Humankind’s progress against human nature is mainly a progress on paper. Individual humans have documented tremendous progress and discouraging regress. Humankind has most assuredly left an impressive paper trail, a huge library, which I take good advantage of by the way! I do not disparage this impressive paper trail, but I do not take pride in our impressive paper trail either.
What is most important is that which is happening in the individual in the moment. I believe that it is possible to make changes in collective human nature, but it will take a “critical mass” of individuals changing their paradigm (their way of viewing reality). This is documented as happening in the instinctual behavior in animals that is spontaneously springing up in physically separated communities of the same species. I believe that this can happen in humans also, but it will take a “critical mass” of individuals just like it does in animals.
In the last twenty years it has become apparent to me that the purpose of true religion should be to transcend our ego and our lower human nature desires. But how do we make progress permanent? If it is possible to change collective human nature as I believe it is, this is the only place permanent collective progress can be made in humans.
I believe this concept first appears in Confucianism. Human beings are teachable, improvable and perfectible through personal and communal endeavor especially including self-cultivation and self-creation. A main idea of Confucianism is the cultivation of virtue and the development of moral perfection. Confucius promoted Chun-Tzu, the idea of the true gentleman. It is the man who lives by the highest ethical standards. The gentleman displays five virtues: self-respect, generosity, sincerity, persistence, and benevolence. The philosophy of Confucius emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity.
In the words of Jesus:
(Mat 4:17) From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, Repent(change your frame of mind, mode of thought, perceptions and understanding), for the kingdom of heaven is coming near(close enough to touch).
(Mat 13:47) Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net, which was thrown into the sea, and it gathered fish of every kind.
(Mat 13:48) When it was filled, they drew it to the shore, and sat down and sorted them; the good ones they put into bags, and the bad they threw away.
(Luk 17:21) Neither will they say, Behold, it is here! or, behold, it is there! for behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
Jesus was not teaching us how to fish, but was telling us to go within (heart, collective unconscious) cast your net in the sea where everybody fishes. Save what is good and discard what is bad.
What is good and what is bad? How does one discern? I say use the filter of collectivity.
The golden rule:
Christianity: 30 AD, from Matthew 7:12 “Whatever you wish men to do for you, do likewise also for them for this is the law and the prophets.”
Confucianism: 557 BC, from the Analects 15:23- “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.”
Buddhism: 560 BC, from the Udanavarga 5:18- “Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.”
Zoroastrianism: 600 BC, from the Shast-na-shayast 13:29- “Whatever is disagreeable to yourself, do not do unto others.”
Judaism: 1300 BC, from the Old Testament, Leviticus 19:18- “Thou shalt Love thy neighbor as thyself.”
Hinduism: 3200 BC, from the Hitopadesa- “One should always treat others as they themselves wish to be treated.”
Each of us human beings enters life at the same place, with a blank conscious mind and over ten thousand years of human nature experiences (we label good or bad) in our collective unconscious.
Each of us human beings leaves life at the same place, with a blank conscious mind and over ten thousand years of human nature experiences (we label good or bad) in our collective unconscious.
Each must choose the individual path by experiencing culture, oral traditions, spiritual/imagination, and our impressive paper trail. In my opinion the spiritual/imagination path holds the greatest potential for making permanent human progress.
Every event in your life is just a happening, until you choose to add value to it and create an experience. You are so wonderfully made that if you are not happy with an experience you can just with your imagination alone change the experience. That’s right just by envisioning an experience it is just as valid as an experience made with your five senses. Just ask the Buddha! The most important tool you have for adding value is your paradigm (your way of viewing reality). Just think of the experiences that you could have if you had a rich and luxuriant paradigm
Let’s say you view reality from the ego’s point of view. You will view everything as separate from you and conflict improves your standing. It’s a small fearful world.
Now let’s say you view reality from a more holistic point of view. You will view everything as interconnected and cooperation improves your standing. It’s a large loving world.
Your purpose in life is to view things rightly, not to set things right. You will experience things rightly if you view things rightly. This viewing is a spiritual/imagination process.
The beauty of this way of viewing reality is that there is no one correct way.
The fear of this way of viewing reality is that there is no one correct way.
You build your paradigm and you can make it as luxuriant as you would like it to be. You do not have to follow science, religion, or any other rules. Let your imagination run wild.
(Mat 6:33) But you seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all of these things shall be added to you.
The Greek words translated as righteousness:
dikaiosune dik-ah-yos-oo’-nay From dikaios; equity (of character or act); specifically (Christian) justification: – righteousness.
dikaios dik’-ah-yos From dike; equitable (in character or act); by implication innocent, holy (absolutely or relatively): – just, meet, right (-eous).
dikaioo dik-ah-yo’-o From dikaios; to render (that is, show or regard as) just or innocent: – free, justify (-ier), be righteous.
dike dee’-kay Probably from deiknuo; right (as self evident), that is, justice (the principle, a decision, or its execution): – judgment, punish, vengeance.
deiknuo dike-noo’-o A prolonged form of an obsolete primary of the same meaning; to show (literally or figuratively): – shew.
It is often translated “righteousness” or “justification”, but really means, “to make innocent“. In English there are two kinds of being innocent: not being guilty, and being pure inside. The Greek word dikaiosune can also refer to either aspect of innocence. The Gospel writers use it to mean “to make innocent/prove not guilty” (see Matthew 11:19, Matthew 12:37, and Luke 18:14). Paul normally uses it to mean, “to make pure” (see Acts 13:39, Romans 3:20, Romans 4:13, and Romans 6:7).
This distinction is really important, because you can not really love others or yourself until you believe you are guiltless, innocent, pure, and holy. Then you need to believe others are also guiltless, innocent, pure, and holy. Just think about the rich experiences you can have with others that you truly view as guiltless, innocent, pure, and holy.
But how do you view things rightly? You have heard the saying “seeing is believing”; I think we have it backward “believing is seeing”. When you first enter this world “seeing is believing”, but after you have built up your own set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices then “believing is seeing”. First you build your beliefs, then you filter what you see through them. You have programmed the way you view reality and have allowed others to program the way you view reality. In order to view things rightly you need to change your paradigm, your way of viewing reality.
Your paradigm is your set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that have been imprinted on your subconscious mind.
Let’s take a quick look at some opposing filters of your perception:
The more conviction behind the filter the more it changes what you perceive you see. These filters can also affect how you react to events that spring up in your life.
Choice (in every event in our lives there is a moment for choice to determine the direction that you will grow toward or that the event will shape you toward) simply put; choice is practice. If you do not consciously choose for yourself then you are allowing others to make the choice for you.
I believe our paradigm is built by the habituation of our choices.
Ancient Mystics believed that habituation should occur for at least 1 Lunar Cycle to make the paradigm shift permanent in the subconscious mind.
Can you see how changing your paradigm: your set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices would be more effective in changing your life than changing behaviors one at a time?
Can you see how changing your paradigm: your set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices can make life experiences more rewarding?
This is why we read good books, listen to good talks, discuss our discoveries with other free thinkers, and choose to practice good things that we discover.