Every human is born with a spiritual body, an emotional body, a mental body, and a physical body.
We enter this world as a baby. Infancy. Infants are helpless and just need to survive.
Including infancy, the first seven years of a human is focused on the development of the physical body. Childhood. Learning how to roll, how to crawl, how to balance, how to walk, how to talk, how to manipulate one’s environment, how to get the love and attention of our caregivers, how to physically exist in the world.
The next seven years is spent developing the mental body, or the mind. The preteen years. Learning language, ideas, concepts, and communication.
The next seven years is spent developing the emotional body, or the heart. The teenage years and young adulthood. Learning how to deal with emotions: humiliation, blame, despair, regret, anxiety, craving, hate, scorn, courage, trust, optimism, forgiveness, understanding, love, bliss, and peace.
Synecdoche — a figure of speech in which a term for a part of something refers to the whole of something, or vice versa.
In my opinion, synecdoche is not just for figures of speech. It’s an abstract idea that applies to humans and humanity. The development of a human is analogous to the development of humanity.
From the beginning of humanity until the agricultural revolution, humanity was hunter and gatherer. Our collective focus and attention was directed at survival. Survival was front and center. At some point humanity reached a stable level of survival. Once humanity could survive infancy, our collective focus and attention was allowed to make a shift to the next developmental need, the collective physical body.
The agriculture revolution emerged to free us to fulfill the developmental needs humanity’s collective physical body. With the advent of agriculture, no longer was humanity required to be on the move. Just as food literally nourishes our physical body, the agricultural revolution metaphorically nourished our need to develop the collective physical body (the hands).
Once our collective physical body was allowed to develop and blossom, our focus and attention was allowed to shift again. Humanity could work on the development of our next body, the mental body (the head).
The industrial revolution emerged in western society to free us to fulfill the developmental needs of its collective mental body. With the advent of industry, no longer was western society required to work with the physical body. Just as relaxation and reflection literally nourishes our mental body, the industrial revolution metaphorically nourished our need to develop the collective mental body.
Once our collective mental body was allowed to develop and blossom, our focus and attention was allowed to shift again. Western society could work on the development of our next body, the emotional body (the heart).
The next revolution of western civilization is the connection revolution. We are going through the trials and tribulations of this revolution today. The connection revolution is emerging in western society and around world to free us to fulfill the developmental needs of our collective emotional body. With the advent of connection, no longer is western society required to work with the mental body — knowledge is right at our fingertips. Just as connection literally rests our collective mental body, through relationships and expansive networks the connection revolution metaphorically nourishes our need to develop the collective emotional body.
Once our collective emotional body is developed and blossomed, our focus and attention will be allowed to shift again to our spiritual body, the soul. This is where we find the deepest truths to our existential experience.
But I don’t want to get ahead of myself. We still have much work to do on our collective emotional body.
We are in our teenage years now, wrestling with our emotions. Fighting (wars), eating unhealthy food (the rise of the drive-thru), messy bedrooms (trashing our environment), vandalizing (trashing other’s environments), self-loathing (shaming ourselves and everyone else), driving fast and reckless (destroying cultures through the insatiable greed of capitalism). Destroying ourselves and destroying the world around us.
If you are an adult reading this, you probably remember how confusing those years were!
So how do you help a teenager? There is no hope for teenagers actually.
Just kidding, there is hope. You give them love and you accept them. More importantly, you teach them to love and accept themselves.
Humanity needs to learn to love and accept itself. Humans need to learn to love and accept themselves. I need to love and accept myself. (No excuse for bad behavior though. You can love the person while not accepting bad actions, or more precisely, the intention behind the action.)
Why do I need to learn to love and accept myself?
Well the answer is the crux of the matter at hand. Because everyone has some degree emotional imbalance due to a lack of unconditional love. Unconditional love can only come from within oneself. Only you can give yourself the love you need to make yourself whole.
Emotions lead to thoughts lead to actions. The emotional body is connected to the mental body is connected to the physical body.
A person is knocked off-balance by unintegrated emotions (emotions that one does not accept of oneself.) This is what is meant by “a state of emotional imbalance.” Like dominos lined up in a row, an imbalanced emotional state leads to an imbalanced mental state which leads to an imbalanced physical state. In a state of imbalance, thoughts and actions are reactions. In a state of balance, thoughts and actions are responses.
So how do I help humanity?
Well, I help myself. I help develop my emotional body. I develop a state of emotional balance. I integrate my emotions — I become aware and I accept my emotions.
How do I become aware and accept my emotions?
That my friend is the work ahead. That is the trek up the mountain. And there are many paths to the top of the mountain.
If you’re looking for a tool to help you along your path, my best suggestion is to start with book “The Presence Process” by Michael Brown.
Thank you for visiting. Your attention is a gift to me. My writing is a gift to you. I invite you to share this gift with others if you are so moved to.
This was written in Jamestown, ND, USA on Wednesday, March 4, 2015.