Encyclopedia of World Problems - Archived Information

Status message

You are currently in UIA's online document archive. These pages are no longer maintained. To search the full archive click here.

The Encyclopedia is currently undergoing redevelopment !

Human Potential and Development

The Human Potential and Development section of the Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential provides profiles of human development approaches and modes of awareness, and their relationships, as perceived by different beliefs systems, disciplines, religions, and cultures. The contrasting approaches to human development in different cultures, and their respective understandings of the modes of awareness associated with different stages in that development process, are a challenge to knowledge management and comprehension, and it is hoped that a more comprehensive overview will provide a valuable resource for dealing with the global challenges humanity faces.

For instance, to take the example of Meditation. The Encyclopedia defines it as "A wide variety of practices, normally involving narrowing the focus of consciousness to one object while remaining cognitively and intellectually aware. Irrespective of the medium or form used, the essential objective of meditation is the same, namely the development of a presence, a modality of being, which may be expressed or developed in whatever situation the individual may be involved  The practice of meditation consists of a persistent effort to detect and become free of all conditioning, compulsive functioning of mind and body, and of habitual emotional responses that may contaminate the utterly simple situation required by the individual". Broader approaches to development include the category of creative existence, while narrower examples of approaches are cave, magical, Jewish and Bhavana forms of meditation...

The Human Potential and Development section contains descriptions of almost 5000 such approaches and the 20,000 links between them, from Absolution, Balancing yin and yang and Chakra centres of consciousness, to Xenophrenia (or psychism), Yantra yoga and Zen meditation. These contrasting approaches are relevant to international organizations and policy makers -  profiled in a complementary source, the Yearbook of International Organizations.

To enter the free database of approaches click here. A complementary resource is a list of selected websites on human development available at an external site.