Meditation on evolution
Allow me to engage you and your capacity for imagination and visualization while I take you on a meditation on the journey of evolution. — Please close your eyes…. Focus awareness into your breathing, and relax into the moment. As I speak, follow along with the vision of your mind’s eye –
In the beginning was the fertile emptiness of the void – empty of form – the total consciousness of the unformed Universe – In the East called Brahman, in the West, God. In an instant of Divine choice – BANG…(music begins)… Form came into Being. Spreading infinitely across the infinite net of the primal energy of God-consciousness – a physical Universe, a thought in the consciousness of God.
From the infinite energy-consciousness, the mystery of infinite form-consciousness. First, the particles, then the atoms, then the molecules, combining and recombining, experimenting, rising into the infinite variety of forms. Stars being born — giving birth to their planetary flocks & moons & meteors & comets. Systems of stars and galaxies, infinite beauty spreading out across the Heavens….. On the planets of these infinite stars, at first the simple, the simple giving rise to the more complex, all within the web of the energy universe, all invested with the spark of original Consciousness. The simple, the inorganic, the gaseous, liquid and solid, the air, the waters, the mineral, the rock, the crystalline, consciousness so dim as to seem non-existent.
More complex and more complex, until in a corner of the Universe where air and liquid and solid touch in perfect combination, a planet, Earth hanging in the vastness, beautiful….. gives rise to the miracle of Life…. – the organic, Life…. is born on this planet and perhaps others that only God knows of, and with it, the tiniest spark of self-consciousness – still dim, but now capable of interaction with environment, breathing, feeding, multiplying, coming into form, going out of form, being born and dying. Simple one celled, then two-celled, then multiple celled, then complex forms, experimenting in the primeval soup of this Earth planet. Plant life expanding in variation and complexity, fixed in their locality, extensions of the environment, direct and simple in their life processes….
Then, complexity reaches a quantum moment, from plant to animal, again in increasing complexity of form accompanied by increasing complexity of consciousness – interacting in ever more complex variations with environment…. out of the seas, into the air, onto the land, an increasingly fixed sense of self, the beginnings of intelligence, still primal, but true consciousness, as invertebrate evolves into vertebrate, localized ganglia evolves into diffuse nervous systems, evolves into central nervous systems, evolves into primitive brains. Life crawls out of the seas as amphibians…. rules the land as reptiles….. moments of quantum complexification changing the basic rules of life.
Another quantum moment, as cold-blooded becomes warm-blooded, Life births and suckles its furry offspring, brains enlarging, consciousness becomes subtler, more responsive, less reactive, still imprisoned in species consciousness of instinct, with glimmers of individuality…. Small at first, scurrying, hiding from the reptilian masters, but with vast expanses of time, becoming the masters…. From mouse-like to Elephantine…. In the forests, the plains, the mountains, the ice-shelves, even the air and waters….. uniqueness in not only form, but within narrow parameters, behavior, individuality….more complex and more complex, now adaptation increasingly cognitive. A branch of these mammals, monkey, clever, versatile, quick in adaptation becoming ape, with increasing self-awareness, increasing clan awareness, increasing mental capacity, primitive tool making, primitive social hierarchy, increasing personality and individuality.
Another quantum moment. First pre-human. Small, arboreal. Nature begins the great experiment leading toward human. Leaving the trees, increasing in size, longer in limb, shorter in tooth, moving toward upright walking, increasingly social, the brain, the seat of intelligence growing larger with each experiment. Now certainly human. Times when several experiments co-exist, testing their survivability. More complex and more complex behavior and social organization are these primitive pre-humans…… Until…
Another quantum moment. True humans. Homo Erectus. Then Homo Neandratalis and Homo Sapiens. Human Beings…. Man…. Spreading across the globe out of Africa into every climate and continent. Primitive…… but with a complexity of consciousness capable of true abstraction. Language. Culture. Tool use becomes systematic, tools used to make tools – One form, Homo Sapiens, survives the competition, probably due to the greatest complexity of consciousness, cleverer, more adaptable, Earth’s climactic changes possibly being the winnowing factor, adaptability, abstract reasoning ability. The masters of the Earth have arrived. Human ego is born. The fall from Eden becomes inevitable.
At first, emerging from Nature, hunter-gatherers, cultures of stone and bone, living close to the earth, remaining identified with Nature, struggling with Nature…. true individuals in small bands, families, increasing survivability with combining of bands of families into tribes…. and larger and larger tribes….. increasing abstract cultural expression of who the “we” were. Nature consciousness giving way to ego-consciousness – civilization. The concept of “I” becoming more and more complex and central to personal experience, and with it, increasingly complex and abstract forms of conflict with that which is not “I” and “we.”
Learning to go beyond their mystical union with Mother Earth, beyond hunting and gathering, into the taming of the Mother, crop cultivation, domestication of animals, the ability to concentrate population, increasing the chance for survivability over the “other.” More and more abstract relationship to Nature, and with it, a more and more abstract representation of primal source, of “God.” More and more hard-edged tools, from the Earth, abstracting metals, finding the hard metallic edge of human self. Civilizations in Mesopotamia, China, India, Egypt, eventually into the European Mediterranean, and from there, across Europe into its full bloom, and eventually to Europe’s colonial dominions…. Natural hierarchy gives way to abstracted hierarchy based in individual and collective wielding of the abstract tools of power. Tribal head becomes King, territory becomes nation. Mystical expression of connection to source within and with-all becomes religion, petitioning the Source “out there.” Shaman, connected to the secrets of Nature, wielder of power from the energy of Nature becomes Priest, interpreter of secrets of symbols, wielders of human power. More and more complex, more and more abstract.
Kings and religions exercise violence against competing others…. Violence to Nature increases. The forests are felled. Fields are plowed and cities rise. Kingdoms become empires forged from violence…. Humanity and Nature diverge completely, and those humans that stayed simpler, more interwoven with Mother Nature, fall victim to those who have aligned with Father Invention…. Innocence is slaughtered…. Nurturing Mother-Earth God gives way to angry all-powerful, jealous and vengeful Pater – God the Father … Evolution continues, the simple becoming ever more complex, a process of complexity of consciousness in abstraction, diversity gives way to relentless absorption into more and more concentrated cultural identities of “we.” What is left out is Nature, the animals, the sources of life are no longer worshipped, but become resources to be exploited.
Another quantum moment. Although Pater God remains worshipped symbolically, now the true deity becomes human invention. Great cities of great empires, exploiting the resources of life in increasing competition….. Greater and greater Cities. Invention. Invention applied to the total subduing and taming of Nature, the subduing, taming and genocide of the people of Nature. Fewer and fewer separate empires, only a few mega-empires, competing cultures, until technology and its commerce arise as the one surviving culture, Nature nearly exhausted, largely tamed. Evolution has turned on itself…. This fertile planet Earth, nearly exhausted, the abstracting capacity of humans, in their seeming endless cleverness, now separated from the most elemental of wisdoms, the felt knowledge of from whence they came, stands on a precipice….. Competition and commerce becomes the true human god…. Bureaucracy corralling individuality, corporations the new meaningful social and legal entity.
So long disconnected from their true mother, humans are going crazy, becoming soulless. The competitiveness and insecurity eats away at their own consciousness of Beingness, the connectedness to Being and their fellow Beings. The planet that is their home is no longer seen as source, but only as resource. The animal life of the planet faces unprecedented extinctions, akin to the great epochal environmental catastrophes of the prehistoric past, only now the environmental catastrophe is Man.
Open your eyes. I apologize that this has not been a pleasant meditation, but meditation is not only for relaxation – It is for awakening into the true nature of ourselves and our lives, and this journey we have taken together here is the unfortunate truth of how things are.
Another question needs to be asked.
Is this the end of evolution? …. Humanity its home planet, and the fellow creatures who inhabit this planet are certainly in an evolutionary crisis that may lead to a de-volutionary process that plays itself out returning us to brutishness, or even to extinction, as we are taking an unprecedented number of non-human species to extinction. Is this how it ends? It doesn’t have to be. –
It can be as Teilhard de Chardin also wrote…
“Man discovers that he is nothing else than evolution become conscious of itself.”
Let us imagine how….
Please close your eyes again, and continue with me…..
(Music – meditation 1b)
With the continued abstraction of the meaning of power, power becomes available to those who were powerless. Those who were excluded become included. Varieties of tribal groupings become states, united in the abstraction of the state. Economic power becomes more available to more and more. The state goes from being the King to being the people. “We the people” that originally meant landed white males, comes closer and closer to all the people, inclusive of race and gender and economic status. The evolutionary process of a convergence of diversity plays out…. The extending instrument of human invention and abstraction, technology in the form of information sharing systems, spreads across the globe creating a primitive global consciousness. One people, one planet begins to arise as a meaningful consciousness…. But too few see and understand…. Now what is needed is one sustaining and dynamic vision into the future. Those who see must become the visionaries, but how?
To answer the crisis of alienation from environment and soul, out of the ancient past come traditions, born just as the great human civilizations were being born, condemned for millennia to esoterica and superstition, traditions which arise like ancient time-capsules to remind humans that their nature is Nature, their source is Nature, the Universe their home, their consciousness the echo of the consciousness before form…. Even in their invention, through its science, its physics, now understanding the meaning of quantum, it is discovered what has long been known, interconnectedness and interdependence is the reality of life, not the abstraction of separateness and exploitation… Out of the past comes the sacred sound of OM, the sound of all sound together in harmony. The reminder of the breath of life as the connecting and sustaining reality. Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism, the rediscovery of the wisdom of the native people of the Americas and Australia, even the long destroyed Celtic world and the original teachings, so long corrupted, of the prophet Jesus whisper to us… ‘”We are one” – the Universe, through this troublesome species, that has taken its home planet to the brink of exhaustion, speaks.
Unformed consciousness finds form and reminds us of its origin before form in the fertile emptiness of the Void, before human ego overthrew human Beingness, reminding us of our source, in the beginning…. This wisdom remains within us in the quiet stillness of our Being. It whispers – a new quantum moment is at hand. The rejoining of humanity with the mother, with Earth, our home, with the Universe, our source and destiny. Our abstracting cleverness, our technology can be turned to service of the Source, not to misguided attempts to rule that which cannot be ruled.
Out of the past, a religion, perhaps meant as the religion to end religion and reawaken true spiritual connection with the Universe, speaks with increasing relevance in the modern world. Buddhism. The word Buddhism says it is not a religion. It does not mean to be another religion, we don’t need another religion. The word Buddhism means “The practice of Awakening.” Misunderstood in the past by ego-dominated humans who needed to make religions, the modern time is different. The time now is for throwing away outmoded egoic contrivances, and for the ancient wisdom traditions to speak to us again, for an awakening into the truth of who we are.
A new human dialectic is at hand to take us into the future, to save this Earth, its denizens and humanity from humanity’s self and Life destructive trance. The ancient wisdom has re-arisen to join with modern human invention and technology. The wisdom of the Creation in including human ego may be at hand. The Universe has its voice and hands to realize itself in form. All that remains to do is for humanity to “awaken” into its essential Beingness… the Universe awakened. Ommmmmmmm.