Evolution. A story.

I’ve always had issues with the concept of evolution. I still don’t understand it fully. Thanks to Mrs Onajaife my secondary school biology teacher. Who basically thought the concept was pagan at best. While I do not agree that man evolved from apes to human, being African, a Yoruba, I grew up with a lot of folk lore/stories that attempt to explain why the species of animal resemble humans. My favourite is one, posits that the Supreme Being, gave the ‘monkey’ – ìnọ̀kí – some ointment to apply, the caveat however was for it to stay hidden/hibernated for 7 days then show itself, but Mr monkey couldn’t wait till the 7th day. He came out of ‘hiding’ and thus its evolution couldn’t be complete. My account and indeed representation of this story, has taken some creative liberty that will suit, but it carries the basic message of the story.

But evolution is very much around. And to me, it’s the only constant thing that exists in the universe. Change. The constant wheel of change.

Quantum physics has in a way tried to help understand this – no I don’t understand it either. The little I know is fascinating.

The evolution of the butterfly that is used to explain metamorphosis is the one I will explore. And how it supports the evolution of the human from conception to birth to her/his journey through life. The story, -yes that’s what I will call it- of conception to birth is one that will in my opinion capture the full essence of evolution.

Before I go any further, I must say, I am not an Expert in evolution but see it in everything around.

Unfortunately, I think we have become so jaded we cannot relate daily changes we experience as evolution.

A man and woman come together, and a child is conceived, and the 9-month journey starts, very much like the butterfly’s metamorphosis. The difference is that as the butterfly, starts its flying career, it doesn’t know where its flight will take It to. At least to we humans.

The difference is we know the butterfly will pollinate and give us honey, then, probably die.

The parable to this is that we humans are very much like the butterfly. We have such a long journey to being that we fail. While some get up, most just sit in the dirt of uncertainty.

We mostly don’t grasp our little phases of “now evolution” because we are busy looking for the big purpose and the passion that will drive that purpose.

This is highly subjective, but all the various forms of philosophies – economic and relational- I dare say, emerged from this place. A place where we are frantically looking for meaning of life and living that no one has been able to answer everyone’s question. By this I mean all these philosophies and the psychologies that backs them haven’t totally given us answers.

What these have done at best is to help one question their reason and at worse sucked one into the rat race alongside the hamster moving unending in the wheel of ‘life’.

Finding the essence of being isn’t a bad thing but being sucked into it so much that we forget to be. We do not have good enough relationship with ourselves that the question of purpose eludes us. Starting from the expectations our parents places on us as we developed, in what Don Miguel Ruiz called the domestication of humans, to struggling to juxtapose what we have been conditioned to believe we are with the realisation of who we have believed to have evolved to.

So there is a constant war in our insides that questions these, and we are in constant transition to finding the meaning of life. This is why I heartily align with Viktor Frankl and his logo therapy. I will not work to bore you with the workings of logo therapy, however, in simple terms it’s the foundation on which Viktor based his book ‘man search for meaning’ The theory is founded on the belief that human nature is motivated by the search for a life purpose; logo-therapy is the pursuit of that meaning for one’s life.

In recent times, I have spoken so much about being aware of being. I know it sounds so esoteric, but this is not my intention. The rat race- emotional and economical – we have found ourselves, makes life feel like we are on a fast rewind mode, on an old cassette Walkman, that one is waiting on with bated breath for it to the end, then start to play again…. And it continues

Do we need to find purpose? Yes! Do we need to identify the passion that will drive the purpose? Oh Yes!! What I am trying to get at is we can do all of these with the presence of mind without allowing the search for meaning swallow us. The way this is different to the dis ‘ease’ to please, is that the thing that motivates us to search for purpose and meaning can easily turn to one that will make one deviate from being.

Let’s not forget Adolf… quickly and many that have come after him.

Stop. Breathe. Notice. Reflect. Respond.

Love yourself; love your neighbour; love your country; above all, Love God, He is the essence of your being.



Comment (1)

  1. Avatar
    December 15, 2021

    Lovely write-up. A good pointer to all to refocus on what is key…..

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