Essential Principles, Practices and Panaceas, A – Z: Evolution

evolution haiku

Without Psychological Evolution there cannot be any form of revolution. The self is constantly changing. Be involved, be evolved, be revolutionised as lucent and fresh as the new wave hitting at the shore. Become the Sea of Changes. It starts from within. Grigoris Deoudis

Evolution is a processthe origin of the word  process being: fact of being carried on, a journey, continuation, development…, a going forward, advance, progress, continuous series of actions meant to accomplish some result. What evolution is not is an end result.

Bill Hicks got it right when he said:

Folks, it’s time to evolve. That’s why we’re troubled. You know why our institutions are failing us, the church, the state, everything’s failing? It’s because, um – they’re no longer relevant. We’re supposed to keep evolving. Evolution did not end with us growing opposable thumbs. You do know that, right

To evolve is to develop gradually by natural process (Oxford English Dictionary); psychological evolution is, for me, about ascending Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and moving towards self-actualisation.

Psychological evolution is the principle underpinning Essential Coaching Inc. I’m passionate about personal transformation and fulfilment of potential. What are we here for if not to grow, blossom and be all that we can be?

A fundamental psychological transformation concerns healing and integrating the neurotic/unhealthy/wounded ego and befriending our shadow – which contains untapped potential, not just those aspects of ourselves that we do not care to admit to, much less accept.

Think about a behaviour or character trait in someone that irritates you; then consider how you might also possess that same characteristic. If the thought makes you bristle, there’s a good chance that trait is lurking in your shadow, clamouring to be recognised.

Perfectionism is a sure sign that the dark side of your shadow has the upper hand. I know people who become angry at the slightest criticism; nobody likes to think that they have any faults, but if you find yourself constantly on the defensive then perhaps it’s time to look inside to see what needs to be reconciled.

I don’t see how anyone can ever be truly happy unless they are prepared to undertake this work. If there are aspects of yourself that you disown, then you are denying your own humanity. Think about that.

What stands in the way for many of us is shame – that it’s not okay to be human, that is, to be fallible. I believe that until sufficient numbers of people address this problem, we will keep failing, to the detriment of some more than others.

Idris Shah claimed that we all have limitless potential for both self-development and self-destruction – our rejected shadows hold us back, drag us down, whether or not we realise it. In this way we fit Idris Shah’s description of a human being who is clinically alive and yet, despite all appearances, spiritually dead.

It takes courage to look unflinchingly into your psyche, to concede that within you is a range of human attributes, from the worst to the best. That is what living from your essence entails – fully immersing yourself in the human experience and condition.

Acknowledging that you’re imperfect doesn’t mean that you have to act in accordance with what you perceive as your undesirable traits.

A wise teacher of mine once said that nobody is all good, and nobody is all bad; there’s always room for improvement, which is why I’ll leave you to ponder Jonas Salk’s words:

When things get bad enough, then something happens to correct the course. And it’s for that reason that I speak about evolution as an error-making and an error-correcting process. And if we can be ever so much better – ever so much slightly better – at error correcting than at error making, then we’ll make it.

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