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What do you call it when you do the same thing again and again until you no longer get, or want, the desired results each time?

One Answer

Adaptation. Evolution is all about change, but no one really "sees" evolution happen right now in a single moment. Instead, evolution is really quite a conservative and slow process. It needs generations upon generations upon generations. Microscopic mutations might come and go, but only the rare adaptation occasionally works to help things fit into a niche.


What's important is how something from the past wasn't enough to fit the present niche or a new opportunity. Something more from nothing but. Change and emergence are parts of the world processes that surround us.

The more our spiritual practices recognize and align with that reality, the better we will be able to adapt to the changes in our environments and select the paths of wisdom. 

Another Answer

Religion. I know, many people might say that religion is just superstition. And many of today's traditional religions have earned heavy reputations for not wanting to change. Once these old institutions fit into some place of authority, they can be so slow at making meaningful changes. They make the processes of evolution look fast and progressive and revolutionary!

But at the heart of many religions there is a lesson about narrative structure. Stories. Myths. Parables. Illustrations. Each narrative involves a confrontation with something new, or a chance to change. Stories can help teach us how to adjust our attitudes correctly, to survive and potentially thrive in the face of change.

Maybe the problem today is that the rate of change has jumped so dramatically. The scientific and technological world present us with something new every day. We are not used to having to face so much change.


Do we throw out everything from the past - baby, bath water, and bathing pan too? Or can we take a lesson from evolution itself, and understand that both conservative repetition and adaptive change make up the art of living well?

Can we tell better stories? And can we find better ways to tell our stories?

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