Was Darwin right about evolution? Are we the creatures we are today because of evolution? I’ve been thinking a lot about how I got to where I am today. I’m exploring two things, evolution and entelechy.
I was taught in school about evolution (obviously I didn’t attend a religious academic institution that believes in creationism). I like many have seen the poster of man’s evolution from knuckle dragging to standing erect. Clearly it was a long process and as archeologists and anthropologists continue their research we’re learning more about our beginnings.
Jean Houston, one of my heroes, speaks a lot about entelechy. She equates entelechy to an acorn. An acorn has everything it needs, within its hardened shell, to become a magnificent oak tree. It knows before it even cracks open that it will be an oak tree. Are people the same way?
I’ve been pondering evolution and entelechy because I’m on a creative pilgrimage. I’m no Picasso, Rothko, or Diebenkorn. I wonder if like they acorn they had this natural affinity for creating great works of art. On the other hand, over time did they evolve and become the great painters we’ve come to know and love.
I can tell you I work at my art. I never took an art class, but an amazing textile artist has mentored me. She always provided the caring truth, and encouraged me and other students to keep creating. I believe I’m on the path of evolution. Each piece I create tells a different part of my story. It allows me explore new ways of using my voice. Different methods, techniques, and design cues allow me to share different parts of my mind and spirit.
On the flip side, I’ve always had a creative life. I spent many years singing school and community choirs. I took flute and guitar lessons. I never ventured toward the visual arts because I can’t draw. It wasn’t until I found the textile world that the visual arts because my home.
If I take it one step further am I evolving as a person? Are my relationships growing richer? Am I living life more authentically? Am I using my gifts to benefit the world? This would be my own personal evolution. I do believe I was born with an inherent nature to care for others. My professional life has been devoted to alleviating pain, providing a safe space for those facing challenges and obstacles to achieve their own best lives.
Is it possible to have evolution without entelechy? Perhaps in the physical realm, but I’m not sure about the emotional or spiritual life I work on each day in my meditation.