“We see a human tide bearing us upward with all the force of a contracting star; not spreading like a tide, as we might suppose, but one that is rising: the ineluctable growth on our horizon of a true state of ‘ultra-humanity’.” – Teilhard de Chardin
What a muddle humanity is in. A simple honest look tells us that the Earth’s human population is presently estimated to be 6.6 billion and growing exponentially, estimated to top 9 billion by 2050, increasing by over a third in forty years. Earth’s non-human populations are dwindling alarmingly. The Earth’s resources, likewise, are dwindling alarmingly. Humanity has been compared to a cancer spreading across the organism Earth, dooming its host, and likewise, itself. Like mythic lemmings headed for a cliff, the surging herd of humanity swarms blindly toward its demise. This tide is spreading such that this promontory in the universe, our home planet, will no longer be able to contain its multitudes and begin spilling us off.
But, we are not lemmings, nor cancer. We have intelligence. This is what the mid-20th Century theologian and paleontologist Teilhard de Chardin understood. We have a complex consciousness that is not limited to a linear destiny such as lemmings that multiply endlessly and then swarm over a cliff in their migration simply because the momentum of their numbers cannot stop when the edge is encountered. Humanity is capable of leaps of quantum understanding.
Humanity and all those species that we co-inhabit this planet with are at the edge. All the habits of humanity lead us toward demise. Greed, competitiveness, national, religious, racial, regional, class and political identification keep us pitted against each other. The deep-rooted orientation toward objectification of the experience of life keeps us insecure, anxious, combative and insatiable in our quest for personal and group significance and dominance. Humanity seems blind to the limitations of the model for psychological and social identity we embrace. We stumble forward hoping all will be well if we just keep doing more of the same. More for me and mine. More for me and mine. It is “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Except that it signifies something huge, increasing individual psychological insecurity and a collective social and economic structure headed for catastrophe.
Is that it? Is that the sad end to the story of humanity and this most beautiful of planets, choked to death by increasingly competitive overpopulation, destruction of the environment and exhaustion of resources? Are we lemmings doomed to topple over the precipice by the ever-increasing pressures of those pushing forward unable to see the precipice until they are tumbling off?
It does not have to be. What is this “ineluctable growth on our horizon of a true state of ‘ultra-humanity’” that de Chardin is writing about? It is the fully bringing into play that which makes humans unique: self-aware consciousness. It is the fulfillment of the Universe’s destiny through this dangerous and seemingly oh-so-out-of-place creature called humanity. It is the realization of what de Chardin called “the Omega point”, the ultimate awakening of humanity out of its long slumber of small self-absorption into full consciousness, seeing its place in the Universe, experiencing its consciousness as one with the Universe. While de Chardin takes this to dimensions beyond corporality and fulfills Christian theology, it can be more modestly and practically seen as humanity “awakening” in a more Buddhist sense and becoming an enlightened species creating an enlightened society in harmony on our home, this Earth, in this galaxy, in this universe.
How will this happen? It will happen one individual at a time experiencing themselves at their personal end with a too limited model of consciousness and liberating themselves. It will be you and me personally expanding beyond the small mindedness that has imprisoned individuals in anxiety-filled lives, and created a fearful, combative, materialistic society that drives us all into varying levels of craziness and pushes the entire planet toward suicidal insanity.
This process of awakening is what I call the Omega journey in honor of de Chardin’s vision. It is individuals in realization that the models of consciousness we have inherited are the cause of our individual and collective insecurity shaking off our slumber to actually become conscious in our lives. It is one individual at a time realizing the potential of true human consciousness, shared by a growing multitude, until a new form of human society emerges, experiencing harmony within its individuals, with each other and the planet. Are you ready to take your place on the horizon, on the edge of this human evolutionary leap that rises upward, not plummets down? “Ultra-humanity” awaits. Please know; this is not New-Age drivel. This is the only destiny that leads to a quality survival for humanity and the achievement of our true “being-ness”. Do you understand? Are you ready?