Great news! We can actually make ourselves better! It’s true, you can be better than you are now. Better in what way? By evolving your level of consciousness. That seems vague, so I’ll unpack it.
There have been discoveries in developmental psychology that have revealed actual stages of consciousness that all humans evolve through starting the day we are born. Depending on which model you look at, there are roughly eight to ten stages available to all of us. Some people evolve further than others during their lifetime. Each stage is more complete than the previous one, therefore each new stage is better than the last. What I’m presenting here is a very basic overview. There are several excellent sources that delve deeply, I’ll mention one below.
A simple example would be to consider a three-stage model: egocentric, ethnocentric, and worldcentric. Imagine a newborn. They are totally submersed in their environment. They don’t know that everyone else is separate from themselves, they don’t know that we all have independent thoughts, wants, and needs. A baby is completely concerned with its own wellbeing. This can be considered an “egocentric” stage. Me, me, me! I’m hungry, I’m wet, I’m tired! Me, me, me, me, ME! Then when that child is a little older, she will realize that we are all individuals. She will begin to empathize with others and start to care about her family’s feelings and wellbeing. That’s more of an “ethnocentric” identity. At that stage our primary concern branches out to include our family, group, or tribe. It can be an identification with a religious group, an ethnic group, or one’s country. Then further down the road of life, some people, (but not everyone) will evolve to a “worldcentric” point of view where the individual cares about everyone in the world regardless of whether or not they are in the same family, tribe, nation, etc. These three basic stages, egocentric, ethnocentric, and worldcentric illustrate pretty well how this works. The model I’m describing here is known as Spiral Dynamics, and it is part of the foundation of an amazing concept called Integral Theory.
It’s also worth mentioning that our cultural groups, tribes, and nations likewise evolve through the same stages, as a group, more or less together. The level of consciousness of the majority of members of a group generally dictates the level of that society, nation, etc. Detailed examples are beyond the scope of this article, but for instance, we can recognize that a democracy is more advanced than a dictatorship.
This fascinating subject goes further in depth to include the fact that certain aspects of our being can evolve through these levels separately as well. It can be that you are a level three in ethics, but your interpersonal relationships are still at level two. For a righteously in-depth look at Spiral Dynamics, which in-turn leads into Integral Theory, check out the book A Theory Of Everything, by Ken Wilber, (Click Here to See or Buy the Book). Ken Wilber has been called, “our greatest living philosopher.” I’ve ready many of his books, and can say that his work is life-changing.
The reason I’m telling you all of this is that the goal of humanity should be to get as many people as possible to evolve through the highest stages possible so that we can live in a more peaceful and just society. Our human potential is just now being tapped, this is truly an exciting time to be alive! Most importantly I have to point out that a daily meditation practice will get you moving through the stages faster and further. So work on yourself. Improve yourself. Study. Meditate. Exercise. Because when you experience the world through the lens of higher consciousness, you become kinder and happier, and people notice. It rubs off on them. They want to know how they can be happier. They see that it is possible to live a richer life. Then as the individuals go, so do the nations and then the world.
“Yesterday I was clever,
so I wanted to change the world.
Today I am wise,
so I am changing myself.”
Please use the comment section to ask questions or to let me know of any related subjects you’d like to see covered here.
Thank you so much for reading this.