My hypothesis is that evolution is not so much a linear progression of gradual ‘progress’ but rather cyclic periods of energetic expansion that incorporates all the lesser cycles within it. It is erroneous to think that by evolving we necessarily leave everything behind; instead, evolution incorporates and expands upon, discarding the detritus no longer functional. For example, consider how our earliest reptilian brain, at the base, has been added to successively as our species developed. We still have the reptilian brain deep within us yet we have incorporated it within our expansion. So too is our awareness of conscious evolution an integration of the constant evolutionary process that has brought us to this point from our earliest cosmic beginnings.
It is required of us that we traverse two paths simultaneously: one path requires inward travel whilst the other requires that we balance our outer lives so our intellectual, emotional, and physical faculties are in a harmonious relationship. If we cannot balance the inner with the outer then we have lost our efficiency, our functionality. Humankind does not (and cannot) exist within a vacuum. We have evolved as a social species; our energetic connections enable us to operate as individuals whilst simultaneously having integral connections of meaning and significance. The Book of Mirdad, for example, reminds us that each thought and action exists within our energetic environment as if a billboard or mirror:
So think as if your every thought were to be etched in fire upon the sky for all and everything to see. And so, in truth, it is. So do as if your every deed were to recoil upon your heads. And so, in truth, it does.
What we are now being forced to recognize is that humankind has to serve a cosmic purpose; and that every individual life too has a cosmic function. Human function and capacity depends not only on how we interact with our environment but also our energetic – kinetic – relationships with others around us and, importantly, ourselves. Such was one of the functions of worship and ritual in the past; to enable a certain state of energy to be created in which the whole process of transformation is positively reinforced. The possibility for humankind to realize latent inner capacities and faculties relies heavily upon making a connection to a higher form of energy. So much depends upon us making contact with those great forces that lie as close, or as far away, as we make them. This is because progress within the self is not automatic; it requires the use of the right intentions and focus alongside stimulated capacity.
Jesuit philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin wrote that entry into the future – into the superhuman – was open to everyone; that it was the destiny of humankind to advance together towards a spiritual renovation of the Earth. De Chardin believed that our evolutionary future awaits a consciously evolved being; and thus it is our responsibility to work towards a consciously evolved state. De Chardin was adamant in reminding people that ‘No evolutionary future awaits man except in association with all other men’.
Evolution of consciousness and conscious evolution are two distinct concepts: the former deals with the development of consciousness through species evolution. The latter refers to the conscious participation within evolutionary processes.