Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Four Stages of Spiritual Development

The Four Stages of Spiritual Development: Scott Peck

Scott Peck, author of books such as The Road Less Traveled, describes four stages of spiritual development:

"Stage I is chaotic, disordered, and reckless. Very young children are in Stage I. They tend to defy and disobey, and are unwilling to accept a will greater than their own. They are extremely egoistic and lack empathy for others. Many criminals are people who have never grown out of Stage I."

"Stage II is the stage at which a person has blind faith in authority figures and sees the world as divided simply into good and evil, right and wrong, us and them. Once children learn to obey their parents and other authority figures, often out of fear or shame, they reach Stage II. Many so-called religious people are essentially Stage II people, in the sense that they have blind faith in God, and do not question His existence. With blind faith comes humility and a willingness to obey and serve. The majority of good, law-abiding citizens never move out of Stage II."

"Stage III is the stage of scientific skepticism and questioning. A Stage III person does not
accept things on faith but only accepts them if convinced logically. Many people working in scientific and technological research are in
Stage III. They often reject the existence of spiritual or supernatural forces since these are difficult to measure or prove scientifically.
Those who do retain their spiritual beliefs, move away from the simple, official doctrines of fundamentalism."

"Stage IV is the stage where an individual starts enjoying the mystery and beauty of nature and existence. While retaining skepticism, he starts perceiving grand
patterns in nature and develops a deeper understanding of good and evil,
forgiveness and mercy, compassion and love. His religiousness and spirituality differ significantly from that of a Stage II person, in the sense that he does not accept things through blind faith or out of fear, but does so because of genuine belief, and he does not judge people harshly or seek to inflict punishment on them for their transgressions. This is the stage of loving others as
yourself, losing your attachment to your ego, and forgiving your enemies. Stage IV people are often labeled as Mystics.

Peck argues that while transitions from Stage I to Stage II are sharp, the transitions to Stage III and to Stage IV are gradual. Nonetheless, these changes are very noticeable and mark a significant difference in the personality of the
Comment: If one realizes the above, then one can be more tolerant about the spiritual beliefs of others -- or lack thereof. At the same time, if you are aware of where various others are on the above developmental scale, you can better decide how open you can afford to be with them about your own spirituality.

People who find themselves in a chaotic and disordered existence and then "discover" religion tend to take a very fundamental and authoritarian view (much like what the Old Testament provides). Those people who advance towards the higher spirituality and enlightenment that Christ brought in sometimes first spend time in questioning and skepticism. They no longer accept things by faith alone. Regardless, all people deign to eventually achieve the ultimate of what Jesus offered us. But, that requires growing beyond the rigid tenets of Fundamentalism. [We graduate from fundamental math 
to higher math and then to the math of the celestial spheres].

Also read:

Global Warming: Simple Demonstrations Show That Greenhouse Gases Warm Air

In thinking about global warming, we often forget that greenhouse gases are not inherently bad. Without them, we would have a snowball Earth. But, with too much of them, we risk a fireball Earth. Before mankind started terra forming Earth in spectacular ways and burning fossil fuels as an energy source, the biosphere was able to keep a proper balance of CO2 and oxygen. But, this is no longer possible because of the huge amounts of sequestered carbon dioxide being unlocked from the use of coal, petroleum and natural gas.

What some of us have a hard time understanding is how an invisible gas can act like an atmospheric blanket. To demonstrate, watch below:

00:03:00 Video

Mythbusters tests global warming theory - does CO2 warm air?

00:03:58 Video

The Greenhouse Gas Demo

After this, the physics is explained in this video:
00:03:09 Video
How Do Greenhouse Gases Work?