About Reflections on Evolutionary Activism
In this remarkable book, Tom Atlee, author of The Tao of Democracy, founder of the Co-Intelligence Institute, and co-founder of Evolutionary Life, weaves together the worlds of social change activism and the inspiring, science-based Great Story of evolution.
Through evocative essays and poems we discover we are evolution becoming conscious of itself, making momentous choices about what we will do next. Atlee invokes a movement to transform political and economic systems to help us behave in ways that serve the healthy evolution of civilization and the larger Life we live in.
This book emerges from over five years of work, exploring our role in the conscious evolution of social systems and cultures. What would social change work look like if we took seriously the lessons and inspiration of the 13.7 billion year Great Story of evolution?
Evolution is, after all, the most experienced and creative change agent, creating new elements, new stars and galaxies, new planets, new life forms, new cultures and social systems, new technologies, new states of consciousness, new ways to evolve...
What might we do if we realized that we are not separate from evolution, that everything we do is an evolutionary act with profound implications for the future of our species and planet? What might we pioneer if we realized that every moment is filled with myriad possibilities for the future? How might we look at life differently if we knew that every person and situation contained life energy fueled by the same creative power of the universe that is still at work creating stars and life out of the dust of the Big Bang and supernovae explosions? What if that immense creative power lived next door -- or was hidden in our own hearts and our dreams?
In this book -- described by reviewers as "an inspiring manifesto", "a compelling new synthesis", and "a serious, joyous read" -- Atlee describes a new spirit of activism guided by the creative power of the universe and a growing understanding of evolutionary dynamics.
Some of the activist lessons described in this book are very down to earth and familiar, such as how to treat each other and our world (we are, after all, all related). Others are novel insights into how evolution goes about creating coherent communities out of self-interested entities, and the central role of interaction in everything it does. Some lessons are mind-bending, such as the role of blame and compassion in self-organizing, complex systems. A new view of activism emerges from this earthy, cosmic vision of ancient, dynamic, ongoing change, with one leg grounded solidly in science and the other solidly in spirit.
This book is offered to all world-concerned adventurers as an invitation to explore a vast co-creative enterprise, where Mystery, Meaning, and Grace work hand in hand with Strategy, Action, and the Transformation of Social Systems.
Errata (relevant for versions purchased in 2009)