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Human Being Versus Human Becoming

March 25, 2011

Human Being Versus Human Becoming:

Last November, Steve wrote a blog about the concept of being a human being versus being a “human Becoming.” As he mentioned, this is a concept I brought to our book, Find Fulfill Flourish, gleaned from a teacher I had in college.

His name was Ed. I don’t remember his last name, but he had bright eyes and a twinkling smile. It was unusual enough for a college professor to ask us to use his first name, but this was just the beginning of his innovation. Ed taught a course in freshman English. Every new student was required to take freshman English, but those who were lucky enough to have landed Ed as their professor were in for a treat.

The first thing Ed asked us to do was to buy a book called Altair Design. This book was popular in the late 70s toward the end of the hippie era. There are variations of this book available now, but the original is out of print. In case you have never seen it, Altair Design and its sequel, More Altair Design, were two softbound booksthat consisted of patterns in black ink on a white background. Each page had its own design. The pages were perforated so one could easily tear a leaf from the book to save and display the results of one’s use of the design. You could say it was a type of adult coloring book. One could see mandalas in the designs, multiple Spirograph visions, or work against the symmetry to bring to life one’s own creative vision. Our assignment was to use this book as a journal. We were required to color the pages, or use them in some other exploratory fashion, as we entered our personal notes to readings and discussions that took place throughout the semester.

The focus of the entries? To track us as we were on our road of humans becoming. Ed didn’t believe that there was any stasis in being human. He felt that each of us is always on a path to becoming: becoming more effective, becoming, more wise, becoming more humane, becoming new… becoming. He had no particular expecation about what we were becoming, as long as we recognized that we were on a journey and that we engaged ourselves in that discussion. The course and this process were one of the most profound of my college career.

Years later I became very involved with an organzation called The Sage Experience, devoetd to developing the wise person within each of us: the inner sage. One of the tools we used in that workshop was a chart devised by Karl Anrold Belzer called the Integrity Tone Scale. It was a chart that denoted various  emotional states, their associated level of integrity, and actions to take to move one to the next higher level on the scale. I remember vividly that the emotion “complacent” was associated with a sense of deadness, meaning that when we are at a place of acceptance in our lives and we cease to push through to the next level of challenge and growth, it is as if we are living in a state of nothingness, or deadness. We cease to “become.” The action to take? Take an action!

So much of our culture gears us to work and build, dreaming of and waiting for the moment when we can reture, to rest, relax, sit back and admire our accomplishments. There is value to this at any stage of achievement, because we must see and assess what we have completed – we must recognize who we have become – as a prerequisite to our next phase of becoming. But if we attain that pinnacle of rest and cease to pursue growth, we find ourselves bored, dissatisfied and unfulfilled. This is what happens with many people approaching retirement who count the days until they can sit around and rest of do nothing. After a few weeks or months, manyfind themselves itching for a new project. Some even  go back to work –  the thing they couldn’t wait to leave – rather than sit around and face the four walls. This is their “human becoming” voice speaking to them. We have a continued  need to expand and thrive in this life, as long as the breath remains in our bodies.

Are you actively engaged in your process of becoming? Are you caught up in a static sense of  being, forgetting to strive and challenge yourself to revela the next discovery on your road in life? If so, I urge you to pick up a creative coloring book or journal. Begin to ponder: who am I becoming? Who would I like to become? Let the colors and the words take you. Discover and new meaning await!

Robin Damsky

Our book, Find Fulfill Flourish, is now available! Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times calls it “an inspirational tour de force” Click here to purchase it. Click here for an overview and here for a free sample chapter. Book readers also receive FREE access to all premium exercises and content on our website.

Visit our new website, see the video: Take the FREE Guiding Values Exercise.

Copyright © 2011, F3 Forum LLC. All rights reserved.

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