Law grows, and though the principles of law remain unchanged, yet (and it is one of the advantages of the common law) their application is to be changed with the changing circumstances of the times. Some persons may call this retrogression, I call it progression of human opinion.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The universe is continually at its work of restructuring itself at a higher, more complex, more elegant level. The novelty, the new, more complex order, doesn't emerge from the present in a steady stream, nor at all places at the same rate. It comes, as all things do, in rhythmic waves; there will always be times and places of scarcity and stagnation and retrogression. Still, the long-term direction is clear. The intention of the universe is evolution.
As there must be moderation in other things, so there must be moderation in self-criticism. Perpetual contemplation of our own actions produces a morbid consciousness, quite unlike that normal consciousness accompanying right actions spontaneously done; and from a state of unstable equilibrium long maintained by effort, there is apt to be a fall towards stable equilibrium, in which the primitive nature reasserts itself. Retrogression rather than progression may hence result.