how to change the world
What are the general principles that invoke change?
The same as the evolutionary pressures that inspire adaptation: we need some discomfort with old patterns, and we need steady pressure from either our environment or from something within.
These requirements are true as for society as they are for each of us as individuals. And when we feel ourselves changing, we recognize that there is a multiplicity within each of us: sometimes conflicting, or in conversation; sometimes these shifts in internal dialogue are the instigation for inner change.
The nature of discomfort informs the way that we create and react to change. We can be irritated by, or tired of, the status quo. We could also see the discomfort as an opportunity, an inspiration, and this positive tone/perspective creates the best changes.
For change to really take hold, we need a steady pressure. It can be an external shift, like the pandemic, though there are many socially constructed instabilities within the pandemic itself: the reactions people have to loosing/tightening regulations, the interaction between weather and social gatherings, holidays and work/weekend schedules.
Nature is cyclical, as are we. We naturally fluctuate between pulling inwards and reaching outwards, reacting and reactive, but these are not the changes that create a positive progress. For that a we need steady pressure.
The inner fire, the inner drive, is the best source of positive, inspired, energy. When we can steady the mind, and expand our attention wider than the fluctuations of emotions, we create a stable vision for ourselves. The body is the center point, the source of all of our actions. When we can feel the fire within the body center, and know when/how to sustain the fire, then we can do our best work.
To keep ourselves steadily working towards the change we desire, even as the world and people fluctuate around us, requires sensitivity to our own energy. We need to notice when our inner drive is smoldering, and when it needs to be stoked; where we find the fuel for our inspiration. We learn to direct our energy, sensitive to what we are bringing in, burning, and releasing.
When we become skilled at this inner energy work, it feels more like water, like energy current, than a bonfire. We feel the pressure as positive, directive, and the inner energy as fluent, flowing. There is little to nothing wasted/burnt.
Where does the pressure come from? Stress is one source. It can give us the push needed to unblock, but more often it creates the blocks by narrowing the vision, while decreasing sensitivity/awareness and therefore lowering the quality of our work.
The best pressure is the latent energy within: the realization of potential, as yet unfulfilled. It is like seeing space and knowing what could be made of it, like feeling the stretch of future time and knowing it is needed for the changes you are working for. It is the makings of alchemy, the art of transforming the plentiful into the rare and valuable.
Then we come into the question of what to do with our work, our energy, our changes and creations. We live in a world that expects us to squeeze, steal, succeed. Measures are placed upon us by others, who compete. Trust is rare; love is reserved for few.
The greatest change we can make is to create our best work and give it freely.