Renaissance Now: Leap Into a Whole New World
“You can easily tell the difference between the reactionaries and the true revolutionaries. The reactionaries base their reforms on their anger and fear, whilst the agents of [revolution] are not victim to their old emotional prejudices. They do not provoke further reaction but seek to resolve conflicts and at the same time implement radical changes and ideas based upon a grand vision of the future….beyond fear and is anchored in a deep goodwill towards all creatures.
[This leads to] the rebirth of freedom, or the freedom of rebirth.
Revolutions keep going round at a certain level of frequency, but evolution is a spiral requiring sudden leaps. At such times, revolution gives way to rebirth.
The first insight is that the world in its current form cannot be fixed, no matter how profound or far-reaching the revolution may be. The very bedrock of our modern society is found upon a species that has always made decisions rooted in fear. In this respect the whole civilization is rotten from its core. The only way for a new future to be created is to begin from scratch…a new civilization will be built as the old one continues to crumble.
If all this is really the case, you may wonder, what are we to do as individuals? If even the most revolutionary of impulses cannot fix the current world, then what is the purpose of following our gifts?
This evolutionary leap into a whole new way of functioning depends upon us following our gifts. If we cannot create the waves of the new revolution at all levels of society, then the rebirth that takes place at the zenith of consciousness….cannot take place. The rebirth is the organic flowering of the revolution. Just because we cannot fix the world as it is, does not mean that we cannot make the world a better place. Our vision of the perfect future is precisely what creates the necessary frequency shift….It will happen because it must happen, but we must still create the happening.”
- Richard Rudd, Gene Keys
Renaissance summons a glance back to an ideal past of exploration, invention, and beauty. A time when we recalled ancient wisdom to evolve into the modern world. The word renaissance means “rebirth”, calling us to gaze forward to the next stage of human progress through the lens of ancient wisdom. It is part of a natural, developmental cycle of birth, growth, and death. Historians confine the Renaissance to a few hundred years in European history. How might the contemporary, creative revolutionary interpret renaissance?
Renaissance is not a period in history that has come and gone. It is a part of the dynamic process of evolution, beginning with revolution and continuing where revolution stagnates. Revolution begins with reaction. Reaction wakes us from the slumber of inertia and inspires a need for change, a 180 degree turn from where we were. Reaction creates the movement necessary to make this 180 degree turn and look at the other side, get on the other side of the fence, the other side of the aisle, “What we are doing now doesn’t work. Let’s do the opposite.”
Revolution, in the true sense, endeavors to bring some balanced justice to conflict, a dynamic mediation in the middle of the battlefield. Revolutionaries take the world as it is and try to make it better. They bring light to where we are stuck and encourage, even agitate us, to look at an opposite point of view and fight for the needed changes to bring us into balance as a society. This movement always brings about resistance, and the resistance usually results in a counter-conflict on a scale in measure with the breadth, depth and speed of the movement.
If we remain in the initial stage of reaction, we only perpetuate the pendulum swinging back and forth, a self-perpetuating war. War does bring change but it can stall development and growth, as the flowering bud of the new way of being that is trying to emerge is torn apart on the battlefield over and over.
Renaissance picks up where revolution falls short. Revolution remains on the battlefield and builds a beautiful city from the rubble of war until the next reaction inspires change, counter-conflict ensues, tears the city to the ground, and our society becomes a battleground once again. Revolution is a loop, a cycle of inertia, reaction, war, rebuilding, inertia.
Renaissance is a rebirth. Rebirth is creating something entirely new from what is present now. Rebirth is not recycling the old; it requires us to remove or lift ourselves from the loop, to gain a higher altitude, not only a better attitude towards our current society. If evolution is a spiral, revolution is the circular motion of that spiral, and renaissance is the sloping upward, the leaps from one level to another. Revolutionaries can see both sides. The renaissance man and woman see both sides within the whole picture, the whole context.
In the case of the European Renaissance, the focus was on the development of the inner potential of the individual. For the most part, our modern society reflects the promotion of these Renaissance ideals. Basic education, health care, recreation, creativity, technology, and the standard of living of the individual, et al is much more advanced and universal than in the middle ages. While there are many people in the world still experiencing the oppression of the individual, humanity generally recognizes and establishes organizations and humanitarian efforts to alleviate the suffering of the individual and support the development of individual potential where it is not being met.
In the modern world, we quest for new ways to understand and improve on the life of the individual. Even when individuals are provided all they need for their growth and happiness, they are not fulfilled, not completely happy, continue to face limitations and insecurity. Nothing lives up to the promise of individual fulfillment. Perhaps the total fulfillment of the individual for its own sake is not the complete answer to the question of how to improve society?
What’s next? When we say we are looking for a revolution, are we really seeking a renaissance, a rebirth? Are we pointing across the fence and saying, “We want to go over there,” or are we inspired to leap to an entirely new level?
The next renaissance, rebirth or leap in evolution will include the development and happiness of the individual, recognizing that the individual is part and parcel of a whole context including other people, the economy, groups, nations, organizations, the natural environment, the planet, the cosmos. One cannot exist without the other. The whole context gives rise to the individual, and the individual contributes to and changes the whole context.
The individual must make their right relationship to their context. The context must make its right relationship to the individual. There must be a mutual consideration, contribution and evaluation of each other. If not, they will continue to threaten each other, stagnating the progress of each in a stand-off. A revolution could lead to new ways to explore and develop individual potential and happiness. But, as long as the world existing around the individual, the context, threatens their development and happiness, it can never be truly fulfilled.
The contemporary, creative revolutionary is aware that our present society and civilization needs to change. They understand that change will take many forms and stages - beginning with reaction, trying out the opposite of what we are doing now, inciting conservative reaction to change, and recycling the old into something better.
The contemporary revolutionary will go farther. They understand that something entirely new must be formed. It is time to move beyond examining our society by walking around in circles. Let us look at our present society from a bird’s eye view. We have witnessed that trying to force individuals into a uniform context against our wills creates sterility, rebellion, stagnation, corruption, et al. Swinging the pendulum the other way to allow total individual freedom and focus on individual happiness for its own sake has created a society of cliques, stratification of living conditions, chaos, envy, lack, greed, exhausting competition, as a few examples of the many issues we now face. We need a rebirth, a phoenix rising from the ashes. The forthcoming renaissance will marry the individual with the context and create an entirely new way of being, thinking, feeling and civilization.