hidden angel, golden monkey…

… lately there has been a something that has got right in my face as if to say ‘hey! pay attention Dan!’.   I keep reading and hearing about this very New Aged idea of ‘evolution’.

I’m feeling, right now,  like evolution is one of those concepts that falls into the category of Heroic Overcoming.  And when it becomes attached to spirituality – as in ‘oh, so and so is just SUCH an Evolved Person‘ – it becomes a statement of good, better, best.  If we are ‘evolved’ we’re more spiritual, we’re on a higher rung on the ladder to heaven.  We’re superior.

Don’t we human beings just LOVE hierarchies?  Don’t we just adore to strive?  How much do we admire a flower that strains to tilt her pretty head toward the sun and closes her petals in disappointment each night?  And how utterly infatuated are we with improvement and transformation?  Turn on the box and watch as ordinary overweight people become svelte television personalities, backyards get blitzed, houses get renovated and relationships get Dr. Phil’d.  Pick up a magazine and read about a makeover – while you’re there enjoy some gorgeously photographed ideals to aspire toward.

Oh yes, we’re a species of heros and hero worshippers.

So is it any wonder the idea of evolution has been attached to spirituality?  But how is it that we can evolve consciousness?  If evolution implies improvement and new abilities  – like a clever monkey that has learned to use tools – then what does evolved consciousness have that, say,  mine doesn’t?

Alchemy aims to speed up evolution but it works on matter, not spirit.  Spirit, for the alchemist, is changeless and neutral (there is no such thing as an ‘evil’ spirit).  Soul, on the other hand, belongs to Nature, is vast and multiple and engendered by acts of creativity.   Gold is a metaphor for consciousness and part of the work of alchemy is, in a complicated and repetitive manner, aimed at revealing the consciousness already inherent in matter.

From my point of view that looks as though the divine is not something we can do one darn thing to change or improve upon.  And it looks as though striving toward improvement (to be ‘spiritually evolved’) is just an other egoic mechanism to hide us from who we already are.  We’ve already got the Gold, even if we haven’t seen it yet.

I don’t want to be on a rung higher than any other.  I don’t want to be evolved.  I want to be expanded.  I want to experience the gold hidden in these depths inside my self and I want to let it shine from within.  And I want to recognise it in others.

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