Personal development is today a key concept in maintaining human life. I have already written in other posts about recognizing personal boundaries, about the process of change, about the feeling of being in constant evolution. All of these concepts are tied to personal development.
The concept of personal development encompasses two ideas of development: one, as a psychological biological subject, with body changes and the processes of maturity and senescence of body and mind; another, with the development of intellectuality and the knowledge base. The second is necessarily the result of the first, so the two are inseparable even though in everyday life they happen in a structurally different way.
Being a better person, or doing things better, in short, seeking to perfect oneself in the face of the moral and practical challenges of the world, is a Greco-Roman heritage embraced by Christianity and brought to the present day surrounded by many transformations. What for Plato or Socrates was a quest for perfection or for being a better Athenian for the Polis has now become a relationship between technical acquisition, diplomas, and moral behavior.
Thus, the intellectual development of personal knowledge was formalized as something fundamental or important in the West, from the Greco-Roman culture. As a result of this 2500-year-old process, we have the present where we live and the transformations wrought by humanity in the world around us.
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In contemporary times, it is no use just being good at what you do, you need to have certifications that guarantee and ensure the quality of your capabilities. On the other hand, this is no use if no one knows about these certified capabilities.
Thus, communication is necessary.
Social networks have become powerful tools for this communication of individual capacities in the collective space. But on the other hand, they are polluted by bad, confusing and opportunistic personal marketing.
This very psychotic three-pillar equation (quality, certification, and communication), which ensures the veracity of the individual’s capabilities that turns on his qualities and services, on the other hand, opens powerful gaps for lies and falsehood. So on social networks, the image of pure water can actually be well-made oil.
But that’s not the point of this post.
The biology of the process
So we have on the one hand the development of intellectuality and the personal knowledge base about the world. On the other hand, I fear the biological body that provides the foundation, the support where this knowledge can be acquired, processed, stored and expressed. The brain, connected to all other biological life support systems, coordinates with biological tools the entire process of development.
These tools are biochemicals produced body structures, by cells, glands, organs, etc. They are hormones, neurotransmitters, and proteins produced from certain chemical patterns that can be coded and decoded as communication between cells and body systems.
This communication system has shaped itself throughout the evolution of life and species. And it’s registered as a much more complex and older memory process.
We have as an inheritance of the evolution of life a genetic archive. This archive gives us certain talents and certain limits brought about by our genetic heritage, from the natural/cultural selection suffered by our ancestors. These are potentials and weaknesses that have been selected by patterns of survival and extinction by natural environments (until some 5,000 years ago) and cultural environments (since some 5,000 years ago). After all, in the last 5,000 years, man overcame nature and replaced it with culture.
But this genetic load alone does not make a summer. It alone does not determine the individual’s performance in the environment. The interaction of genetic information with the socio-cultural environment will determine how this subject is constituted. The absence or presence of stimuli requires genetic heritage to manifest itself in reality in different ways.
In fact, genetic heritage is literally just a complete archive of the whole functioning and constitution of the biological system. This file is stored in the nucleus of each body cell. It is there to be consulted by other cellular components whenever a stimulus arrives for that cell. Thus, it does not act and does not manifest directly, it is only constantly consulted throughout the life process of each cell.
Consulting the genetic files generates a response that is a protein. Literally, a piece of the genetic file is copied in response to the query made. And it is this protein that interacts with the environment. It is the protein who determines the efficiency of the cellular or systemic individual.
New evolutionary learnings are stored in the genetic heritage for future or future generations. So win over a dramatic environmental dance, such as lack or depletion of oxygen, may require years of training or entire generations of adaptation.
Becoming an Olympic gymnast will require many years of training, starting in childhood where environmental adaptations are most easily stored.
Learning to read and write, if the system works well, will take a year or two with a good workout.
Walking upright will take a month or two training.
And this is the first and most important limiter in the evolutionary process: what we are biologically capable of accomplishing. Without oxygen there is no human life, without food human life is extinguished, this is a biological factor. Children without carbohydrate and protein-laden meals have difficulty growing, learning, and developing.
Thus, the biological base must be able to support personal development.
See, personal development will always occur, when we evaluate individually, there is always progress, there is always change in the direction of growth. When we use collective parameters and compare between individuals, we realize in specific areas greater capacities in one and lower capacities in the other. But looking at the individual timeline, there is always growth.
The biological is made to develop, but it is no less complex at the beginning of your journey. It brings in its initial form all the fullness potential it can attain. Interaction with the environment, then, is so important that the genetic information present in the cell nucleus, protected by a protein layer, to be read, needs a stimulus from the environment. That is, for the genetic load to be accessed, interaction with the environment is fundamental.
For the fullness potential to be realized, stimulation is needed.
Biology and stimuli
But according to science, the fundamental basis of life, the first prions (or peptides) that started the first manifestation of life, allowed back (7 billion years) the formation of a primordial genetic heritage.
A first DNA.
We humans, living out of nature since Homer’s Odyssey, living in the world of culture and language, carry in our genetic memory the entire learning process that life has gone through throughout its evolutionary history. We have memory, but we have no remembering of this memory, this recorded content is beyond the reach of consciousness.
There are 7 billion years of experience passed hereditarily and always with each generation, accumulating more knowledge through the game of error and hit with the stimuli of the environment. Extinction and survival being the sieve of the quality of the knowledge generated.
We can make an explosive extrapolation of this idea.
A much longer journey
According to the Big Bang theory, all matter present in the universe today was present since the beginning. That is, since the initial explosion, no particles have disappeared and no new particles have been created.
Thus, all the protons present in the constitution of the atoms that make up the substances that make up our bodies are present since the beginning of the universe journey. They followed from a relative location (in motion) all the time in the universe. We are as old as the universe and as wise as our DNA records.
In the East, the notion of mind and spirit development leads to a journey of self-elimination (ego, mind, identity, beliefs, whatever) and the encounter with nothingness. This meeting would be a return to the whole, a meeting with the totality of the present universe and in constant contact with our existence.
In the West, we strengthen the Self, shouting our titles, teams, flags, political positions. We are increasingly taking advantage of our identity struggles, according to the images we have or want to project into the world of culture. We disconnect more and more from the whole of the universe to be more and more in our little piece.
We are made of cosmic dust from the beginning of the universe, we carry the knowledge wrought by life along its journey. From the use of language, we could compose, build a set of collective memories based on communication between individuals and generation. Since the written language, we could leave this knowledge to posterity.
But the perception of the grandeur of this adventure always escapes us in everyday ordinary life. We lost the brilliance of this odyssey in the confusion of solving petty everyday problems. Of course, that’s right, someone needs to cook, do the dishes or write for the blog.
But whether we are Orientalists in search of nothing to reach the whole, or Westerners in search of enrichment and projection, the base, the root, is the same. We are the result of almost incomprehensible processes and generally boring to explain or discuss.
The brilliance of the state of existence, the splendor of the process of development, is not the knowledge for proof or the next test, but the perception and a clear sense of existence itself as part of the fantastic journey of matter and, later, of life.
Realizing yourself as part of the journey and, especially, the realization that this journey brings as a contemporary result the possibility of love is the top of any personal development. The possibility of love, the possibility of consciously and voluntarily generating the next generation, which will carry the legacy of existing and developing and evolving, and having love as its main stimulus, is something that transcends the headline of this post.
Not all who wander are lost
Calculate with a brief summary of what I mean: a particular proton ejected from a tremendous explosion. For at least 1 billion years vacant in the void. Suddenly it is linked with another proton and forms the first substance. By now he is in a cloud of cosmic dust. It makes other connections, composes other substances. Over another 4 billion years, this proton forms a substance that breaks down or dissolves and forms other substances once again.
At 7 billion years old, it is suddenly linked to a long protein chain that floats haphazardly in the water. It composes and decomposes with various proteins for over a billion years. Now it is already absorbed and returned to the environment as protein-derived beings ingest it with the substance it composes, digest and return transformed into the environment.
This proton is there. Forming the plasma membrane or myelin sheath of some neuron, allowing you to read, breathe, live. We are made up of a much larger, much longer and much more incredible story than the one that begins in our childhood.
If we join our personal saga with the universe saga, we have a simply spectacular journey to live and narrate. But understanding that the result of all that this proton has gone through is the ability to love is the ability to chemically alter the body to the point of love, that is the crowning journey.
Loving yourself, loving your neighbor, loving existence (or the gods if you will) is indescribable.
And here we come to psychology! A little history and philosophy, some biology and biochemistry, and we have the necessary basis for a psychological discussion.
Stimulus-response play is a basic concept in the evolutionary process of life, and even in microscopic and intracellular environments, stimuli are the basis for movement and transformation. It builds a conditioning relationship between the individual and the environment and even between the individual and himself.
In the human being, capable of thinking and generating feelings from these thoughts, thinking itself can be a stimulus and feeling generator, rather than an answer, can be a powerful reinforcer. But in general, we crate conditions, we create rules for pleasurable feelings. We create locks based on assumptions that prevent and limit our access to these delightful feelings to be experienced.
Joy, fun, love, and trust
We limit to joy, fun, love, trust, we limit them by conditional rules. We hope that certain specific stimuli will happen in the environment or in our lives so that we can relish these feelings. We created a ban or an impediment: “If I pass the contest, then I can celebrate.”
But, you exist, the journey is fucking awesome, that alone is the reason to celebrate, to rejoice in life. Evolution has prepared you to feel it all without needing specific conditions. The system has evolved over these billions of years and is ready for use. You are ready to laugh. What we do is create the limitation, create the condition: “I will only love if I meet such a person,” “I will only say pleasant words to another when he does what and how I want it.” So we hid the laughter.
Finally, the most beautiful flower that could emerge in this garden is hidden behind the trash can of the conditions that are created to hide it. Love, this supreme manifestation of existence, is conditioned by factors that are strictly mental, external, and inflexible. So it is not felt, not expressed, and sadly for all these protons that at this moment in the universe travel in you, love is not experienced.
The universe traced an incredible journey and the direction, though fundamentally random, turned out to be love, and what did we do? We created a condition for it to be kept suppressed. The joy? We created the condition of the church so that it can only be felt by the conditioned. The fun? We condition the money and the party, so we just access it drunk and rich.
Thus, personal development needs to be a specific search, a reunion, a process of deconditioning. See, it’s not deconstructing yourself, but a process of uncomplicating the possibility of love. Uncomplicate the possibility of joy. Uncomplicate the possibility of joy.
Think with me: to love, to thank and to smile. This is the result of the development of the universe, of life and of our journeys.
Development is to make easy access to this result.