What is evolution? How do we learn? What happens in the transformation process?
We are used to perceiving life as a linear through time and space, from birth to death. We experience a high level of separation in the current world. The end of life is the end of everything. When we observe nature, however, we see that life cycles and spirals. Four Earth's seasons, four Moon's phases, cycles of day and night, cycles of activation and relaxation of our nervous system repeat infinitely. Yet each new spring is different.
Does nature have any particular goal or an endpoint to its life? No. Nature wants to learn, experience and enrich the collective system. Human is a part of nature and a part of Earth's cooperative system. We observe these close connections to nature in our bodies, for example, in a woman's menstrual cycle. She experiences four inner, distinct phases each month: menstruation (winter), pre-ovulation (spring), ovulation (summer), and pre-menstruation (autumn). Men cycle testosterone levels that rise in the morning and fall in the evening. We all follow circadian rhythms that are a natural, internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and repeats on each rotation of the Earth roughly every 24 hours.
Collective humanity is cycling with nature. Each individual is born, grows, reproduces (in the form of children or projects) and dies. From the meta-perspective («higher view») this collective evolution is not a line; it is a spiral. Spirals are favourites of consciousness: open-ended, expansive, continuous. We can apply four stages of growth that evolve like a spiral to individuals' evolution, collective, societies, organisations, and sexuality. Learning and evolution of a person has been long studied and known as a self-actualisation process (Abraham Maslow), or individuation (Carl Jung). Psychologists developed a modern model called spiral dynamics (Don Edward Beck, Christopher Cowan, Clare W. Graves).
What is "SELF"? Have you ever experienced a sense of complete inner abundance? If yes, this is when you connect with "SELF". We know SELF under many names: a centre, an essence, a presence, a witness inside us, a divine spark, a sum of our unconscious and conscious. SELF is a potential inside us that wants to realise. It has only one goal - to learn through our lives as individuals and as part of a larger collective. SELF is not interested in achieving anything in particular. SELF wants to experience everything possible right here, right now, and repeat this process again and again, just like spiral does. In spiritual traditions, SELF never really dies; it changes the experience. Based on the process we observe in nature (born, grow, reproduce, die), we can break the evolution (transformation process) into four blocks that spiral in space and time.
Learning starts with an inner need, an impulse. SELF wants to change something: a belief, emotion, relationship, body. SELF wants to EXPRESS (born-spring-mental), just like a seed in the ground. This phase is called the inspirational quarter in the right conditions the seed sprouts. We always have a choice on how to act because we have a free will. We either resist (but I bet you the SELF will persist on your evolution), or we are ready to go with the expression and consciously act on the impulse.
We grow into the phase of creative action. SELF wants EXPERIMENT – try, test, play, touch, smell, involve all the senses. It is a time of flowering, with its promise of giving the fruit.
If we allow the natural process, we manifest what we tried in the experimentation phase. We INTEGRATE the experience into something substantial, a fruit of our action. New learning has been embodied into our being inside (habit, belief, pattern, body form) or outside (relationship, project, child).
Finally, we are ready for the transition. We realise that what we created must die. The fruit must fall on the ground to give new life. We learn what we have made we do not own. We provide it to the world. We free ourselves from our fruit. We TRANSCEND our creation.
We have two options: we can either connect to our SELF from who we are and enjoy this process or resist and live in a survival mode. How wonderful it would be to take this continuing spiral of personal growth and evolutionary opportunity and enjoy it day by day.
· Butters, Albion (2015). A Brief History of Spiral Dynamics. Approaching Religion. 5. 10.30664/ar.67574
· Fiorenza, Anthony (