Excerpt About Human Potential
Because there are many and various potentials in the human being, there are naturally wide variations in the perception of how the process of maturation proceeds. Different teachings emphasize different parts of the human potential. There are also differences in the value attached to the various potentials, and in the ways these potentials are conceptualized. Two major views of how the process proceeds stand out:
(a) The progressive or sudden abandonment of ego identifications to the point of realizing the nonpersonal aspects of Being. The work or practice is centered around ego and not Being. The attitudes emphasized are those of impersonality, detachment and objectivity. There follows a process of realizing the personal aspects, seen some times as the process of bringing Being into the world. The most representative tradition of this perspective is Buddhism. In legends and fairy tales, this perspective is reflected by the seeking stories where the hero must go to an invisible land to find the object of his seeking, and bring it back to his original homeland, with peace and prosperity.
(b) The gradual and progressive realization of the differentiated aspects of Being, the essential aspects, by the working through of segments of ego identifications. The emphasis is on developing the Personal Essence. The work or practice is centered more around Essence, and is less focused on ego. The attitudes emphasized are those of loving the truth and serving God. This process is seen to continue till the entry into the non-personal realms. The most representative tradition of this perspective is the Sufi one. In legends and fairy tales, this perspective is reflected by the theme of seeking and finding, where the hero comes from a sublime homeland and goes into a world of illusion and lies, where he finds the object of his seeking, and then goes back to his origin, more mature and developed.