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The worldwide transformational movement has gained enough critical mass to ensure meaningful impact on our future. But conscious evolution doesn’t come by way of just transforming thoughts and behaviors. It emerges through cultural transfiguration—through metaphysically changing our very ground of being by setting a paradigmatically new fulcrum point for the pendulum of time and space. There is an emergent alignment of consciousness toward transfiguring the setpoint for cultural norms by putting the common good, rather than economic growth, at the fulcrum.
Since the Big Bang, 13.8 billion years ago, everything and everyone has been made up of stardust that keeps reconfiguring via a constantly evolving mix of infinite possibilities. Taoists say the universe is nothing but the flow between yin and yang. Matter (yang) and space (yin) evolve as particles perpetually turn to waves and back again. Because the yin/yang concept is gender-, values-, judgment-, and deity-neutral, it provides a unique lens on invisible cultural drivers.
Situating evolutionary concerns in the ontology of yin and yang helps transcend dualisms of right/wrong, good/bad, too much/not enough, and male/female. There is no such thing as absolute yin or absolute yang because they are relativistic. Yin and yang describe polarities of a universal energetic, not fixed points.
The yin/yang lens offers a conceptual framework for exploring the causality and metaphysics of conscious evolution. Just like positive and negative electrical charges in a wall outlet, yin and yang are distinct poles of unseen forces that, when consciously managed, yield power that is as formidable as it is neutral. We understand a lot about being causal with electricity and much less about causality with metaphysical currency.
The meta-domain of physics, metaphysics, is generative, creative, expansive, and infinite—yin territory. The hard science of physics is more yang—quantifiable, contractive, ordered, and finite. The emerging global urge to consciously harness and unleash our metaphysical currency is a yin-ward paradigmatic leap.
Current cultural norms hold extremely high valuation for yang indicators like profit, growth, militarism, patriarchy, and political power. Yin indicators like wisdom, wellbeing, peace, and connectedness have been obfuscated by a yang-dominant worldview that prevails in global markets and governments. The emerging paradigm’s high valuation for yin is evidenced by the billions of dollars that its early adapters invest in robustness of body, mind, spirit, nature, and connectivity.
Yin inclinations like the will and wherewithal to respect the environment are not supported by systemic yang-centered valuations. The emerging paradigm seeks a more vital equanimity between yin values like beauty, joy, and love with yang values like productivity, discipline, and organization. Yin tendencies toward healing, empathy, and pleasure have been tortured, burned, suppressed, ridiculed, and otherwise trashed by yang-dominant paradigmatic norms that currently determine what’s worth what. Millennia of cultural yang dominance has resulted in a yin deficit that’s reflected by the lack of women in religious, political, and civic leadership; by compromised human rights; and by minimal valuation for the inter-connectedness that people value most.
A paradigm change is not just a transformational correction. It’s a transfigurational resetting of our cultural pendulum’s center point such that it no longer swings from a fulcrum of yang-centered norms. The emerging paradigm is swinging yin-ward toward more compassionate and just norms. It’s establishing a new setpoint to accommodate the yin drivers that have been devalued by millennia of yang dominant consciousness.
Yang dominant systems don’t have the means to manage, or usually even acknowledge, invisibilities. The emerging paradigm’s increased valuation for yin drivers like vision and intuition lies in stark contrast to the prevailing paradigm where persecution of people with metaphysical proclivity, like Jesus and Gandhi, is legendary. And so is their contribution to evolution. The new paradigm’s high valuation for yin factors requires that it negotiate metaphysics on its own terms.
The emerging cultural transfiguration is a shift toward greater equanimity between yin intangibles like intentionality, civility, relationship, inner strength, and wisdom, with yang factors like data, methodology, physical strength, and rationalism. Yin and yang are never static. Breathe in, you’re more yang; breathe out, you’re more yin. The idea of absolute balance is delusional because no entity can exist when the universal dance of yin and yang stops—not even for a nanosecond. Conscious evolution is the act of adept surfing on the space/time waves of intangibles (yin) and manifestation (yang).
We now have the capacity to evolve ourselves toward a common-good driven civil society that aspires to happy and healthy equanimity between people and the places around us. For the first time, our unprecedented human connectivity, along with the evolution of our consciousness, gives us the capacity to co-create a compassionate and just evolutionary journey.
Just like electrical charges trigger with shifts in polarities, shifting our cultural yin/yang equanimity will necessarily trigger new metaphysical sparks. Teilhard de Chardin said, “When man discovers this spark, he will have discovered fire for the second time.” A paradigm changer!
Joni Carley has an extensive background in different cultures and is a coach consultant who keeps leaders and teams on the growing edge. jonicarley.com
Fall | Winter 2016