I have been thinking about this proposition, the relationship between evolution and revolution since I read a recent comment by Amenta:
“…This post is a reflection as to why my personal concepts center around an evolution rather than a revolution. The world is being revealed to an extent as never before. So many hidden agendas are being exposed that we are going to have to take personal account of our own being, our own families extending outward into our neighborhood and onto the greater collective immediately surrounding us…
There will be no revolution, no unity, no moving forward without gaining a detailed understanding of who we are individually and internally. And, just how our mere existence is inter-related to one another and to the systems around us. Lets face it, we have a broken people we are dealing with. We are dealing with people who have been personally abused whether in childhood or as adults in relationships, whether physically, mentally or sexually that have to be overcome and yet the individual must find a way to come to terms with these issues before great progress can be made. This is part and parcel of an internal evolution that needs to be addressed.
Outside of that, self introspection is required of those of us that may not have had to deal with such abuse, but still we have allowed the world to cow us down to become that self-centered “i gotta get mines” being. Living on a survival level of existence.”
When you hand an ill-formed, nascent, wounded someone, a philosophy, a religion, a political heritage, the necessary evolution of the individual is short circuited. Nowhere in this culture – not the family, not the school, not the church – is one supported in gaining a “detailed understanding” of themselves “individually and internally.”
Thus, you have a population composed of educated fools, people with more books and informational resources available to them than any other people on the planet.
This country prides itself on the “rugged individualism” that birthed it, so the mythology goes. And yet, where are today’s evolved individuals? Where are the deep thinkers? Where are the people who made it their way?!
In jazz, there once was a concept called the “signature sound.” Jazz musicians were strongly encouraged to developed their instrument’s voice so that it was unique to them. Rather than copying ‘Bird’ or ‘Diz’, the idea was to sound militantly like yourself. And if you ever listen to a song featuring Miles or Jackie Mac or Sonny Rollins or Trane, within seconds, you hear, not notes, but them.
Today, one trumpet sounds like a million others, every rapper says the same shit, every movie has the same manipulative structures and tugs at the same surface-y heartstrings. One’s personal, militant evolution is strangled at birth, stunted and siphoned into an externalized, dehumanized cadaver.
There’s one side or the other, politically. The idea that there are other pathways, or highways of thought, rather than a two lane road does not occur to the Amerikkkan because the notion of intellectual abundance is bred out of them. The preparation for thinking dualistically is born in childhood with the indoctrinated parent who teaches conformity to the status quo, not liberty from it, regardless of class or race.
Corralling and controlling the kitties, rather than observing the fascinating ways in which they think is de rigueur. The controlled kittens need a job, don’t they and the parent and the teacher know that if their little kitty doesn’t fit in, no employer will take them.
In most cases, being an evolved human being is revolutionary suicide.
Evolution is a precursor to a revolution, it seems to me. A great change within a small community or in a larger scale sense requires a shift within a significant number of people. And this great change can only occur if enough of these evolved types unite and fashion a vision of this change that inspires the nascent spirits in the larger community.
The people with power have great vision and they understand that in order to keep power, they must throw water on the fires of evolutionary growth and development. They must make sure that the schools train, but don’t educate. They must make sure that financial pressures are such that people live hand to mouth, hand to mortgage, hand to student loan repayment. These kinds of pressures dampen the evolutionary/revolutionary spirit and turn flower beds into swamps.
Thus, we take the easy way out and vote. We look at the two options offered us and pick one, though there is no difference besides the cosmetic between them. We numb ourselves with our mortgage, our music, our meals. We pick up the staff and lead the other deadened sheep to the stockyard. And we are too dead to notice.
I think Amenta’s point is on point: we owe it to ourselves to set aside our training, our brainwashing, our patterned rigidity, first, by SEEING IT! No easy task because most of us have a rosier view of our upbringings and our current reality than the actual reality of it.
I would suggest to anyone so inclined, to question everything; to consider that everything they have learned from the crib was designed to mold you, rather than create an environment where you could be you. Imagine it, sit with it. Just ask yourself if you were allowed to be, or if you had to be what your parents and teachers and employers wanted you to be.
And ask yourself if you are an evolutionary being, someone who is truly in relationship with the self, asking questions, examining/allowing your feelings, insecurities, traumas, victories, discarding old skins, growing new ones.
WE can’t, if I won’t, if I won’t look into me and get butt nekkid with myself and try to heal. And if I do that work and you do that work and she does that work and he does that work, perhaps it is with those/within those that the revolution lies.
I have used the term revolution often in the past, believe we need a massive revolution still. However, I believe that Amenta is right. No real revolution without evolution, is possible, and is decidedly undesirable.
Maybe the real revolution is when we create an environment that supports and allows us all to evolve into the butterflies that we are. That would be enough for me.