It is time for the human species to evolve.
According to the theory of evolution, when a species encounters a crisis that threatens its very existence (for example, some kind of significant change in its physical environment), it must either adapt or risk extinction.
I believe the human species is facing a crisis that threatens its very existence. I’m not talking about a crisis arising from a change in the physical environment (though, of course, manmade climate change may well present such a crisis). I’m talking about the crisis that arises from a lethal combination of two factors: first, our ongoing inability or unwillingness to tolerate difference, and second, the increasingly easy availability of deadly technology.
Simply put, if we as a species do not learn to get along, sooner or later some group or nation is going to unleash destruction on an unprecedented scale. It’s a question of when, not if. If that happens, the best case scenario is that we will move (or rather regress) into an era of harsh authoritarianism in which the freedoms we cherish will be removed from us in an effort to enforce some kind of artificial “peace”. The worst case scenario is that it will be game over for the human race. Perhaps small pockets of humanity will survive here and there, but as a civilisation we will be back to the drawing board. Maybe that’s what it’s going to take for us to finally learn to live together.
Violence is increasing, and technology is making the violence that is inflicted ever more deadly. That being the case, I find it hard to imagine an alternative future unless we evolve as a species. Of course, I’m not talking about us growing an extra limb or developing a sixth physical sense. I’m talking about us waking up as a species, making a collective evolutionary leap whereby we finally realise the folly of seeking identity and status through difference (whether ethnic, sexual, cultural, religious, political, or whatever) and enforcing that difference through various kinds of violence (political violence, social violence, terrorist violence, military violence, and so on). That level of consciousness – which is really a kind of unconsciousness – is what has brought us to this moment in history. What is needed is for us to collectively transcend that level of consciousness and spiritually evolve to a higher plane – a plane where we finally understand and acknowledge the fundamental interconnectedness of all things, learn to not only tolerate but celebrate our differences, leave behind our never-ending ego games, and embrace our collective being. If we can do that, here’s what it will look like: the kingdom of God.
Put simply, we are going to survive either together or not at all.
What about religion? Well, let’s put that simply too. Religion is either good or bad. If your religion helps you and those around you evolve to a higher state of spiritual consciousness and acceptance (of yourself and others), it’s Good Religion; conversely, if it simply serves to maintain the status quo, and thus acts as a brake on humanity’s necessary evolution, it is Bad Religion. Choose wisely.
“But it all sounds too much!”, you cry. “How can I, on my own, cause the human race to evolve?” I understand, and I feel the same way. But let’s not forget that any change at the macro level is always the summation of changes at the micro level. What that means in everyday terms is that every large-scale change has to start somewhere with a small change. And, in words that have become so oft-quoted that their origin is now obscure: if not us, who? If not now, when?
[ Image: Wilfried Joh ]