To satisfy a lack in our language, in stren #31 I created the new word-switch mentogenous to direct our thinking to the essential source of power we rely on to assume responsibility for our life’s experience, our mature cerebral cortex or “freedom organ.” We have the word endogenous to label the biology and instinct we inherit, and the word exogenous to identify the external forces that determine our life’s experience. We have no complimentary word that directs our thinking to our source of personal responsibility. Mentogenous serves us by recognizing that the prized self-mastery and mental freedom we seek from fate and circumstance, from nature and our nurturers, is an active process of our own doing.
Today’s stren, #33, introduces another important word-switch, super-maturity, to recognize that we have a stage of development beyond immaturity and maturity. The label super-maturity serves us by directing our attention to our most important work-in-progress, teaching ourselves the civilized, humane qualities we profess but have only partially succeeded in attaining.
Learning starts with labeling! Accurate labels are the handles by which we grasp concepts. Concepts turn on meaning, release energy, and incite action. We have a mission to elevate ourselves beyond “maturity.” Adding the word-switch “super-maturity” enables us to think more accurately by distinguishing three progressive stages of our life cycle. Our present language constrains our thinking by distinguishing only two stages, immaturity and maturity. Surviving and thriving require that we recognize and strengthen the third super-maturity stage of our development.
Our early ancestors were intelligent but, like all other life, their knowledge was quite limited. Only humankind has been gifted with a significantly sophisticated freedom organ, the cerebral cortex, that lets us initiate a super-mature stage of our life cycle. We acquire, store, share, and pass knowledge forward to make ourselves increasingly powerful creators. Within the last hundred years, we have acquired so much power from knowledge that we rule all life on earth. We now even influence the fate of earth itself. We have made ourselves responsible for which species shall be allowed to live and which will become extinct. We apply our power of knowledge to influence our own destiny. In doing so, we override fate and circumstance. We have made our own extinction possible by the push of a button, a single person’s word, or even a mechanical error. We are rapidly making this power available to multiple tribes and individuals. Our generation has created a race between Utopia and Armageddon, and the outcome may well be determined by super-maturity or its lack.
Consider the three stages of humankind’s progression through our life cycle:
Immaturity --> Maturity --> Super-maturity
Stage 1: Immaturity is greatest at birth when we are helpless, dependent, self-centered crybabies. For approximately 9 months from the time egg and sperm meet, our biology and genes are programmed by a creative force we call by such names as nature,fate, and instinct. The actual design of what we are extends back billions of years. We are in awe when we recognize the complexity of our organ systems. This may be why some attribute the marvel of our creation to a force commonly labeled “God.” Whether you prefer nature, fate, God, or some other term, we can agree that we each begin life servant to the programming prewired within our biology and genes.
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