Csikszentmihalyi "The Evolving Self"
In The Evolving Self, Csikszentmihalyi challenges us to go beyond the selfishness of our genes, a fatalistic pre-determined existence, and the constraints of our cultural heritage to create new "selves"? who take seriously the responsibility each of us has for the future of the planet. And although this work is sixteen years old, the concerns he voices are even more urgent today than they were then. Evolution of the human brain resulted in the capacity for a higher level of consciousness. Csikszentmihalyi stated that although all humans have the capacity for a self-reflective consciousness, not everyone uses it equally. Some people blindly allow their genetic blueprint or society dictate their lives, others are extremely self-centered, and the majority are between the two extremes (p. 23). This comment caused me to think back to Barbara’s question last Tuesday about the incredibly self-reflective nature of our blogs last week. So as self-reflective individuals concerned with the global environment, what type of selves do we wish to create? What values do we espouse? What priorities do we set? Can we, as leaders, guide our (humanity’s) evolution to one of cooperation, which as Csikszentmihalyi notes, may give our species the competitive edge for long-term survival of our planet? Can go beyond the limitations of our genetic predispositions, learn from our collective history, and design our evolutionary futures?