Using Change and Progress to Grow
"The Truth will set you free," says the wisdom. The prophets and the messiah came on this earth to offer the fundamental Truth to humankind for his liberation. They wouldn't have had to come and suffer if there were any other paths to freedom for humanity than the Truth. This is why they invested their time on earth teaching and explaining life, its purpose, and the living laws of Creation so that we can grasp and acquire essential knowledge, wisdom, and conviction for our life journey.
Change and progress are two separate things. In most cases, progress is what people have in mind when they say they want to change. Accepting that progress is more challenging than change is counterintuitive. The sentiment and perception that change is a lot harder stems from the fact that change is impossible without conviction, courage, and determination, the three (3) qualities that only a few cultivate throughout their lives. Here is a simple way to understand the difference between change and progress.
When someone says that they are changing their city/state of residence, what they mean is ultimately moving to a new city/state. When someone says, I am going to change my clothes; they mean using a completely different set of clothes. In simple terms, change is something new and entirely different from the previous. As it applies to human beings, the notion of change means being someone other than who we were.
Progress, on the other hand, is a transformation of something so that, in the end, we have a different form of the same. Progress generally unfolds proportionally; however, an entire system can undergo progress. Whether something goes through progress as a whole or in parts, reaching the transformed states requires more time than change. Progress is, therefore, an improvement of the old. For instance, home improvement is a transformation of the same home.
Most people struggle with change for many reasons, but the underlying one is fear. Fear is that feeling you experience when you must enter a dark place without knowing what is in there, what to expect, what to do, how to move once in there, whether you will survive, whether it will be more complex, and so on. The unknown is anything for which we have no knowledge or understanding. The fear of the novel makes us cling to the known, even if it is destructive, so we end up settling, at best, with progress within the known. Progress inside the known will lead to the same but different forms. It is like moving around in a circle and considering the movement as change. The fear of losing something that we know and are attached to is the other side of the "coin" called fear. Anyone who finds themselves between the fear of the unknown and the fear of loss becomes paralyzed even if, externally, they seem normal. Living under these conditions is like being a prisoner well-guarded by self. I intentionally said the self guards the prison because the power to break free always rests with the self. To be blunt, fear is the gateway to death because living a fearful (filled with fear) life is dying beautifully sad and slow.
To fully grasp the power of knowledge, one must look back in history, even in the cruelest one, to realize that knowledge was hidden from the enslaved people and fear was a tool of choice to maintain free human beings in bondage. Unfortunately, our society hasn't changed. We rightly acknowledge and admit that we've made progress. In other words, we've successfully transformed our old slavery society into a modern and more sophisticated same. The system has not fundamentally changed because the fear coin with its two sides is what maintains individuals in bondage to the same system. Back then, wealth was only for a few, while the masses had to work hard primarily to satisfy their masters. Prosperity has never been a shared commodity amongst all people. In the same ways that back then, the old masters provided useless knowledge to the enslaved people, the modern system is loading the masses with useless information while feeding them with endless distractions. Those who attempt to escape the distractions must face institutionalized fears. The harder someone works, the faster they fall into deeper poverty, and the less time they have to think freely for themselves. This partially explains the "great resignation." It is accurately said that "you will recognize them by their fruits"; therefore, how are the fruits of our "modern" society any different from the old?
Ask anyone to choose between life and death; no one will select death; however, if the same people are asked to choose between change and progress, most people will decide to settle for progress. I am not in any shape or form insinuating that progress is wrong, but I am saying that the progress of the bad will result in the bad. Change is the only thing that takes you from bad to good, and progress cannot achieve that for you.
Fundamental knowledge is the only cure for fear, while wisdom is the foundation upon which a firm conviction can rise. Understanding is the light that brightens your path and anchors your courage. Your determination is born from being aware of the contrast between the old and the new. Under these considerations, hope is not a vain word when it is enlightening.
When we change, the world changes. If you don't like what you see, change, and the world will be revealed differently. This explains why two people have different and sometimes opposite appreciations of the same thing. We all know that the world as we saw it in our childhood looks different from the one we experience today as adults. No one can argue that we've changed since then, yet we always seem inclined to believe exclusively in the change that takes place outside, out there in the world. I am confident that today's children see and experience a world differently than adults, even though it is the same. Any adult who embodies child-like simplicity has a different world experience than most. Remember that a color-blind individual experiences some colors differently than most people. The colors are what they have always been and will not change regardless of how many people can or cannot faithfully experience them. If the color blindness is resolved, the cured individual will see and experience the colors differently.
In most cases, we see the world through the lenses of our ignorance and imperfections. We want to judge the world from our little perspective, which is less than a speck of dust compared to the universe. We want the world to move in sync with our expectations. Meanwhile, we refuse to change. God's Creation is perfect, and we must seek its perfection; then, its true beauty will be revealed to us.
If you truly and genuinely want to experience a better world, then change to the new and ideal prototype of self and then progress within that new framework. Even if you stumble inside the new space, you know that it is the result and direct consequence of your action or movement towards becoming new. We know how to build things, yet we don't seem to understand how to make our better selves. Everything we build has a blueprint, yet we want to build our better selves without any vision of what that ideal self must be. The path towards change for the best is easy; progress within the old is not it!
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