Among types of possible revolution, the one of consciousness seems key. Most likely it will come about spontaneously as economic disparities, social disequilibrium, and climate mayhem start to increase exponentially.
The forms it might assume are unpredictable. It may start in silence, without noise or fanfare, at least in the beginning.
Consciousness has many modes, many dimensions. Most of us are tuned
into a fraction of the total spectrum. So progress and experiment is
possible on many fronts.
Sometimes progress can seem modest, unworthy of notice. But for the
person who has the experience, a small step may open to new horizons.
Here’s an example from my days of teaching philosophy at a college in
Jersey City. It was a typical Philosophy 101 class. We were talking
about that old puzzler, “free will”. Illusion or reality?
recited the arguments pro and con, and the discussion went well.
At the end of the hour the students filed out except for one who
approached me. She looked excited, and without ceremony blurted out, “I
swear I never knew I had a free will!”
“What do you mean?” I asked, surprised by her enthusiasm.
She proceeded to explain how she lived and carried on in daily life.
It never fully occurred to her that she was free to guide the ship of
her own existence. She explained to me that she was a “drifter”. She
drifted with the forces and personalities around her, friends and school
It wasn’t that she didn’t make choices on her own. That was instinctive, but more often than not, she forgot
that she could make her own choices. During her epiphany, her full
power to choose suddenly dawned on her with extra-special clarity. She
could shape and direct her own life. She took possession of the
concept of free will for the first time.
I asked her how it felt. To her, the heigtened awareness of her own
freedom was a pointed reminder of who she was. She was an agent, not a
passive object to be shuttled around by fate and chance.
As we exited the classroom into the crowded stairway, she described
how her view of others seemed different. The fear of being intimidated
by other people seemed to melt away.
To have a strong, vivid sense of oneself as a free agent is a big
thing. For the young woman it was the key to her personal revolution.