The world is currently in the biggest age of change since the industrial revolution. More data has been created than in the rest of human history. From the beginning of time until 2003, we gathered 5 Exabytes of data; that is equivalent to 5 billion Giga Bytes of data. In 2010, we gathered 5 Exabytes of data every two days. In 2013, we captured 5 Exabytes of data every 10 minutes.The world is functioning at such a pace that even milliseconds are crucial. People are getting busier, education is becoming more competitive and pundits preach the virtues of all these changes. Are we headed in the right direction?
The massive improvements in the outside world have brought a whole host of distractions and problems simply too big to ignore. More and more people feel less fulfilled and mental health issues such as stress and depression are at an all time high especially in developed countries. Youth are the most affected group. 1 in 5 youth in developed countries have experienced mental illness. What is scarier is that it is estimated about less than half of the people afflicted with mental illness report it; which means the actual percentage of people with mental illness is twice as high as the accepted stats. You would think that the ones most affected are the unexceptional kids. A portion of them is affected but it is mainly the overachievers, kids who study for hours on end and achieve the best marks, who are affected. The reason why is simple. The human organism can be viewed as 3 rungs on a ladder- instinct, intellect and intuition or intelligence.
Instinct is the body and all its needs. Intellect is your mind with all its knowledge and intuition or intelligence is the soul and its wisdom. All three need to be in balance or disorders will arise. Theoverindulgence in the pleasures of the body or too much involvement in the mind will create disorder. Intelligence however is a completely different thing. It is above your body and your mind. It is divine intelligence. Living at this rung will not create disorder like the lower rungs but will instead create deep harmony. This is the innate nature of a human being and is his ideal state.
Man is born as a seed of possibility with a direction to grow. A person may possess the urge and the talent to become an artist or an athlete or an academic. However the current world focuses on transforming individuals into cogs in the clockwork of society where everything must be of a similar mold. People are told since childhood to reach to the stars and become like the great CEO or other high achievers. They are never told that they are enough as they are, that their existence has already contributed so much beauty to this earth. People go on chasing dreams but it may not be the dream that nature intended. It may have been the dream of their parents for the son to become a great CEO but the child may have wanted to become an artist. Their seed of potential was that of an artist. They may achieve great success as a CEO and become ideals themselves, but their being never flowers. There is tremendous growth on the horizontal bottom line of recognition and money but no growth in the vertical line of realizing oneself.
The solution is to tell people that they are enough as they are and allow them to go down their own path. The path of an athlete or an artist is not as safe as that of accepted fields, so parents fear that their kids will not be able to provide for themselves. Their fear is good because it comes from love but that fear is suffocating the child’s inner urges. The best way to deal with it is to let the child go and trust that his heart will take him in the right direction or create safer paths. If a child wants to climb a tree, rather than preventing him and denying him something significant, give him proper equipment and teach him tree-climbing techniques so he will be safe. He will still experience the joy of climbing a tree and parental fear is reassured. If a child want to be an artist, rather than hiding the brushes start him on graphic design, which is based in the “safe” field of IT. This will satisfy your fears as well as satisfy the child’s inner urge to be an artist. It is the duty of parents to foster their kids’ development in all areas including their being and they must provide every opportunity for their kids being to flower.
All three rungs are necessary for living. However they need to be compartmentalized and only served when necessary. They must not interfere with each other. Our current world is a completely different case. Magazines preach extremes of diet or sexuality is glorified or demonized which either suffocates or overindulges instinct. At the same time, parents go on forcing kids down a path of empty instinct. This violation and over involvement of instinct and intellect causes them to be at odds with each other preventing intelligence from manifesting itself in the chaos. Instinct is either glorified or repressed to an extreme and intellect is given too much attention. The real way to success is intuition. This can only be cultivated through the understanding of the conflict of the three levels of human existence. Often intellect is so overemphasized that intuition and its callings are ignored which creates deep emptiness within a person. This is the reason why so many people feel unfulfilled. Their whole lives have been in service of some diploma or job.
Kids are made to study because parents have been told that the best and only way to succeed is to get a degree from prestigious universities such as Harvard and in pursuit of this, parents force their kids down a grind of rote learning. Kids are told to devote countless hours to memorization in hopes of getting into the best university possible. Universities look at standardized tests and things based on rote learning so parents focus on these skills. However, this is not the way that success is made and will definitely lead to depression and other ailments of the human mind.
Rote learners have to be heavily programmed in order to beat their compatriots and get the prize of a university admission or the highest standardized test scores. Rote learners rely on intellect and push it to the limit in order to get the desired result. They are the people who overemphasize intellect and they are the ones who experience depression. Their intuition is suffocated underneath all the intellectual garbage. Their intuition may want them to become a poet or an artist but parents keep on forcing kids down the singular path of study.
Parents think that getting a degree and getting some job in an IT company or some other commonly accepted field is success. However, it is quite often the case that youth do not want to go down these fields. If a child wants to paint, then let him paint. Computers can be done by other people. A rose flower is not superior to a lily because he is a rose. A lily is not inferior because she is not a rose. Just like flowers, people are incomparable. What matters is that both realize and flower unto their being.
There are two avenues of growth. The horizontal and the vertical. Horizontal growth is growth in theoutside world. This includes things such as recognition, wealth and influence. This is the path that society has always urged. Vertical growth is the less accepted path of growth in the realization of ones being. This is the growth that occurs when the call of your intuition possesses you in a creative dance. This is growth in one’s own being. Growth here only occurs if intuition is obeyed. This growth is tremendously more valuable than growth down the horizontal plane even though the horizontal plane brings fame and fortune. Very few people in this world are functioning out of intuition and growing while still achieving fame and fortune.
Most “successful” people today have experienced little to no growth on the vertical plane. Every action of man on the vertical plane is creative and is tremendously more valuable to existence but may not be as valuable to society. However, fulfillment is true success and that only comes through creativity. Creativity is not the result of ideas because ideas are from the outside world. Creativity is the very way in which a person lives. Every action of Buddha is tremendously more creative than that of a man with great ideas. Buddha has a grace to his actions while idea people just have ideas and their executions. Buddha paints in the inner world while Idea men paint in the outer world. One is subtle while the other is gross. A Buddha contributes far more to the beauty of existence than any idea ever will. An unknown street sweeper who sweeps streets with the grace of a Buddha has contributed far more than any innovation ever will.
There is a reason why we hear so many stories of the uneducated person succeeding. There have been numerous stories of people such as Henry Ford and Edison who have scarcely seen the inside of a high school achieving massive success beyond all odds. School is society’s method of glorifying intellect. As a child goes farther down the system, he becomes more intellectual and less intelligent. It is very rare that someone escapes and when he does it is a tremendous thing. Uneducated people got out before they could be indoctrinated. Society failed to indoctrinate them because they got out before that could happen. However their intellect in this case is grossly underdeveloped and made them rely on their ability to handle people. They did not have the technical knowledge to shoulder more of the responsibility and this is also a terrible thing. Intellect is important but schools emphasize it to the point where intelligence is suffocated. However getting rid of the study of intellect is not the solution. There must be a balance. Intellect must be used when it is needed. The trouble comes when it becomes the master.
Societies programming overemphasizes parts of your being and only focuses on horizontal growth which leads to stress and other problems. Balance must be achieved and the only way to do this is to give people freedom to follow their heart and intuition. We should give every opportunity for people to realize their being. Even if the child ends up unrecognized, he will be fulfilled and existence will thank you far more than if you had produced a big shot. No path is truly safe, but the child will never forgive you if you limit him. He will end up like the Nobel Prize winning physician who cried every time he saw a dancer because that is what he always wanted to become. We must radically change our culture to become one where a child can flower unto his own being without fear of having enough food to eat. We must stop glorifying the intellect so much and give more attention to the development of being.
A person’s intuition ultimately knows what he or she is destined to become and it is our duty as human beings to give it every opportunity to go down its intended path rather than going down a road built for external success and regretting it later. People should be accepted for what they are and given every opportunity to flower unto their being. We must usher in a new age of inner growth along with the current age of external growth. Right now, there is only an external revolution but no inner revolution.
Overemphasis on the external, as is happening right now, will lead to further worsening of the human condition. The dark ages happened when people decided to forgo external growth for religion. Almost no external growth happened here because of the overemphasis on the internal world. We are currently heading towards such an eventuality except the external is being glorified. There are already telling signs in the amount of depression and lack of fulfillment people are feeling. Not everyone can be the big shot billionaire or the rock star CEO, but everyone can flower unto their being because that only requires the equipment that all people are born with. It only requires their seed of potential and a willingness to let it sprout. There must be an inner revolution to balance out the external revolution or we are headed for the dark ages of the soul. This can only happen if people are given the way towards the realization of their own being and become self reliant. There must not be any favor thrown on roses or lilies will feel they have to act like roses and end up suffocating themselves. Every opportunity must be given for people to flower unto their own being without fear so everyone can be truly fulfilled and creative.