Our Evolutionary Crisis

Jeff Carreira Blog Posts 22 Comments

I certainly want to continue with our discussion and I want to explore the profound ideas of Charles Sanders Peirce further, but first I wanted to say a few words in general that I have been thinking about. As some of you may know I have been a student of a spiritual teacher named Andrew Cohen and his teaching of Evolutionary Enlightenment for the past 16 years. During that time I have become very close to Andrew and have become in a sense a teacher myself. I am not writing this blog to attract people to Evolutionary Enlightenment (although I am happy if they find it.) I am writing this blog because I feel that life on this planet is in the midst of an evolutionary crisis. This blog is my attempt to explain what I think I have learned about our evolutionary crisis and the way to get beyond it.

The evolutionary crisis that we face stems from the fact that the circumstance of the world we live in are changing faster than we are. The pace of evolution is increasing beyond the current ability of human beings to change in response. As a result, we find ourselves unable to effectively meet global and even personal challenges. I know I often feel like I am still working on yesterday’s problems only to realize that today’s are already upon me. We simply find ourselves unable to adapt quickly enough to changing circumstances.

I believe that the solution to this is a shift in consciousness and by that I mean a fundamental change in how we understand ourselves and the universe we are a part of. That shift, as I understand it, has two stages – that don’t necessarily come in a particular order. The first is a shift that is characterized by unity. This is a shift from seeing a universe made of separate objects of which we are one, to seeing a universe that is one whole which includes separate parts; more like an organic system. The embrace of a higher unity that includes the separate parts has long been explored in different ways by most of the great spiritual traditions and the worlds philosophies and the sciences.

The second stage of the shift involves the evolutionary awakening to the fact that we and the universe we live in are not static. We are changing and evolving constantly. The evolving nature of who we are has not been explored by humanity as deeply or for as long as the exploration of our fundamental unity. In fact it has only been over the past few hundred years that this investigation has really taken shape in the west. And it is only since the acceptance of Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection that we can really say that the modern investigation of evolution has begun. I personally feel that this investigation of what it means to shift from a mainly separate and static relationship to life, to an essentially whole and evolving one is the key to the future. That is why I am writing this blog and why I appreciate so much those of you that join me either by reading or, even better, by contributing your own thoughts and insights. I appreciate having the opportunity to be challenged and to learn from you as I hope you do from me.

When I discovered a few years ago how much American Philosophy revolved around the question of, “How do we adapt to the new truth of evolution?” I nearly fell over. I couldn’t believe that well over a century of deep thinking had already gone into this investigation, just within the relatively limited circle of American Philosophy. As I have tried to study this philosophy it has become clear to me that there is a great deal more to learn. But in the end I think that learning is only as valuable as it helps us think clearly for ourselves. I am not a scholar, as most of you have undoubtedly already realized, but I am a firm believer in the power of philosophy and the human spirit. I don’t believe that we can change our world without changing the way we think, but I do believe that we can change our world if, in the midst of our Evolutionary Crisis, we find it within ourselves to change the way we think.

Thank you for participating in this journey with me.

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Christian Aglen
11 years ago

I think you’ve laid out our (evolutionary) predicament really well. I want to emphasize the importance of awakening to presence – our own presence, and see that presence in all. In this way, all, everything, is appreciated as ONE process, not just my process, your process, and so on. If we only awaken our own individual self without the taking on the responsibility of our (genuine) perception and its implications then we will be lost in a nihilist, narcissistic world-view – one which is very hard to challenge unless there is the humility and sense of surrender that transcending ego… Read more »

Megan
11 years ago

Wow, Jeff, this is really something. Thanks for your concise and simple explanation of why this inquiry is so important. And for the reminder that all these questions and conversations are FOR something — to push us forward as one contiguous, constantly-evolving whole.

Brian
Brian
11 years ago

hear hear!!!

Carl
11 years ago

Isn’t it interesting that only 39% of people in the U.S. believe in evolution, according to surveys. How do we help people adapt to something that they do not even believe? How do we help people understand and see the truth of evolution — in species, in culture, and in their own development?

Stuart
Stuart
11 years ago

Thanks, Jeff. Great Post!

Catherine
Catherine
11 years ago

Jeff, I would to ask the same question as Carl, but in a slightly different way. How practically, can we trigger this revolution that is coming ? fro me it was always very simple; when one succeeds to transmit radical enlightenment, then humanity will have really something . Short of this, I must confess that I feel short of seeing how this revolution will take place. The problem at the moment is that we have a few ( more than we know, actually) radically enlightened human beings, which lead the spiritual Evolution. But first they seem completely incapable to work… Read more »

Carl
11 years ago

Catherine, What an interesting observation! If I understand correctly, you are suggesting that the demonstration and transmission of personal enlightenment (to use Andrew’s terminology) will establish an attraction that will make whether or not people “believe” in evolution somewhat irrelevant. Maybe this is obvious, or should be, to me. But the way you have said it makes something about our own personal responsibility even more apparent than I have understood in the past. It is not so much about spreading the word about evolutionary enlightenment as it is working tirelessly toward and demonstrating personal enlightenment as a vehicle for evolutionary… Read more »

Catherine
Catherine
11 years ago

Carl, yes indeed it is my belief that there is a possibility of transmitting radical enlightenment. I am not saying it will be easy, or it will just spread out like the Crickets on Pharao’s lands, but transmission is the key. If we understand how transmission works, even starting with one or two people, then humanity will have made a considerable step forward, just because those newly enlightened guys or girls will be able to take the lead and enlighten others. Said crudely when Andrew or Eckart or other “solitary ” radically enlightened masters die, then others will take the… Read more »

Carl
11 years ago

Catherine,

I couldn’t agree more. I like to think that somehow the natural science of behavior could be part of the solution. Not sure, but maybe.

Lisa
Lisa
11 years ago

Spreading of enlightenment is not hard. There are many peace experiments going on right now, and that have taken place all the way back to the 1970’s. In these experiments, a large collective group (100- 15,000) meditates together to feel peace within their own bodies, and then send that peace out to war torn areas in the world. This only takes about 20 minutes to complete. 20 MINUTES! to change a group of terror minded people who are thinking of destroying each other, and stopping them long enough to critically think about what war really means and do the right… Read more »

Jeff Carreira
Jeff Carreira
11 years ago

This is a fascinating discussion. In thinking about some of what is said particularly from Catherine about the transmition of enlightenment, I have thought about the collective aspect of this. I wonder if the age of transmiting awakening from one person to another has given way to an age of exploring how this awakening can be held in groups of people.

Catherine
Catherine
11 years ago

Jeff, as a scientist, my intuition goes to first stabilize radical enlightenment in a few people who would then ( or at the same time they get enlightened) learn how to transmit it to others. Those few people could get enlightened through a group or directly from one master, it doesn’t matter; but the clue is that, after those few people are radically enlightened they can transmit their enlightenment to others ( by radically enlightened, I mean a state of enlightenment which is permanent and doesn’t depend on the presence of a group or on any practise) . Simply stated;… Read more »

Carl
11 years ago

This discussion leads me back to the question that Andrew asked a long time ago, “What is Enlightenment?” The question arose, at least in part, because individuals who were demonstrably highly realized people — had God realization types of experiences, consistently communicated and even transmitted such awareness and energy — were morally corrupt, or at least seemed to lack integrity with respect to things such as sex and power and money. There have been some great transmitters of enlightened experience who seem ultimately to have been even selfish. What does that mean, and particularly what does it mean for the… Read more »

Lisa
Lisa
11 years ago

Catherine, I can understand the collective group that is enlightened not wanting to leave the group and strike out on their own. I was part of a group just like that were I received my enlightenment. It is fear that causes people not to leave the group, even though they want to. The reason I conclude of this behavior is simply when you are in deep meditation while listening to your guru’s talks, those talks go deep into your subconscious mind planting new beliefs that you live your life from. Kind of like hypnosis, but without knowing you are in… Read more »

Andrea
Andrea
11 years ago

This is a great discussion. What strikes me about the idea of enlightenment or awakening being held by groups of people, whether together or online, is the discovery of what is new, what breaks the mold, and ultimately puts a crack in our collective cynicism. I agree with the phenomenon that groups tend to want to stay tight and not go beyond their borders – this seems to be a natural evolutionary function across the board and has been part of what has enabled life to form in such wild, interesting and diverse ways. And so Lisa you are right… Read more »

Carl
11 years ago

Collective enlightenment is like a new muscle that is just emerging in the newborn, something that is just being flexed, little tiny twitches leading to faltering steps, hopefully leading eventually to confident transport — unless, of course, the collective destroys itself first. It is very real, literally a “new being” as it has been called, the next stage of human evolution and of consciousness on this planet. Kind of like little neuro-muscular tendrils growing together into a still-fragile and vulnerable network, with enormous potential for entirely new levels of creativity and evolution one the network becomes stronger and more resilient.… Read more »

J Michael
11 years ago

As with any exploration of thought, on the individual or group it plays out in the world as actions. Concrete sometimes as institutions are created to further study are build with real stone and mortar. Less obvious but still effecting are the mind sets that be come set in or daily actions.

How do we give everyone tools for change? Give them the freedom to change. Charles Erwins’ book American Freedom is a book about change. http://www.americanfreedombooks.com http://www.americanfreedombooks.com

Will we listen and learn only time will tell.

J Michael

J. Michael
11 years ago

As with any exploration of thought, on the individual or group it plays out in the world as actions. Concrete sometimes as institutions are created to further study are build with real stone and mortar. Less obvious but still effecting are the mind sets that be come set in or daily actions.
How do we give everyone tools for change? Give them the freedom to change. Charles Erwins’ book American Freedom is a book about change. http://www.americanfreedombooks.com http://www.americanfreedombooks.com
Will we listen and learn only time will tell.

Lisa
Lisa
11 years ago

I heard an interview on TV last week that the Federal Government has given a grant to the Noetic Science Institute to research long distance prayer. It is common knowledge that the American government has the lead on many of the newest technologies before its citizens. It is also common knowledge that they keep this information from the public for decades until all the kinks have been worked out of it. The kinks are those things that they could use it for to gain advantages over other countries and their on population. Today is the time for people to take… Read more »

Chuck R
Chuck R
10 years ago

It seems to me that even after 150 years of evolutionary theory, very few people – including the majority of scientists – really see the human race as a species of animal. (A Pew poll last year had about 50% of scientists believing in a god or spiritual force). Seeing trees, seeing forests. We see the trees – we are people, individuals, conscious beings, moral souls, lovers, haters, peacemakers, warmongers, scientists, mystics and so on ad infinitum – but so far we miss the forest of our animalhood. All these characteristics are characteristics of animals. Humans are a species of… Read more »

Frank Luke
Frank Luke
10 years ago

I heard President Obama quoting Justice Stevens who has said there should be Understanding before Disagreeing. This wisdom is something that should be more widely practiced in these times where everyone is ready to spout and shout out opinions without giving much thought to what they say.

Buddha’s first precept I believe is Right Thought, then Right Action, which includes speaking.

Ayla
Ayla
9 years ago

Before someone will believe anything, it has to pass through their filter successfully and be accepted as TRUTH. The set of beliefs that helped to form the filter are almost set in stone in early childhood and is therefore a blueprint for the existence of the individual in the world it was born into. A filter is a set of inner tests that is formed based on what has already been accepted as truth by the mind of the individual. Any new information must pass these inner tests in order to be believed as truth. If you want someone to… Read more »