The spiritual history of man, as seen by God, is not one of progress but of recover, or redemption.
The evolution of consciousness requires a wide range of opportunities and a playing field that affords almost unlimited options for development. If human life represents a learning process, then society is the ideal school that affords an extremely wide range of options for numerous levels of consciousness to develop, progress, define, identify, and grasp endless subtleties as well as learn more gross lessons. The ego is extremely tenacious and therefore often seems to require extreme conditions before it lets go of a positionality. It often takes the collective experience of millions of people over many centuries to learn even what appears upon examination to be a simple and obvious truth, namely, that peace is better than war or love is better than hate.
The future arrives of its own accord, progress does not.
Biology… has thus revealed man’s place in nature. Hs is the highest form of life produced by the evolutionary process on this planet, the latest dominant type, and the only organism capable of further advance or progress. Whether he knows it or not, whether he wishes it or not, he is now the main agency for the further evolution of the earth and its inhabitants. In other words, his destiny is to realize new possibilities for the whole terrestrial sector of the cosmic process, to be the instrument of further evolutionary progress on this planet.
Not only is natural selection not the instrument of a god’s sublime purpose, it is not even the best mechanism for achieving evolutionary progress.
The belief in progress, not as an ideal but as an indisputable fact, not as a task for humanity but as a law of Nature, has been the working faith of the West for about a hundred and fifty years.
The law of duty demands moral perfection or holiness. But this is impossible in our present life, therefore it can only be attained by an indefinite progress, and this progress is only possible under the hypothesis of an existence and a personality that re indefinitely prolonged.
Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the ark of the covenant, too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment… I am certainly not an advocate for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions. I think moderate imperfections had better be borne with; because, when once known, we accommodate ourselves to them, and find practical means of correcting their ill effects. But I know also that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.
The dogma that “mental diseases are diseases of the brain” is a hangover from the materialism of the 1870s. It has become a prejudice which hinders all progress, with nothing to justify it.
Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be coworkers with God, and without this hard work, time itself become an ally of the forces of social stagnation.
Persuasion that property and freedom are inseparably connected, and that economic leveling is not economic progress. Separate property from private possession, and liberty is erased.
Moral thought seems to behave like all other kinds of thought. Progress through the moral levels and stages is characterized by increasing differentiation and increasing integration, and hence is the same kind of progress that scientific theory presents.
Is it progress if a cannibal uses knife and fork?
The wake of Moses, of Buddha, of Confucius, of Lao Tse, of Christ, probably exert a greater influence over humanity today than when these men were pondering over its fate and happiness. No man ever disappears completely if he strives to do good and expects no reward outside of the joy of having contributed to the progress of mankind.
He who is firmly seated in authority soon learns to think security, and not progress, the highest lesson of statecraft.
Let each one remember that he will make progress in all spiritual things only insofar as he rids himself of self-love, self-will and self-interest.
In frontless war where there are no clear lines on the map to show victory and defeat, the only true measure of progress must be political and nonquantifiable: the impact on the enemy’s will to continue the fight.
Practically in all the progress that man has made is due to the fact that he is mortal… If there were no death, life would become a thing stagnant, monotonous, and unspeakably burdensome.
Communities, like individuals, love and cherish their individuality… When unity is evolved out of diversity, then there is a real and abiding national progress.
We consider progress as legitimate only when it reinforces, rather than undermines, freedom and democracy.