What is progress? Improvement, Advancement, movement towards a higher stage and it is also the opposite of regress. Progress is also debatable depending on which side of the table we sit. World over people conflict ideas of progress. If we were to combine progress and regress together and strip of its quality to move forward or backward the whole thing becomes just movement in some direction. Time always advances and associates with some change especially in living beings which grow older with time, it is an advancement of age for sure, but is it necessarily advancement always for other things?
Can we look at movement in time that is not a forward or backward? We can if we are unsure of the concept of direction. Imagine a large space where you can’t see a starting point or no end point which direction of movement is forward which is backward? But we live in a world where there are definite rule for progress and regress though we agree or not. But the question remains if we are really moving?
In the past few days we discussed the concept of two life streams that exist in any person. The external self as we know is our connection with the world and people around us and so it can be required to follow the rules of the world. With respect to the concept of progress let us for a while give our external self a free ride by the rules of the world, without any controlling let it approach movement (progress) as defined by the world, it could be our social stature, wealth, outlook, politics or anything that can be represented as having an improved state at any time. So our external self now moves as per the rules of the world step by step in a direction defined as improvement and advancement by the world.
Now let us take a look at our internal self and consider it having movement that does not have a quality of progress or regress. It is just a plain movement that happens by the passage of time, we don’t have a direction, no need to improve anything, and we can choose to do nothing if we want to. Imagine the internal self as floating in space not forced to move in any direction. In due course our external self will start kicking in and add the elements of progress (as it knows) into this space. It might also force our internal self to define progress and also push its own definition of improvement.
This is where we start the process of accepting and analyzing; we accept all the definitions of progress from our external self and allow it move with our internal self in the space. Now what you have is an open space with your internal self floating with the definition of progress and direction and advancement and many other elements created by the world. Now we slowly add a few more elements into the mix. We add goodness, we add our unanswered questions about life and we add our experiences from our external self and our deductions. We let them also float and then slowly in the space try to reconstruct a definition for progress and advancement. This is an ongoing activity and at any time we can see if our reconstruction makes sense and if needed influence our external self.