Humans, progressing from animality, contain all those traits, but something more is at work here. Animals don’t have a choice to progress or regress. Nature dictates the laws by which they must abide. We can go against nature and do what we want but are bound by those same instincts and feelings from our animal heritage. Humans know that they know. Why that it so I term intelligent progression because nature hand us off as a species from animality to rationality.
Like everything else in the corruption of matter and mind, we begin at zero, individually; but collectively, we retain those trials and errors that move forward with the river of time. I wake up on this earth but know little about my environment or how I should act, except for what my mom and dad show me is safe. Humans do not have infused knowledge (the process Elton Musk is playing around with to plug us into the totality of all knowledge all at once). In his book, The Art of Loving, we have to learn how to love, says Erich Fromm. We must learn the hard way. The variable in all of this learning is that not all of us have the capacity or capability to learn. Each person who lives within their intelligent progression shell is different. Some people want to learn. Others do not. Freedom to choose sets the universe of the mind apart from everything that went before. Humans must have the environment to survive (we need oxygen, protection from radiation from space, and the earth that nourishes us, to name a few).
THE VARIOUS LEVELS OF HUMAN PROGRESSION
I asked this question during one of my Lectio Divina meditations while sitting in the bathtub on a chair this morning (remember, I am 81.9). Wonder if there are different maturity levels of attainment for each human, depending on their choices and what they have absorbed into their lifespan? What does it mean to be fully human? Is there such a thing? How would that look? How would a human go about using free choice to move up the scale of humanity? What would you use as a milestone? Who would give you the milestones?
What follows below is a template about the intelligent progression that happens within human nature from its inception to its extinction. Intelligent progression happens in the physical universe, the mental universe, but also the spiritual universe. Our race is caught up in the Great Attractor, not the cosmological one, but the one that Teilhard de Chardin sets forth as Point Omega, that towards which all reality progresses intelligently.
Not to be outdone in terms of purpose, there are two dimensions to this intelligent progression.
THE COSMIC PROGRESSION — All reality is caught up in the stream of matter, mind, and spirit, as it flows towards its destiny. All reality has a beginning and an end.
MY INTELLIGENT PROGRESSION — In all that is or was, there is only one me. I exist for seventy or eighty years if I am lucky (I guess I am lucky for I am at 81.9). I realize that I am part of a species that shares an animal background in common, even sharing a big chunk of DNA with my ancestors, but that I have reason and freedom to choose what I think is good for me even if it is not. How I deal with my dominant sexual urges, there to procreate the species, but also there to make me happy, is something that I have to learn and does not come without trial and error to see what is authentic love or unauthentic. Love does not come naturally but our species must learn it, individual by individual. We don’t seem to learn from our past mistakes so God had to tell us not to step into the do-do, even though our world says it is okay. We had to have someone to show us what it means to be fully what our nature intended.
The intelligent progression of our humanity does not depend upon my intrusion into its flow, but the accumulation of individuals can cause alterations to our environment. In the way I reflect on reality, the end of intelligent progression is a movement from dissonance to resonance of what humans should have become before Adam and Eve committed the archetypal sin. This spiritual universe is unlike the other two (physical and mental) because the assumptions have changed about what it means to be fully human. Adam and Eve are caretakers of the Garden in Genesis 2-3. I must also be a caretaker of everything below my nature. I can only do that from a power greater than what I possess in my human nature. This is pure energy in the form of pure knowledge, pure love, and pure service (taking care of the garden of my life, getting rid of the weed, adding the correct fertilizer for food, and producing good fruit from the trees of the knowledge of good or evil.
Within this intelligent progression of my life, I must discover the correct answers to six questions to become fully human, and thus fully an adopted son (daughter) of the Father, Point Omega of Teilhard de Chardin.
Individually, I can be a President Putin and conquer everything people will allow me to grasp, in the name of nationalism, but if I can’t answer these six questions correctly, so what?
I can be the richest professional football player who thinks that he is worth millions and millions of dollars for his skill, but if I cannot answer these six questions correctly, how much am I actually worth?
If I am a dedicated cardiologist at the peak of his skills, saving thousands of lives with the technology that has been developed over the years but can’t answer these six questions, what has my time and talent been worth?
It is only when I am fully human, which means I can answer these six most crucial questions about who I am and my purpose during my lifetime, that is meaningful, in the end. I am destined to be an adopted son or daughter of the Father, heir to the spiritual universe, but I have to be in training in my lifetime to practice for the next life. Like anything else in life as a citizen of the world, it takes work and awareness of what is going on, to make it to the next level of humanity, the spiritual self. You enter this stage with Baptism and continue to maintain it with the help of the power of the Holy Spirit. You become dual citizens: that of the world until your body does, and that of an adopted son, from your Baptism to forever.
I need to claim my inheritance, and I can only do that with help from being in the presence of Christ. Being a Lay Cistercian is how I chose to practice loving others as Christ loved us. I do that by participating in those activities where Christ is present, such as Lectio Divina, and trying to contemplate or rest next to the heart of Christ only seeking whatever it is that the Holy Spirit wishes to impart.
MY INTELLIGENT PROGRESSION
|Physical Universe||Physical and Mental Universes||Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Universes|
|The World of Emotions||The World, the mind, and the heart||The Spirit is the fulfillment of the mind and heart. “Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.”|
|Humans are not aware of good or evil and act their animal nature||Humans are aware of their human nature and enact societal or tribal laws to keep from killing each other||Humans are aware that their human nature has another step to make them adopted sons and daughters of the Father.|
|Birth of the physical body||Birth of the awareness of what is good or evil||Birth of the Spirit|
|Natural Law||Human interpretation of Natural Law. Good societies have good laws, but evil societies make bad laws.||The Church Universal safeguards God’s interpretation of the Natural Law.|
|Animal instincts of survival, and power, without any thought of morality.||Human awareness that there must be ways to regulate behavior that protect both society and individuals||Awareness that those who choose have a citizenship that transcends living in the World (dual citizenship)|
|More animality as a human than rationality||Intelligent progression toward more civility and awareness of respect for others||The Law of loving others as Christ loved us.|
|Pleasure and pleasing human emotions are primary. Doing what is easy.||I am postponing pleasure for future gain, suffering discomfort but doing what is right sometimes versus what is easy.||I am dying to my false self so that I might be fully human and do what God thinks is right.|
|I am choosing what is good for me.||I am choosing what is good for me and will enable others to choose what is good for them.||I am choosing what is good for me regarding my perception of The Christ Principle.|
|Nobody tells me what to do.||My choice is informed by what others tell us is good or bad.||My choice is informed by Faith and influenced by reason.|
|The rule of hatred, fear, the dominance of others, lust, jealousy, orgiastic sex (Erich Fromm), murder,||The morality of the moment and what society or factions are in it have current sway.||The rule of preferring nothing to the love of Christ is my center, and maintaining it consumes all of my time until I die.|
|I never grow past being human at the lowest level of humanity.||I want to be more than all the false prophets and useless promises of what it means to be human, but I am not sure what to put at my center.||I can grow to what my humanity intended by intelligent progression. Even if there is no God as I was taught (which is not my position), I have led a life at the whole level of what it means to be a human.|
|I don’t know that I am even in this condition of animality. My reason has accepted assumptions that cause me to be narcissistic in my approach to the World.||I try to love those that love me and keep myself from ending up as totally animal. I open myself to the love of others and being happy with who I am.||I try to die to my animal self and convert my rational self to become more like the mind of Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5)|
|Life is what I can grab from it and covet.||I want to be all I can and help others do the same.||I choose a power outside of me that is the way, the truth, and the life.|
|I live in two universes (physical and mental).||I live in two universes, The World, and will spend whatever time I have||I live in three universes (physical, mental, and spiritual), but one reality. I am a citizen of the World (my base) and also a citizen of the kingdom of heaven by Faith and Belief.|
|We live, love, get what we can take from life, then die.||We aspire to be someone who loves others, treasures family, and makes the world a better place, then we die.||We only want to have in us the mind of Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5) to live in the presence of Christ while we live. The purpose of life is to love God with our whole heart, mind, and self; to love our neighbor as ourselves. (Deuteronomy 6:5 and Matthew 22:37)|
|I covet my free choice and will not give it to anyone.||I choose to use my freedom to choose to help myself but also to help others.||I give my choice as a gift to God and exclaim: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”|
|Love is fulfilling my instinct for sexual pleasure and procreation.||Love is sharing who I am with who you are.||Love is. I define the Art of Love by practicing authentic love each day. Love is wanting to be in the presence of the real presence of Christ in Eucharist and Eucharistic Adoration and just wait.|
|Peace means I am calm.||Peace means the absence of conflict.||Peace means the presence of love.|