Cultural Evolution and Becoming Woke

2020 continues to be a wild ride of examining structures and systems that are antiquated and biased, built on foundations of prejudice and inequality.

I spoke about the tumultuous ups and downs we would encounter with the collective cycles we are in back in January and April.  If you missed those, you can catch up on them here.

While these periods of unrest can be intense and painful, new paradigms and ways of being are birthed cyclically throughout history and ultimately lead to better functioning societies.

There is a field of study devoted entirely to this called Cultural Evolution.

‘Cultural Evolution is a theory in anthropology that was developed in the 19th century. Cultural evolution presumes that over time, cultural change such as the rise of social inequalities or the emergence of agriculture occurs as a result of humans adapting to some non-cultural stimulus, such as climate change or population growth.’  (Source: www.thoughtco.com)

And I would add the stimulus of viral pandemics and economic instability.

A scientist, Peter Turchin, predicted the mayhem for 2020 – 10 years ago using scientific models that analyzed cycles of turmoil every 50 years dating back to 1870. He says “societal crises, which are triggered when pent-up pressures seek an outlet, can typically last for five to 15 years. If the underlying roots of unrest are not properly addressed, turbulent events are easily set of again.”

And according to him, we have more to come.  You can check out his entire article in Time Magazine here.

So why do we undergo collective cycles of change?

Because as a humanity, we try over time to find our footing for a way of co-existing that works for everyone.

Not just those benefiting from corporate greed and positions of power and authority – but a sustainable way of life for everyone who walks this planet.

And this is a worthy but challenging endeavor.

Just as our Soul’s seek balance over the course of many lifetimes – so too do the civilizations we have created in our physical world.

Given the amount of diversity we have on this planet, this re-balancing might take a very long time. Especially when we would like to believe we are further along in our journey of consciousness then we actually are.  (As a ‘for instance’: enlightened civilizations don’t enslave one another, slaughter entire tribes of people for the purpose of stealing their land and resources or because they have a religion or culture they don’t agree with.)

Think about the amount of diversity that exists in individual levels of consciousness, religions, races, cultural ethnicities, political affiliations, sexual orientations, access to education, wealth, status and privilege to name a few.

Contrast that with how our society encourages rigidity in how we think. “I’m right – you’re wrong.” We often see through the lens of black and white thinking, a right and a wrong way to do something which certainly creates intense polarization rife with assumption and judgement. (The current social media dialogues perfectly illustrate this point.)

In truth, wholeness doesn’t exist in thinking your right and making everyone else wrong should they dare disagree with you.

Wholeness exists in creating room for the 7.8 billion additional perspectives which are probably very different than yours!

We let our beliefs determine our truth instead of truth determining what we choose to believe. 

I’m frequently amazed at how we don’t make room for the entire spectrum of possibility that can exist. Instead of seeing the world through dualism (black and white/right and wrong/left and right) – think about the depth and spread of a color wheel.

Sadly, we don’t hold space for others to have a different opinion then ours. Or a different belief system, sexual preference, skin color or cultural heritage.

We want everyone to be homogeneous.  Same. Same. Same.

How boring would our world be if we only had one type of tree, one kind of flower and one species of animal and insect?

Our authentic nature, by contrast, to our human propensity for dullness is diversity!

Your Soul doesn’t have a religion or a gender or an ethnicity.  You choose different experiences in each life for the sole purpose of expanding perspective. Xenophobia doesn’t expand anything but fear and hatred.

Religion is a man-made construct. Gender roles are man-made constructs. The stereotypes we ‘make’ up about different cultures are man-made constructs.

God/Source/the Divine does not sort diversity into some kind of rank and file hierarchical system.  Humans do that to make their fragile ego’s feel more worthy and important.

Elon Musk does not have more worth than someone who is homeless. Society assigning him ‘value’ based on an artificial notion of 0’s and 1’s in a virtual account somewhere is something we have all decided to ‘buy into.’  In reality – it’s all made up!

What’s not made up?

History and our collective Karma. The past choices we’ve made as a humanity that continue to affect us all. Our world was built on colonialism!  Stop and contemplate that for a minute. We literally built our nations by invading other countries, occupying them with our settlers, and exploiting them for their land, labor and resources.

That’s also how viruses work!  And no, it’s not a coincidence that we are experiencing COVID-19 now.

To those who are still struggling with whether the holocaust was real or if we really killed Native Americans for their land or whether systemic racism exists – it does. Ignorance is not bliss. Denying what is obvious doesn’t change reality. I’ve had people argue this with me recently (and no, I’m not interested in getting in the mud with anyone.)

If these injustices haven’t affected you personally, that doesn’t mean they haven’t affected anyone else.  In truth, we are all still healing generational trauma whether we are aware of it or not.

One of the most conscious things we can do is to step outside of our very narrow perspective and look around us at what is happening at a societal level. We can’t come to the conversation or create a more inclusive world if we aren’t honest with ourselves and take a look at what’s been operating beneath the surface.

And to those who want to de-legitimize an entire movement because of how a few have gone about it with looting and property damage, let us not forget that white males forcing colonization have acted violently throughout history (think lynching’s, raping and pillaging villages.)

To project a moral etiquette in how people revolt is ludicrous.  The suppression and injustice is definitely going to bring up anger and rage. (Imagine having your family enslaved or any of the horrendous injustices that have been carried out throughout history. If that doesn’t trigger the Sacred Activist in you – I don’t know what will?)

The energy of anger will always look for an outlet.  Just as it has for millions of others who have fought to have their voices heard and their human rights respected.

Yes – revolution without revelation is dangerous! I’m not condoning violence but there is hypocrisy in saying “if you are going to get mad about the way we’ve mistreated you for thousands of years, it needs to look like this.”

Can we honestly say we have created a world where true equality exists?

For men and women?

For straight and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual individuals?

For black and white?

For all races and ethnicities?

For the rich and the poor?

If the answer is NO – then we aren’t woke and we have work to do!

Black Lives Matter!

The movement was created because as a culture, we demonstrate through our behavior that their lives don’t matter. There is no hidden messaging communicating that everyone else doesn’t.

We absolutely need to be more aware and behave differently as a society.  Our current environment is completely unjust and biased. And that truth exists whether someone believes it or not.

In conclusion, collective cycles exist to help us Wake the F*@k up. They serve to expose our shadows.

It is WAY past time that we come together and treat each other as part of the human family!

Let’s commit to becoming WOKE!

For additional resources on social justice and educating yourself on racial inequality, please check out:

University of Missouri:  Inclusion, Diversity and Equity
Race, Racism and the American Experience – A Self-Guided Curriculum

Unlearning Racism: Resources for Teaching Anti-Racism

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