Reflections on Evolutionary Activism
Essays, poems and prayers from an emerging field of sacred social change
A seed sown by Tom Atlee, toward the emergence of a movement of conscious evolutionary activism
Here's a review by Robert Steele, #1 reviewer of non-fiction books on Amazon:
Tom Atlee, one of a handful of pioneers in the Collective Intelligence arena, offers all of us a launch point for what he calls Evolutionary Activism, which is a process—an enabling function—for the achievement of a civilization that actually makes sense: conscious evolution of both the individual and the society, such that we appreciate reality in detail (something most government refuse to do); create and innovate in that firmly-rooted context, and consequently make ourselves and our society “fit” for survival on a rapidly changing Earth where changes that used to take 10,000 years now take three.
Most importantly, and drawing on the work of Robert Wright, he defines evolution as the constant increase of non-zero or win-win options for humanity; this is totally consistent with the Wealth of Networks literature.
The book provides a marvelous tour of the evolutionary activist landscape as it has gestated over the past 20 years, and is replete with over a hundred references to specific books and web sites that have charted the human path out of the wilderness and to the edge of Being. I cannot list them here at Amazon, but do list them all, with links, at Phi Beta Iota, the Public Intelligence Blog.
Where Gandhi focused on Truth and Martin Luther King on Love, this author focuses on what I call the Great Awakening, in which we all recognize, as the aborigines have before us, that the stars are our ancestors, and that we are the universe becoming conscious of itself (along with such other extra-terrestrial intelligence as must surely be present among the 100 billion other galaxies).
The three dynamics of evolutionary activism are the integration of diversity; a constant alignment with reality; and the harmonization of self-interest with the interest of the whole as we all realize that true maturity is understanding that what might be good for a part in isolation could be bad for the whole and thus bad for the part in the larger context.
A handful of quotes that really inspired me:
“This book is coming into being right now because humanity’s situation requires a miracle so vast and evolving that it begins to look like the miracle that began the universe in the first place.”
Evolutionary dynamics includes “the idea that evolution is about diverse entities interacting in nurturing and challenging contexts to create and sustain new forms of elegantly simple complexity.” (with credit to Peggy Holman)
“Crises are a sign that evolution is trying to break through a business-as-usual [process] that isn’t working.”
“Intelligence refers to our ability to sort out our experience in ways that help us to respond appropriately to circumstances—especially when we’re faced with new situations. Societal intelligence, then, refers to the ability of a whole society to learn and cope creatively with its environment.”
This is an uplifting book in which the many tipping point crises that threaten us, most of our own making in abdicating our Civitas Maximus role to corrupt politicians and greedy bankers, are in fact the perfect environment for calling us out to be creative, innovative, and adaptive.
The educational element is under-stated in this book, but the author touches on it in defining three evolutionary imperatives as being Systemic Awareness; Systemic Health; and Systemic Learning.
INTEGRITY is defined as being in alignment with REALITY.
From the activist agenda outlined by Atlee, it is clear that he agrees that top-down governance does not work and will not work, and that the time has come for all of us to evolve -- and for our systems to evolve -- to where we can provide self-leadership at all levels, in constant touch with reality and with one another. The “new dance of cooperation and competition” as the author describes it, is powered by love at the core, gravitas in the sense of wholeness, and a respect for constant learning from one another united in our appreciation for diversity and having the integrity to adapt rather than resist change.
Following are keywords that I noted: Affirmation; Appreciation; Appreciative Inquiry; Asset-Based Community Development; Backcasting; Big Bang; Big History; Bohm Dialog; Callings; Choice; Co-Intelligence; Community Visioning; Conscious Evolution; Consciousness; Convergent Evolution; Creative Power of the Universe; Cultural Ecosystem; Culture; Dynamic Facilitation; Era of Consequences; Evolution; Evolutionary Action; Evolutionary Activism; Evolutionary Awareness; Evolutionary Dynamics; Evolutionary Impact; Evolutionary Integrity; Evolutionary Participation; Focusing; Full Cost Accounting; Future Search; Goodness of Life; Grace; Great Radiance; Great Story; HSLing (Heard, Seen, Loved); Imagineering; Intelligence of Nature; Journey; Love; Nonviolent Communication; Open Space; Pattern Languages; Positive Deviance; Positive Psychology; Pygmalion Effect; Quality Circles; Redefining Progress; Social Change Activism; Social Darwinism; Social DNA; Social System; Strategic Questions; Symphony of Science; Taoism; T-Groups; The Big Picture; The People (Informed and Engaged); Think Globally, Act Locally; Truth; Whole Earth; Whole of Life; Wholeness; Wisdom; Wise Democracy; World Café
Tom Atlee—this author—has influenced me more than any other person, and helped me get a grip on the sacred and the spiritual aspects of Gaia, conscious evolution, and the primacy of cultural change over technologies and organizations. My secular side has always appreciated “system of systems” thinking, but it is only with this new work that Tom has moved my mind and heart from the Tao of Democracy to the Gaia of Being in harmony will total diversity in the context of REALITY.
I cannot do this book justice. It is a manifesto, a handbook, a gift of love and truth like no other, compelling in part because it defines an empowering process rather than specific solutions. Below I list the ten books that Amazon allows, at Phi Beta Iota I point to many more. Among philosophers, Will Durant stands alone as the philosopher dedicated to the social problem; I am confident that Tom Atlee does not stand alone, but he is assuredly the point man, the vanguard, for the public solution to the social problem, a man and a mind and a soul that I am compelled to follow with great regard.