When I first learned to meditate, I enjoyed it, but I wouldn’t characterize my practice as earnest. It wasn’t until I understood how it could dramatically improve my personal and spiritual growth that I committed myself wholeheartedly to the practice. From that point, I turned passionate about it. It has since become the foundation on which I build my life.
Whatever Happened to Personal Growth, Meditation and Enlightenment?
Over the last fifty years, we have seen a widespread interest in ideas of self-development drawn from Western psychology. Not all of the practices that evolved from these ideas have been effective, but then it is hard to quantify or measure individual or collective growth and development in this field. The contemporary exploration of the inner world has been championed and derided, met with enthusiastic advocates and equally passionate detractors. Have the Western attempts at self-awareness and raising consciousness failed or is the evolution of collective human consciousness underway? First, let us look back in summary.
The Promise of the Human Potential Movement
In the 1970s, therapy and personal growth were in their bright infancy. The idea of freeing oneself by expressing repressed emotions and shedding conditioned behavior patterns was exciting and liberating. The counter culture – the sexual revolution, recreational drug-taking and ‘progressive’ pop music, all mixed with Eastern mysticism – had promised a lot and fallen short of its dream. Personal growth seemed to be the flowering of that cultural upheaval, the fulfillment of the dream, the keeping of the promise.
The new therapies, collectively known as the Human Potential Movement or simply, the growth movement, proposed a new paradigm of individual well-being and collective consciousness-raising. They elevated therapy above the traditional psychoanalytic concern with mental illness. Not only the casualties of society, but everyone, could benefit. The growth movement promised a glorious world of vibrant, unselfconscious, self-regulating people motivated towards change and self-transformation.
Johnscott, honey, I love the stuff you write... but why don't you turn these into hubs instead? You'll get more of a following and comments. Just go to the top right of the screen where it says "start a new hub" and copy and paste. Forums tend to be shorter... usually these long articles you write go unnoticed, and I hate to see that because I like your stuff. You're an interesting person, and we're on the same wavelength... more or less.
Promise to do a hub?
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