (the loss of bio-diversity). Creativity and human imagination is the force that gives rise to psychocultural diversity. It is the dynamic energy that is unbound by the literal.
Why maturation is more important than any other global issue
The fact is that western man is in danger of losing sight of his shadow altogether, of identifying himself with his fictive personality and of identifying the world with the abstract picture painted by scientific rationalism (Jung, 2002,. 59).
What we see today is mostly a romantic version of cultural and personal maturation—we feel but then forget. We experience a 'growth peak' and crash back into the mundane grounds of daily existence. The lack of cultural maturation due to imposed (and mostly unaware) values reflects the diminishing balance of the ecosystem. If we assume that the human psyche is an integral part of nature, it is critical that the individuation process involves healing the modern split between inner and outer, consciousness and unconsciousness, self and other, so that we can produce a soul-centric outlook on life.
To this point— the biggest issue humanity is facing is not Global warming, political instability, poverty or any other crisis. All these issues are so very important but will not be resolved without us tackling the core issue— Human maturation (i.e— Growing up).
The same way good intentions are not enough to protect people from tropical storms and hurricanes, our well-intended interventions cannot manage the dramatic global impact on communities and nations. The lack of social maturation have led many to feelings of powerlessness, isolation, and deprivation from cultural and spiritual meaning.
If we would invest the same amount of money into projects that will help people grow up and wake up, we would not need to put as much money into global warming awareness, anti-racism programs and other social and cultural ills. They would become a non issue because as people mature, racism, bigotry or any other fear-based-logic or behaviour will naturally decline—
Mature humans (As a process, not a goal to be achieved) see the falsehood in believing that one (politician, Guru, God, you name it) can save them, fix them or make anything “great again”. Nothing was that great (really, it kind of sucked for most people).
Mature people do not enslave, indoctrinate, control or kill others in the name of a God/ideology/you name it, nor do they try to convince you that their God/version of reality is the ultimate truth.
Mature people see the futility in any arms race, and hold lightly (but respectfully) their nationality, political opinion, and sense of identity.
Mature humans don’t take themselves or their ideas too seriously because they understand the fluidity of reality. They get context.
Mature humans don’t project their shadow onto the world and thus do their best to take responsibility for their shadow by doing inner work.
Each unique expression of our life is a whole world waiting to be known, asking to be understood in a distinct way, and every moment can be experienced as a treasure that is pregnant with the possibility of discovering greater depth in, as, and through the wonderful complexity of the mind and the natural world. The more one learns to unravel these constellations of the soul, the more self-knowledge, maturation and intimacy can thrive.
When embodied through committed practice, growing up can help to establish a healthier relationship with both self and others (the ‘other’ here includes the natural world), and a (re)integration with what remains unexpressed and yet painfully disturbing to the self—i.e., the shadow of the personal and collective unconscious [mind]—the shadow that may lead to maladaptive behaviours and other deflective strategies.