Avoiding a Parcelled Self

I haven’t defined a self, nor do I want to. A self is not something static, tied up in a pretty parcel and handed to the child, finished and complete. A self is always becoming. Being does mean becoming, but we run so fast that it is only when we seem to stop — as sitting on the rock at the brook — that we are aware of our own isness, of being. But certainly that is not static; for this awareness of being is always a way of moving from the selfish self — the self-image — and towards the real.

Madeleine L’Engle
“A Wrinkle in Time” Author Madeleine L’Engle on Self-Consciousness and the Wellspring of Creativity

Playing Outside Time & Self

So, when we wholly concentrate, like a child in play, or an artist at work, then we share in the act of creating. We not only escape time, we also escape our self-conscious selves.

Creativity is an act of discovering. The very small child, the baby, is still unself-conscious enough to take joy in discovering himself: he discovers his fingers; he gives them his complete, unself-conscious concentration.

Mostly, no matter how inadequate my playing, the music is all that matters: I am outside time, outside self, in play, in joy. When we can play with the unself-conscious concentration of a child, this is: art: prayer: love.

Madeleine L’Engle
“A Wrinkle in Time” Author Madeleine L’Engle on Self-Consciousness and the Wellspring of Creativity

Humanity Evolves in Stages

In their exploration, they found consistently that humanity evolves in stages. We are not like trees that grow continuously. We evolve by sudden transformations, like a caterpillar that becomes a butterfly, or a tadpole a frog.

Human consciousness evolves in successive stages; there is no wishing away the massive amount of evidence that backs this reality.

Frederic Laloux
Reinventing Organizations

Getting Unstuck

The main idea is that, while growing up, a person often has powerful and emotional experiences that inform their worldview and personality development.

According to the Heath brothers (and all the research they cite in their book), most of these “paradigm shifting” experiences during a person’s teens, 20’s, and begin tapering off during a person’s 30’s.

However, the Heath brothers explain that this doesn’t need to be the case. You can actually manufacture these experiences regularly, and throughout your entire life.

The reason most people stop having “peak experiences” — which according to Dr. Abraham Maslow, is required to become fully actualized as a person — is because they settle into societal norms.

They stop growing.

They stop putting themselves into wildly new and demanding situations.

Benjamin P. Hardy
3 Ways People Become Stuck, Undeveloped, and Unsuccessful