The Ideal End-State

November 27, 2011

There is the way things are (for now) and there is the ideal end-state: the way things would be if we humans filled our potential. That end-state lies in the future (for now). We are currently—and always have been—on the way toward that ideal end-state, and we are now able to move ourselves toward it more rapidly because of our increased understanding (science and spirituality) and technology (communication and computation).

Our movement toward the ideal end-state is an evolutionary process, and it appears to be both the purpose and the thrust of evolution, even from the beginning of the physical universe (apparently about 13.5 billion years ago). It is as if the ideal end-state had been pictured at the very beginning—at Creation, by the Creator—and everything that has happened since then has tended to bring it to pass, little by little. We stand here, now, nearly at the end of this unimaginably long process of change.

The ideal end-state appears to be the reason for physical existence itself—and we’re almost there.

Until now, evolution has been guided by the indwelling, instinctual “reactive” mind, which we associate with physical/chemical laws and plant/animal behavior. This mind operates as a stimulus-response mechanism, “merely” causing matter to react to its environment, at all levels of existence—from particles and waves, to atoms and molecules, to cells and organisms. (This is a huge, nutshell simplification.) This reactive mind still guides the behavior and development of plants and animals, even as their responses to environmental changes become more complex.

With the advent of the human “analytical” mind, however (and humans’ new awareness of their power as they learn to operate from this new mind), for the first time, our own evolution is within our control. This is because, although we still have and operate from the inborn reactive mind, we are uniquely able to overcome it and to choose to operate from our (much more powerful) analytical mind. This changes everything! It makes us, effectively, new creatures.

Notwithstanding our position as newly able determiners of our own development, the purpose of evolution remains the same: the creation of an ideal end-state, in which the qualities and attributes of Life/Mind/Spirit are expressed fully in a physical being.

You could say that, from the very beginning, Spirit has wanted to walk the Earth—free to be Itself, completely Self-determined, and unencumbered by the residue of the animal nature (the reactive mind, negativity, harm, the ego, or the false self) that we are even now working to overcome. This is what spiritual people mean when they say that humans are potentially gods. We are a step on the way to that ideal end-state. That’s one reason why we are here.

Those of us who have awakened to the potential we have as human beings look toward this end-state, even as we struggle to free ourselves completely from the reactive mind’s grasp. We seek to embody spiritual qualities, which we become aware of as a natural consequence of breaking free from the reactive mind and the past pain and failures it contains.

This reactive-mind negativity burdens us unnecessarily, holds us in destructive patterns of thinking and behaving, and keeps us from learning who we really are and what we really can do. But its hold on us ends when we realize our power to drop it—and we drop it. (Knowing, thinking, or believing isn’t enough. You have to act. You have to do. “Faith without works is dead!”)

The way things are is the way they must be, for now, in this time, because evolution (with only the reactive mind to guide it) has brought us to this point. We have no say in the way things have been until now. Yet, obviously, we have not arrived at the ideal end-state. Bringing it to pass will entail understanding, identifying, and correcting the many problems now plaguing humanity and individual humans (you and me).

We are the corrective mechanism whereby humanity’s ills must be eradicated. The keys of our growth have been handed to us. We are now the agents of our own evolution—collectively and individually. That’s why we’re here, in this time and place, with these particular problems to solve: so we don’t pass them on.

It is up to us to clean up the mess we inherited and look forward to a better future. If not us, then who?

The Necessity of Understanding Evolution

November 26, 2011

I was taught as a child that evolution was synonymous with atheism, the devil, and the spirit of Antichrist. I was also taught that the Bible is both unquestionable and literally true. Of course, the Bible implies that creation happened about six thousand years ago.

As I grew and learned, however, I realized several things that were not just important, but absolutely crucial to my growth and understanding as a spiritual person. I eventually had to cast aside my long-ingrained negative views about the idea of evolution in the face of the overwhelming evidence for it—and the impossibility of excluding it in a rational view of What’s Going On Here.

What, indeed is going on here? Why do we exist, and for what purpose? Where did we come from and where are we going? What are we supposed to be doing with our time here? The correct answer to these questions will elude us as long as we try to keep evolution out of the picture.

Why is evolution such an important part of the puzzle for people who seek to understand life, themselves, and the Divine?

There are two basic ways of looking at the universe, humanity, and history. These two perspectives are not compatible, and they produce opposing attitudes toward life. The first is the idea that the universe used to be perfect and has “fallen” to its current state. The second is the idea that the universe has developed from a less developed and aware state into its current, more complex and aware state.

Each viewpoint implies the projection into the future of whichever past trend is accepted. If the world has fallen, it continues to fall; if it is improving, it continues to improve.

The reality is that the universe is, and always has been, in a continual state of improvement that will apparently continue into the future. By “improvement,” I mean progress toward an apparent planned end state or goal. We stand today as the heirs of billions of years of change (evolution) that has produced our world, brains, technology, and spirituality out of the largely undifferentiated state of matter that apparently existed immediately after the Big Bang.

It is a mystery to me why people cling to older ideas of a recent creation and the “fall” of the universe (world) from perfection in the face of overwhelming—and demonstrable—evidence to the contrary. Is it really so difficult to accept, for instance, the idea that a Creator did indeed create the universe many billions of years ago and even now guides the development of that creation to ever-better states of being and increasing complexity?

That evolution happened, and continues to happen, is a fact, not a theory. (Natural selection is a theory about how it happens.) The point of contention among those who accept evolution as truth seems to be the mechanism behind it: the “how.” What makes evolution happen?

To postulate that a Creator or at least an intelligent, conscious force drives the course of evolution (and continually infuses the necessary creative energy into the process) is not in the realm of science. Nevertheless, something has to make things happen, whatever you wish to call it. My view is that acceptance or belief in a Divine intelligence behind evolution (and all of existence) is a healthy and rational perspective. This idea does not hinder or contradict either science or the evidence for evolution, and it allows people to retain their (perhaps natural and necessary) idea of a Creator who (or which) deserves acknowledgement or even reverence.

Creation and evolution don’t have to be mutually exclusive, in other words.

The world isn’t getting worse; it’s getting better, on the average, despite news reports that focus exclusively on negative or harmful events. Evolution is only the visible development of this wondrous and progressive change that the Creator has had in mind all along.

The Spiritual Revolution Has Begun

November 1, 2011

You might already be aware that the world—your world—is in the midst of the most dramatic and lasting change in its history. The present clash of religious-minded people on a worldwide scale is a symptom of this change. Unlike past changes, this one is a spiritual change that will re-paint the landscape of human existence.

What is this change, and why is it happening NOW?

Mankind today is the end-result of billions of years of development. We are the pinnacle of life on planet Earth (as far as we know), in the sense of being aware or understanding the Universe and our place in it. But we aren’t done evolving yet!

This development is progressive: it happens faster as time goes by. You can see evidence of this fact by looking at history, whether from the perspective of astronomy, geology, biology, or technology. Change happens over time, and it happens faster as time goes by.

The incoming age, the Spiritual Age, has been in the making for thousands of years. Early heralds of this new era of consciousness included Lao-Tzu, Siddhartha Gautama, Jesus, Plotinus, Socrates, and the writers of the Upanishads. All these great teachers (and others since their time) perceived, to some degree or another, some Thing beyond the material world and tried to communicate their understanding of it to others, largely without long-term success.

This Thing has variously been called “the kingdom of God,” “the Tao,” “the world of ideas,” and “Dharma” (Truth). It is there, it is perceivable, and it is free for the asking. As Jesus (the Master) said, “The kingdom of Heaven is near!”

The Thing past spiritual giants spoke of is about to become as mainstream and familiar to developed humans as electricity.

Now begins the Spiritual Age, when humans awaken on a large scale to the Thing behind many religious writings and all spiritual ideas. At the same time, they will discover their own unique talents and abilities and how to use them for maximum, pure expression and good.

Why is this happening, and how do I know these things?

The current spiritual revolution represents a biological advancement in the human species, and at this moment those with the most potential to participate are, on the average, the young. (The earlier ages, however—far from being worthless or unnecessary—paved the way and laid the groundwork for the next step that many of us are taking NOW.)

Evolutionary change at the current level of humanity is a conscious process. It is the development of our potential for consciousness. Intelligence is another word for this potential.

Honesty is required to allow us to look within ourselves and break free from erroneous cultural teachings.

I know these things because I am young, intelligent, and honest. So are many others.

(Written in 2007)

The Original Sin and the Creation of Evil

October 18, 2011

As soon as you ask yourself, “What’s good for me?” and choose a path that leads to anything negative for someone else, you create and step into the world of evil. As soon as you intend an action that you think will benefit yourself while causing harm to someone else, you fall.

To intend good for both yourself and others, however, avoids evil completely.

What makes us intend harm to others? Harm already done to us. Where did it begin? In the earliest days of Homo sapiens, sentient humans.

The first true human being would have been born into a family of pre-humans. It is easy to imagine how the more sensitive human among the instinct-driven sub-humans would have experienced harm, or the perception of harm (even if the harm wasn’t intended), from its earliest days.

How ironic it would be if all the conflict and strife and war and power-mongering and killing in human history were the result of an original harm that was never intended as harm to begin with!  Life is indeed poetic.

To be alone, a single human in a world of animals, even in your own family or household—this was apparently the first human’s first experience of interaction with others. All of human history since then has been the process of the Life within us striving to overcome the original “sin” done to it by its pre-human ancestors.

This means that the “false self” is a remnant of the animal nature within our psyche: the last problem we humans are to overcome in order to be fully human.

On Evolution

September 25, 2011

Whether or not any particular theory of evolution is correct, the process of evolution is a fact: everything changes over time. The real questions are how the process works and why.

Evolution is only an issue where religious thinking is popular. Many religious-minded people fear that cultural acceptance of evolution would cause their doctrines about recent, instantaneous creation to crumble—and when one doctrine crumbles, the rest soon follow. (They’re right.)

Is it reasonable to believe that a god created this world only a few thousand years ago, with fossils embedded in rocks well below the earth’s surface, only appearing to be hundreds of millions of years old? I don’t think a Creator would try to fool people with such trickery.

Evolution can be defined as change over time, from simpler to more complex arrangements. It has been happening to living and non-living matter since the beginning of the universe, and it continues as long as the universe exists.

Again, the question isn’t whether it happens, but how and why.

At this point, it’s important to notice something about evolution: when a new species evolves, the species from which it came doesn’t always die out. If that were the case, there would be no other kinds of life except us.  We humans, at the top of Earth’s apparent chain of evolution, would be the only life on the planet—which means that we couldn’t even be here. There would be no ecosystem for us to live in.

It’s also important to recognize that humans are still evolving, and we’re evolving in a way that other life forms on Earth are not. There are still apes and monkeys and lizards and fish around. If a new species eventually springs forth from Homo sapiens, it will live along with Homo sapiens—at least for a while. It will be a step “up” on the evolutionary ladder from current humans. Some human genetic lines will become this new species, and some will remain “only human.” It’s happening even now, but very slowly.

It looks like the “next step up” in human change will be people who are naturally in tune with what we call Spirit or God. Their brains will be as different as ours are from a chimpanzee’s (which isn’t much, but it’s enough), even if they look much the same as Homo sapiens.

Evolution is not a mindless process of change. It is driven by Life itself, and change doesn’t happen instantly—especially biological change. Your body is always a work in progress, and it still serves the functions today that it was developed for in generations past. It’s great for walking barefoot on the earth, reproducing, and grasping all kinds of objects. It’s not so great for running on concrete, sitting in a cubicle for half the day, or digesting highly processed and unnatural foods.

Whatever it is that causes higher life forms to develop from lower life forms also has an end result in mind. Modern humans are closer to it than anything that has ever walked the Earth (as far as we know) and we’re getting closer with each new generation. Life itself is guiding us.

(Written in 2005 and freshly edited on December 19, 2016.)

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