My friend Tom Atlee has recently published Reflections on Evolutionary Activism.
What’s REFLECTIONS ON EVOLUTIONARY ACTIVISM about?
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?
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.
I offer this book to you and thousands of other 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.
PRAISE FOR REFLECTIONS ON EVOLUTIONARY ACTIVISM
Once again, Tom Atlee offers a fresh, and penetrating perspective. All of us who care about the future of our beloved planet and human community need to read this evocative invitation to become a vehicle for conscious evolution.
— Juanita Brown and David Isaacs, Co-Originators, The World Café
Tom Atlee’s inspiring evolutionary poetry and insightful reflections on systemic transformation in this age of crisis couldn’t be more timely. I urge everyone involved with conscious evolution to give this breakthrough book a serious, joyous read.
— Michael Dowd, author of Thank God for Evolution
If a Red Giant star could dream what it wanted its dust to become after it died, I can imagine a particularly ambitious one wanting to become the kind of world that Tom Atlee has envisioned here.
— Connie Barlow, science writer and creator of the acclaimed Epic of Evolution education website TheGreatStory.org
I cannot do this inspiring book justice. Atlee, a pioneer in the collective intelligence arena, offers us a launch point for activism that results in conscious evolution of both the individual and society. A handbook, a gift of love and truth like no other.
— Robert Steele, #1 Amazon non-fiction reviewer
I always look where Tom Atlee points. His passion for our collective evolution makes him a towering receiver for new possibilities and he serves us all through his brave exploration of powerful ideas and processes.
— Vicki Robin, co-author of Your Money or Your Life
Evolutionary activism is an idea whose time has come. In this lucid, engaging book, Tom Atlee shares from the leading edge of his own learning about how to mobilize our collective wisdom to transform our social systems. A must-read.
— Craig Hamilton, founder, IntegralEnlightenment.com and host of the Great Integral Awakening
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PROLOGUE – How I stumbled into my evolutionary epiphany… ix
Poem: Stardust settles on earth to learn… 8
PART I. REFLECTIONS ON EVOLUTION AND CREATION… 9
1. Evolution 2.0: A Big History that embraces all the sciences… 11
Poem: Since the Big Bang never stopped… 28
2. The Big CPU: The Creative Power of the Universe… 29
Poem: The same golden force… 35
PART II. REFLECTIONS ON EVOLUTIONARY ACTIVISM… 37
3. What is the evolutionary activist worldview?… 39
Poem: Showing up… 42
4. My evolution into evolutionary activism… 43
Prayer: A prayer of evolutionary affirmation… 48
5. What is evolutionary activism?… 49
Poem: Riotous meadow people… 54
6. What makes evolutionary activism different from other forms of activism?… 55
Poem: Star story children… 65
7. Learning to be evolution… 66
Poem: Calling of Creation… 82
8. Becoming evolution’s conscious weavers… 83
Poem: First of all… 92
PART III. REFLECTIONS ON STRATEGY AND TACTICS… 95
9. Learning from our evolutionary past into our evolutionary future… 97
Poem: That Great Evolving Power… 112
10. A “Big Story” evolutionary fitness program… 114
Poem: A larger force works through us… 121
11. The strategic synergy of individual and collective… 122
Poem: Journey power story questions… 128
12. The evolutionary role of conversation… 130
Poem: The facilitator… 144
13. Transformational leverage… 146
Poem: Life like spring… 153
PART IV: REFLECTIONS ON EVOLUTIONARY GRACE AND APPRECIATION… 155
14. Goodness Gracious: evolutionary integrity and our engagement with life… 157
Poem: A powerful Grace… 162
15. Active appreciation… 164
Poem: The whole knows… 170
PART V. REFLECTIONS ON CRISIS ANS DEMOCRACY… 173
16. Six degrees of separation from reality… 175
Poem: Mother Earth’s message… 180
17. Something bigger than Life is trying to work through us… 184
Prayer: Prayer for conscious evolution… 196
18. Building wise democracy as crises emerge…1 97
Poem: We are on the edge… 211
19. Democracy and the evolution of societal intelligence… 213
Poem: Ultimately global catastrophe is about life… 221
PART VI. REFLECTIONS ON SYSTEMS… 225
20. Caring and systemic awareness: Does compassion itself need to evolve?… 227
Poem: What we long for… 238
21. What makes a social system conscious?… 239
Poem: You can’t hide anymore… 248
PART VII. REFLECTIONS ON AN EVOLUTIONARY ACTIVIST MOVEMENT… 249
22. A rationale and guidance for nonviolence as a basis for conscious evolutionary activism… 251
Poem: Together at the leading edge… 268
23. Five areas to attend to when building an evolutionary activism movement… 271
Poem: Sunshine being meditation… 274
24. Imagining an activist movement for the conscious evolution of social systems… 276
Poem: To Martin Luther King, Jr…. 282
25. Some ways to engage in co-creating this movement… 284
Poem: Co-aliveness… 290
A. An annotated informal glossary of basic terms… 295
B. Evolutionary Life… 301
C. Models of transformational leverage… 303
ABOUT THE AUTHOR… 335
PRAISE FOR REFLECTIONS ON EVOLUTIONARY ACTIVISM… 341
Poem: Just a moment… 344