All that keeps Oneness from being the norm
is the will of a unified people demanding that it be so.
It is time for a compassionate revolution — the melting away of fragmented duality into the all-encompassing expanse of Oneness. Many revolutions — the Protestant Reformation, the American Revolution, the French Revolution, and the Russian Revolution — have passed in history, but all have been violent, and violence is not part of the organizing principle of Oneness. Oneness will emerge, and major political and social change will occur as a natural unfolding of human evolution.
What is essential is timing. The timing of every revolution depends on a foundation of widespread discontent with the functioning of the old order, as this weakens existing structures. Under these conditions, the disequilibrium creates the conditions necessary for a handful of creative, courageous people to make a huge difference.
It is not about large numbers, favorable averages, or the latest public opinion poll, but the presence of a lone fluctuation that gets amplified by the system, a small disturbance feeding back on itself, changing and growing, with exponential effects. In chaos theory it is called the phenomenon of “sensitive dependence on initial conditions.” Scientists have found that, when conditions are right, a single event or series of events can trigger profound change across an entire system. This is also known as the butterfly effect.
When an entrenched system begins to break down, old community beliefs give way more rapidly to new information about how to reorder the structure. When the breakdown escalates to the point that people are prepared to leave what they are familiar with and, despite their fear, try something new, the time is ripe for a transformation.
New Trend in Consciousness: Connection, not Separation
Evidence that a growing number of people are ready to embrace systemic change is found in the remarkable shift that has been building for at least the last half of the twentieth century. Thirteen years of extensive research on more than one hundred thousand Americans by sociologist Paul H. Ray and psychologist Sherry Ruth Anderson found a monumental shift in U.S. culture during that time frame.
Two primary subcultures, the Traditionalists and the Modernists, had previously dominated American culture. But in more recent decades, Ray and Anderson report that people with a new cultural mind-set have quietly sprouted up in the midst of American culture. They totaled about fifty million adults in the United States by the year 2000, and probably about eighty to ninety million in the European Union as well.
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The values of this fast-growing segment of the population are associated with wholeness; they appear to want policies that reflect our connectedness, not separation.
This new subculture shares: serious ecological and planetary perspectives, emphasis on relationships and women’s points of view, commitment to spirituality and psychological development, disaffection with the large institutions of modern life, including both left and right politics, and rejection of materialism and status display. (Paul H. Ray and Sherry Ruth Anderson, The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World, New York: Harmony, 2000)
Refusing to Take Part in the Culture Wars of Modernists & Traditionalists
Ray and Anderson call members of this group the Cultural Creatives, “because all across the Western world, they are literally creating a new culture.” They refuse to take part in the culture wars between Modernists and Traditionalists.
They head off in a third direction that’s neither left nor right, neither modern nor traditional. They have been deeply involved in most of the new social movements that have appeared since the 1960s and in a host of other cultural inventions as well. Oppositional political movements have influenced them less than cultural movements that try to educate our desires and change our minds about reality. They want to see the big, inclusive picture, and they want to work with the whole system, with all the players. They regard themselves as synthesizers and healers, not just on the personal level but on the planetary level, too. They keep cutting across social class and racial lines, across ideological lines of liberal and conservative, and across national boundaries, rejecting militarism and exploitation, seeking long-term ecological sanity. (Paul H. Ray and Sherry Ruth Anderson, The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World, New York: Harmony, 2000)
At first glance, Cultural Creatives look like a typical Modernist family, but they are not. What Cultural Creatives want from life, what they see as important for the future of the country, and how they live are distinctly different from Modernists. What matters most to Cultural Creatives are issues such as our children’s future, the health and education of all citizens, the ecology of the planet, the inner dimensions of life, limiting the control of big business, as well as the corrosive role of big money in politics. Ray and Anderson point out that the Cultural Creatives have not yet sprung into action because they think they are an aberration, alone in their dissenting views.
Replacing Old Institutions Founded on Duality with Ones that Reflect Oneness
The Cultural Creatives constitute but one segment of the constituency in favor of replacing old institutions founded on duality with ones that reflect Oneness. They are joined by conservative, moderate, and liberal Christians who want to return to the roots of Christ’s teachings; by Muslims who see in Mohammed’s teachings an all-encompassing and tolerant Allah; by Hindus and Buddhists who emphasize their ancient tradition of Oneness as the only reality; by people of other faiths whose primary religious tenets embrace Oneness; by Native Americans and aboriginal cultures who see nature as a whole system; and by scientists and secularists who embrace new theories about a unified field.
Success will depend on those who direct change, keeping a firm grasp on their intentions and not taking action prematurely, before the desire for change has ripened. They must work together and maintain links to other parts of the system. This led to the success of nonviolent movements in the 1980s that brought down dictators in the Philippines and Chile. In Poland, timing and well-maintained links enabled the workers to win the right to organize a free trade union.
If the radical — and simultaneously ancient — notion of replacing duality with Oneness were to course through our chaotic system, conditions are such that relatively few people could create the necessary fluctuation to take us to a higher order. This compassionate revolution is ready to happen.
©2010 by Sylvia Clute. All rights reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Hampton Roads Publishing Co. Inc.
Dist. by Red Wheel/Weiser, Inc. www.redwheelweiser.com
Beyond Vengeance, Beyond Duality: A Call for a Compassionate Revolution
by Sylvia Clute.
About the Author
Sylvia Clute is an attorney lecturer. She has graduate degrees from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Boston University of Law, and the University of California at Berkeley. After several years as a trial attorney, she became disillusioned with the legal system and began her search for a better way. She founded, led and served as an advisor to numerous community and statewide initiatives. A pioneer in legal reform, she spearheaded changes in Virginia's laws relating to women and children. Visit her website at www.sylviaclute.com/