The great within of the soul is oddly proportioned to the great beyond of God, in that man's worth, in the words of Schuon, "lies in his consciousness of the Absolute." Alternatively, if man is proportioned to relativity, then he is nothing, just as our tenured apes tell us.
What is the essential difference between these two movements? Well, the first must be guided by some sort of largely genetic telos, or morphogenetic field, or teleonomic attractor. It happens "by itself," given certain minimal environmental conditions, e.g., good enough mothering, good enough nourishment, and good enough information.
I am old enough to remember when being an adult wasn't considered much of an achievement. But in the contemporary world there is a panoply of barriers to the achievement of adulthood, virtually all erected by the cultural left. For example, they have no use for motherhood, with the predictable result of producing children with attachment disorders inhabiting adult bodies. That's no way to preserve and hand on a civilization.
The insanity of triggers, microaggressions, speech codes, and political correctness in general are just ways to protect children from the rigors of adulthood. Dennis Prager says the loudest applause he ever heard was during a commencement speech by Obama, when he reminded the supposedly grown-up students that with his healthcare plan, they would be able to stay on their parents' insurance until age 26! YAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY! Parasitism rules!
With so few children making it to adulthood, we can forget all about the second movement for most people. An abortion -- which is to say, an arrested birth -- can occur at any age. I believe it was Boris Mouravieff who coined the term "astral abortion." Let me look it up. Hmm, no index. Ahh, here it is. An astral abortion occurs should we fail to undergo the second birth, because we can't stay in the womb forever. Unless of course we receive tenure.
But once born again, this new "individuality no longer depends on the physical body, in the same way that the child who has been born does not die, even if his birth has been at the cost of his mother's life. It is this to which the apostle alluded, saying we shall not die."
At the very least, the person faces a life of arrested development if not born again from above, which facilitates transition from the little human cosmic womb to the big divine-human matrix which "forms the link between visible and invisible worlds." That link goes to the famous ombilical cord between man and God.
Some additional relevant observations from our guest bobstetrician: "If we were to imagine a perfect World based on a principle of perfect and stable equilibrium, it would be a petrified image -- that of Death. Above all else, Life is movement; movement from a flowing current," such that a key to evolution is broken equilibrium.
Which immediately calls to mind an aphorism: "An 'ideal society' would be the graveyard of human greatness" (Don Colacho).
This is precisely why liberal academia has become just such a graveyard, because it wants to create an ideal world for emotionally fragile children, such that there is no motivation for women to grow up or men to grow a pair.
Remember: the source of man's value -- his dignity -- is in that disequilibrium between us and God. You are of course free to pursue a life of equilibrium with the world, but if you succeed, then you fail.
About that disequilibrium: "God is infinitely close to man, but man is infinitely far from God." The first makes the journey possible, while the second makes it necessary. Again, unless you forge a static equilibrium between the two, which reduces to a death-in-life, for no one is more safe and secure than the dead.
Even before leaving genetic adulthood behind and below, we all have intimations of the beyond, which are analogous to the contractions of labor (second birthquakes). Eventually, the womb simply becomes too small to contain us. Which is why, as Schuon puts it, we discover "that the things of this world are never proportionate to our actual range of intelligence."
Think about that, because it is so experience-near that we can fail to appreciate the weirdness of it. All other animals short of man are indeed proportionate to the world; or not even the world, of which they know nothing (any more than they know of the universe). Rather, they know only their world, as in how a frog can see a living insect but will starve in the presence of dead ones. The dead ones simply fall off the frog's radar screen, as in how living truth ceases to exist for the liberal.
But man is never at equilibrium with the world, a condition which is both our privilege and a source of frustration if not seen rightly. You know Augustine's crack about not-resting-until-we-rest-in-God? This is what he's talking about, i.e., a kind of higher equilibrium that goes by different names in different traditions, e.g., beatitude, shanti, shalom, ananda, slack, etc. It can never be 100% "complete" in this life, because "only the 'divine dimension' can satisfy our thirst for plenitude in our willing or our love," and there are certain terrestrial barriers to full identification with it, such as our materiality.
The following also goes to the developmental continuum under discussion, that "The way towards God always involves an inversion: from outwardness one must pass to inwardness, from multiplicity to unity, from dispersion to concentration, from egoism to detachment, from passion to serenity" (Schuon).
Note that this doesn't necessarily involve withdrawal from the exterior world, but rather, the infusion of these latter qualities into the world, such that we pull ourselves out by our own buddhastraps -- i.e., the bodhisattva principle whereby we extricate our heads from our own aseity. Or just say down- and in-carnation.
Inwardness is a quality, not a place. You want to cultivate it everywhere, because it is where all the radiance radiates from, whether in the mode of truth, love, beauty, depth, light, etc.
The end, I guess, not that we've achieved equilibrium or anything. Rather, only the fruit of disequilibrium.