Excerpt from Creating a Peaceful Life: Affirmations for Hope, Love, and Harmony (ISBN 978-1-300-67605-8, 343 pages, $1.99)
I talk about progressive change a lot, yet that idea does not fully capture my ideas about how change occurs.
I like the word progressive because it indicates forward movement. It is also nonpartisan, or at least it can be understood in that way. Yet, progress is linear, logical, and rational. There is a beginning and an end. Yet, change does not always occur in this way. In fact, change is an ongoing, continual process. Every breath is a potential transformation.
When I was an undergrad, my theology professor shared two views of history with us. According to him, a line with a set starting point represented the Western view while a circle represented the Eastern view. Not being satisfied with either, I developed a third idea – a spiral with no beginning and no ending, with cycles that build upon what has occurred in the past.
Social change happens in all three ways, reflecting the multiple understandings that humans have about the nature of history. Social change also occurs in quantum space when openings are created through chaos.
So how does one become an advocate for quantum change, rather than progressive change, without being physically or psychologically violent?
I think this can be achieved by detaching, opening up to possibility, and flowing.
So how does one effectively do this in a politically tenuous environment?
By focusing on our intention, trusting, and being love.
Releasing our unrealistic desire to control everything in the universe leads to an increased sense of self-control.
I think that the concepts of progressive change and quantum change are complementary, perhaps even paradoxical. Activists can simultaneously employ different means toward the same ends either inter- or intra-personally. The important thing is to be aware of what we are doing, our purpose, and to do something to express our deepest values in the social sphere.
“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change.” – Gandhi
Just as we ought to be the change that we desire in the world, we should be the rose that others will want to stop and smell. Be still in the present moment and blossom. Grow your roots, soak up the water and sunshine. Feel the gentle breeze rustle through your leaves. Relax and connect in the quiet open space of unlimited possibilities. Appreciate your beauty and the intricacy of every delicate petal that is your conscience. Engage all of your senses and absorb the aromatic nuance of unconditional love.