Friday, January 21, 2011

Waiting for a Revolution

"No revolution - sometimes it depresses me / The same old, same old - we keep repeating history," sings Shirley Manson, lead singer of Garbage. She was singing about one thing only - '"Sex is not the Enemy"' - and that's great, however those two lines apply to just about every area I can think of, because I believe the people of the world need to embrace change so much more intensely than they are. It's in this way that we can make 'revolution' a concept which informs our everyday lives, increasing our engagement with radical transformation in an exponentially increasing manner. The better we can be, the higher the standard we can adopt.

A world-wide revolution of physical prowess, emotional understanding, mental technology and spiritual success can only be achieved if every individual participates. We need illiterate people in Bangladesh to adopt a different approach to life, just as the CEOs of the USA reinvent what it means to be a human being as well.

Perhaps one way we could educate people is to send them across continents. It's difficult to avoid learning new things and opening up your heart and mind to the new and unfamiliar when traveling. Another is to pair people with different skills together and help them learn from each other. Have a carpenter meet a diplomat, or an insurance salesman meet a physicist.

How open to ambiguity are you? Is there an area of your life you started to learn more about, only to retreat to old habits? Would you like to diversify your emotional repertoire, but are afraid of not living up to people's expectations of you? You are in charge of creating and recreating your potential and limitations. Reclaim the liminality that made you feel like you were growing, if you dare. I promise you will not be disappointed.

Change is an inbuilt feature of our existence - we do not remain static at any time. Our cells are constantly rearranging themselves, our senses are constantly picking up new information, and our brain never processes the information the same way twice. Change is not something to aim for; it's something to become aware of, and to own. Something to, eventually, celebrate.

Most of the cultures I know have a preoccupation with fixity and certainty - we strive for these attributes in our speech, our spiritual orientation, our mental convictions, to guide our emotional strength, to power our bodies through exercise. Repetition is a recommended virtue on many a How To list. Yet knowing that you'll never do the same thing twice forces you to be creative, to challenge yourself as intensely as you can.

Imagine if, instead of going through January, February ...etc... December, each year, we gave each month a unique name. Never again will I 'go overseas every June' or 'celebrate Christmas every December'; eradicating the possibility of repetition from our units of time would necessitate more innovative thinking about how we spend our time. This is just one example of how we could play with and rearrange the information in our world to create and feed off our potential for revolutionising our systems.

Can you think of another example?

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