You have to crawl before you can walk.
A child cannot do the things of an adult.
You can progress beyond who you are, but you have to be who you are now.
Growth is the turning of potentials into actuals.
No one grows in a vacuum.
The worst potential competition for any organism can come from its own kind. The species consumes necessities. Growth is limited by that necessity which is present in the least amount. The least favorable condition controls the rate of growth. (The Law of the Minimum) — Frank Herbert (1920-1986) Heretics of Dune
But man is not saved or ennobled by pressure. Spirit growth springs from within the evolving soul. Pressure may deform the personality, but it never stimulates growth. Even educational pressure is only negatively helpful in that it may aid in the prevention of disastrous experiences. Spiritual growth is greatest where all external pressures are at a minimum. “Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” Man develops best when the pressures of home, community, church, and state are least. — The Urantia Book (103:5.11)
Sometimes a Dynamic increment goes forward but can find no latching mechanism and so fails and slips back to a previously latched position. Whole species and cultures get lost this way. Sometimes a static pattern becomes so powerful it prohibits any Dynamic from moving forward. In both cases the evolutionary process is halted for a while. But when it’s not halted, the result has been an increase in power to control hostile forces or an increase in versatility, or both. The increase in versatility is directed toward Dynamic Quality. The increase in power to control hostile forces is directed toward static quality. Without Dynamic Quality the organism cannot grow. Without static quality the organism cannot last. Both are needed.
— Robert Pirsig (1928-2017) Lila
• People advanced enough to be living ideas beyond their generation are often judged to be both saints and freaks. Either case is considered a threat to the status quo. One value of the status quo is to (somewhat) protect us from the pain of change. There is almost always pain in growth. The trick is to grow at a natural rate. When growth is forced, growth is painful. Growth along with playfulness and humor is easier to take.
• If one is more prepared by one’s attitude, upbringing, and (perhaps) genetics to accept certain types of change; then, when those changes do occur, they will have something of a blueprint, a map, or at least a path to move away from his or her current state of existence. In that new state of existence, the difficulty has been understood and incorporated – it is a natural outcome of the change.
• If you are continually growing, you are a dynamic entity. If you are constantly static, you eventually become a stagnant entity. Where there is no growth there is no life. Life by its very definition has to have motion. And in a spiritual sense that motion is the acquisition and attainment of positive qualities.
• There must be something to grow into and grow against. In order to be courageous, one must have a situation where bravery is required. In order to be altruistic, one must have a situation where giving is necessary. In order to have poise, one must experience or witness rudeness and decide to be respectful.
• Some qualities are supportive. If discretion is the better part of valor, then patience is part of courage. Knowing when and if to fight, and when to hold back are both needed. Knowledge of a situation are important to courage. You wouldn’t know when to hold back or to move forward unless you had the understanding upon which to base your decision.
• Stable growth means having a ratchet mechanism. A ratchet holds something in a stationary position while energy is placed on the system to move to the next step. As you grow you need to retain the appropriate stability on the lesserlevel as you expand into the greater.
• Everyone has heard of the threshold of pain, but there are lots of different thresholds: conflict, failure, success, stress, confusion, security, boredom, filth. . . .
Some people might fail once or twice and decide that’s enough; other people can get kicked around all their lives and consider it normal and move ahead anyway – two different thresholds. If you are doing what you love, these failures are seen in a progressive light.
Notice what your thresholds are. In order to grow, you will need to push your boundaries. Your thresholds are a very good measure of those boundaries.
• There is often conflict in growth. There are two keys to solving this problem:
◦ Conflict is usually a part of growth. Resign yourself to that fact.
• All types of growth don’t necessitate adversity, but all types of growth necessitate a change from one state of stability through a state of flux to another state of stability. The level of difficulty is personal. One person’s difficult way is another person’s smooth highway.
The ideal is to grow both externally and internally within your chosen range – and at just the appropriate level of difficulty. The pace should take a wavelike pattern with valleys of less difficulty, allowing for rest and assimilation, and peaks of greater difficulty stretching your ability.
◦ Sharing your qualities
◦ Enjoyment of your choice
Admonition: The most potent poisons that kill or retard growth are prejudice and ignorance. Take stock of your beliefs and belief systems. Is there a conflict between your highest ideals and your structured beliefs? If your belief system says to love your enemy but you are afraid of someone because of his or her skin color, then there is a lack of harmony between what you believe and what you want to believe. Develop the courage to choose, and act on, the best you know.
Essay: What is the ultimate reason for learning? To grow, to become, to unfold. But to what end and for what purpose? It is your choice. Your choices are most efficient if they are directed toward your personal concepts of what you consider to be the highest, noblest, or most “real” ideas and ideals. Focus on any of the levels: physical, emotional, intellectual, or spiritual.
Learning is associated with information and knowledge. Growth is associated with movement from one state of being to another. One can learn without growing, but one cannot grow without learning because growth must be accompanied by the infusion of something of value. A machine can learn, but it cannot feel or acquire a higher value.
Sooner or later, all those who ask the ultimate questions will realize at least some of the answers have to do with continuous growth.
All along the way, your currently held system of belief (purposive principals) will be focusing the mind. It does not matter what the belief system is. Your guiding system is what you experience to be of value. You could be an agnostic or a religionist. You could believe when you die you will disappear or continue to live and grow. We will find out soon enough. But only with growth will you expand to encompass your ever greater potential. Adjust your course per your highest values, and you will grow to be your best.
Colors: green, redorange
Symbols: 1) the stag; 2) the tree; 3) a field of grain; 4) growing vegetation