This is the introductory quote in Carter Phipps‘ recently released book called “Evolutionaries: Unlocking the Spiritual and Cultural Potential of Science’s Greatest Idea”. As you may be able to guess – the idea is Evolution.
“Evolutionaries” came recommended by every New Thought luminary I followed. I have to admit that I thought it was a little over the top- kind of a mass conspiracy to sell a book. But eventually I gave in, curious to see what all this praise was about.
I have to also admit that I am only on page 100 of this 400 page work. But I just can’t help wanting to join with the shouts and spread the word. This book is even more interesting and relevant than was indicated! “A profound and profoundly important New Work…” the beginning words of Ken Wilber’s praise. “Brilliantly expands our understanding of evolution” from Deepak Chopra.
So what is new about this book. What strikes me immediately is that Carter takes a huge step back and manages to help us see the big picture around what is happening today. He seems to be seeing the idea of evolution and our understanding of it as an emerging worldview – that could change everything. By looking far and wide at science, philosophy, and spirituality, he pieces together various voices to help us understand what is at stake by really getting what evolution actually means.
“I believe that our emerging understanding of evolution in all its many shapes and sizes and dimensions is so fundamental that it would be hard to overstate its significance. Taken as a whole, it will constitute the organizing principle of a new worldview, uniquely suited for the twenty-first century and beyond. ” p. 10 in the book.
I have marked so many lines and paragraphs in this book so far that I can see it will become a bible for my continued study. Key to this are: His explanations of why there is so much controversy around the word evolution itself. His scholarly research into the subject yet his easy to follow and energetic literary presentation. The new connections he makes between ideas – illuminating insights that give original perspectives and grounded hope. The humility and open-ended approach he brings to his investigations. His recognition that he doesn’t know the answers – but he asks really good questions.
Personally this is helping me, as I have come to a point in my research where I realize that the Unknown is the key ingredient in all the crucial areas of stress in our world today. The more research I do, the more complexity emerges, making it difficult to take a stand and see solutions on a larger level. I guess this is why “wicked problems” is such a buzz-word today (see earlier post). I am more aware of how we become polarized because we take dogmatic stands on issues despite the complexity. This is a hard place for us to be as humans. We like to use black and white thinking and are especially fond of quick solutions. We base everything on the premise: if only others would see the same solutions as we see, things would change.
Carter’s book helps us to see that even our understand of evolution is evolving. We discover that we are moving! We are waking up! And he shows us how we need each other to become more conscious of what is happening. We need common understanding to create relevant solutions. I particular like the recognition he makes regarding how fragmented and specialized we have become in our search for knowledge. He sees generalists, capable of crossing professional borders, as a clue to adaptation and novel solutions.
These are only some of the insights that I have gathered in the first 100 pages. I really look forward to continuing this read and gathering more insights and humility! Hope some of you join me. I would love to get a conversation going. Perhaps I am getting tired of doing all the talking here!