Spiritual development is an individual and personal phenomenon. It is the goal of human life on Earth. We are here to grow, and it happens in several ways, along with spiritual maturation.
Adapting to the environment by adjusting your behavior so it does match the situation and brings more comfort.
This is the type of evolution that happens on an unconscious level and only sometimes gives up good results. In this case, there is a situation in which a person (usually a child) adapts to the environment of his life. It should be said, however, that not every such adaptation is healthy. Why isn’t it?
Let us imagine for a moment that there is a boy who grew up in a home where his mother had shown dominant tendencies. She didn’t recognize any opinion other than her own, believing that she knew best. At the same time, a father didn’t have a strong personality and was submitting to this woman as well. Such a boy, trying to imitate his father and adjusting to the mother's system of behavior, began to adopt a submissive way of being. He started to give more than was asked to save himself the trouble. He didn’t express his opinion after many times in which he has been ignored. Besides, he always had succumbed to the dominant mother, even when he disagreed with her - even when he thought otherwise. He ceased to express his own opinion. Over the years, he had been repeating those patterns until he left home one day. While such adaptations helped him at home to avoid unnecessary quarrels and attacks from his mother and gave him a sense of growing up in line with his father's model, he now had a submissive subconscious. Now he attracts dominant women (like his father). He still feels internal discomfort, still does not fully feel himself and continues to follow the learned path in which he is told what to do. Such a pattern, although it used to be useful, is starting to limit such a person a lot. Let us note that this type of adaptation to unfavorable domestic situations is an example of creating considerable difficulties in the personality that will have to be overcome in adulthood. Such a man will give too much, have trouble expressing himself and will say "yes" when he feels "no". Is unconscious adaptation to the environment a good choice? If you have no other, then yes, but if you are an adult who has the full right to decide about your own fate, this option fares the worst in comparison to others. I will only add that in the example, it might as well be a girl with a submissive mother and an excessively dominant father, and the situation would be similar for her - she would attract men who would have a sense of control over her.
Extracting new information from life experience (trial and error methods).
This option is a bit more conscious than the previous one, as the individual begins to see that every life situation can teach him something. Will every conclusion be truth? No, because sometimes a person may perceive something in a situation that is not ultimately conscious. In this case, the unconscious still contributes more than the consciousness.
Now imagine that the boy in the previous example has grown up and is looking for a girl. He attracts girls who resemble his mother - they are dominant and leave no room for his own expression. Even if they did, he was used to not expressing his opinion and succumbing to it. As his psyche and consciousness mature, he begins to experience difficulties well known to him from home. He begins to think that he must be unlucky with the girls, that he constantly attracts dominant girls who don't respect his opinion. Is it true? Yes. Is it conscious truth (wisdom)? Not. Why? Because it is his own tendencies, which he is not aware of, they fit perfectly with girls who have similar traits to his mother (from childhood). In a home-like environment, it is easier to feel comfortable because in such an environment we already know how to move around. Let us add that the young man begins to test various theses. He finds his horoscope in the newspaper and reads that he has a misfortune in love today. A friend tells him that each of us is different and maybe he is just like that, and he just has to come to terms with it. Another friend suggests that these girls may be to blame, and that the boy is innocent. The boy tries to come to terms with it all, but the longer he stays in it, the more he is fed up with playing such a role in the spectacle of his own life. This is not awareness. Something is still missing here. This is the stage in which different theses should be formulated, tested in reality and verified whether they are true. The problem is that some of these theses will be true, but they won't bring us comfort or expand our consciousness. Consciousness is expanded only when the discovered truths have brought release from situations that were again and again repeated in our lives. Only then comes peace of mind, a return to control over your own fate and the awareness of why it was not there before. In the next point, we finally reach the place of expanding consciousness.
Transforming ignorance into wisdom by gaining understanding.
In this case, man already distinguishes between ignorance and wisdom. He knows that only by gaining a true understanding of the situation can he free himself from the repeated karmic cycle. Understanding frees us, and freedom brings peace of mind and strengthens self-confidence - in the end, we managed to solve the mystery that trapped us in the negative cycle. Until then, we were taking as much of life as our karma allowed, and not as much as we wanted. We did not understand how to lead to greater personal freedom. At this stage, one understands that the key to achieving freedom is gaining more and more understanding of oneself and of life. This is the time when a person begins to be interested in psychology, spirituality, oneself, observation of the body and mind. This is a key moment for awakening consciousness. This is the time when we feel that we can do anything, but we need to find out HOW first, because what we think has never been true, but only a misconception or a dream of ignorance. The mind is a place for forging theses, creating beliefs and views, but there is only one Universal Truth, consistent with the Reality - and only this Truth, when discovered, expands our consciousness and frees our limitations. We will know that we have found it when we feel its soothing and releasing power.
Going back to the boy example, imagine that he is already at the stage above. He sees that it is not the fault of the girls or women he attracted, but his own tendencies. He is now expanding his knowledge on this subject in order to properly plan the next step. He discovers that this may actually have been an adaptation to childhood home situations. He discovers that his pattern of submission matches the patterns in which he occurs in relationships. He calls this pattern submissive, non-expressive, self-withdrawal, and begins to look for more on these topics. He's starting to work on healing these patterns. He has already found the reason and is starting to make changes in practice. They are not comfortable. Some women disappear from his life as a result of this transformation - their behavior patterns no longer fit the new pattern. Perhaps the friend who has always dominated this relationship cannot come to terms with the fact that now there is no room for such behavior; that from now on he must take into account his friend and his opinions that he did not express before. This can be difficult for these people, and let's not be surprised at all! Perhaps his third girlfriend, with whom he is currently in a relationship, is so open to personal development that she discovers that she has a matching, equally extreme pattern - the pattern of domination over another human being. In this way, they both work on it and gain insight, understanding, and evolve together as a relationship. Is it always like that? No. Not every relationship will survive this stage, because each of us decides whether we want to change and when we will. Most people still choose the convenience of a routine life, which makes it not always easy to convince someone to change.
Discovering yourself in the mirror of reality (observation) and transforming your interior (inner work).
This is a mature stage of working on yourself. Such a person already knows that everything that attracts in life is the result of his own energy. He knows that in order to change something in his life, he needs to change something inside himself. He begins to explore various tools to accelerate spiritual development. He begins to analyze what death, dreams, life, awareness are and who he is on a deeper level. He makes conscious decisions - he chooses places and people in accordance with his current awareness. He develops awareness through internal work and cooperation with other people. He is looking for ways to accelerate his development and achieve even greater personal freedom. For such a person, spiritual development is more important to staying in the comfort zone because he knows that there is great potential in him, regardless of gender, weight, age, race and all other factors. He is unique and it's time to make his dreams come true.
How can he accelerate his development and make his dreams come true?
We’ll talk about this in the next article!