Our Evolutionary Future

Posted by on Feb 13, 2013 in Earth, Featured, Humanity, Our Future | 0 comments

Our Evolutionary Future

Humankind has made incredible progress over its long evolutionary journey. We have survived for millions of years to reach this special moment in time. We are at the threshold of a new Era and on the verge of determining our future evolution for the first time in history.

Today we are shaping our biological evolution through bioengineering and our socio-cultural evolution through our collective choices and actions. We now have the knowledge, tools and abilities to shape a noble destiny for humankind. To do so we must use our abilities wisely on behalf of all past, present and future life on Earth.

It is now a time for new beginnings. It is a time for the reconciliation of past conflicts and for new approaches to our challenges and opportunities. This extraordinary time also provides us with a unique opportunity to focus personal and societal change toward a positive future for all. The timing could not be better as our civilization and our species may not survive to the next Millennium or even to the next century if we continue on our present unsustainable path.

Humanity collectively has made unprecedented gains over the past 50 to 100 years. That is without question. These years have, however, also brought about the greatest challenges we have ever had to face. This is the major paradox confronting us today. Our foremost period of progress has also led to our most serious period of crisis. Progress is plainly not all it was made out to be.

The reason for this dilemma is that the worldview that gave rise to our prosperity is incorrect in most if not all its major assumptions, values and beliefs. With our old worldview and our new technological prowess we have managed to extract and convert the Earth’s natural wealth to human purposes at an ever-accelerating rate, and mostly over the past few decades. The faster we do so the better it appears to us to be.

As a result of this apparent prosperity many more people are born each new generation and everyone is living much longer. One day, and that day may well be soon, the reckoning will come. Our “capital” will be all but gone and the inevitable decline and collapse will occur. Our progress is, accordingly, unsustainable and therefore ultimately illusory.

Millions upon millions of people around the world are aware of our current and growing global crises of course. After all, the alarm bells have been ringing for nearly 50 years now on so many broad social and ecological challenges. Yet various interest groups have responded to this awareness with undue optimism that a technological solution will save us.

Others deny that we have any real problems perhaps because they share the current “aura of invincibility” permeating our civilization. For many the issues are too overwhelming and present an overload of information. Finally, to some our concerns appear still manageable. This is probably because we typically only consider our global challenges one at a time – global warming today, nuclear war tomorrow, food shortages next week, etc.  The reality is that all global challenges are occurring simultaneously, constantly interacting, accelerating and often reinforcing each other.

Technology does present tremendous promise and will undoubtedly play a crucial role in shaping a preferable future. However, technology alone will not suffice. Technology has also often proven to be a ‘mixed blessing’ when not used wisely, as all have witnessed. Most importantly technology is only part of the solution and part of the problem. There is also society in addition to technology. Our shared social values and identifications and their related societal organizations, structures and systems are the other crucial element.

Yet today the social institutions we’d expect to look to for leadership have so far dismally failed on this the biggest of challenges. Our political leaders are too busy worrying about the next election to think about the future even 10 to 20 years from now. Business leaders have invested heavily in the current worldview and system. Religious leaders seem to be mainly focused on the divisive issues of the past. Educational leaders appear confused about their role in preparing students for the future. While the Media is busy mostly covering the important stories of the day such as the latest political scandal or celebrity gossip. In general, all are preoccupied with lesser or even trivial issues and are thus not seeing the ‘big picture.’ Not seeing at all.

Fortunately it is the ‘people of the world’ who are today addressing humanity’s future with vision and action. It is ‘we the people’ who are leading the campaigns to build new societies for a new era from the ‘bottom up’. Tens of millions and more ordinary people around the planet have realized that we must adapt to changing realities and a changing environment by changing ourselves and our world. We have banded together in groups, organizations and global networks to act to do so and our numbers are growing fast worldwide.

Global citizens such as you and I have understood that our current assumptions about nature and reality are highly erroneous; that the opposite of our current worldview is much more likely to be true; and, that the decisions we make today will have a much larger impact on the future of humanity than those of any previous generation in history.

I believe that we have perhaps 10 years at most remaining to us to shift our global society from an unsustainable to a truly sustainable path. The alternative is catastrophic collapse as so many previous human civilizations have succumbed to in the past. As a parent and likely a grandparent over the next decade I feel that my greatest moral responsibility as a human being at this time is to to do everything I possibly can to ensure that our global civilization does not share that fate. It is a fate that with our current level of knowledge, tools and abilities could only result from intentional blindness and self-delusion.

We now have our one ‘window of opportunity’ and we must take full advantage of it for the sake of all life – past, present and future. Accomplishing this great task can and will be the most exceptional shared endeavor in human history. It is a global endeavor involving all peoples, all cultures, all religions and all nations.

Each and every one of us who is able to act for the greater good is now being asked by our higher selves to take our stand for the highest good and the highest potential for humanity. Love, compassion and service are the hallmarks of humankind. These attributes are what makes us human and they are the foundations of a new world.

We have new knowledge, new tools and new thinking to ensure our evolutionary success. If we can now come together with our new and ever-evolving tools, especially for communication and collaboration locally and globally, and use them wisely with enlightenment and compassion, we will succeed beyond our widest dreams of what humanity could one day become.

If so, in overcoming our shared challenges we will emerge with a more highly evolved society. It will be global, diverse and sustainable. There will be a mega-shift in societal thinking from focusing on the past to shaping the future, and from domination, control and exploitation to Nature’s way of partnership, balance, harmony. All of society’s institutions, organizations, systems and structures will be transformed accordingly.

The key to our longer term success is where and how we will apply our collective energies, resources and abilities in the immediate future. Acting today for tomorrow we can choose to apply them in partnership for the benefit of all Humankind and all Life on Earth. We will then begin a remarkable new chapter in Humanity’s Evolutionary Journey – the coming of the Age of Wisdom!

(Written in 1998; updated 2012)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *