WHAT IS CONSCIOUS EVOLUTION?
Conscious Evolution is the intentional effort to drive forward our individual and collective evolution.
It is consciously leading our lives, and designing our societies to unleash our evolutionary potential.
“We are evolution become conscious of itself.’
– Julian Huxley
Up till now evolution has been blind.
It’s like we have been sitting in a moving car with our eyes closed. We had no idea where we had come from and no idea where we were going, and certainly no chance of being able to steer. We didn’t even know that we were moving.
And so human history has been one catastrophe after the next as we veered from one side of the road to the other, only capable of changing direction when we hit an obstacle or a pothole.
This is how blind evolution works. Blind evolution is driven only by problems.
But now, slowly, as the evolutionary worldview percolates through our culture, our eyes are starting to flutter open. Suddenly we realise: we are moving! As our eyes adjust to the light we can begin to see the road behind us, to understand the journey that we’ve been on, and to begin to get a sense of where we are going.
But most importantly we can start to place our hands on the steering wheel.
Welcome to the dawn of Conscious Evolution.
“You take hydrogen gas, and you leave it alone, and it turns into rosebushes, giraffes, and humans.’
- Brian Swimme
The blindfold is off. For the first time we can take in the whole sweep of evolution from mere matter, to simple replicating life, through to vastly complex and beautiful creatures and finally to the creation of minds capable of apprehending this entire process.
On this epic journey evolution has been through a series of novel emergences; evolutionary transitions in which more has come from less, when evolution has acquired new powers, where the process of evolution itself has evolved, accelerated.
First we had the emergence of life from primordial soup. Then came the transition from asexual reproduction to sexual reproduction, and with it a flourishing of diversity and adaptability. Then came the emergence of language and the transition to cultural evolution: the birth of human history.
Likewise human history has been punctuated by a series of transitions as human consciousness and culture has evolved through a series of stages or worldviews.
Through all these transitions a clear direction can be discerned: despite plenty of wobbles and setbacks, the evolutionary process is characterised by ever wider circles of cooperation, an increase in agency, adaptability, or creativity, and higher and higher forms of consciousness.
We are on the cusp of just such a transition: the next step in the evolution of life on this planet is the dawn of Conscious Evolution.
“We are moving from unconscious evolution through natural selection to conscious evolution by choice.’
– Barbara Marx Hubbard
Conscious Evolution calls on each and every one of us to take responsibility for our moment in history, to place our hands on the steering wheel, and to use our lives to help drive evolution on its way from matter back towards spirit.
It is through evolution that life became aware of itself on this planet. And it is through evolution that we can make the change from stumbling through blind trial and error with all the pain and suffering that entails, to striding forwards with awareness, foresight and purpose.
For the first time on earth we have the opportunity to become conscious agents of our evolutionary future. It's as if we are mice which have suddenly realised that we are in an experiment and can now choose which door to run through to determine the outcome.
‘In a concrete sense there is not matter and spirit. All that exists is matter becoming spirit.’
- Teilhard de Chardin
If evolution is characterised by ever widening circles of cooperation (love), more and more freedom and creativity and higher and higher forms of consciousness, then I invite you to extrapolate the process.
What is the most loving, most creative, most conscious entity that you can conceive of?
Evolution is the Western equivalent of the Chinese Tao, what Robert Pirsig calls Dynamic Quality, it is God in the process of being born in the material world.
Aligning yourself with that force is our life’s purpose, and the way to true fulfilment.
“God does not remain petrified and dead;
The very stones cry out and raise themselves to Spirit.’