Individual Distinctions and Collective Identities
Diversity, a buzzword of recent decades, has become a concept with many meanings to different people and groups. There is, indeed, a profound truth to the saying ‘it takes all kinds to make a world’. Unfortunately, amid perhaps the most concerted movement to rectify our modern culture’s lack of appreciation for natural diversity, an abstract concept of diversity, equity, and inclusion is being promulgated based on a fundamentally false premise conflicting with our evolutionary origins.
This concept does nothing to remedy the implicit conservatism in the Darwinian notion of ‘natural selection’ as ‘the preservation of favored races in the struggle for life’. Instead, it adheres to a mechanistic view of the human organism as a performing object whose survival depends on its ability to compete or cooperate successfully with others within a definitive space-time frame. It fails to recognize the truly evolutionary process of natural inclusion whereby all material form ultimately comes into being and diversifies via the co-creative relationship between receptive spatial stillness and energetic flux.
A pivotal shift in perception is needed to recognize the true evolutionary vitality of individual differences and group cohesion in cultural organizations, large and small. It should be obvious that continued self-think and group-think mentalities bred from abstract schools of thought leave no room for diversity, sustainability, and natural inclusion. Life is not a competitive struggle for existence. It can be difficult, rewarding, joyful, and sorrowful, but under no sustainable circumstances is it a quest for supremacy.
Life is a gift of natural energy flow to be received, nurtured, and shared. We must first remove from our minds and mindsets the inimical idea that a degenerative process of preserving some favored race is evolutionarily viable. Selection and competition cannot be compatible with diversity and inclusion. Period. And attempting to understand life as the result of surviving and fitting into a box of predestination leads only to everlasting intransigence of an egomaniacal frame of thought.
From Unnatural Selection to Natural Inclusion
The sooner we move beyond this falsification by objectification and commodification of both individual and group, the sooner we will begin to understand the actual significance of diversity and recognize that the norm is a derivation from variation; variation is not a deviation from the norm. In effect, diversity is precluded by abstract notions of being the best against all odds towards a fixed standard of achievement. Evolutionary success does not depend on the survival of the fittest. Evolutionary success is the sustainability of the fitting. An improvisational becoming of diverse groups and individuals, not the elimination of individual differences or the equalization into all one sameness.
For millennia, we have been led to believe – as Einstein put it – that the environment is everything that is not me. This begs the question, from what place on earth and at which time in life can you be excluded from said environment? It is not possible, not from the deepest submersible or the loftiest airplane. You cannot be excluded from your environment, and your environment cannot be excluded from you.
We are all natural neighbors living in companionship as transient expressions of our environment. I am not an object; you are not an object; we are not an object; environment is not an object. We must accept that we are living beings, not isolated objects characterized by skin color, gender identity and political affiliation.
So, if you are sitting in your plush computer chair spending taxpayer resources to quantify the number of your organizations’ individuals that belong to certain groups, wake up! We cannot label our way out of the serious inequities and injustices afflicting billions of people. We must recognize that our self-excluding system of logic, along with its language and leadership, is flawed.
Communal life thrives not in the monotony of equality but in the wonders of diversity. Individual uniqueness and group cohesion are requirements of a sustainable future. It takes all kinds to sustain a co-creative community of distinct individuals, each with unique roles to play. Singled out demarcations of self or group identity such as race, gender, religion and political affiliation are, in fact, perpetuating prejudice by marginalizing diversity, stifling evolutionary progress, and risking either the elimination of individual differences or the equalization into all one sameness.
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