December 7, 2017

Change Is Inevitable, Transformation Is Optional

This past year has brought major changes, both in the world at large, and within our own individual lives. Changes, changes and more changes. It seems the entire world is smack dab in the midst of massive, foundational changes, the scope and breadth of which we have not witnessed in our lifetimes. Mounting resistance to many of these changes is fomenting full blown crises on multiple fronts, seemingly all at once. Many feel, perhaps quite rightly, that we are teetering on the brink of complete breakdown.

It is certainly true that change and crisis seem to be pervading the social, economic and political realms that govern so much of our daily lives.  Everywhere we look it seems crisis after crisis is wreaking havoc on old power paradigms, breaking down the foundations of many of our most treasured institutions. It’s enough to make one want to scream for everything to slow down, if not altogether come to a screeching halt so we can catch our breath. But, that’s not the way change operates; and, it is certainly not how transformation occurs.

Change Is Purposeful, Never Random

To many, if not most of us, change often feels chaotic and threatening. With so much change happening all at once, it can be a challenge to remember that change is actually a simple fact of life, a principle of cosmic law. Change is inevitable and perpetual, one of the only constants in our life. Changes are changing all the time. If we do not make our peace with that truth, then we are likely to live our lives reacting to events from fear and resistance, rather than responding from love and spiritual confidence.

Despite appearances, change is never random. There is always a purpose for every single change that comes about in our lives, whether we see it at the time or not. The primary purpose of all change is to facilitate transformation. When we resist change, we delay, or altogether shut down, the possibilities for transformation.

“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.” – From Illusions by Richard Bach

The caterpillar does not resist the changes necessary to transform into the butterfly. The caterpillar has no choice but to become the butterfly. However, humankind does have a choice. We have no choice about whether changes will happen. But, we are at choice about whether we embrace the changes in order to transform our experience. For humans, change may be inevitable; but, transformation is optional.

Seeing The Big Picture

In Dr. Robert Brumet’s book Finding Yourself In Transition, he uses the metaphor of the caterpillar and butterfly to make an important observation  about the human resistance to change. He contends that we are oftentimes like a caterpillar crawling on top of a beautiful, large Oriental carpet. The caterpillar is only able to see or sense the colors and the textures of the carpet that are right in front of it. The caterpillar is unable to see the “big picture,” or how the carpet weaves together into a beautiful and holistic pattern, where every part of the carpet is intrinsic and necessary to the whole.

Only the butterfly can rise above the surface of the carpet to take in the macro view, the “big picture,” as it were. If we could see the “big picture” of our lives, we would be able to see how every single change we experience facilitates our own transformation. Within each and every one of us, there is a divine plan guiding our individual destiny and creating opportunities for the transformation and evolution of our individual soul. When we see the “big picture,” we know that the divine plan is also at work within the collective soul of humankind.

What Is The Divine Plan?

In short, the divine plan is the cosmic blueprint that facilitates the evolution of consciousness to its highest possible expression. To make this point, Dr. Brumet draws on the work of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, who believed that humankind is a “vital link” in the divine plan to evolve consciousness. In Teilhard’s view, the evolution of consciousness changes slowly, over long periods of time. Every once in a while, we make a “quantum leap” from one level of consciousness to another. 

Today, many people believe that we are standing right on the threshold of just such a “quantum leap” in consciousness. This would explain why the pace of change seems to be coming so fast and furious. There is so much change coming at us from so many fronts all at once that resistance seems to be a perfectly reasonable strategy. However, resistance to change ultimately leads us into crisis. Teilhard maintains that “crisis” precedes each “quantum leap” of consciousness. However, just because we find ourselves embroiled in crisis does not mean that evolution is guaranteed.

Crisis Is A Turning Point, Not Necessarily A Catastrophe

Just as change does not guarantee transformation, crisis does not guarantee evolution. Crisis is not the evolution itself; it merely reveals the opportunity to evolve. When crisis appears, we may be forced to deal with it. But, crisis alone is not enough to guarantee that evolution results. Something more is needed if the divine plan is to be fulfilled. 

In order for transformation to be the outcome, at some point, we must willingly embrace the changes. Once embraced, we must allow the changes to facilitate the process of transformation. This is a conscious choice that requires a commitment on our part.

To achieve that end, Dr. Brumet suggests that we cultivate a “mindful awareness” of the changes that are active in our lives. We must be willing to ask, as often as is necessary: what is the purpose of these changes? If we do not receive a clear answer when we ask, we must continue to affirm that there is a purpose. Even when we can’t know the purpose in the moment, we must remain vigilant for its revelation, and trust it will reveal itself in time.

Unless we are consciously and actively looking for the purpose underlying the changes, then we are likely to experience considerable resistance to every change that comes about in our lives. It is helpful to remain mindful that resistance does not prevent change from happening. Change is inevitable and does not need our agreement to ensue.

We will either embrace or resist the changes. If we resist the changes long enough, crisis ensues. However, this is not necessary. As Dr. Brumet reminds us, a change or a crisis always signals a “turning point”. Yet, there is no need for a crisis to become a catastrophe. We can avoid crisis altogether and find the joy in transformation, if we are willing to see the “bigger picture” of human evolution and do our part to facilitate the divine plan.

Co-Creating The Evolution

We are not born to be “passive observers” in the divine plan. We are born to be co-creators of it. The evolution of consciousness, which is the very purpose of the divine plan, is for us. We are the ones who will experience the evolution. We are the ones who benefit from its realization. We are also the ones who will suffer the consequences, if we resist the changes that facilitate transformation.

Each one of us is personally responsible for the evolution of the divine plan, both within our own individual consciousness, and within the collective. We cannot wait for others to do it first. We must be willing to do it first as an inspiration to others. None of that can happen until and unless we make a commitment to do the internal work necessary to evolve our own individual consciousness. The ultimate demonstration of that commitment is to engage in a mindful co-creation with the divine processes that govern all of Creation. We will either contribute to the crisis, or the evolution. Which one we do will reveal where our commitment is.

Finding The Joy In Transformation

If we are to transform our experience and become co-creators of the evolution, it is incumbent upon us to embrace, engage and cooperate with the divine processes of Creation. We must do so on Creation’s terms, and not our own. We do not get to set the rules of Creation. We only get to work in cooperation and alignment with them, or not. To truly transform our experience, and not merely rearrange the furniture in our consciousness, we must assume personal responsibility for the unlimited creative power that is our divine potential. Then, we must place that creative potential into the service of the divine plan.

Playing small and resisting changes will not bring us peace. Likewise, there is no joy to be had from abdicating our responsibility as co-creators of the evolution. The only way for us to create joy and peace in the midst of change is to embrace the changes, which is also the way we avoid crisis.

Change is never random; and, it always has a purpose. The purpose of change is to transform your experience, to evolve your individual consciousness towards a mindful co-creation with Creation itself. This is the only direction we can travel in the evolution of consciousness, the only way we can know the joy of transformation.

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