The Evolutionary Imperative — Writing in the Raw

I’m very pleased with what I see happening with consciousness on the planet right now, particularly in places like this blog.  I’m equally fascinated by the questioning about whether or not we will survive beyond the predicaments which surround us.

Human beings seem to be lazy laggards to a large extent.  Maybe that’s too strong; but we do seem to suffer from a form of “I’ve arrivedism”.  When we get somewhere, we tend to just want to sit down in the grass, relax, and enjoy.  In all honesty, many of us have been able to do that for a number of years now.  From time to time, however, life comes along and prods us into the next need to grow and move. We resist; we don’t want to get up, to move on.  It’s a form of that addage: “…the old swimmin’ hole in the river under the oak tree was good enuff for us…” syndrome.  Actually, that sounds pretty good to me right now.  But I digress.

We tend to resist change, to get up and move on. And so we don’t until we are absolutely forced to do so by a reality which has become too dangerous, too hostile, too uncomfortable, and too destructive to stay put any longer.

Today is a time when we must not, we cannot, stay put.  The danger is too great.  The stakes are too high.  We have created structures and ways of thinking which are no longer sustainable.  It is imperative that we move on, that we evolve new ways of thinking and being.  And surprisingly these ways will resemble some older ways as pointed out in Opol’s wonderful essay, “We are All Related,” “Mitakuye Oayasin”.

So good old life is nudging us again, saying get up, move forward, grow, evolve.

Will we make it?  Will we survive?  I don’t have the answer to that.  But I do know I must contribute whatever little bit and all I can to being able to say “Yes!”

Leap with me beyond the fold…

 

Trinity Test

The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything, save our modes of thinking and thus we drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.

                               -Albert Einstein

Yesterday was the 63rd anniversary of the first test of an atom bomb, in the desert of New Mexico.  Many of these scientists realized that they were opening a Pandora’s box of unknown and dubious contents.  Leo Slizard, in a macabre moment, even took bets as to whether or not the explosion would ignite the atmosphere of the planet.  The splitting of the atom is a seminal moment in the growth of human consciousness.  

We gained physical powers at least approximating the powers once attributed only to gods; but our consciousness, our ethics and morality were lagging somewhere behind.  Thus the imperative to evolve in consciousness to match the growth in our physical/scientific powers.  

The “Bomb” and the threat of Nuclear Winter is not the only threat facing us.  Our “civilized” way of being on the planet up till now has created many additional problems of balance and survival — climate change, environmental degradation, poisoning our foods, and on and on…

We have evolved.  We have always evolved.  And we are still evolving, and the main thrust of the new evolution is in the area of consciousness.

One of my favorites, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin traces the history over thousands of years, from humans living in basically herd-colonies on up to today:

A remarkable change overtakes the process of zoological evolution at the level of Man.  Until that point was reached, every animal, feebly separated from its fellows, existed largely for the purpose of preserving and developing its own species, so that the individual life was primarily a matter of propagation.  But from the time of Man a sort of internal granulation seems to attack the tree of life…With the dawning of Reflection each conscious unit isolates itself and…tends increasingly to live only for itself, as though … the phylum were broken up into individuals…the phyletic sense submerged until it finally vanishes.  

It is to this alarming course of psychic decompostion, and at the very moment when it seems to be reaching its crisis, that the prospect of a human planetary fulfillment brings the appropriate remedy.  If … the social phenomenon is not merely a blind determinism but the portent, the inception of a second phase of human Reflection

(this time not merely individual but collective), then it must mean that the phylum is reconstituting itself above our heads in a new form, a new ramification, no longer of divergence but of convergence; and thus is the Sense of Evolution which, suppressing the spirit of egoism, is of its own right springing to new life in our hearts, and in such a way as to counteract those elements in the forces of collectivisation which are poisonous to Life.

                                  de Chardin, The Future of Man

de Chardin continues:

A new substance has appeared in the heart of the thinking ‘magma’…We might call it Homo progressivus…the man to whom the terestrial future matters more than the present.

…snip…

They are scientists, thinkers. airmen…they will appear … in every compartment into which the human race is divided.  their emergence is clearly related to some phenomenon of a noospheric kind.*  …some apparent attraction draws these scattered elements together and causes them to unite among themselves.  You have only to take two men, in any gathering, endowed with this mysterious sense of the future.  they will gravitate instinctively towards one another in a crowd; they will know one another.

* the Noosphere” is Teilhard’s term for what he sees as the “thinking magma” of the universe, the converging consciousness of the species.  Please also excuse some antiquities in pc speaking as he wrote this while on a dig, in Peking, China, 1944.

He concludes:

It would seem, then, that the grand phenomenon which we are now witnessing represents a new and possibly final division of Mankind, based no longer on wealth but on belief in progress.

The old Marxist conflict between producers and exploiters becomes out-dated–at the best a misplaced approximation.  What finally divides men of today into two camps is not class but an attitude of mind — the spirit of movement.  On the one hand there are those who simply wish to make the world a comfortable dwelling-place; on the other hand, those who can only conceive of it as a machine for progress–or better, an organism that is progressing.  On the one hand the ‘bourgeois spirit’ in its essence, and on the other the true ‘toilers of the Earth’, those of whom we may safely predict that, without violence or hatred, simply by biological predominance, they will tomorrow constitute the human race.  On one hand the cast-offs; on the other, the agents and elements of planetisation.

          Teilhard de Chardin, “Cahiers du Monde Nouveau,” Peking 1946

Through our actions and developments humankind has brought itself to the very brink of annihilation.  so it is timeto wake ourselves from our slumber and proclaim for all the world to hear:

We are moving, we are going forward.

 

I conclude with a poem, dedicated to evolution, consciousness, the Atomic Age, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and especially to the Hibakusha, the survivors of those bombings.

URANIUM 235 / WHAT GOD SAID

What they remember is the light

Those scientists in the desert night

Ghostly iridescence, unearthly light

No color, merely shades of white.

Trinity Test at Alamogordo

Three…Two…One…Zero

Instantly into the still dark land

The light grew over the sand

Galactic secrets in the predawn night

Galactic secrets in atomic rite

And the light grew

Brighter than the light of twenty noons

And still it grew

An x-ray of the testing crew.

Trinity Test at Alamogordo

Three…Two…One…Zero

Shiva Yahweh Buddha Zeus

Father Son and Holy Goose

Humanity with its head in the noose

Glimpsed its form as god.

When the light subsided and the shadows rose

Some, returning from that light

Tried to live again as merely human

But others, those few

Unable to deny or to return

Knew we had become as gods in power

And could not turn again.

We have the power that once was god’s

Shiva’s power, the power of fire

The power to turn our earth into a star

The power of Zeus’ lightning rod

To incinerate the earth maiden his bride.

She remembered a pale, sharp, silent light

Before darkness turned day to night

Then woke, as in a dream

Her mother, swirled in smoke

Framed by the lintel

Standing

Arms outstretched

Hair raised skyward

On winds of fire

Like a protecting goddess

Burned to pure white bone.

The bombardier who guided the Enola Gay

The last two minutes on her way

Who eyed the Aioi Bridge in his sight

He too remembers the light

All who have seen it remember the light

And the rainbow sparkling cloud that follows.

Earth the maiden asked her bridegroom

To appear before her in his form as god

And the god of lightning rose on earth

In the light of twenty suns

…pastels and crystals…pastels and creams

…pastels and crystals…pastels and dreams

i can no more separate

the dream form the reality

than I can separate myself from you

it is the dream that keeps reality alive

in these suicidal days

…pastels and crystals…pastels and dreams…

Atomic fission in the brain

The sudden evolving leap of awareness

Luminous clarity in the heart.

 

71 comments

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  1. Thanks for reading.

  2. and I’ll rec ya as soon as I finish this comment.

    Howsomever, I think de Chardin was a bit overly optimistic.  When economic times are very bad (as in the Great Depression), it can spur progressive politics.  When economic times remain (mostly) good over decades–in large part because of those progressive policies–we get what we’ve seen since 1980: a backlash determined to undermine the policies, gut the working and middle classes, and return the uber-rich to what they consider their “rightful” place as our overlords, with us their chattel.

    (Angry much, Youffraita?  YES.)

    So, considering when de Chardin wrote, he was amid the whole flowering of the progressive movement.  From where I’m writing, I missed that “flowering” part and have only seen the “return us to chattel” part.

    My point is, I don’t really see it as evolution at all.  More of a back-and-forth between the forces of good (the state should serve the common human and be forward-looking) and the forces of evil (the GOP since Reagan, and especially culminating under the ultimate anti-Christ, GWB.  {I use that term advisedly.  Whatever Christ was for, GWB is against…ergo, anti-}.)

    I try to remain optimistic…but my view of the human race is more in line with Ambrose Bierce and H. L. Mencken.

    • Alma on July 18, 2008 at 4:38 am

    I’m ready to move, and go forward.  

    Just as soon as the tears stop falling down my cheeks from that beautiful, sad, special poem.

    • Robyn on July 18, 2008 at 4:46 am

    …in the past 16 years or so has been about evolution of one sort or another.  I get to the point that I think anything more I would say would be redundant.

    • geomoo on July 18, 2008 at 4:54 am

    She said, “I’m tired of the war,

    I want the kind of work I had before,

    a wedding dress or something white

    to wear upon my swollen appetite.”

    snip

    It was deep into his fiery heart

    He took the dust of joan of arc,

    And then she clearly understood

    If he was fire, oh then she must be wood.

    I saw her wince, I saw her cry,

    I saw the glory in her eye.

    Myself I long for love and light,

    But must it come so cruel, and oh so bright?

    One interpretation is that sometimes moving forward takes immense courage and loss of self.

  3. Thank you for this WITR, and especially for URANIUM 235/WHAT GOD SAID.    

    • RUKind on July 18, 2008 at 6:41 am

    We just had a 40th year surf reunion at Nantasket. We all came of age at the beach and not in a high school setting so we have a small range of ages centering around late 50s. Some of the connections with people were amazingly instant and deep. Some of them feel the same consciousness of a big change coming. A change that’s coming up from within us.

    I know I’m eligible for the crazy tag. Now I know quite a few people who are eligible in the exact same way I am. The interesting part is there’s been no contact for all these years and lots of geographic and life experience differences.

    English, for all its versatility, isn’t the best language for describing the inner feeling. I wish we all were fluent in Sanskrit or some language which has a better vocabulary for spiritual states or awareness. I think we’d be able to have a more detailed discussion.

    I find myself relying on the words of Dylan and Hunter to convey the feeling of what’s inside.

    Your rain falls like crazy fingers

    Peals of fragile thunder keeping time

    Recall the days that still are to come some sing blue.

    Hang your heart on laughing willow stray

    Down to the water, deep sea of love

    beneath the sweet calm face of the sea swift undertow.



    Life may be sweeter for this, I don’t know,

    See how it feels in the end.

    May Lady Lullaby sing plainly for you soft, strong, sweet and true.

    Cloud hands reaching from a rainbow tapping at the window, touch your hair

    So swift and bright strange figures of light float in air.

    Who can stop what must arrive now? Something new is waiting to be born

    Dark as the night you’re still by my side shine inside .

    Gone are the days we stopped to decide where we should go, we just ride.

    Gone are the broken eyes we saw through in dreams gone, both dream and lie.

    Life may be sweeter for this, I don’t know,

    Feels like it might be all right,

    While Lady Lullaby sings plainly through you Love still rings true.

    midnight on a carousel ride, reaching for the gold ring down inside.

    Never could reach it, just slips away but I try.

    Hunter’s Crazy Fingers lyrics. The bolded parts came to mind when I was reading your essay. Something deep inside is waiting to be born; the swift undertow beneath the calm face.

    In the Gaian Theory we might just be the eyes of the world. My theory is we’re God-conscious social mammals. Still working on it but it makes a decent framework from which to view humankind.

    Satya.

  4. I am ready to go!  

    Really nice post dharmasyd.  I’m glad it came together for you (again)!  The poem is outstanding.  

  5. but your poetry is beautifully stunning ideas/thoughts/images/feelings/aching

    i can only make sense of the world thinking in terms of our evolutionary trajectory…

    from an old essay of mine…

    For me, it has become about our ability to reason past a survival response that doesn’t work in the world we’ve created. It is another epic battle in a seething universe. A structural change. Thought-evolution as a response to instincts gone awry. Tribal conventions scaling up to global dimensions.

  6. Your poem and its subject was an interesting end for your essay.  The ultimate energy humans have found on earth – or is it?  It seems to me that the question of energy and how we use it is essential to the future for the species.

    Can we evolve to using another form of energy? In past discussions with friends, a dream interpretation group of womyn 10-12 years ago, about Teilhard de Chardin(whom several had studied more closely than I), I always thought of evolution and the new energy humans would find – as something akin to an energy of the spirit/mind, that would be the next evolutionary step.

    In the meantime, we have an immediate energy-related crisis with our planet on our hands right now.  So as an intermediate evolutionary step, I say – along with Al Gore – we can change to clean, renewable energy in ten years.

    Last night I watched an amazing interview with Neil Young on Charlie Rose.  He talked some about his recent anti-war music/album, (impeachment the president, et al).  He taked about how emotional he was about this evil war.  He wrote many of the songs on the album, all at once – and said it was a huge emotional release. Charlie Rose asked him how long he thought the war would go on.  Neil Young answered  – Until we solve our energy problem.  “I’ts an awful war, Charlie.”)

    The he talked about his project of building a renewable energy car.  He has a goal of having no filling station vehicles, ie all renewable energy vehicles – and is very determined – he repeated that it was a goal – and he is putting all his energy/money/resources into making this happen. He said he is using the internet a lot, connecting with engineers, knowledgeable folks.

    He struck me as a very evolved human being – and maybe with his energy – he will help solve the problem of our energy/war problem.  Then maybe we’ll have a livable planet – where our species can evolve into some higher level of consciousness.

    Along the way, we can all evolve into lifestyles using less energy and thus become more in tune with nature, our planet, all living things on the earth.  When we are totally in tune, then we have evolved.

    Great essay, Dharmasyd.  I had to do some thinking overnight about it.  It is good to see so many like-minded folks here, ready for the next evolutionary step.

  7. The ability to heat thousands of homes or vaporized them in an instant.

    The ability to cure disease or create it.

    The ability to communicate with the world or make them do what you want them to for your own profits or lust for power.

    Evolution or extinction, Apocalyptic horse ride or the dawn of a new age.

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