The aphorism “Be the change that you wish to see in the world”, is commonly attributed to Gandhi. It implies, a little smugly, that one’s responsibilities to the world begin and end with one’s own behaviour.
Would a sharp and politically-tuned lawyer, who became a full-time opponent of a proud, highly-visible, financially-reluctant and politically-dwindling adversary, present his views in such a way. No, it’s a tweak that’s been popularised by pretenders.
The closest verifiable remark we have from Gandhi is this:
“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.”
That’s a starting point, but I’m going to finish up by tweaking that idea too, by twinking over that word ‘nature’. It’s like the sky, an idea you can see but has no actual substance.
There are a number of unusual effects which are normally kept over the hedge, out of sight from ‘straight’ science, largely because they admit to the possibility, even the conclusion, that matter is an expression of consciousness. This religiously embarrassing conviction is also reached by many quantum physicists, just based on the evidence of the science they study.
The idea of ‘morphic resonance‘ was developed in a book by Rupert Sheldrake.
He pointed to a range of phenomena, including something which had long puzzled chemists: that when crystallising a new chemical for the very first time the possibility of success improved the more often that success was achieved – anywhere in the world. There seemed to be some kind of learning feedback in action, but where.
A similar concept is describedin the Findhorn literature. One of their founding members was able to access such information through meditation. The same idea turns up in Ken Keyes’ Hundredth Monkey effect. He also implies there are fields in consciousness where learning is universally held and transmitted amongst like entities.
Getting warmer – the Anthropogenic Global Warming movement
Then, amidst all the disaster of the Bush-Jr. years, something similar happened in the AGW movement. Within a political instant the notion of global warming crystallised worldwide. It went from outer fringe to global embrace in just 2-3 months. Those who had not on the drum-banging fringe for decades probably would not have noticed this.
The movement has since stalled because it has a couple more stages until the whole truth finally crystallises out, but the energy for that is building fast. Only then can the Great Healing begin. In years ahead people will look back at this stage of human history and wish they could have been here to hurry that process along.
What we now know is that information is not just an abstraction, it obeys the same laws of physics as everything else in the universe. To get more insight into this idea watch Prof. Jim Alkalili on this clip from the documentary, Order and Disorder, (link below).
The volume of information is expanding exponentially, doubling every year, soon to be every day. Terence McKenna pointed to a time when the information overload from all this would become so rapid that some new mode of existence would be necessary in order to cope. Hopefully, that would include an enhanced ability to shed the crap which now clogs the world.
Gandhi’s great contribution was not in his writings but in his demonstration of the power of non-violent resistance. As far as his idea of people changing their own nature goes, I question how it is that this could happen … through their behaviour?
These days, now that his kind of political activism has been rendered practically impossible, a different approach is needed. It is better to suggest that people turn to deepening the information that forms their views. Accordingly I have tweaked that one word, and updated his saying to: “As a man changes his own understanding, so does the attitude of the world change around him…” or similarly: ‘Be the information that you wish to see in the world’. As people become better informed the world will change.’ Find out what is really true. The world will be changed simply by doing that.
A great place to start is with: Changing the Food System.