Evolution happens at the margins. It can happen when and where you least expect it. Other times you expect it, but in only one dimension – when or where, but not both. And who is a big part of it all. Those on the margin are almost always the drivers of evolution. How could it be any other way? If you’re part of the establishment, you almost certainly want to keep things relatively static to maintain your position.
Right now women in Iran are an evolutionary force. Women have almost certainly been one of the major forces of evolution the last century. Women are generally on the margin – or at least in some respects. This does not mean they are not powerful. In fact I think it can be argued that the margins are the source of greatest power. The leading edge of evolution is always at the margins and is often ignored by the establishment until the momentum is overwhelming.
Iran is seeing widespread protests that haven’t been matched since 2009. According to this BBC report, there is no central leadership to this opposition and the government if working to stifle the disruptions by restricting social media.
And women who do not follow the religious dress codes will no longer be subject to arrest according to this report. This is a new police policy and instead of detention, they will be offered “re-education” on Islamic values.
It’s not clear if this “re-education” is voluntary or not, but these two developments indicate to me that evolution is proceeding in Iran. Voices of tradition and the establishment everywhere should take heed – no wait a minute – go back to sleep. It’s only Iran. The margin is always on the move and never more so than now. Our own unconscious is really on the margin of our awareness and is it not the source of our psychological evolution? Art is on the margin because it is often our portal to greater and deeper awareness. It turns things around, or turns us around, and puts us in the liminal world beyond our normal or traditional understanding. Dreams are from beyond the margins and we meet them there.
Finally this all reminds me of one of the great metaphysical comedians, Steven Wright, who joked:
I’m a peripheral visionary – I can see into the future, but just way off to the side.
Way off to the side, on the margins, is precisely the source of our future. – our evolution.
Long live the margins! Long live those who show us those margins and coax or drag us beyond them. Long live evolution, because without it, there is no life. May 2018 usher in lots more evolution.