In the early days of humanity each human, like each individual within any animal species (or so we think), had no idea of their individual nature or sense of self.  That all came as we evolved our languages and ability to conceptualise. As we, individually and collectively, developed this skill of identifying and labelling each thing (or person) as distinct from another, so the idea that each of us is an individual, separate from the rest of humanity or the ecosystem (for example) also evolved. Along with these shifts in our way of thinking came the idea that we might be better than other creatures and are able to control our environment and our lives.

Whilst all these evolutionary changes have enabled mankind to develop amazing technology, beautiful arts and rich cultures, over recent decades the down-sides have become to make themselves known. If we separate ourselves from others too much we become lonely and isolated . . . with resulting impact on our health and wellbeing. When we consider ourselves more valuable than other creatures and the earth’s natural resources, so those species and resources diminish, often rapidly.

Those aligning themselves to the evolutionary consciousness think differently. They acknowledge a participatory universe, one in which every creature, however big or small, how ‘intelligent’ (according to conventional human definitions) has its place and together contribute to the overall pattern of life, not just on earth but across the universe.

Indeed, this is the basis of conscious evolution: when we each choose to think in a more holistic, compassionate way, then we help to bring about that sort of a world. The more we participate in an inclusive, caring society and work alongside other creatures and our natural planetary ecosystems, so we co-create an harmonious world.

All this sounds wonderful and just the win-win world we would all seek. So why is it only just beginning to happen in any noticeable way? Because we’re afraid to immerse ourselves into this participatory universe; we’re afraid that if we surrender into it, we’ll lose our personal sense of identity. Paradoxically, nothing could be further from the truth!

The trigger for committing to conscious evolution is often one, or a series of particularly profound experiences: what might be called transcendent, mystic or spiritual experiences. Those moments which are so hard to describe because what one feels is beyond normal perceptions. Typical of the sense embodied in such, often brief, periods are ‘being part pf something greater than oneself’. No longer is the universe something separate and ‘out there’. In these experiences, we are participants within the unfolding of life itself. It was after such moments I first declared

To Surrender is to Be Free


The inspiration for this piece came when reading The Long Earth by Pratchett & Stephen Baxter (2012, specifically page 319). I’ve found many of the ideas within The Long Earth series, and indeed Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series to be tremendously helpful in broadening the mind, becoming more aware of the depth & breadth of human psychology and in opening myself to realities beyond the 3-Dimensional, linear-time concepts that we’re lead to believe are all there are.

If you’ve had any insights or experience as a result of reading such material, please share them in the comments below!

About the image

In 1993 I treated myself to a special holiday to the Gambia where I was guided into a crocodile pit to meet these prehistoric creatures. They were asleep and well-fed, but it was still an example of participating in the universe that I look back upon with appreciation . . .


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