re-gener-ation: spiritual rebirth xv. -(O)F or L
trans- : beyond
e-volution: to spin out of
Regeneration seems to be the buzz word nowadays. We’re no longer allowed to talk about sustainability, as that is outdated. It’s about regeneration. The main difference is a valid one – sustainability implies keeping things the same way, a dose of conservation, whereas the generally accepted opinion now is that we are beyond that. Our natural ecology has degenerated to such an extent that we need to actively regenerate it, not just sustain things the way they are.
The Regeneration Meme
Although it started off in the environmental context, the regeneration meme has been very effective at inserting itself into other domains as well – such as cultural, societal and organisational regeneration. When a meme like this comes to life and is rapidly adopted it is worth looking at why that might be. It is a sign of something brewing in the human consciousness.
In its essence, regeneration means being born again. It points to returning to some fundamentals, back past developments that still feel like part of our current problems, until we find a foundation that feels solid, that feels at some level pure. If we were to go back to that point and start again, what different choices would we make?
The Pain and the Promise
In my thesis around the Pain and the Promise, I suggest that the foundation exists pre the emergence of our sense of separate self, pre the agricultural revolution that came out of the “West”. For some reason, as we evolved that sense of separate self – in itself a positive thing as it was how life on Earth started to become aware of itself – instead of taking with us our pre-cognitive instinctive sense of interconnectedness, we transcended yet repressed it – creating a collective trauma that still reverberates through our civilisation and is I believe at the core of all our current challenges. See this blog for more on the split.
In order to transition through to a next level of civilisation, I believe we need to revisit the trauma of that split and heal our relationship to ourselves, each other and the rest of life on Earth. We need to re-member that we are Earth. Until we do that we will continue to create apparent solutions from a fragmented worldview based in our unrooted cognitive rational mind, and only make things worse.
From Transformation and Evolution to Regeneration
One aspect of this rootless development that humanity has been going through over the last couple of thousand of years – intensified over the last few hundred years – is the notion of linear time. We started to experience linear time at the same time as the sense of separate self and agriculture emerged. Before then we experienced our reality as cyclical. Again, understanding the linear dimension of our relative world is an important development, but when at the same time we forget the cyclical nature of reality, then we get an unbridled, ungrounded linear charge of progress, striving to continually move beyond what we have to something “better”.
This linear developmental perspective expresses itself strongly in the personal development movement. We need to transcend our material world, evolve ourselves, engage in the transformation of consciousness. Embedded in all this language of “trans-” and “e-” is the notion of away, out of or beyond. Many spiritual pathways also embed this in their practices. Yet, as I have illustrated in volution theory, no movement into greater light or consciousness can happen without a deeper dive into our shadow and embodiment. They go hand in hand.
So why then the “regeneration” of consciousness? For me that reminds us that we need to return to some core principles of who we are, our foundational pre-rational state of interconnectedness that we have buried deep in our past. We must heal the split in each of our selves and our industrialised culture that leads us to perceive and act from a place of fragmention – where we see things as separate and linear. No transcendence or transformation without immanence and regeneration. No eros without agape.
Healing and Rebirth
To do that we need to slow down, to ground, to be with what is – to let go of the rabid dog of transformation, transcencdence and evolution that is straining at its leash to pull us onwards and upwards. Feel the rest that comes when you let go of that leash. Become aware of what we have, of what is around us. Feel into the pain of the trauma in ourselves – we have forgotten that the Earth is our mother, that the Great Mother gave birth to us, nurtured us, enabled us to become who we are. How do we repay her? We not only forget her, but exploit and despoil her to the extent that many of her beautiful creations teeter on the edge of extinction. How does it feel to sit with that, to allow the pain to surface and flow through our being? When we do that, it settles our energy, it drops us back into the ground of being, it returns us to our foundations, before we started the journey of “progress” that has created so much desctruction and pain.
In their book Information Medicine, Ervin Laszlo and Pier Mario Biava describe a fascinating discovery in healing that closely relates to our theme of regeneration. They found that you could get far greater results in the healing of cancer when you give a patient’s body stem cells that developed very early on in the life of an organism, before most of the differentiation had taken place. These cells hold the information of pre-differentiated wholeness and enable the body to reset aberrant cells to their original form. It is regeneration – going back to the moment of birth. This is the same thing we are talking about here for our consciousness and culture. We need to be reminded of our pre-differentation (pre emergence of the ego)) wholeness so that we can reset our fragmented mindsets, behaviours and systems. That information exists in our pre-rational selves, locked deep in our bodies.
This is not about going back to being cave people. It is about healing that split, re-membering our intrinsic wholeness, so that we may use the best of our wisdom, intelligence and technology to create a world that honours our relationship with each other and the rest of life on Earth. When we do that, the foundational information of our interconnectedness will permeate all that we think and do. It is about the regeneration of our consciousness, culture and ecology. Time to be reborn.
Originality consists of returning to the origin. Antoni Gaudi