Article Index

      The fact that physical development occurs well ahead of mental and emotional maturity is of considerable practical interest.  Brawn precedes brain.  The adage coined by Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839, “The pen is mightier than the sword,” applies only after the development of language.  The prophet Mohammad is quoted as saying: “The ink of the scholar is holier than the blood of the martyr.”  Communication skill may surpass violence.  Peace by changing one’s assumptive views may benefit all whereas the sword too often results in death.  The recent introduction of weapons with ultimate destructive power (WUD) has again tipped the direction of energy towards muscle and our animal brain; it presents us with our most imminent crisis.         

     We derive our special godlike power by our ability to create assumptions about the data we receive and design original action pathways not available to other species.  As we attain our highest level of function, we become conscious of our consciousness, i.e. self-conscious, we may self-program directions to our will power.  The assumptive views or beliefs we create to interpret our conscious awareness may override the prescribed action pathways of instinct and tradition, fate and circumstance, nature and our nurturers.  This super mature stage of development, available only to humankind, provides us both opportunity and responsibility for our destiny and that of all about us.  The creative force that brought us to this level, be it God or nature depending on your assumptive worldview, is throwing us out of the nest - telling us to become free and “fly” on our own.  It has provided us the intelligence to proceed and succeed.  The freedom that we hold precious requires that we choose among alternatives – wisely or stupidly.  Wisdom is applying common sense to newer knowledge to make good judgments.  Stupidity is allowing ourselves to uncritically obey the authority of tradition that advocates yesterday’s effective solutions to manage today’s problems. 

     Now I will keep my promise to provide many examples of the practical benefits from our understanding of the principle, Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny by first elaborating the most important.  Through the scientific method, our generation is rapidly increasing our godlike power of creation and destruction.  Human selection as overtaking natural selection to determine who shall live and who shall become extinct.  Increasingly, we assume responsibility for our destiny and that of all about us.  Our animal brain directs our thinking, feelings, and actions long before the humane portion of our brain, the cerebral cortex, is sufficiently mature and equipped to consistently adapt our mega-power to constructive outcomes.  Instinct and tradition would have us advocate yesterday’s methods to solve today’s problems – instinct, trial-and-error, and mimicking role models.   Our animal brain is hard-wired to advocate survival of the fittest through domination and destructive confrontation, “war followed by cure.”   The rapid proliferation of weapons with ultimate destructive power offer us no second chance. 

     ORP allows us to predict the outcome of being led by our animal brain and understand how we can prevent it.  We must progress beyond our repertoire of inherited behaviors, the newer behaviors we add through trial-and-error, and mimicking our role models to attain our highest level of function, the stage I call super-maturity.  We must teach ourselves a newer way of thinking that adds common sense wisdom to self-mastery.  Nature has provided us a “freedom organ,” our intelligent cerebral cortex.  Freedom conveys to us the choice to express our growing godlike power favoring constructive or destructive outcomes, or some combination of the two extremes.  By progressing through our developmental stages to super-maturity, we can add wisdom to the power of mental freedom.  We can self-program the humane values that elevate us above other life.  Such values include but are not limited to the mental freedom to choose among alternatives, love, forgiveness, compassion, cooperation and collaboration for mutual benefit, mercy, kindness, and humor.  At issue is to what degree we direct our will towards mass construction instead of the opposite.