When someone talks about all round development, it usually deals with physical, mental and spiritual growth.
It is fashionable to snigger at the word “spiritual” but till I find a better word, I’m going to stick with it.
Mental growth, for most of us, is acquiring knowledge. Increasing the mental muscle. Improving processing capacity, increasing memory and recall. It is, like upgrading your hardware in the computer.
The Spirit, and Spiritual growth is what directs the use of the hardware. A brain, is a tool. It can be used to kill, hurt and destroy. Or it can be used to nurture, protect and create. Or it can do both, according to what is appropriate for the situation. Knowing what is appropriate for the situation is what comes from spiritual growth.
For true growth to happen, all three, mental, physical and spiritual have to grow simultaneously. Like 3 plants situated close to each other supporting each other, instead of overpowering the other two. A tiny grove of 3 trees has a better chance of survival than one with just two. Or a solo tree.
The growth rates for these three parts of oneself might not be uniform. In fact it never is.
For all of us, our physical growth far outstrips our mental growth once we’re past 3 or 4 years of age. The mental growth is the fastest up till that point. And spiritual growth, or elevation of consciousness happens mostly after the 20s , especially in men. Because it is around 25yrs of age that the frontal lobe comes online.
Trying to keep two of them growing continually, atleast not letting them get stunted while the one that is undergoing a growth spurt would result in a better human being. If you have to ask, what the necessity is, for being a better human being, then maybe you’re lacking in spiritual growth.
Keeping all 3 growing, needs work. Needs daily practice. Some people know the value of simultaneous growth, but they focus on just one over the other. Which is fine. As long as they are aware of the need for growth in all spheres.
I’m proposing, that physical training is easiest route to all round growth. And this is where I finally get to the meat of the matter, after this lengthy preamble.
It is easier because
1. physical training shows fast results and keeps motivation high, unlike slogging away at something like meditation.
2. It keeps you in touch with the “real” physical world
3. It is easy to get feedback from external sources or even a mirror, regarding training methods
4. It gets you in touch with your breath, which is the key to opening up spiritual growth. Regulating breath during effort will teach you regulation of breath during stillness.
5. It forces your mind to get creative when training under constraints of the weights and tools you use
6. It gives you time to contemplate the way things fit against each other. To start with it will be the weights you use, or your opponent in sparring, the tools you wield. But as you persist and do it for long enough, you’ll start to see parallels between the way you training goes and the way the world works.
So, start physical training. The spiritual and mental will follow.