Evolution

Salvation and justice are not to be found in revolution, but in evolution through concord. Violence has ever achieved only destruction, not construction; the kindling of passions, not their pacification; the accumulation of hate and destruction, not the reconciliation of the contending parties; and it has reduced men and parties to the difficult task of building slowly after sad experience on the ruins of discord.

Metaphysically, the world has three levels: physical, spiritual and mystical. We find life’s meaning at each level. What gives life meaning is sharing - sharing bread, babies, moments, death, celebrations. It is recognizing that there is no separation between human beings or between human beings and the evolution of the world. Subconsciously and consciously, we are constantly expressing the fact that we are divine.

A species does not live within its environment; it interacts with it. Over a period of time a species can interact so violently that the changes it catalyzes can cause it to change dramatically--even to die out. Scientists estimate that 90% of the life forms that have inhabited our planet are now extinct. From the earliest single-cell life form to the human animal, all have interacted with the environment. All have created problems for themselves. All have been agents of evolutionary change. All have experienced evolution through cataclysm.

In short, human society is a product of evolution. It is created by natural selection and environmental pressures which bring individuals together in a special and powerful way, but it requires no physical change or mutation. It is a composition of ideas and beliefs - a new and essentially psychic phenomenon. A kind of supermind.

Our personal question about our life’s purpose may very well be the tip as well as the foundation of the collective iceberg – part of the much larger question of where do we go from here? If we consider these individual longings in light of systems thinking, perhaps we can see them, not as isolated, narcissistic musings, but as equivalent to the DNA of our soul, the generative driver of evolution itself.

Love rests on the preservation of our species; art is our instinctive instrument for the preservation of the individual, of the unique man, woman and child, and the means of evolution of us all into something able and worthy of survival on the living earth.

Punctuated equilibria [is] the abrupt appearance of life everywhere in the fossil record… suggest evolution has taken place in major creative episodes in different times and place, but with huge periods of stability in between. New species, then, have formed in those episodes during thousands rather than millions of years. This is often called the “lucky monster” theory.

This is the essence of the problem faced by evolutionists wanting to engage ethical questions. The evolutionary humanist is pressed to an inescapable conclusion: There are no absolute moral standards, and morality is merely the result of an interplay between evolution, tradition, and social convention, which can be altered, updated, and changed depending on the situation... diminished responsibility.

Sin is an affair of the will. It is not “a vestige of our animal inheritance.” That trivial notion comes from an unexamined, too-quickly swallowed doctrine of evolution. Why blame the brute creation? No self-respecting wolf would be guilty of our modern wars.

For mankind as a whole, a possession infinitely more valuable than individual life is our genetic heritage, our link with past and future. Shaped through long eons of evolution, our genes not only make us what we are, but hold in their minute beings the future – be it one of promise or threat. Yet genetic deterioration through manmade [chemical and radioactive] agents is the menace of our time, “the last and greatest danger to our civilization.”

The whole of evolution is, in reality, a process of self-realizing a moral purpose; the correlation of mind and brain is just the phenomenal aspect of the real correlation of our mind with the divine power which sustains us.

Evolution, with the advent of conscious man, ceases to rule by outer law; it becomes the inner law of man’s being and can only advance through his volition… Man must fight to prepare the advent of the spiritual being he is destined to become.

Man is no longer to be regarded as an isolated unity lost in cosmic solitudes, because a universal will to live converges and is harmonized in him. Man is no longer to be seen as a static centre of the world… but as the axis and the leading shoot of evolution.

The chromosome reproduces itself exactly and exactly once, building itself up from materials around it, mostly proteins. Nothing similar has been known to occur outside living matter, though regarded chemically, the DNA molecule is not fundamentally different from any other large molecule. Clearly then, some other principle prevails in living nature… Consider the DNA molecule… the main constituent of the chromosomes, with its 10,000 links, in which four different types occur in various arrangements… and assuming 32 links of the chain contain 8 of each type we get for the odds of a particular arrangement 1:1017 That is, one to a hundred thousand billion… the inevitable conclusion sis that whatever evolution may depend on, it certainly does not depend on chance.

Progress has not followed a straight ascending line, but a spiral with rhythms of progress and regression, of evolution and dissolution.

Enlightenment is therefore a progressive realization and does not represent a finished product, or a final end, or the completion of the evolution of spiritual possibility.

If practically everything in one’s life depends on the evolution of the level of one’s consciousness, it would seem that, aside from the mere survival needs, developing the level of consciousness would eclipse all other endeavors in importance. That would seem to be so, but that has to be integrated into the overall context of one’s life. Endeavors and activities can remain the same but need to be recontextualized and repositioned within a spiritual framework. To spiritualize one’s life, it is necessary only to shift one’s motive. To constantly be aware of one’s actual motive tends to bring up positionality and the pairs of opposites, such as gain versus service or love versus greed.

Spiritual goals tend to become increasingly important and integrity becomes the yardstick of happiness. This leads to the evolution of consciousness in which the ultimate goal becomes the perfection of one’s relationship with God.

The evolution of consciousness requires a wide range of opportunities and a playing field that affords almost unlimited options for development. If human life represents a learning process, then society is the ideal school that affords an extremely wide range of options for numerous levels of consciousness to develop, progress, define, identify, and grasp endless subtleties as well as learn more gross lessons. The ego is extremely tenacious and therefore often seems to require extreme conditions before it lets go of a positionality. It often takes the collective experience of millions of people over many centuries to learn even what appears upon examination to be a simple and obvious truth, namely, that peace is better than war or love is better than hate.

Man is in process of becoming the perfected being whom God is seeking to create. However, this is not taking place – it is important to add – by a natural and inevitable evolution, but through a hazardous adventure in individual freedom.