Process of Growth and Accomplishment

  1. Accomplishment is at several levels: survival, growth, development, evolution and (negatively) regression.
    • Growth is a quantitative expansion of existing capacities and accomplishments in the same plane (more of the same).
      1. Improving a skill, expanding knowledge in a field or another field at the same level, earning more through greater effort are expressions of growth.
    • Development is a qualitative enhancement of the individual capacity through increasing quality and complexity of the organization of personality.
      1. Acquiring a new or higher level skill, accepting a higher value, changing a negative into a positive attitude, acquiring a higher order knowledge or faith, responding from a higher center of one's already developed consciousness is development.
    • Evolution is an elevation of the being to a higher plane of consciousness (from physical to vital, vital to mental, mental to supramental).
  2. The process normally occurs unconsciously.
    • Conscious growth (i.e. development) can be ten times faster.
    • Unconscious development is normally the result of external pressures and the lure of external opportunities.
    • In the early stages of human progress, development is driven primarily by external physical or social factors, though the response to the stimuli is always determined by the inner preparedness and aspiration.
  3. Personal development can take place on several planes – physical, social, psychological, mental, spiritual.
    • Acquiring a physical skill is physical development.
    • Acquiring a higher, more positive behavior and attitude toward life, work or others is social development for the individual.
    • Vital development releases greater energy and leads to greater expansion and enjoyment.
    • Acquiring a higher level of mental comprehension is mental development. Greater knowledge is mental development.
    • Becoming a more serious, or more organized or more honest person are instances of psychological development.
    • Acquisition of a higher consciousness is spiritual development.
  4. Every person has a vast untapped potential for development.
  5. Personal psychological energy is the fuel for growth.
    • The energy of the personality depends on the aspiration and will for progress.
    • Awareness of opportunities for advancement releases energy.
      • e.g. the dying man is revived by the hope of building a house.
  6. Fully utilizing all ones energies, skills and capacities at the present level helps one rise to a higher level.
  7. Personal development takes place from level 9 to level 1.
  8. Mind, vital and physical can grow in their own directions unconnected from each other.
    • To integrate the growth of the parts leads to growth of the personality, rather than just the parts of the personality.
    • Development of a part of personality can lead to growth of the whole personality, e.g. acquiring a higher skill leads to general increase in self-confidence and accomplishment.
  9. Maximum growth occurs when development of the parts is in a balanced manner that achieves and maintains a harmony of the personality and when it is integrated around a central organizing principle, the psychic.
  10. The process of growth
    • Occurs only when there is an inner preparedness and readiness of the being.
    • Begins when the energies are more than sufficient for functioning at the present level and they accumulate and overflow in excess.
      • The excess can be released by a powerful pressure that breaks the inertia of the being.
      • Energy is also released by awareness of a new opportunity.
    • Physical pressure moves the individual to act.
    • The energy expresses as a new act (a thought, feeling, attitude, or action)
    • When the action alleviates pain or generates pleasure, it tends to repeat, it becomes energized.
    • Energized acts continuously repeated acquire skill.
    • When the physical act leads to some form of success or enjoyment, it gathers vital energy. It is reinforced and expands.
    • Vital skills, emotions and attitudes come to reinforce and upgrade the quality and effectiveness of the act.
    • Mental understanding augments the act and makes it more conscious.
    • The new act becomes integrated with the personality as personal values.
    • What was earlier done by a conscious effort and striving eventually becomes a natural, unconscious attribute of personality.
      • A new skill becomes a habit.
      • A new idea becomes a settled opinion.
  11. Accomplishment
    • Accomplishment can be the result of growth or development (or even of a regression , e.g. from honesty to dishonesty)
    • Accomplishment is the result. The causes of that result can be multiple.
    • The accomplishment we speak of is that which is generated by development, or at least by growth. This normally comes in multiples of previous achievement, not in increments or percentage increases.
    • Growth leads to wider accomplishment in the same plane.
    • Development leads to accomplishment in a higher or wider sphere of activity.
    • The results of our actions accrue to others due to the solidarity and continuity of life.

    Process of Personal Growth

  12. Levels of Consciousness

    The human consciousness consists of mental, vital and physical parts, each with its own unique characteristics and propensities. The physical consciousness lies completely below the level of our normal waking perception and functions independent of our conscious volition. It consists of the awareness, capacities and propensities of the physical body, physically inherited characteristics and psychological capacities, the impressions and early memories of childhood as well as the habits, skills, behaviors and attitudes that express automatically without need or regard for conscious mental intention. The primary urge of the physical consciousness is for survival, preservation, protection and comfort. It knows only what it has experienced personally and physically over an over again. It believes only in what it sees and experiences. Its natural tendency is toward inertia or only those actions necessary for its survival.

    The vital consciousness or life consciousness in us is also almost entirely subconscious and spontaneous. It is the consciousness of desire and seeking for expansion and enjoyment.

    The mental consciousness is more conscious, reflective and more self-aware. It expresses in the form of thoughts, understanding, sentiments, ideas, intentions and values.

    All three levels exist and are simultaneously active in each person, though the extent of their relative development and the preponderance of the influence they exercise on the personality differs from person to person.

    The three planes exist and function interdependently. Each of these three planes can be further subdivided into three sub-levels (physical, vital and mental), bringing the total to nine levels. This is the vertical scale of human consciousness.

    There is also a horizontal scale from deepest inner to most exterior, from subliminal to surface, from substance of the plane to consciousness of the plane. Thus, on each of the nine planes, there is a substance and a consciousness. The substance of the physical physical is the material body. The consciousness of that plane is the material consciousness of the cells of the body. The substance of the mental physical (mind in the physical) is the physical brain and nerves and its consciousness consists of the skills (knowledge) of the body and nervous system. The substance of the mental mental consists of pure ideas and its consciousness is composed of concepts.

  13. Process

    The evolution of life on earth begins in matter, from which first life and later mind emerge as higher principles and powers of consciousness, though in fact both exist in potential, involved, in material substance. The individual too progresses from physical to vital to mental levels of consciousness, each successive phase more conscious than the previous.

    The evolution begins with progress in the physical plane of consciousness from level 9 to level 7. Level 9 is the physical physical, the consciousness of the material body. In this plane, knowledge expresses completely as unconscious instinct of the bodily functions and the animal instincts for survival in an indifferent or hostile environment. The pressure of internal biological needs (hunger, thirst, sleep) and external threats force the individual to energize himself for self-preservation and self-defense. The impact of painful and pleasurable sensations acts as a stimulus to awaken and stir the consciousness and press it into action.

    As the consciousness progresses under this pressure and stimulus to level 8, the physical consciousness becomes energized by that which is pleasurable and painful. It learns to avoid the unpleasant and actively seek the comfortable and pleasant. Its actions become embued with the vital intensity of these sensations. The vital principle gives rise to social impulses and relationships between people, such as the institution of marriage which sublimates the physical sex impulse into a social relationship. Human relationships at this level are primarily determined by the bonds of heredity and family.

    In level 7, the mental principle emerges in the physical consciousness. Experience gives rise to the acquisition of knowledge in the body, which we call skills. The mind's capacity for organization leads to the organization of physical activities, such as the shift from nomadic hunting to sedentary agriculture.

    The movement from level 7 to level 6 is a major transition. The needs of the physical consciousness gradually become subordinated to the needs and urges of the vital consciousness. The vital seeks not only survival, self-preservation and comfort, but also action, relationship, expansion, adventure, conquest and enjoyment. These needs express primarily in the field of social life in the relationships between people -- the urge to dominate or submit, to belong to and be accepted by others, to enjoy and control one's environment.

    In level 9 the individual struggles for survival. In level 8 he experiences attraction and repulsion. In level 7 he acquires practical knowledge and skills to improve his chances for survival and ease the burden of existence. The acquisition of this knowledge and the organization of life enables people to reduce the expenditure of energy on mere survival. This excess pushes for fields of expression, looks for something more. In level 6, the life consciousness becomes more alert and dynamic and seeks a greater intensity of enjoyment. The skills of level 7 become energized by the urge for acquisition and expansion. The individual becomes enterprising.

    In level 5 the increasing vital energy expresses as an emotional consciousness. The attractions and repulsion of feeling, rather than the attractions and repulsion of physical sensation, become dominant. The individual is powerful drawn to express and find satisfaction for these emotions in human relationship and achievement.

    The forging of intense emotional relationships is always unstable and insecure as long as both parties are on an equal footing. The strong emotional ego seeks greater intensity and security by attaining a higher level of control and domination over others. The weaker ego seeks the security of obeying a strong leader. In level 4 the mental element emerges strongly in the vital consciousness and gives a higher direction and organization to the expression of the vital energies. The entrepreneur and leader emerge. In this plane mind is fully at the service of life goals, not free to seek after its own ends.

    The transition from level 4 to level 3 is a movement from a consciousness in which feelings and emotions dominate to one in which the mind increasingly governs and directs life and action. Level 3 is the plane of the physical mind. Mind here is fully absorbed with the external world, with seeking after material goals and understanding physical phenomena. The mental principle develops the capacity for systematic planning leading to organized action.

    The true seeking and accomplishment for Mind is comprehension, not merely survival or conquest. Mind wants to understand. In level 3, the quest for understanding focuses on the mastery of physical and natural processes. The mind's excess energy expresses as a thirst for more and more information and understanding.

    Mind's quest for comprehension is as insatiable as the vital's thirst for enjoyment. As it masters the physical world, it turns increasingly to the complex richness and subtlety of the human relationships and emotions, giving rise to poetry, art and music in level 2, where the emotions lend to mind a richness and intensity that thought alone lacks.

    At a higher level, the mental consciousness seeks for a pure knowledge that is not diluted either by the practical utility of level 3 or the emotional subjectivity of level 2. That quest for pure knowledge gives birth to the ideas and concepts of level 1. Here mental man living in the material animal body reflects self-consciously on the mystery of the universe and the meaning of his own place in creation.

    This movement from level 9 to 1 describes the emergence of an increasingly powerful, awakened and conscious energy in man giving rise to an increasing capacity for self-preservation, enjoyment and comprehension. However, the ascending movement is only one side of the process. At each stage of ascent, there is also a corresponding descent of the newly emerging principle of consciousness to change the character of life at the previous level. The skills of level 7 are expressed to support the survival instinct of level 8. The emotional strength of level 4 is applied to the activities of level 5 and 6. The knowledge of level 3 is used to aggrandize life and master the physical environment.