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Evolutionary Spirituality

Tom Atlee's exploratory pages on conscious evolution

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(These are working pages to pursue my focused inquiries with chosen colleagues. At this time, I am only working with Peggy Holman on the main pages, and hope that anyone else who wishes to get involved will add their thoughts to the attached discussion page(s). Thanks. -- Tom)


My primary interest in this inquiry is to provide both a philosophical rational and specific guidelines for inspired people to engage in activism that is a natural and conscious expression of their realization that they are evolution -- or, to put it in an equally true but less grandiose way, that they are agents of evolution.

But what distinguishes conscious evolutionary agentry from traditional activism -- especially since everything has evolutionary impact?

I suspect that the key distinctions lie in the choices of what we do and how we do it (including how we are while doing it), and that we are living in -- and telling ourselves -- a different story while we act. In its purest state, we don't see ourselves taking action, but rather experience evolution acting through and as us. The more consciously such activity happens, the more conscious evolution is being. Our efforts to act more consciously as evolution are part of evolution's ongoing evolution into greater consciousness of itself, running in parallel with the evolution of consciousness.

My own slant on activism shapes my inquiry here. I believe that social systems, tools, culture, and consciousness shape how people feel, respond, behave, and think, including what they believe is real, possible and good. For convenience I stuff tools, culture, and the societally significant aspects of consciousness into the phrase "social systems".

In this sense, social systems decisively shape the framing and fate of every issue, who has power, how collective resources are allocated, and the well-being of all the people, communities (human and natural), and future generations who are impacted by those systems. Therefore, I see it as tragic (although evolutionarily natural, given the design of our anachronistic cognitive systems as described in NEW WORLD NEW MIND) that so much more attention is given to enemies, horrible events, controversial issues, political candidacies, individual and group suffering, and destruction of ecosystems than to the comparatively invisible social systems that (to a profound extent) generate them all. So my bias is for evolutionary activism that addresses those systems -- and ultimately for the conscious evolution of increasingly conscious social systems.

With those as givens, I will be exploring the following key inquiries:


  • Question 1TA. What happens when consciousness is brought into the equation of evolution? (Thanks to Peggy for this wording.)
  • Question 2TA. When I talk about "systemic change", what do I mean by "social system"?
  • Question 3TA. What is involved in the conscious evolution of increasingly conscious social systems?

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