Growing Up, What a Pain!
Feel like you have new problems in your life?
This could be good news!
Do you feel like you have the same problems in your life over and over again?
This could be bad news…
Indeed, each progress or evolution in our life brings its share of problems to a new level that can only be solved at the next level.
So if you are experiencing new problems, you may be just evolving…
In the same way, if humanity is faced with new problems that currently seem insurmountable, it is perhaps because humanity is evolving.
When I speak about evolution, there is no judgment like “it was better before” or “it will be better after“. It only describes different characteristics of a human being or a group of human beings at a given time.
In the Integral Theory, there are two tools that I love and that I use every day: the 4 Quadrants and the Spiral Dynamics (originally popularized by Don Beck and Christopher C. Cowan and based on works by Clare W. Graves)
To summarize very briefly, the Spiral dynamics describes the different stages of evolution that a child, a teenager, and the different stages that we can live in our adult life as well.
This reading can be applied to both the individual and to a group of individuals, a company, a country, and even to humanity.
For example, we can say that, statistically, today the center of gravity of humanity is at the Rational-individualist (World Centric) or Pluralistic-empathic (Cosmo Centric) level.
Actually, all stages are represented in greater or lesser proportions in different countries (and in ourselves, as in a fractal image).
A Breakthrough to a New Level?
Moreover, I had the opportunity to talk in this article about why and how chaos theories tell us that we are probably on the verge of an incredible collapse of our civilization… or of an incredible emergence of a new civilization (which will integrate and embrace the previous ones, again as in a fractal image).
According to the Integral Theory, each evolution towards a new stage, individual or collective, leads, good news, to the ability to better solve existing problems… and, bad news, to the arrival of new problems (which themselves can only be solved at the next stage of evolution).
Like in a video game!
When you pass a level, you go to the next level and you meet new challenges, and new tests, always more difficult than the previous level.
Thus, the more one is aware… the more one is aware of the problems of the world… and of his own problems!
Some examples of individual problems:
- A child is more evolved than a baby: he is aware of more things… and then he encounters new problems like having to obey his parents or work at school
- Later, a teenager also encounters new problems: finding a partner, experimenting with sexuality…
- An adult again faces new problems: earning a living, being a good parent…
Growing up, what a pain!
The same is true at the collective level. Let’s take some examples.
The emergence, recent in human history, of greater individual freedom… leads to new problems such as more selfishness and egocentrism.
The emergence of social networks allows a better connection between human beings… and contributes to the rise of extremism.
Greater freedom of the press and information in general… can lead to the explosion of fake news.
The rule of law better protects individuals… and the most powerful individuals who know how to use it (organized attacks against journalists or whistleblowers, lobbies…)
And without forgetting of course the relatively recent problems at the scale of humanity such as global warming, the explosion of inequalities, the decline of biodiversity, etc.
Thus, if most of these problems seem unsolvable to us, it is perhaps because we do not have individually or collectively the adequate level of consciousness to solve them… for now.
It is by evolving, by “emerging” that we will be able to solve these problems.
In summary, if you see new problems appearing in your life, it is perhaps that you are evolving.
And if humanity sees so many new challenges appearing, it is perhaps that it is evolving as well!
A new civilization may be emerging.
A more harmonious civilization that will be able to solve problems that we currently see as insoluble. And it will inevitably bring its own set of new problems… that only the next evolution and the next generations will be able to solve.
According to Integral Theory (and most spiritualities), the best way to evolve is to welcome, accept, and embrace the new problems we encounter in our lives.
These new problems are the gifts of the video game of life to help us progress to the “next level“, to help us bring out the next stage of our life or of humanity.
- The butterfly effect: how to have very big effects with small actions?
- The Strange Attractor: how to make sure good things happen when you can’t predict anything anymore?
- Fractal images: how to recognize an emerging world?
And of course, to keep evolving, let’s keep learning and avoid becoming an old fart 🙂