"I know also that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also and keep pace with the times."
you do only one thing this year, evolve."
"We will transform
ourselves by evolution, the same creative process which raised our branch
of life to the level of Homo sapiens."
- Woody Harrelson, Actor/Activist/ Writer
"Now is the time to rise
above the faults and failures of war and aggression and allow emotions to
be guided more by rationality. Emotions can often be great and
beautiful, but even more so when guided by evidence, not by our fears, our
prejudices and our base instincts."
Speech at Los Angeles City College during his Freshman
year, which led to being awarded the Boardman Peace Prize, 1990.
""He who would learn
to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and
dance; one cannot fly into flying."
Note from Terry Madison: The following was written by Chris Aable in High School at age sixteen. I did some minor editing in 2003, with authorization. TENTATIVE OPENING PARAGRAPHS from the upcoming book:
"What is Self-Evolution?"
by Chris Aable, M.A.
"I trust that most people want a more lasting peace and a more civilized, creative and productive world. If most people didn't, then hostility would run riot far more often and longer than we have seen between individuals, groups and nations". I define "nations" as groups of people who have drawn artificial lines on maps, with such artificial lines being the root cause of most unnatural death. But blind nationalism is a far more complicated psychosis to deal with later. In terms of both individuals and smaller groups, there is still too much deadly hostility, too much destructive conflict, too much genocide, too many people building walls of primitive hostility instead of bridges of understanding. Such bridges can be built with a lasting foundation of a more civilized understanding of our similarities and differences.
Self-evolution is not a religious or new-age bromide, but facts supported by findings of history and in the current and future scientific fields of Anthropology, Psychology and Sociology. We humans have a sense of volition and a capacity of deliberate self-direction more than any other animal. Indeed, hundreds of books and college courses have been developed at universities, specifically addressing the needs of human development and lifespan development. We can learn more about ourselves and others; we can teach with patience, we can grow. In short, we can choose to evolve (construction) or devolve (destruction). I know this because if you can read or apprehend new information of any kind, be it this philosophy or another of your own choosing, it still remains that who you think you are today is not the same person you were ten years ago, nor will it be ten years from now. You have changed, and your so called "enemies" and "friends" alike will change as well. The dept to which you can see the greater picture of human development is the amount of awareness you will have in your own self-development.
Therefore, attempting to define "self-evolution" in a few words or paragraphs would be like trying to define "human development" or any other field of study in a few words, because "self-evolution" incorporates all the social sciences into a more compact theory based on practical solutions, instead of a laundry list of experimental findings. To fully understand where the human species has been, where we are now and where we may be going requires several books and encyclopedias. The evidence for this is that our world is changing and changing rapidly, and every time the world becomes something new, we individuals thus become someone new. Whether by choice or not, we are inputting new data into our minds and thus our biology, our brains, our nervous system. The question of self-evolution is the question of how much of this input do you want to be of your own volition and how much will be directed by blind hormonal rage, blind tradition, blind faith and blind trends.
Human nature being such as it currently is, there will probably be those who don't care to understand this summary definition of self-evolution. Worse, some will invent their own fantasies and fallacies and attempt to tell others what self-evolution entails, without having ever deeply researched the social sciences. For example, despite a couple of classmates already making such claims, self-evolution is not about being better than anyone else. To the contrary, one of the many qualities of self evolution is the recognition that there are too many talents and future choices within each of us. Thus, on what subjective criteria would being "better" be judged? Self-evolution is about being the best individual you can be, on your own terms in cooperation with other individuals, even when they might not think exactly as you do nor always behave as you would like. Self-evolution is about understanding how short life is and thus what a gift it is from nature. It's about finding your own appropriate degree of self-awareness in terms of healthy qualities that we actually can choose for ourselves, such as patience, understanding and mercy. These deliberate choices are valued because they are a healthy, life-giving quality that reduce not only our stress, but reduces the stress and conflict in those we interact with.
Life is too short to remain embittered and embattled about only our egos and perceived threats to our egos. Instead of imagining potential threats, there are so many real threats here and now, such as our individual health, the health of our children, government intrusion, sexually transmitted diseases, public safety, nationalistic war, etc. We humans have the most evolved sense of our own self-development, more so than any other animal. We retain the power to guide our future and thus to change ourselves for our own betterment and the betterment of those we choose to care for. Using that capacity to actively choose to evolve for constructive progress instead of destructive behavior, is only a small part of what Self-evolution is. Self-evolution requires quick yet patient adaptation to an every changing world, looking farther and forward, deeper insights, and greater vision. Welcome to your own journey, with your own path of choices, towards SEEing things more clearly, not by my standards, but by your own intelligence.
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