Force, in this context, refers to the use of coercion or
overwhelming strength or power to dominate, control, or otherwise
get one’s way, often against resistance. The power used
can be physical, economic, social, intellectual, emotional, military,
psychological, technological, etc. The more force used,
the less we take into account the nature or needs of the Other.
The more we take the Other into account, the less force and
resources we need to accomplish mutual ends.
Consciousness, the capacity to be aware, in this context,
includes all the interior dimensions and capacities of life that
can—among other things—help us deal successfully with
our changing world by sensing, understanding and creatively,
collaboratively relating to the conditions in us and the entities,
interactions, and contexts around us.
This evolutionary moment challenges us to bring the power
of consciousness to bear on the process of self-reflective evolution
itself to replace the creative violence of supernovas, lifeand-
death struggles, and wars with highly aware intelligence,
wisdom, and care.
So as evolutionary activists, we seek to replace force everywhere,
• in every entity (every individual, group and
• in every interaction (every conversation, exchange,
conflict, and engagement with nature);
• in every context (every situation, culture, gathering,
community and urban design); and
• in every form of consciousness (in all sensing,
learning, visioning, morality, and all other forms
of thinking, feeling and experience).
Our consciousness then evolves
towards true collaboration, where we—
you and I, us and our adversaries,
humankind and nature—help each
other get what we each need and want—in cooperatives,
family conversations, in deliberative democracy, in Nonviolent
Communication, in permaculture.
This shift from force to consciousness is the fulcrum of
human evolution at this critical time—at individual, collective,
and systemic scales.
As we reach our planetary limits, the downsides of force,
violence, and control become increasingly obvious. Our
technological and social capacities to generate harm through
our efforts to force, impact, and control people and life—no
matter how well intended—threaten our extinction.
The more fully we understand, the less force or energy
we need or want to use. The less energy we use to serve any
given need, the more efficient and elegant our systems and
behaviors become, making them favored by natural selection
and the general directionality of evolution.
Guidance concerning evolutionary means:
• A addresses the role of conversation.
• B talks about creative use of diversity.
• C explores how to handle dissonance.
• D discusses deep, inclusive simplicity.
Guidance concerning realms of evolutionary action:
• 1 deals with the health of the systems themselves.
• 2 deals with contexts and systemic awareness of them.
• 3 deals with the systemic capacity to effectively respond
to complex, changing circumstances.
1. Cultivate healthy self-organization.
• Cultivate healthy behavior
• Cultivate healthy power
• Cultivate healthy flow
2. Cultivate healthy systemic contexts.
• Healthy social context.
• Healthy contexts that govern meaning
• Healthy physical contexts
• Healthy natural contexts
3. Cultivate healthy systemic responsiveness and collective
• Cultivate collective intelligence, learning, and
• Cultivate collective self-awareness, integrity,
and humility –
• Cultivate the collective capacity to generate and
pursue shared intentions –
• Cultivate systems that embody collective compassion
and mutuality –
• Cultivate the collective ability to make wise,
creative decisions –
• Cultivate collective co-creativity and evolutionary