Download Human Development and the Spiritual Life: How Consciousness by Ronald R. Irwin PDF

By Ronald R. Irwin

The writer proposes a concept of the advance of recognition within which ego is the crucial agent of socialization and tradition and the motive force at the back of person strength of mind and self-regulation. He experiences the literature on id and narrative; outlines the fields of highbrow, self, ethical, and cognizance improvement; and discusses the proof indicating that the advance of recognition trancends the constraints of traditional ego development.

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Additional resources for Human Development and the Spiritual Life: How Consciousness Grows toward Transformation

Sample text

We have, as a species, evolved a social life that mediates our interactions with the physical world. We know things primarily through the agency of our mothers, and later, through significant others. We have also evolved a simulation mechanism to effect representational selection, a simulation mechanism that relies heavily on language. These two, society and cognition, acting in conjunction, produce ego. The development into ego, and therefore also development beyond ego, is therefore entirely contingent on these processes.

The aging male at 28 Chapter 2 midlife may have an affair with a younger woman. In milder cases, we might devote more time to simple pleasures. In more extreme cases, we might throwaway our careers on a lark or indulge in drinking or substance abuse. But these paths are hardly the expression of our deepest nature. If self-control and role-playing are relinquished, if we simply let go of our hard-won psychological mechanisms of self-control, we are open to becoming the slaves of the consumer world, the manipulations of the marketplace.

An error in this case is having the response punished. Some responses are rewarded, and are therefore selected. Rewarded behaviors have an increased probability of recurring in the future. The problem with both species and behavioral trial-and-error is that it is costly. To achieve success you have to allow for risk-the chance of failure-whether the members of the species are killed off or whether some behaviors result in damage or pain. Any species that can offset the risk due to failure are going to be more successful at the game of reproduction.

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