Politics, Morality, and Spirituality

Human beings have one undeniable function….to evolve. It is both a biological and environmental imperative.

Other than minor adjustments, we as a species are probably done physically evolving, (until we start spacefaring anyway!) and our continuing evolution is now mainly centered in the mental, sociological/cultural/political, and spiritual realms.

There are three main ways to gauge and consider the state of human evolution. One is to consider the far edges of research in science (warning pdf) and physics.

Another is to study humanities past…..

Life vs Death

Death and violence is the history of mankind.

It cannot be denied that we are a brutal, savage and often bestial species. From our earliest beginnings to the present day, we settle our differences by killing each other. Whether it be with rocks or with drones or by starving children to death with “sanctions,” it is who we are.

Despite the efforts, also throughout history, of the small minority of Humans who fight for peace and life, rather than fight to kill and destroy. Throughout the ages, that small minority of humans has steadily increased, it’s power has steadily grown. But still at the drop of a hat, Humans will rush off with blood in their eyes for revenge, for territory or for…no matter how well it is veneered, for naked greed.

Human emotion is strong, as is the power of rationalization and denial. MUCH stronger than human reason, that cries out at the destruction, horror and suffering of war. One need only look at the incredibly short time between The War to End All Wars….and the beginning of the next war. The war that brought us nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons that were also supposed to End All War.

It is who we are.

Decry it protest it, do everything you can to stop it. Try your very damn best to help elevate human consciousness to the next level, where the lip service we as a species pay to ending war and violence of all kinds becomes at least more of a reality.

But do not deny it.

Because to do so is to deny who Humans are, what we are.

And try to make some objective unbiased assessment of how far we have come from our early days of savagery. (For instance, we now use unmanned drones to kill each other instead of clubs and rocks, woohoo, we be evolvin!!)

And the third is to observe where the rubber hits the road for humans….our attempts to NOT kill each other.

One of the big steps in human evolution was the (purely accidental, I am sure) discovery of something called politics, wherein, for the first time in human history, the competition inherent in the evolutionary process changed from who could kill each other best to who could avoid killing and being killed best.

This development had such salutary effects on the societies that practiced it as, for instance, raising crop yields….by not having everyone die in wars and thus be unable to harvest said crops.

When it was finally widely accepted by most humans(except of course by the subset of humans referred to above, such as Dick Cheney and Bill Kristol) that at least SOME times it was a better survivals strategy to talk to each other than to just kill everything in sight, politics became, in my opinion, the best way to observe and gauge human evolution.

For centuries, and particularly after the Enlightenment, humans have tried to find Utopia. A set of conditions, rules and in particular, an economy….that would allow mankind to live in peace with each other while enjoying an equitable prosperity. From the Garden of Eden to Joseph Smith and Karl Marx, just about every Utopian idea has been put forth….except the one that works.

None of the previous Utopias worked for one simple reason, Human Nature.

Even in societies dedicated to a spiritual ideal of peace, justice and equality, the fact that humans are just not very far along the evolutionary path from selfish bestial apes has raised it’s ugly head….and then had it bashed in.

Now, humanity faces its greatest “Evolve or Die” moment yet. Up until the 1950’s, it had always been about whether a particular society or subset of humanity would survive the unmerciful ravages of evolution. When we acquired the capacity to wipe out all of humanity either through Global Thermonuclear War or now, befouling our atmosphere to the point where the earth is unsuitable for human life, evolution had always been sort of local.

Now all of our eggs are in one basket. And since we have managed (so far at least) to evolve far enough to not have actively killed ourselves, we will see if we can evolve enough to not passively kill ourselves. In the nuclear evolutionary exam, all we had to do was NOT push The Button.

In our current test, we have to evolve far enough and fast enough that we can learn to use foresight and actually cooperate to not kill ourselves. The medium for that will at least include politics.

But it will also involve evolving a new morality (since a large scale agreed upon morality is basically non-existent, having been most notably disposed of during the Bush Years) that we can all agree is valid….otherwise, it will just be more head bashing by whoever is greediest for the remaining resources on the planet.

Up until now, our mostly regional religious beliefs have furnished us with the morals that protect society in general from the worst excesses of the brutality inherent in humanity….to the extent anything has.

But as the planet has shrunk, now our various moralities and religions are at war with each other. And as they war, the planet dies.

In order to solve this problem humanity is being forced to evolve a new shared set of morals, which must necessarily be based on a new shared spirituality (Though I doubt that is the right word.)

And all of the kinks involved in 7 billion people finding a new shared reality, because a new morality and new vision of spiritual life will undoubtedly lead to a new and different reality, will be hammered out, ultimately, politically.

More soon, God willing! 😉  

13 comments

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  1. Photobucket

  2. I can has this pozted in orange?

  3. Ok, as we cross the galactic center we get a bath in this not yet known quantum energy force.  Our DNA gets activated but only if we have not been control freak asshole billionaire toads.  Those of us oriented towards love, service to others advance into say the fourth of fifth dimensions meaning that we have really cool stuff like control over the dimension of time space, access to the knowledge of the universe(ie not secrets) and you can hang out with people in your own soul evolution level because you and everybody can “see” each other.

    Or

    Coronal mass ejections cause north south pole reversals wiping out all of humanity except for the secret moon and mars bases.

    Pick one.

    • Edger on September 18, 2010 at 2:06 am

    Pew Research conducted an in depth Political Typology study of American society: Beyond Red vs. Blue. It’s Principal Findings, among other things, were that:

    Coming out of the 2004 election, the American political landscape decidedly favored the Republican Party. The GOP had extensive appeal among a disparate group of voters in the middle of the electorate, drew extraordinary loyalty from its own varied constituencies, and made some inroads among conservative Democrats. These advantages outweighed continued nationwide parity in party affiliation. Looking forward, however, there is no assurance that Republicans will be able to consolidate and build upon these advantages.

    Republicans have neither gained nor lost in party identification in 2005. Moreover, divisions within the Republican coalition over economic and domestic issues may loom larger in the future, given the increasing salience of these matters. The Democratic party faces its own formidable challenges, despite the fact that the public sides with them on many key values and policy questions. Their constituencies are more diverse and, while united in opposition to President Bush, the Democrats are fractured by differences over social and personal values.

    And as Profiles of the Typology Groups break down, Liberals [Liberal Democrats/Seculars/60’s Democrats] comprise the largest group at 17% of General Population and 19% of Registered Voters, followed by Conservative Democrats at 15% of Adult Population and 15% of registered Voters.

    Enterprisers [Staunch Conservatives] made up only 9% of Adult Population and 10% Registered Voters, tied with Pro-Government Conservatives on both scores.

  4.        You are right, people have one undeniable function, to survive. Evolution is one way to achieve that life sustaining imperative.

       I have had some disagreements about human evolution. I maintain that as long as we are aware of that, we can effect it. The way to do that, I think, is to rid ourselves of denial because it is no longer adaptive.

       I’m taking it little farther than evolutionists that think we can evolve further. I’m sorry that I don’t have the references at my fingertips but google it.

       IMO we are regressing because politics is no longer adaptive. Its value in a democracy was an informal, agreed upon method in a democracy, to match candidates and issues to voters.

      One of the big steps in evolution, again, IMO, was democracy, a deliberate settlement in an Enlightenment past.

       Politics is, I think,  a cause for regression because politics no longer works in this democracy to match candidates and issues with voters. It has become a racket populated by a self serving culture that only has political dominance as a goal. Divisiveness is a necessary condition to generate this business; there are no longer disagreements but artificial hatreds. R’s and D’s hate each other like pit bulls trained to fight. If you are not a gambler, this game is not for you.

             Mature democracies are burdened by militarism, neo-colonialism, class disparity and the tendency to concentrate wealth and power, resulting in conservatism, Edger. The things that I saw as being wrong occurred in this democracy.

       I am in a struggle for human rights and social justice; feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, building playgrounds at your school, healing the sick, freeing the unjustly prosecuted and teaching the illiterate.

        The politics box, the economics box or the God box will not aid this struggle. In fact, people perseverate in these things like walking and spasticity in a neurological condition.

         A personal ideology, well formed and thoughtful will help any individual but it is not anything I want for myself. I say, get to work feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, building playgrounds at your school, healing the sick, freeing the unjustly persecuted and teaching the illiterate.

        If you do that with other people, you will compromise with each other and eventually when enough people do that, a new politics will arise from that.

       If you keep supporting the phony political wars with time and money, you will delay progress and pobablyevolution.

    • banger on September 18, 2010 at 11:59 am

    We didn’t, as a species, evolve from being brutal to being enlightened it’s been more cyclical than linear.

    We have, collectively, cut ourselves off from much of our human potential, particularly those of compassion and connectivity. That’s why we use artificial means to stay connected–we are searching to return to that connectedness that is shared by many in tribal societies. Things we consider “ESP” are a regular part of the life of many of these societies. These abilities are not extraordinary but, rather, ordinary when people are free to connect on that level. Christianity seemed to want to eliminate such abilities as being a threat to their bureaucratic order and this more “rational” society has done the same for similar reasons.  

    • robodd on September 18, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    KILL THE RICH.

    Just kidding.

    • jamess on September 18, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    I think the next stage of evolution,

    (in the realm of Economy and Democracy, anyways)  

    is Employee-owned Business ,,,

    Why aren’t other companies doing this?  Employees wonder.

    by jamess — May 08, 2010

    Utopia?  No.

    Restoring Economic fairness, and Individual control?   Maybe.

    One day making Corporations extinct?  That’d be the goal.

    Of course, as with most Quantum jumps in Evolutionary dynamics,

    There is a “Chicken and Egg” problem, here.

    Who (or which subsets of Whos) will be the first to take the Leap?

    Evolutionary Leaders, and their “early adoptors” cohorts,

    tend to end up as “road kill” on that Evolutionary highway.

    That Multinational Crosstown Traffic, can be brutal

    for us mere chickens.  

    Hint: It starts with the Union label:

    Made in Americaby an Worker-owned company.

    fire up the presses …

  5. one of the most cooperative endeavors imaginable. Peoples spread all through the Americas from communities in Alaska to the tip of Tierra del Fuego within a very few thousand years. It was an astonishing migration. Archaeologists have found communities in Chile and the islands off California that are over 12,000 and 10,000 years old respectively. WOW!

    Mexico City was a spectacular and clean city with fabulous canals in 1520 and bigger than any slum hole city in Europe. The Inca Empire was far older than Egypt with agriculture, terracing and hydrology unknown to the old world. And the pueblos in the southwest were hundreds of years old and had some of the most unique, communal living arrangements hundreds of years before Roanoake. Yep, these pueblos were the biggest cities in the U.S. well into the 18th Century!

    Man is only a brute because of Graeco/Roman tradition followed by the Christian belief that man is corrupt. We’re brutes because we’ve taught ourselves to be brutes.

    The Western World is built upon slavery, exploitation of women and self loathing.

    Today we still sit atop the bizarre, incomprehensibly strange and insanely destructive views of Saint Augustine that have permeated the Western World making the hierarchicahal classical descriptions of society underlying them even more sociopathic. According to Augustine, “God rules corporeal creatures thru spiritual creatures.” As far as I can see, those rules are still operating strong inside the Church of Exploitation.

    Call it what you want, Capitalism, Free Enterprise, The Great Common Law, American Exceptionaism etc., but the patterns of thinking need to be broken. Humanity will flower as it has many times in the past. Take off the shackles and man will soar. Our perseveance and essential goodness got us this far. The mix of militarism with our self created fears and our need to conquer the wilderness and its beasts must dissipate fast. How to wake up the hypnotized creature called man?

     

  6. I don’t see much evolution at least physiologically or sociologically.  The person with the biggest bank account, best physique, nicest car gets the prettiest mate to procreate with today just like the cave man with the biggest stick did eons ago (No offense intended to anyone and with many exceptions, its basic biology), they get the best cave, hovel, house castle, land, kingdom, empire.  The most brutal gains the most power and influence on the least of us today just like always.  Yes the methodology of control and brutality is more ‘efficient’ but thats all it is.  

    Do we need to evolve to survive yep of course but as long as the brutes among us bury there heads in the sand, deny the needs of the planet as a hole and only worry about being the lords of the universe I don’t see it happening.  Forecasts of 11 billion plus people in the near future, melting ice sheets and glaciers fueling fears of massive water shortages, post peak oil production and fossil fuels effects on global warming and all the other nastiness it brings, water levels rising and its effect on billions of the poorest, the PRC buying up the fertile lands of Africa and McDonald’s types cutting down rain forests, not to mention all the wars that will inevitably result from all of these issues and many more cry out for the evolution of spirit and society.  

    ‘Keep it simple kill em’ is a nice thought sometime but it wont work, it’s genetic, somebody will always step in and take the vacated place of power, want that car or house mate and be willing to kill for it just like cave men.    

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