Most people stop evolving once they reach ‘a certain level’. What is that ‘certain level’? Why do they stop ‘there’? Why is it different for different people?
People end their personal development when they can no longer perceive any social benefit to their personal development. When their social circle – no matter how small or how large, how educated or how uneducated, how wealthy or how poor it may be – begins to question their personal development they end it in order to preserve their social position. Or we could say people continue to develop only while it is socially acceptable.
If we analyze the above facts we can see that for the majority of people the scope of their personal development is created and controlled by their social circle – thus their personal development never really begins.
To me this suggests that there is a personal self-image and a public self-image. Needless to say, each is an element of one’s personality thus they’re inseparable. Both of them want to evolve but the social self-image seems to be able to control the personal self-image and its development because of the unevolved ego. Currently the public self-image element of the ego seems to be both: created by the dominant social narrative and driven by it. In other words, in our current society the ‘self’ cannot see itself as a success (or as a self-actualized construct) without some external recognition. The ‘self’ needs to be recognized and approved by other external entities (other selves) before it can be satisfied with its own development.
Unfortunately, other external entities (other selves) may not be able to develop in the same direction and with the same speed for a large number of reasons. They might not have given an idea or a direction enough time, they might not have thought about it deeply enough, they might not share the same interests, their genetic makeup might mean they develop different psychological and physiological tendencies and so on and so forth. A large number of physiological and socio-psychological elements shape the members of one’s social circle and any one of them might make it impossible for them to allow themselves to explore a new idea or move in a new direction.
I propose that this occurs mainly because the personal self-image element of one’s ego has not matured enough to recognize that the individual’s full development is that which causes social changes. Or if one does recognize that one’s personal development causes social changes then often one is not strong enough to complete his or her development. One’s complete personal development can force nations, societies, etc. thus our entire civilization to change. A completed personal development – meaning it has not been cut short by the social expectations exerted by the social circle – creates social changes because it forces most other individuals and groups to recognize the same set of ideas, abilities or qualities within themselves.
Unfortunately, most people end their personal development at the smallest hint that they might become isolated and socially unacceptable. However, as we all know, progress begins when one moves beyond the existing theories, ideologies, formulas, systems, etc. thus beyond what is socially acceptable and more importantly beyond the known. Moving beyond the known requires a great amount of courage and more importantly a great deal of learning, skill and experience. One needs to be able to convert personal experiences and personal perceptions of oneself and his or her place in the universe into a valid and useful social construct that can be examined and used by others. Furthermore, one has to be able to talk to others about it – despite their opposition – and to convince them of its value.
Thus we could say: a new personal logic (created by one’s examination of his or her imagination and experiences) thus a new personal self-image can be created and it can transform others but only if the person is strong enough to create a new social self-image and then promote it rather than the accepted social ideas or actions.