Growth

Spiritual growth comes from putting into practice the knowledge we already possess. Instead of reading another book, read your favorite book once more and apply it more carefully than ever in your practical life.

You grow in grace and understanding by solving your daily problems as they arise, by the Practice of the Presence of God, by a tolerant attitude toward others, by plan horse sense (which is Divine Wisdom in you), by sincere and honest dealing at all times, and by cultivating a true sense of humor – which always brings us nearer to God. The great point is that life is to be met and mastered. Outer conditions and appearances are simply of no importance in themselves except as they supply material for growth.

I believe that our choice between two models of psychiatry is really a choice between two competing sets of moral values that will ultimately determine the kind of society we live in. One is the Psychotherapeutic Model’s ideal of healing the soul with its values of self-awareness, autonomy, personal growth, an I-Thou spirit of love, respect, and compassion for others, and an acceptance of moral responsibility for our own egoistic impulses and emotions. The other is the Medical Model’s ideal of quick fix, with its swimming-pool values of stability and conformity, and an I-It orientation toward material success and other superficial addictive pleasures

All genuine ideals have one thing in common: they express the desire for something which is not yet accomplished but which is desirable for the purposes of the growth and happiness of the individual.

Whatever complaints the neurotic patient may have, whatever symptoms he may present are rooted in his inability to love, if we mean by love a capacity for the experience of concern, responsibility, respect, and understanding of another person and the intense desire for that other person’s growth.

Given the opportunity, every human being has the same possibility for spiritual growth.

Increases in material comforts, it may be generally laid down, do not in any way whatsoever conduce to moral growth.

PAC [Political Action Committee] money is destroying the electoral process. It feeds the growth of special interest groups created solely to channel money into political campaigns. It creates an impression that every candidate is bought and owned by the biggest givers.

The purpose of growth: to maximize our ability to be loving, joyful and creative… Growth is not just about striving to be better. It is also about enjoying the moment and accepting yourself as you are (knowing that you are or will do your best to change what you can).

The idea of growth for its own sake is precisely the philosophy of the cancer cell.

For collective action it suffices if the mass can be managed; collective growth is only possible through the freedom and enlargement of individual minds.

I believe that, for the rest of the world, contemporary America is an almost symbolic concentration of all the best and the worst of our civilization. On the one hand, there are its profound commitment to enhancing civil liberty and to maintaining the strength of its democratic institutions, and the fantastic developments in science and technology which have contributed so much to our well-being; on the other, there is the blind worship of perpetual economic growth and consumption, regardless of their destructive impact on the environment, or how subject they are to the dictates of materialism and consumerism, or how they, through the omnipresence of television and advertising, promote uniformity, and banality instead of a respect for human uniqueness.

Subconsciously (particularly in the West), we still expect that limitless expansion - moving on, growing, and building a place of our own – will always be the intrinsic state of affairs. Expansion is necessary for life’s continued development – even expansion into space, throughout our galaxy and into others beyond. Evolutionary change occurs only when possible and advantageous; when niches open up, when food supplies vary, or when a mutation confers a bonus. If niches never alter, change brings penalty, not reward. If we choose zero growth, if we immobilize our niche, we will cease evolving. Without challenge, we do not advance.

The infinite expanse of the universe, its growth through immeasurable periods of time, the boundless range of its changes, and the rational order that pervades it all, seems to demand an infinite intelligence behind its manifestations.

Nothing so promotes the growth of consciousness as [the] inner confrontation of opposites.

Understand that true growth comes from meeting and solving the problems of life in a way that is harmonizing to yourself and to others. If you can follow these simple old ways, you will be continually renewed.

Atonement, rather than growth, is the aim of the religious confessional, whereas psychotherapy does not require that you feel sorry for yoru sins as long as you outgrow them.

To make the growth choice instead of the fear choice a dozen times a day is to move a dozen times a day towards self-actualization.

The quality of a person’s life is directly proportional to the degree of responsibility he takes for his own life and the commitment he makes to change for the better. Don’t be afraid of pains and sufferings. They are divine gifts for our growth.

True religion is slow in growth, and, when once planted, is difficult of dislodgment; but its intellectual counterfeit has no root in itself: it springs up suddenly, it suddenly withers.