Evolutionary Transformation or Rude Awakening
What’s going on here really? I mean globally, environmentally and culturally, in the big picture? We can rule out stasis. We have certainly not achieved anything like stability or equilibrium. Look at the facts:
Our planet’s population doubled in the last 30 years. That’s not stable. Globally, bird, fish and amphibian populations continue to plummet. We lose, on average, 140 species a day to extinction making our age one of the greatest extinction events in the history of the world. Historic? Yes. Stable? No. Our planet’s temperature, stable for tens of thousands of years, has now begun to rise due to changes in the make-up of the atmosphere resulting from human industrial activity. So, no, even that’s not stable any more.
Clearly, we have not achieved any degree of equilibrium, or stability. Quite the contrary, we live in a time of accelerating change, as stability gives way to chaos and/or collapse, culturally and environmentally all over the world. What does this mean for us now? What does this mean for our future? Is all of this rapid change an achievement? Is this our destiny? Or, are these simply consequences, symptoms and indicators of failure?
Some might argue that human population explosion and global ecosystem collapse are not achievements in themselves, but instead are the unfortunate, but necessary byproduct our real cultural achievement, that is the evolution of human consciousness. This is the evolutionary awakening theory, and some believe it to be our destiny.
According to these happy people, what is happening in our minds, is a kind of high-speed evolution. So, while the population expands, and the natural world breaks down, our minds evolve into these enlightened, secular, scientific, artistic, technological, communicative beings, and that this evolutionary process has sped up, because having achieved physical perfection, we now evolve mentally, instead of physically, so it all happens a lot faster now. As a result, even though the world is falling apart, we stand at the precipice of a major global transformation. I know it sounds ridiculous, but some people genuinely believe this, or at least want to believe it.
I don’t argue the global transformation part. We are clearly in the midst of a global transformation. We have dramatically transformed the world, and continue to do so, but not in a good way. They see the transformation that I’m talking about. I, on the other hand, see no evidence of the transformation they are talking about.
These “evolutionary transformation” people believe that, despite poverty, genocide, slavery, technological warfare, greed, inequality and global environmental destruction, we as a species are getting smarter and better, faster than ever. And, that this high-speed evolution of human consciousness represents the highest aspirations of all of nature.
So, the rest of the species on earth, don’t really mind being wiped out, because we are the whole reason any of them ever existed in the first place, and now that we’ve reached this level of consciousness, we no longer need them. We just need to manifest this great global transformation, and everything is gonna be great!
It’s a very seductive, albeit chauvinistic, theory. I’d like to believe that there’s a purpose to all of this madness too, but I see no evidence to support it. I’m really not that impressed by human consciousness. I don’t think we’re so smart, and I really don’t think we’re that much smarter, as a species, than we were, say 30,000 years ago. In fact we may well have dumbed-down a bit. Certainly, I see no evidence of an intelligence that could transform the massive, real, evidence of our mass stupidity, into anything that could be called, on any level, a better world.
So, to me, this evolutionary transformation, or quantum leap forward or whatever you call it, is just magical thinking, an infantile, panglossian, solipsistic fantasy. No one wants to face the fact that we’re just digging ourselves a deeper and deeper hole, a hole we’ve been digging, not for 200 yrs, not 600 yrs, but 10,000 yrs at least. We’ve just dug faster in the last 600 yrs, and even faster still in the last 200, and we still haven’t struck gold.
But we just keep digging.