by Barbara Marx Hubbard via UTNE blog This is mankind’s finest hour. In Conscious Evolution (New World Library, 2015), author Barbara Marx Hubbard highlights the tremendous potential of newfound scientific knowledge, technological advances, and compassionate spirituality and illustrates the opportunities that each of us has to fully participate in this exciting stage of human history. This excerpt, which discusses the new worldview that is currently developing and bringing about social change, is from Chapter 1, “The Awakening of Humanity.”
We as individuals have not changed much physiologically or intellectually in the past two thousand years, but our larger social body — the "noosphere" or mind sphere — has become radically empowered.
The Awakening of Humanity
Occasionally in the course of human events, a new worldview emerges that transforms society. It happened when Jesus’ disciples were inspired by his life to believe in radical transformation of the person and the world through love. It occurred in the Renaissance when the idea of progress through knowledge was born. It took place in the United States when the ideas of freedom and democracy became institutions through the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It happened with the advent of the British Royal Society and the dawn of science through Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton, and again among the transcendentalists, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman, who believed that each individual is an expression of the divine, a free and sovereign person. Now, once again a new worldview is arising. This idea is the culmination of all human history. It holds the promise of fulfilling the great aspirations of the past and heralds the advent of the next phase of our evolution. It is the idea of conscious evolution.
Conscious evolution is occurring now because we are gaining an understanding of the processes of nature: the gene, the atom, the brain, the origin of the universe, and the whole story of creation from the big bang to us. We are now changing our understanding of how nature evolves; we are moving from unconscious evolution through natural selection to conscious evolution by choice. With this increased knowledge and the power that it gives us, we can destroy the world or we can participate in a future of immeasurable dimensions. Into our hands has been given the power of codestruction or cocreation.
As Jonas Salk stated in Anatomy of Reality:
The most meaningful activity in which a human being can be engaged is one that is directly related to human evolution. This is true because human beings now play an active and critical role not only in the process of their own evolution but in the survival and evolution of all living beings. Awareness of this places upon human beings a responsibility for their participation in and contribution to the process of evolution. If humankind would accept and acknowledge this responsibility and become creatively engaged in the process of metabiological evolution consciously, as well as unconsciously, a new reality would emerge, and a new age would be born.