Homo sapiens are a unique presence on this unique planet. In the only planet that supports life, human beings are the only species that has been able to evolve over millennia. From originating as hominids within the Australopithecus species, we gradually evolved into complex, thinking, powerful organisms.
Our origins, the history of our ancestors and finding the ancestry of nations has been not only been academic areas of study, but are also the basis of arguments for ultra-nationalist, right-wing politicians.
A human being constructs his or her identity based on lineage, community, religion, linguistic affiliation and of course gender. These axis points more or less define an individual. Formal education rarely broadens perspectives enough to include inquisitiveness about humanity’s origins or explorations of space and other scientific phenomena.
Education has only served to perpetuate the divisions of class and religion rather than widen the arc of knowledge. Even as rational thought and religious traditions continue to fight for supremacy, it would benefit the entire race if the emphasis is shifted to improving one’s own self.
It is, of course, essential to know about one’s history, but true evolution would begin when each individual is encouraged to uncover the immense potential in his or her own self.
Each human being has limitless potential at his/her disposal. However, only a miniscule percent of the total populace ever use their advantages for self-improvement or for improvement of the society or species as a whole.
Education ideally should encourage enlightenment, thus aiding in the evolution of a personality. Seeking knowledge and Truth for its own sake, instead of earning degrees to get jobs should be the focus of education. As technology takes over the world, particularly with the advent of computers, speed and ease have become the primary focus of mankind as a whole.
One wants to travel faster, communicate faster and learn faster. In the quest for speed and ease, we may be ignoring the development of the mind. The mysteries of the mind have still not been explored fully. The potential of the brain still remains unmapped.
It would be worthwhile to pause in the mad race and focus on developing one’s mind-brain complex. And why should one do so? Every living organism that is born will die anyway. That happens to be the fundamental truth all living creatures. Instead of spending time trying to evade an inevitable event, one would be better off trying to make the time spent on the planet more fruitful.
That is not to attain eternal life or gain entry into theoretical possibilities, like heaven, but to enjoy the fullness of life itself and also to savour the journey of evolution. Experiences add substance to an individual’s journey. It is therefore important to let go of inhibitions and immerse oneself in real experiences. It is important to take chances, discover new strengths within oneself and new possibilities in the world around. Read as much as possible but do not limit the mind to books. There is always something more interesting or more important waiting to be discovered.
The purpose of life is often restricted to something as crass as money and wealth. Accumulating wealth is like akin to a child trying to collect toys without playing with any of them. Money or material riches provide momentary pleasure for the owner which is in fact pleasure only for the physical self. Happiness received from money is fleeting and never satisfying. For true contentment, happiness and ecstasy begins from the mind-brain complex, that demands far greater stimuli than mere good food or clothes.
Evolving, changing, transforming – it brings about empowerment and a great deal of satisfaction. Being motivated by a desire to grow emotionally and intellectually is what brings about enlightenment.
While many may argue that being weighed down by life’s burdens, they would never find the time to move beyond superficial growth, that is only an excuse. Broadening one’s perspectives, improving one’s outlook and understanding fellow-beings are not constrained by the limits of time, but rather due to lack of motivation and willingness.
Becoming a different person does not mean forgetting the links to one’s lineage or community. It means letting go of raw edges and polishing one’s innate originality and creativity. It means using both sides of one’s brain and employing all types of intelligences.
Life must be filtered of toxic influences in order to become a well-rounded human. Getting rid of toxicity is easier said than done. However, once a person is insulated from negativity, he/she is free to soar, both professionally as well as personally. That is what defines true development and makes the journey meaningful.