John J. Stathas, Ph.D., LMFT
A head’s up. This article is intended for a minority of people, meaning those who are desirous and capable of exploring theoretical explanations of who you and the evolving world are in essence. This is heady stuff offered to the few who have requested such an offering. You are welcomed in for this exploration. This writing is an excerpt of a paper I wrote in proposing my own theory of personality development, the title of which is “Love, the quintessence of being”.
Being is life, spirited energized existence. Being is both source and completion, a process. All life, beings, share in Being (Ontology) in varying degrees of consciousness depending on the particular evolutionary state of development existent. The degree of consciousness and the choices made facilitate or regress the expansion of one’s being-ness.
All beings emanate from, and culminate in, the all, Being itself. Being is evolutionary in character. Julian Huxley in his preface to the book Phenomenon of Man, says that ‘the universe in its entirety must be regarded as one gigantic process, a process of becoming, of attaining new levels of existence and organization, which can properly be called a genesis or evolution.’ The evolution of being is unitive and consciousness expanding. Teilhard de Chardin, a paleontologist, states ‘Fuller being is fuller union … . Union can only increase through an increase in consciousness, that is to say in vision.’ Theologian, Piet Schoonenberg, uses similar concepts as he writes, ‘Every connection of the visible or invisible world can be understood only as giving or receiving a share in Being … . A person doesn’t merely have consciousness, he is consciousness. Growth is an intensification of being.’
Love is the energy source of being’s relationship and expansion. Teilhard puts it this way, ‘Driven by the forces of love, the fragments of the world seek each other so that the world may come into being. Love is the within of things which alone is capable of uniting living beings in such a way as to complete and fulfill them, for it alone takes them by what is deepest in themselves.’
Depending on the level of being extant, consciousness, and the choices made, to that extent is a person actualized. Being has potential to be actualized. The motivation for this actualization stems in large part from one’s needs. Abraham Maslow has written eloquently about the hierarchy of needs, beginning with the most basic needs for survival through the ultimate of transcendent self actualization. Each level of needs being met shapes and facilitates the growth into the higher form, while powered by the energy source of love. He states, ‘All experience is testimonial to this fact that love actualizes and non-love stultifies.’
To choose not to love is to choose to not be a creator and unifier of being. Philosopher Andre Ligneul states that “every blow at dignity, every lack of respect for the person, whatever its form, is deplorable because the universe is thereby deprived of a certain fullness of being that this person would have contributed to it, had he himself not been prevented from reaching the fullness of his own being”.
Nikos Kazantzakis, the Greek writer, describes the process of personal and universal actualization in these terms, “We are all one substance (being) involved in the terrible struggle of turning matter into spirit.” A noble goal!
Respected Reader, the substantive core of the above theory is that all beings are in the process of evolution. The direction, pace, and end result is based on an awareness of what is going on, making informed choices based on loving intent and action. As one evolves to a higher and higher plane of existence, consciousness expands, and one participates through love more deeply and energetically in Being. This process expands the person and universe toward a higher plane of existence moving toward a full potential actualization.
I offer this as one person’s raison d’ etre for living a life of purpose, attempting to raise consciousness and the capacity to use the love energy available in co-creating an evolving universe with a deeper connection and unification of all beings.
“The unexamined life is not worth living” Socrates