How the drive to become extraordinary is taking over personal development (and excluding so-called ‘ordinary’ people)
The human potential movement has a great deal of influence in personal development. It is about harnessing science, the power of determination, and spirituality in order to create extraordinary people with extraordinary contributions. The emphasis is often on creating wealth, reknown, and amazing human achievements – amazing, it would seem, as measured against ordinariness, as measured against mediocrity. In the process, it risks devaluing the true extraordinariness of peace, of simplicity, of connection to soul, which requires nothing of you in the world. It is truly an internal journey, reachable for any human, anywhere.
The human potential movement has become the face of contemporary personal and spiritual development. It has these characteristics:
- It champion’s individual needs over global or society needs. It does this by focusing on a person’s independent growth as opposed to how that person’s growth fits into the larger scope of what society needs.
- One of its most central tenets is that the human mind has a much larger ability than most people realize. It is very much about the mental sphere, the cerebral sphere, rather than the heart or instinctual self.
- It champions science as the arbiter of proof for human potential techniques, meaning it focuses on outcomes and tangible achievements over states of being or consciousness.
- Spirituality is in service to material and life goals in the world, as opposed to spirituality being in service to Awakening, enlightment, realizing Oneness.
- It has an immense focus on self-actualization as being defined by financial and business success.
What about ordinary people? What about modesty?
It is, indeed, an amazing experience to be an entrepreneur, to make a lot of money, to invent something unique, to solve major problems of the world, to harness our mind’s amazing powers of consciousness to create our reality. But what about those of us living modest lives, with modest goals? Is that less ‘amazing’? Is that ‘less than’ in any way?
What about the vast majority of humankind who lives on less than U$5 a day? Or the leagues of us who are employees, doing routine tasks, just getting by, in the mess of life?
What about those of us who desire not to be extraordinary, but who desire to be, simply, at peace?
There are many of us who desire to be loving, to become aware of our connection in consciousness to All, and to extend, through our daily, small acts, simple kindness and caring to all in our path. We are, I would argue, no less amazing.
I would like to champion the ordinary, for within that there is still wonder, and within that we can be at peace.
Within all of us, there is the wonder of consciousness. The wonder of kindness. The wonder of our innate, universal connection to Divinity. Beneath the costume of our human identity, we all contain the Divine, expressing itself in many different ways. Those ways may appear ‘ordinary’ on the outside, but there is nothing mundane within.
Maybe you are an employee, with a small salary, without grand ambition. In the human potential movement, to become extraordinary your life would shift to financial abundance, to worldly achievement, to amazing discoveries. But I ask you to tell me how much you-or anyone-might extend love (and healing) in your supposed ordinariness, and if that, in any case, is any less than you would be able to do as a famous, rich entrepreneur, or scientist, or thought leader?
Each of us influences the world in our own way, no matter what
The most outwardly ‘average’ person has a field of energy, an outward vibration, connected to each and every vibration on the planet. The heart’s electromagnetic field can be measured several feet away from the body by sensitive magnetometers. Research conducted at the HeartMath Institute, the world’s most well-known institute specialising in the mysteries of the heart, suggests that the electromagnetic field produced by the heart is a complex network connecting the various electromagnetic fields of the rest of the body.
Each of us influences all in the universe
Research has shown that energy waveforms generated by the heart’s electromagnetic field encode and distribute information about all structures and processes throughout the body from the cellular level to the body as a whole and beyond.
In fact, the electromagnetic energetic field of one person’s heart connects us all in what scientists theorise is the quantum vacuum.
Quantum vacuum theories are based on holographic principles that anything inside one electromagnetic field is intricately connected to other fields, and can thus affect all other fields, from the brain, to other people, social structures, and the universe itself.
What does this mean as regards human potential? It means that simply be being loving, by being present, by extending your love, you have a great deal of influence, no matter the outward ‘ordinariness’ of your life. Each of us has profound influence, and is innately extraordinary by the quality of our loving, and the quality of our forgiveness.
We can have both
Embracing the human potential movement for particular outcomes, and seeking wisdom and peace from within are not mutually exclusive undertakings. It’s entirely valid to have goals in the world, and to marshal your latent potential in order to realize those goals – and at the same time, to embrace your inner journey, which exists independently of what’s happening ‘out there.’
Importantly, there is no moral victory here. What happens ‘out there’ does not make one better, superior, more amazing.
Just don’t mistake one for the other
Truly, you can’t take your achievements with you, when this life passes. Yes, of course, you may leave a legacy for others. But, your soul has no clothing but love. Your soul is nothing but love. In fact, this is the beginning and end of why we are born, live, and die. To realize that this is who we are, and to release our attachment to the clothing of human life, to the roles we play, which might convince anyone that we are anything otherwise!
The beggar who spends a lifetime on the street with a full, loving and forgiving heart may be more at peace, and may be extending more love and healing than anyone else on the planet. Yet, how often do we teach others to aspire to that beggar’s state of consciousness? Instead, we focus on his circumstances, and teach, instead, how to live ‘better’ in the material world.
We champion results, outcomes, material circumstances far more than inner states of being. Of course you can live well, and be loving and at peace. Yet we don’t focus on achieving peace as much as we do on achieving ‘living well.’
We are all energy
When we are able to truly see our fellow humans, really see souls rather than the clothing of humankind, what we see is nothing but light. From Gary Renard, to Adyashanti, every account there is of mystical experiences reveals the same vision: We are all the same. We are light. We are vibration. We are Divinity, masquerading as individuals. There is no ordinary, or extraordinary. There is nothing but unity in consciousness. As Jeshua says in the Way of Mastery, “we are sunbeams to the Sun.”
I would like to conclude by stating that actually, there is no such thing as ordinary. The world might have this word, might make this assertion, and might so categorize people. Yet, spirit does no such thing. In spirit, we are equally wondrous.
Whether ordinary, or extraordinary, we all have loving hearts. This is what we should cultivate, champion, love. This is what will actually change the world, and remind us of who we really are.