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“Dad. What is evolution?”

I was greeted by this question during the morning commute as we headed to school. Our morning conversations are often the highlight of my day as they often get me thinking in ways beyond my traditional thought process. The questions are rarely of a mundane nature and force me to try and explain abstract concepts at a grade-school level. Sometimes, I hold off in answering right away – in this case, I said something to the effect of “it’s about getting better in all areas of our lives…”

Later, I decided to look up the formal definition of evolution. In a general context, it refers to

development, advancement, growth, rise, progress, expansion, unfolding, transformation, adaptation, modification, revision

While the creation-ists and evolution-ists can keep arguing about the origin of the universe and about our own origin, evolution sounds like a very desirable thing in the context of spirituality. Advancement and transformation, moving from relatively lower levels of spiritual thought and practice to higher levels, is indeed a worthy goal for all of us.

This raises some questions. How does transformation or spiritual evolution happen? What is the connection between evolution and action? Can we fully control our evolution – or does it depend on external factors like divine grace and blessing? What do we need to discard in order to evolve spiritually? Is evolution, which is normally a slow process, adequate for spiritual growth – or do we need quantum change, a revolution, to truly transform us from within?

Involuton Evolution Revolution

In Vedic thought, there is another concept related to evolution – it is referred to as in-volution. One way to look at it is through the relationship between the seed and the tree. While we all know that the tree emerges from the seed, in-volution suggests that the seed contains the tree within it. All the knowledge that the seed needs to evolve into the tree was involved into the seed by nature. A mystic describes involution as

Involution is the inner path of the human soul to the self – Meher Baba

Evolution. Involution. Revolution. We will discuss a little bit from these topics on Sunday January 13th at 9am ET. I invite you to join me and the #SpiritChat community on twitter as we begin another week of action on our spiritual transformation.

Please join us.


P.S. Her response to my answer was – “Dad. I think there’s more to it than that…” Indeed.