Sunday, January 31, 2010

Conscious Evolution

Life is an evolutionary journey and humankind is on an evolutionary path. This journey towards more evolved forms of intellect, understanding, and creativity requires capacities that lie latent within our very selves. To accept conscious evolution then is to accept that individually and collectively we have a responsibility towards our future. This involves purposeful thinking and action; to use our creative capacities to guide our lives and the communities in which we live. To envision a creative, dynamic, and positive future is a preliminary step upon the path of conscious evolution. First, we make the choice for ourselves; then we give intention and commitment in order to give life to those choices. At its core, conscious evolution is a spiritual endeavour in that it affirms the potential capacity of each human to participate within a creative cosmos. It affirms our use and commitment of powerful physical and spiritual energies. It also gives rise to a new worldview – a new perceptual paradigm that views our evolutional process as a lesser step within grander processes. The opposite of this (which has been prevalent for far too long) is for unconscious human energies to be used without our knowledge or knowing participation.


Conscious evolution is also a very real social movement providing for a higher level of cooperative communication and action. It is a partnership understanding that offers personal development and learning, community building and assistance, and ways towards practical, positive social change.[i]


Conscious evolution also implies that each human, each part, is an integral and interrelated part of the whole. The following personal experience highlights this interconnectedness:

In 1983, after three days and nights of praying and fasting on a mountain top, I snapped a twig with my fingers and had a revelation. I saw that this simple action had changed the world, and that it would never be the same again. I could never put that twig back together the way it had been. This was a small change, but an important change nonetheless. As the sound of the snap reverberated within my mind, I understood how everything I said and did changed the world. What came with the snapping twig was not an abstract idea or a philosophical insight, but a living experience of how all my actions influence creation.[ii]

The new sciences have revealed that the concept of integral relationships is now a reality; that all living organisms are energetically integrated within a shared informational and creative field. As an evolving species, we are encouraged to work together towards this synergy, or gestalt: where the whole is greater than its sum, and thus leads to emerging properties of the collective. However, we can only function in accordance with our level of knowledge and capacity. We cannot be told what is, or what needs to be done; we can only be guided until that understanding becomes an inherent part of ourselves. Then we have an organic sense of how we should act to fit in with the dynamic whole. Yet we can modify our thoughts, action, and behaviours through self-observation. We can learn to clear our minds of antiquated belief-systems and accumulated junk in order to allow these new thoughts to penetrate. We may think we learn, yet often we learn rote without the thinking. We should aim towards a conscious digestion of information: to learn how to learn; to know how to know.[iii]

In a similar way, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin talks about the collective, unified soul of humankind as a ‘conspiracy’ of individuals who conspire together to evolve to a new stage of life. De Chardin wrote tirelessly of how continued evolution towards cosmic spirit was a conscious duty hidden, sometimes forgotten, within humankind:

In us the world’s evolution towards spirit has become conscious. Our perfection, our interest, our salvation as elements can depend therefore on nothing less than pushing this evolution forward with all our strength. We may not yet understand exactly where it is taking us, but it is absurd for us to doubt that it is leading as towards some end of supreme value.[iv]

The over-arching question for de Chardin was how modern humanity could best organise, maintain, and distribute the vital energies required for this process. In this there are precise conditions necessary for the storage and utilization of energies. Referring back to what was said in Chapter Two concerning living complex systems, in order to defy entropy living organisms are required to absorb, store, utilize, and distribute energy. The human and the cosmos are both two examples of creative, dynamic, living complex systems; hence, the rules still apply. How we store and utilize our personal energies is of paramount importance and should become central to our lives.

[i] For more information see - Banathy, B. H. (2000) Guided Evolution of Society: A Systems View. New York: Springer.

[ii] Mcfadden, S. (1991) Profiles in Wisdom: Native Elders Speak About the Earth, Santa Fe, NM, Bear & Company.

[iii] Recommended reads include Shah, I. (1996) Learning How to Learn: Psychology and Spirituality the Sufi Way London: Octagon Press. Shah, I. (1998) Knowing How to Know: A Practical Philosophy in the Sufi Tradition. London: Octagon Press.

[iv] Chardin, T. d. (1974) Let Me Explain. London: Fontana.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Periods of Energetic Expansion

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.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Period of Regeneration

We, as a global humanity, may very well be undergoing a period of regeneration towards retrieving our birthright of inner realization. This is a significant step on the way of evolved consciousness. In this context known indigenous wisdom traditions have held these upcoming times to be portals – or cyclic renewals – towards heightened evolutionary growth along the cosmological journey. At present we title ourselves as homo sapiens sapiens – meaning doubly wise or doubly knowing – yet this suggests that we already ‘know that we know’. So what is it that we are supposed to doubly know? Or is it that we lost the capacity, or just plain forgot, what it was that we once knew? If we are undeserving of this title then this should catalyze us, as a collective species, into regaining our inheritance. A step on the way may involve that we re-evaluate the primary role and capacity of consciousness.

Instead of viewing consciousness as a by-product of biochemical processes in the brain, consciousness needs to be re-evaluated by our cultural norms and perceptual paradigms. We need to accept that consciousness is a creative and natural force that infuses the cosmos and interpenetrates the realms: material, biological, and spiritual. For example, the human nervous system is not the producer of consciousness, as many erroneously believe, but acts more like an antenna that receives consciousness from living energetic fields. It’s like the tale of the young fish who goes on a watery-pilgrimage to visit the old wise fish of the sea. When the young fish arrives to ask his burning inner question he says: ‘what’s this thing called water?’ It is harder to perceive that in which we are immersed, and thus the secret hides itself through its transparency.  We breathe it, yet recognise it not.

As the familiar world around us begins to shake, come apart at the seams and generally cause us concern, we need to take this rush of rapid air as a time for cleansing. Many of us for far too long have lived unbalanced lives; neglecting the self for the substitution of quick gratifications and commercial painkillers. It is necessary to restore the balance between ‘inner world’ and ‘outer world’ – a re-spiritualization of society that goes beyond the need for social forms towards a new understanding of our integral relationship within a cosmic context. In other words, we need to establish a healthy and vibrant cosmological unity between our inner and outer environments. The renowned historian Arnold Toynbee once said that ‘The ultimate work of civilisation is the unfolding of ever-deeper spiritual understanding’. For Toynbee, the suffering of civilized man was a reaction to the separation of sentient beings from their timeless reality. Many societies have lagged behind in providing the means for personal and collective self-actualization and self-transcendence. Perhaps what our industrial cultures have denied for too long is a way of experiencing the world that will open us up to ourselves and to our transcendental truths.

We are anchored in the Earth, which we must not forget, yet we simultaneously fail to connect our threads with the universal. Thus, we are all too often denied the awareness that we do not exist alone, but are an integral part of a vaster, mysterious order. By submitting to the authority of the universal, we can renew our partnership of the human, the earthly, and the creative spirit. Vaclav Havel famously said in a speech to the joint session of US Congress (in 1991) that ‘Without a global revolution in the sphere of human consciousness, nothing will change for the better’. Such a revolution is imperative if we are to be worthy of keeping our role as participants within a creative cosmos. Importantly, each individual needs to become aware that they are a part of a grand evolutionary process; a process that informs the very basis of our living benevolent and turbulent environment.  

Various esoteric traditions have referred to how a certain number of conscious individuals can assist the Earth to progress to the next level of evolutionary growth. A hundred conscious individuals, let us say, who are in conscious contact and communication, can create an exponential level of conscious force that influences the rest of humanity. It seems that such influences, which have been with us for epochs, are now shifting up a gear and raising levels of awareness on this Earth at unparallel speed. The needed shift in collective and planetary consciousness is unfolding, it appears, according to the law of evolutionary design.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Next Stage?

Welcome to 2010... an interesting year indeed...and one which it is hoped will be inspiring as well as unpredictable and dramatic. Changes are afoot in that we can view the present era  as being of major significance in that it offers for humankind an opportunity to develop consciously in line with the accelerated incoming energies.

There have already been marked shifts in human perceptions and cognition, and the ‘new sciences’ of coherent energy fields and vibrational influences inform us of our inherent interconnectedness. Humanity is already thinking differently, impacted by the dramatic rise in new technologies. Many of us are accessing information at rapidly increasing rates; networking online in ever more complex relations, and knowing more about the global world at our fingertips. The neural mind is in overload, creating new connections both internally and externally. A new mind for a new world is underway – yet it needs assistance. Cultural forms and perceptions are not changing fast enough; the new paradigm of thought has not penetrated deeply enough into our social communities. It is imperative that for a viable future to unfold amidst these transition times we need to orientate our thinking to let go of the ways that no longer serve us. Our global future together lies within the hope for a more vibrant, creative, compassionate, and communicative environment.

The basis for this understanding is provided by new insights in the sciences of biophysics and consciousness. We now have validation that the human being is not a separate entity; it is a light-emitting energetic field of creative information that is in perpetual communion with all living energies. We, as a species, are an energetic constituent of the cosmos. Our story is a part of the universal story; our collective myths are the representations of a grander conscious order. As the cosmos writhes in dynamic energy, so do we shake and infuse the ripples that reach us. Quite literally, when the universe sneezes, we catch a cold. And our cosmic neighbourhood is experiencing a clean-out and renewal, in which we are involved, whether we care for it or not. It would be a shame to let the neighbourhood down, would it not?

More and more people are becoming aware of the idea hat a spiritual renaissance for the Earth and her living family could be waiting as our next evolutionary stage. Various indigenous wisdom traditions have talked of this epochal shift for centuries; and now the timelines are converging. Humanity has been in preparation (incubation if you will) for a very long time. There is now perhaps the potential for an energetic ‘upgrade’, to turn once again towards our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. It is an opportunity to re-awaken our slumbering souls, and to put our house in order. The ‘master’ of the house has been away too long, and the unruly servants need turning out: time to clean-up and prepare.

Man didn't come into this world for nothing. Man is an extraordinary achievement that has required long and difficult preparation. This achievement is not complete. It would be quite a considerable cosmic disaster if this experiment with man on this earth were to fail, and for this reason much is being done to prevent this experiment from failing - not because man deserves to survive, but because he is really needed.

                                                                                                       J.G. Bennett

Know that all your relationships with things and men are determined by what you will of them, and they of you. And what you will of men and things determines what they will of you.

                                                                                                    Book of Mirdad

Our perceiving self is nowhere to be found within the world-picture, because it itself is the world-picture.
  Erwin Schrodinger - Nobel laureate