Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Evolution and Involution
By Balakrishna Jayasimha
Often in today's world, we hear the word ‘evolution’ being used by science or otherwise. The word has gained in prominence, more so from the time of Charles Darwin, and his famous work on evolution in the ‘Origin of species’. Since then, we have used this word, almost anywhere to indicate a sense of collective growth and as a measure of individual success.
We have evolved new systems, in our corporate settings, evolved from the Stone Age to modern man as a society, so much so that the phrase ‘industrial revolution’, which is a barometer in measuring our success as a species, also contains the word evolution.
While this external evolution has brought with it certain comforts, which previous generations lacked, it has also defined individual success on the basis of the 3 P’s of Pay, Possession and Position. We often use the expression one has evolved; yes, we are definitely evolving in our ‘material surroundings’. However, the deeper question to ask oneself is whether we are evolving in our inner surroundings, the inner self, are we progressing in our ‘involution’, which is evolution within the core self?
We need to understand the difference between the two. Evolution is wanting, Involution is accepting. Evolution means feeding one's greed, involution means recognizing others need. Evolution traps us in the outer noise; involution helps us listen to our inner voice. Evolution is to analyze, involution is to realize. Evolution feeds the ego, Involution frees the spirit. Evolution adds to arrogance, Involution leads to acceptance.
Finally, evolution applauds the “Survival of the fittest.” Involution believes in “Being provided for from the nest.”
This in the least does not suggest that the process of evolution as an undesirable experience. Only it is being portrayed by all involved in the ‘a’ particular way suggesting that it is the ‘only’ way, and it is the ‘correct’ way!, while in fact the two need to go together. They cannot be mutually exclusive; we need to make it mutually inclusive. In the current scenario there is a skewed tilt towards the way evolution is being advertised, which is leading to this imbalance. Getting in touch with the inner self helps in setting right this balance.
We spend most of our lives analyzing and passing judgments about others, so much so that we hardly know our own self. Knowing and understanding the self helps to know and understand the others in a different light. This helps the involution of the self at the same time adding to one’s external evolution. So, when the next time you hear the word evolution in its various forms, ask the question, ‘How far am I in my involution’?