Session 1 – A Developing World

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When we examine our history, we see that we develop from generation to generation. Unlike all other parts of Nature—animals and plants, which hardly change for centuries—we evolve significantly from generation to generation, in every realm, even within a single generation.


One who began his life in the first half of the previous century, and has come to see the 21st century, can see how dramatically the world has changed.


Previously, it was primarily rural, with small towns and villages, and people connected to the place where they lived. Today, everything is very different and dynamic. Both the thinking and the overall attitude towards life—everything is different.


So, here lies a question: Is it not enough to be born and continue the species from generation to generation? Why do we have to change?


We see that a newborn baby has to grow, so as to later on lead a good and fulfilling life—to obtain things as a grownup, to change his or her life, have a family, children, and bequeath to them the possessions acquired through life. They, too, continue the parents' life, who see them as an extension of themselves.


So, why, in addition to continuing the species like all other animals, do we also need to develop? What is the purpose of this development? What is the need for it?


We can't see it, but we can see that a newborn baby is still unfit for life. It needs to grow and obtain the knowledge, the strength and the perceptions that will make it capable of understanding life, set life in order, and make changes in life.


Perhaps humanity is also like that. We can view tens of thousands of years of our evolution like the life of a single person, during which we develop and advance with each life.
As a child who develops from one year old to two years old, from two to three years old, perhaps we, too, evolve over centuries, with a century for us, being like a year for a child. However, we still don't see the direction of our development.


When we have kids we know how they develop, we know how to provide them with what they need in order to develop, the means to develop—games, exercises, and a society that we build for them so it develops them. But with us, we don't know towards what or where we are developing. This is why we don't notice the evolution of desires, as though the development is incidental.

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Topic

Humanity is in an evolutionary process of development, but we still do not know where we are developing to.

Main Points

  • Unlike all other parts of nature, mankind evolves significantly from generation to generation.

References

"Today, in accordance with the common wisdom, everyone expects continuous technological progress and the social repercussions that follow. But the future will be far more surprising than most observers realize: few have truly internalized the implications of the fact that the rate of change itself is accelerating."

Essay: "The Law of Accelerating Returns"

"The true token of individuality is the degree to which a certain individual in certain specific historical conditions has absorbed the essence of the society in which he lives."

"Man and Society" - from "Dialectical Materialism" Chapter 5: On the Human Being and Being Human

"A philosophy of history needs to encompass span of human time that captures human nature and its mastery of its environment. Rather than thinking of competing and separate civilisations, we should think in terms of only one human civilisation (one human story), comprised of multiple geo-cultural domains that contain sub-culture."

Chapter 1: Sustainable History and the Dignity of Man

Engage Yourself

Question 1: Where are we running and why? The answer may be here in this video (if the answer isn't here, perhaps the question is well formulated). Before you perform the tasks of the lesson, watch the video clip below. [video clip link, if needed.]

Question 2:

a. Do you feel that the world has changed in recent years?

b. If you answered "yes": Did you feel the change yourself or did you hear about it from others, perhaps from previous generations, who lived in a different way?

c. Try to give some examples of the differences between the way of life from 30-50 years ago, and today:

Question 3: According to the text of the lesson, how is the development of humanity different from the development of children?

Question 4: How is human development different from the development of the other parts of nature?