(11 – promoted by buhdydharma )
I posted this diary a year ago, July 17, 2008 as part of the “Writing in the Raw” series. This is the most recent writing I have done on evolution. A few people here at DD have asked for more on Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and Evolution.
Since I seem to be an ever-procrastinating lazy critter and haven’t come up with anything new and haven’t posted anything this year on those seminal events in the formation of the Evolutionary Imperative, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I repost the essay here with a few changes, mainly in format.
This is especially for Lady Lib. For any who are truly intersted in this subject, I recommend going to my original post The Evolutionary Imperative — Writing in the Raw and read the truly cogent comments to see how others here are thinking about evolution and our current conundrum. I begin with my poem:
URANIUM 235 / WHAT GOD SAID
by Sydney Vilen
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
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
Shiva Yahweh Buddha Zeus
Father Son and Holy Goose
Humanity with its head in the noose
Glimpsed its form as god.
[Please glimpse consciousness as gods, beyond the fold]—
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
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 consciousness
Luminous clarity in the heart
Shining into the future.
I’m 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: I know I am. 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. 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, ways of thinking, and consequent actions 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!”
The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything, save our modes of thinking and thus we drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.
Yesterday was the 64th 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.
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.
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. It is time to wake ourselves from our slumber and proclaim for all the world to hear:
We are moving, we are going forward.
Again, because so many dharmaniacs had such profound things to say, I recommend reading the comments on the original, which are linked above in the intro.
Thanks for reading or re-reading.