CONSCIOUS EVOLUTION FOR THE 21ST CENTURYMost features of social design in contemporary Western society were first figments of utopia-writers' imagination. F. Polack.If the age of the Earth is taken to be a 24hr day, modern mankind appeared at two seconds to midnight. During these geo-seconds we have learned how to destroy ourselves and other species. We can also learn to design the good world we want. If we do not do this we won't like the one that will happen to us.With Humankind a species has appeared in evolution which can direct its own future. This is conscious evolution. On its behalf people of goodwill all over the world seek to foster social change to create progressively a better world. It is a realistic aim because this is the purpose of Life and evolution in general, and of Humankind in particular. By accepting the tasks implied, conscious evolution is initiated. The means for its realization is the store of knowledge and experience modern Humankind has been gathering during its slow but accelerating cultural evolution over the last 26,000 years*.
The first task is to survey this experience by classifying it within a holistic framework of 12 subjects which civilizations have recorded as of main concern to humans on Earth.
The basic assumptions underlying and inspiring commitment to conscious evolution
It is assumed as an article of faith that Humankind finds itself in a universe of abundance created and maintained by a benign intelligence for its own inscrutable purpose and for the fulfillment of all conscious entities choosing to participate in the unfoldment of this purpose. Humankind has a unique role within this scheme of things. Its evolution on earth is unfolding in a purposeful process that transcends the Darwinian theory of evolution. Within this process, the human individual, as a self-reflective unit of intelligence, is of paramount importance. Our day-to-day lives, as individuals, thus have meaning within the cosmic evolutionary process. This indicates the possibilities for a fulfilling life of co-operation with evolution. Indeed, we are evolution. It is a here-and-now reality of life. It seeks to actualise its potentiality through every man, woman and child as conscious, self-observing units of awareness. Herein lies the magnificent purpose of being alive and being human in a self-evolving universe.
One of the most potent means of promoting social change is a network of experimental communities of the future. (EPCOT? What a let-down!). The principles that characterize the good world will be tested and established here through study and practice. The framework of this experiment in consciousness is the areas of human experience viewed in a holistic way. The 'laws of good life' will be clarified and developed, tried and improved, within the a network of groups, always testing theory by practice and improving practice through modified theory. A great deal of work will have to be undertaken by groups, subgroups, working parties, etc., drawn to activities in specific fields. But it will bring immense rewards to individuals who undertake it and to the future world that will benefit. If the tasks are intelligently shared out as they get discovered and specified, and if the motivation springs from desire and dedication to finding better ways of living together, conscious evolution can become Humankind's contribution to the unfolding Cosmic Story.
Where can we start?
It is true, indeed, that 'a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step'. This first, indispensable step is the conviction that the world can be changed and needs to be changed.
The second step will be to spread this conviction among the ranks of 'common' people in society. Only the common people of good-will have the power to create the public demand necessary to ensure that leaders and governments take notice, and change their ways. This will not be an easy task at first. For too long the ordinary citizen has been led to believe that society must be run by experts.
The citizens, 'we the people', can take courage from the fact that they are not alone. There are many respected thinkers to help in this great work. Willis Harman, for example, in his book, GLOBAL MIND CHANGE - The Promise of the Last Years of the Twentieth Century, demonstrates that powerful institutions inside democracies persisted only because they have 'legitimacy', which comes from the perceptions of their citizens. 'People give legitimacy and they can take it away. A challenge to legitimacy is probably the most powerful force for change to be found in history.' To the empowering principle that people can change the world by granting or withholding legitimacy. Harman adds the principle that people can change the world by changing their internal image of reality.
This 'manifesto' is meant to stimulate discussion. Whether you agree, disagree or are not sure, decide to meet others to discuss some or all of the ideas here. Democracy is deeply rooted in talk. Any 'doing' can only be the result of thinking and talking.** Action grows out of thinking and talking as plants and trees grow from the earth. Without good earth, plants cannot flourish but become stunted or die. The same goes for action: true democracy cannot flourish without the soil provided by sustained discourse among citizens about issues essential to the healthy life of their society. Action is necessary but not sufficient; knowledge and understanding is not sufficient but necessary. Meet, discuss, teach, learn and understand; then plan and execute action. This is all that can and need be done.
*Humanity of the 21st century is experiencing not only the transition from the Piscean to the Aquarian Age but the beginning of the next Great or Platonic Year of about 26,000 years.Return
**Unfortunately, talking is devalued in the eyes of many 'doers' when 'talkers' put off indefinitely the task of coming to firm conclusions as a necessary step towards action.Return
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