We are all on a journey, whether we are aware of it or not. In our journey, we meet and bond with people, sometimes for a short time, sometimes for an entire lifetime. What we don’t realise most of the time is that in the time we journey together, we change and evolve. We sometimes see things like the wheels on the bus, they don’t really change much except for the rotation (which we are seldom aware of), but if we look up, the scenery would have changed drastically!
And this is where time plays a crucial role. Take a look at this video…
Amazing isn’t it? Once you compress time into a bite sized morsel, the change is so much more ‘obvious’!
Spiritually, we evolve over time as well. According to M. Scott Peck, we go through 4 different stages of spiritual development (from Wikipedia – link here).
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 andspirituality 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 labeled as Mystics.
Peck argues that while transitions from Stage I to Stage II are sharp, transitions from Stage III to Stage IV are gradual. Nonetheless, these changes are very noticeable and mark a significant difference in the personality of the individual. The four stages provide foundational material for Dave Schmelzer’s 2008 book Not The Religious Type.
What do you think? Do you agree with his thinking?
What I find useful for me personally (and now made so much easier with technology) is to be able to map out my journey into a timeline. There are many timeline software and services online to help teachers and educators leverage a timeline to illustrate how things have evolved over a long period of time.
If you want to try out some timelines and apps, check out
1. IBM Think – a free educational app to explore how progress happens
2. IBM Minds of Modern Mathematics – a free educational app to explore how mathematicians and mathematics have shaped the world we live in
3. Easy Timeline – a basic but powerful timeline software for the Mac
4. Timeline 3D – an advanced and awesome timeline software for the iOS (Mac version also available)
5. Links to some of the most creative timelines & infographics you’re likely to see
Before signing off, here are a couple of ‘before and after’ cartoons to end this blog with a guffaw or two… Enjoy!
Makes you wonder, are we really moving forward?