The natural order of the universe, what is sometimes called the Tao, is not a definitive or codified thing. It is simply the way of emerging into being. It is the way that rivers flow, the way that flowers bloom, the way that actions arise organically out of nature.
It seems we live in a world so far removed from its own nature, a world that strives not to allow the freedom for anything to emerge organically. Not ourselves, not each other, not our society. Ours is a world of coercive force: of rules and control, dogma and regulation. And yet, our civilization emerged from nature too.
Force is not absent from our nature; it is an essential component of it. But our force, like everything, can be used in service of particular goals. This, I write as a guide to using force as a tool to allow emergence into being.
When I speak of a civilization blooming, I speak of one that arises organically out of its own nature. One that shirks the urge to control and determine, and instead allows itself to come into being from the harmonious relationships between all that makes it up.
I started down this line of questioning from a fundamental desire that has driven my being for as long as I can remember: to live a life I consent to.
What does it mean to consent to life? What does it mean to consent?
At the most basic level, to consent is to choose to allow. To use one’s force, one’s action, one’s agency to do or not do, as a tool to allow a thing to happen.
Consent necessitates a lack of coercion or domination; not only allowance, but allowance given from a place of freedom. Freedom is, at its core, an internal state of mind, but that state can be bolstered or shattered by external realities. When we believe we are free, we are. But if that sense of freedom can be broken by external conditions, by applications of domination and coercion, we find that sense of freedom to be nothing but a false and hollow fantasy.
Freedom, true freedom, comes internally and externally.
To consent to life, to live a life that one can truly choose to allow, is an internal and an external action. It requires a mind liberated from internalized domination and coercion, and a world liberated from externalized domination and coercion.
A life that is truly founded on consent is a life we freely choose to allow, whose order emerges organically from choices made freely.
This essay is an attempt to lay out that process of organic emergence, from stepping into the space of a liberation that is both personal and collective. It is a total process, of reconstructing our world by choosing to allow, and reimagining our force as tool not for limiting the ability of others to use their force, but to allow all forces to find harmony in relating to each other freely.
If that seems like a lot to wrap your mind around, don’t worry. It is. But it’s also hilariously, paradoxically simple. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, and it still takes practice.
Sit tight, we’ll go slow. We’re only talking about an entire new world order here.
I’m writing this as a series of essays, each applying the same idea of organic emergence to different realms of existence.
- Part I will explore what it means to allow the self to emerge organically.
- Part II will focus on interpersonal relationships.
- Part III, on socio-political structures.
- Part IV, on economy and market.
- Part V, on culture and collective morality.
- Last, a Conclusion, offering some thoughts on what to do with all of this.
In truth, it’s all the same concept, which I’ll say one more time with feeling: to choose to allow, and allow order to emerge organically out of choices made from a place of freedom.
All of this, I write as a blueprint, for what it might look like for human civilization to bloom: to emerge out of the natural harmonies of everything within it, each blooming in turn.
As above, so below. As within, so without.