DO YOU RECOGNIZE ANYONE IN THIS LINE UP? (long) - Posted by Bill Gatten
Posted by Bill Gatten on March 06, 2000 at 21:36:47:
A long post?read only if you have 15 or 20 minutes to spare?
For whatever it may be worth, I was stimulated to offer the following, after having seen Dr. Wayne Dyer on TV yesterday. The concept he remiknded me of comes from a truism offered by Carl Jung (I think…?could?a been Nietzsche or Kant) in his book was entitled ?Man?s Search for a Soul (?or something like that).?
To me, all the following seems to directly apply to, and explain well, the actions of some of the great folks here on CRE who spend so much of their precious time, so unselfishly helping others with no real sense of, or hope for, personal gain or reward. Maybe you?ll recognize a few of them.
The philosophy is based upon man?s (meaning “mankind,” of course) passing through four crucial stages in his/her personal, earthly evolution: whether in a single lifetime or over a series of them.
Though all of us do eventually arrive at the fourth phase, most of us get stuck along the way at levels I or II, and tend to remain there for too much of our tenure on the planet. Examples might be those individuals who have attained great prominence in the world, then died as failures unto themselves due to an inability to accept and enter the next phase when it was time. Richard Nixon? Jimmy Swaggart? Jim Baker? A few (VERY few) of us start right off in stage III (perhaps only the likes, however, of the Albert Schweitzers, Sister Theresa?s, Gandhi, etc.), which souls apparently enter the world somewhere above III, but not quite at IV yet, in keeping with the contention that one?s entering the world at level IV would be unnecessary.
The four phases are labeled thusly:
I. The Athlete
II. The Warrior
III.The Executive (or Administrator/Steward)
IV. The Spiritually evolved
In this, the “Athlete” phase, it?s said that we perceive of ourselves as wholly disconnected from other men, and here we tend to focus primarily on showing off our own physicality to those apart from us: our independent egos and Earthly existences? completely separated from the totality of humankind. In other words, this first level is said to be a ?showing? and ?demonstrating? or ?competing? phase. It?s during this time of our lives that we are most intrepid and fearless (?Look at ME! Give ME a trophy! Let ME wear the uniform! I ride them and fly them and climb them because they?re there!?). During this phase, we strive to reveal to others and ourselves what our limits are and how much we will be able to accomplish and achieve when the time comes. At this level we seek acceptance and accolade far more than financial reward. We are, in effect auditioning?these are our football playing, mountain climbing, sports car racing and sky diving days. This is the time when physical beauty, one?s mode of dress and academic achievements, soma types and ?labels? are of utmost importance. This is also the phase where we begin to identify and define our compatriots and delineate our adversaries. However, overall, the competition here is open, sporting, and mostly a basis for strutting one?s stuff?the the preparation (the ?war games? phase, as it were).
Next, while many are destined to remain stuck in Phase I (certain failure in the long run), others manage to pass into the more serious ?warrior? phase. It?s here that we establish ourselves–within the industry; within the neighborhood; within the commercial and political structure of our environment: as entrepreneurs, political leaders, spokespersons, politicians, etc. Its here that we set up our businesses, find our vocations, start our families, establish our domains within the community and the world. It?s here that we begin to aspire?to set out our battle plans in order to best fight and struggle with the ?enemy? despite the price and the potential for pain, in order to ?claw our ways to the top??:?beat out our competition???take names and kick butt.?
All too often, however, in Phase II, because of a reticence to separate it clearly enough from the simplicity and safety of Phase I, we fail to consider carefully enough, the concepts of ?equity,? ?honesty,? ?consideration? and ?fairness? (all of which we were to have learned in the previous phase, but didn?t). In Phase II there is only an ?US? and a ?THEM.? And all of ?them? are our adversaries and out to defeat ?us.? The ?them? are fair game to be conquered, over-taken, defeated or vanquished. Here, we are ?warring? with an opposing faction in virtually every aspect of this segment of our social evolution (some of us more aggressively and violently than others).
This overall process (Phase II) serves the purpose of positioning us in the hierarchy of Ego: i.e., putting us where the others (including the adversaries) have convinced us we should be in order to best serve THEIR OWN ego-centered objectives.
In too many cases, by the end of Phase II, many of us have not emerged the Victor?or we fail to see that we have?so we continue fighting long after the battle is over. Too often, as a result, Phase II leaves us tired, burnt-out and convinced that failure is inevitable: that we are always to be stopped, no matter how hard we try. Too many of us, rather than graduating to the next level–having grown weary of getting back up and going on every time–just give up. This too is certain failure.
For even fewer of us, the next phase, the ?Administrator? or Stewarding phase, is the one in which we are finally aware of the one-ness with our contemporaries (not being at one with the universe yet, jut with other humans). At this level, we begin to realize that the battle has only been with ourselves, and has been judged only BY ourselves. We now become more concerned with balance and equity and restoring the landscape (e.g., it?s all of humanity that evolved from a one-celled life form?not just individuals?the good, the bad, the short and tall?all have contributed equally to whom we?ve collectively become).
At Phase III, we are more preoccupied with striving to effect ?balance? and ?completeness,? than in winning or defending something. It?s here that we begin to feel that our experiences and our expertise?so hard-earned ?(our ?legacy,? as it were) is really all that is important. At this level, we no longer see ourselves at separate from other people; and now tend to strive much more toward ?sharing? versus ?obtaining.?
This third phase is that period wherein ?winning? is no longer of prime importance. ?Hope of Victory? takes a permanent back-seat to contentment and self-assuredness?and a loftier will to incorporate or unify progress as a whole (e.g., ?Tell me what you know, and I?ll tell you what I know, and all of us will get there sooner?).
Our primary focus in Phase III becomes (essentially) that of helping others to get where we perceive our selves to have gotten, or to be headed?without those ?others? having to endure the same obstacles and trials that we have. In other words, at this point we?ve braved the raging sea to get to the platform: so now that we are safe, we can relax and give those behind us a hand in climbing onto it with us. At this level we?ve won our wars, blazed our trails, and are now ready to bring the rest of our fellows along in our footsteps so that all our past actions can have substance and reason.
Accomplishment in Phase III tends to justify all our past trials and tribulations, and tends to validate our ?self? as an integral element of something larger; and to offer a ?purpose? for our very existence. It?s in Phase III that some of us truly begin to understand and take for granted the expression, ?Do what you love and the money will flow.?
The final phase is the ?Spiritual? one. This is where we all end up (I think if we don?t make it this time around, we get other chances). It is here that man finally begins the spiritual separation from Ego, and starts to view the entire universe (rather than just his branch of mankind) as being completely interconnected. It?s in this Saint or Yogi-like phase that one finally?slowly?and irreversibly comes to know how truly UNimportant big houses, sleek cars, silk suits and lizard-skin shoes are. This plateau is the last one on our journey, where all of us (once arrived) start wearing suspenders, positioning our pants cuffs a little higher above our mismatched argyles, and buying those ?big-legged? Levi?s. This is where the favorite shoes are the most comfortable ones. This is where we decide that since the old clunker can still make it up most of the hills, we don?t need a new model (that allusion is to cars, not spouses). This phase is the time of life in which we regularly mortify our kids in public (?patient with their still being in Phase I or II) by striking up pointless, casual conversations with complete stranger on the street ?thereby acknowledging ALL people as being a part of the ?We,? and NOT, and never having been strangers or the ?THEM? at all.
OK, NOW?think about it. Do you recognize in any one of these stages, anyone who might post regularly here on CRE? Yup…'though so.
Me? No way! Not even close! Although, I do think I?ve finally gotten the message?I think I?ve come to the conclusion that I?ve been flapping (Corgi-like) between Phases II and III waaaaaay too long.