Last summer I was invited to a wonderful party, a party for revolutionaries.
Dressing as Gandhi had great benefits: learning to tie a dhoti, learning to ride a motorbike wearing a dhoti, testing the reactions of supermarket staff to a man wearing nothing but a dhoti, sleeping in only a dhoti, to share my recent reflections on reading Gandhi’s autobiography etc.
The occasion also ignited an interest in the concept of ‘revolutions’ as a frame to consider the evolution of my identity, mind and contributions. The subsequent email to fellow members of the revolutionary party is below, and shared as a decent attempt to retrospectively map the path walked to that point:
“Saturday night was great, especially our conversations. David has frequently described the ‘coalition’ (against all things bad / for all things good)….and I wonder if our band of brothers and sisters COULD lead the revolution, the local revolution, the global revolution, each on our own front yet supported be each other?
I’m (still) very, very interested in what each of you consider to be the most profound revolutions in our midst right now? Or, revelations in your life? What is the ‘big shift’ that you so dearly desire but perhaps shy to speak of? What simple truth or shift could we support each other to embody in this lifetime?
Not just a conversation for emails, clearly, but one that I’m keen to have however, whenever, forever ; )
Most definitions characterise revolutions as: radical, complete, sudden change. On Saturday night I characterised revolutionaries as people who were prepared to die, to see thus radical, complete or sudden change happen. Shrinking the scope of the inquiry from societal to personal further, the word ‘revelation’ seems aligned as a ‘personal revolution’ of which I’ve had a few.
Some of the ‘revolutions’ closest to my heart, in my lifetime, and which have some wider societal relevance are below. Each is framed as a clear and simple dichotomous change, which is definitely a simplification. But in almost all cases, I had discrete, accute ‘state’ experiences of completely new understanding accompanied by crying, loss, joy or being struck dumb for days or weeks. In almost all cases, giving one’s life for the sake of this change in others, our country or global culture would be a very small price to pay.
FROM Environmental sustainability as local in scope, and fuzzy in definition, and able to be achieved through planning from the present
TO something systemic, scientific, definable, and which is best achieved through backcasting from the desired future i.e. Strategic Sustainable Development http://www.naturalstep.org/the-system-conditions
FROM Static and adversarial understandings of ngos (good) vs business (bad)
TO synergistic, share value creation i.e. social enterprise http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_enterprise
FROM the best possible scenario being ‘sustainability’
TO ‘sustainability’ being the minimum conditions and the real goal being far beyond sustainable development, and at least net positive development http://www.earthscan.co.uk/?tabid=4390
FROM a piecemeal understanding of the dimensions of reality
TO a complete theory and map of ‘everything’ i.e. Integral Theory. http://integrallife.com/files/Integral_Theory_3-2-2009.pdf
FROM enlightenment as an individual ‘state’ experience that enables happiness
TO a continuous falling away of boundaries, self and knowing that enables surrender, freedom and expression and inquiry ‘as’ consciousness and the kosmos itself i.e. Evolutionary Enlightenment http://www.andrewcohen.org/teachings/
FROM a limited understanding of aspects of health: pathology (restorative – treating the source of future sickness), apathaology (preventative – cultivating current behaviours of health), antipathology (palliative – treating current symptoms of sickness)
TO a holisitic and dynamic view of all aspects of health, with most attention and energy put into ‘apithology’ (generative – activating ultimate causes of future health in the present). http://www.nakedjourney.org/theorist.html with applications in many fields: http://journals.isss.org/index.php/proceedings54th/article/view/1444
Just writing this list reminds me of the incredible good fortune I’ve had to be involved in these ‘movements’. And, at the same time reminds me of how little I’ve contributed. There is that perpetual call from our ever-present potential to live a truly remarkable life in service of at least one revolution.
Sincerely, inquisitively, and with the Beatles “You say you want a revolution….” ringing in my ears….”