Today, we conclude our self dialogue in exploring our evolution through the third dimension and our opportunity to transcend it….. Click here to read part one in which we explored what we mean by the third dimension, how we came to be in and our evolution through it. Click here to read part two in which we discussed why it is imperative for each of us to consciously take control of our personal evolution and what that means. Today, we finish our discussion considering our collective evolution and transcendence.
So, as our personal evolution unfolds and we become more aware of our interrelationship to everyone, how does that relate to the collective evolution of humanity?
As mentioned previously, as we as individuals evolve or grow in consciousness or become enlightened… however you wish to describe it… we become more aware and truly embody the reality that we are all interconnected — that we are all part of some grand “oneness”. As that occurs, it is inevitable that we will grow in our sense of love and concern for all our fellow beings. This is one area where religions have served us. There is a common thread in all faiths that teach the Golden Rule — do unto others as you would have them do onto you. This call to ethical behavior served us early in our evolutionary process as we banded together in tribes and cities and countries. The more we all cooperated within “our group”, the more our group flourished. Yet the Golden Rule’ s guidance was never limited to any one group. As we expand our sense of the “other” to greater and greater degrees, soon it envelops all humanity, all life, the planet, and ultimately the universe in total. What would it mean to treat every person on the planet as we would wish to be treated? What would it mean if we treated the planet and the universe as we would wish to be treated?
There is certainly plenty of evidence that we do not treat one another nor the planet as we would like to be treated. What do you think it would be like if we did?
I suspect most of us could agree on many of the characteristics of such a world, but there is obviously no consensus. I have my vision of what such a world might look like. First, each person would have access to the basic rights as outlined by the United Nations–for adequate water, food, education, to be treated with dignity and respect, to be able to live with certain freedoms. Yet beyond that, each person would have a reverence for all life — as we look outward, we would see ourselves in other people, in animals, in plants — we would sense our connectedness. Yes, we would continue to seek to meet our basic needs for our own lives. Yet, there would be greater awareness where our continued efforts to meet our needs crossed over into the territory of meeting “wants and desires” (stuff we exert effort towards attaining that in the big picture we don’t really “need”). There is nothing wrong with meeting wants and desires, experiencing the fullness of life in the third dimension as previously mentioned is one of the gifts of being here. Our full experience of the infinite variety of life here is one of the main purposes that we were placed here — through us spirit or infinite consciousness experiences the richness of this physical domain. However, our expanded awareness of meeting wants and desires would bring knowledge of when our efforts crossed into harming others. There is goodness in our meeting our needs, wants and desires so long as they express life. When our efforts cause harm, they no longer express life.
Could you give some specific examples of when our meeting wants and desires cause harm and no longer express life?
Sure. First, here are some larger global examples. Consider Wall Street where their desire for greater profits for their company caused harm to individual homeowners as well as our collective economy. Consider the Gulf oil spill where the combination of our government’s desire to increase domestic oil production as well as the oil company’s desire to maximize profits led to cutting corners and our ultimate ecological disaster. Consider the ongoing violence in the Middle East tied to the self-interest of particular countries or religions. In each of these cases, some group is attempting to meet its wants and desires that are beyond the level of basic needs. And, in each case such effort crossed over into harming other people or the environment — at this point they are no longer “expressing life” in its greatest expression. If the individual decision-makers in each of these cases stopped to ask themselves something like “what action can we take here that will serve the greatest number?” or “what can we do here to meet our needs that will cause no harm?”, then would they have made the choices they did? If they were truly treating others as they wish to be treated, I believe different choices would have been made. To be clear, my point here with these examples is not to debate any specific government or corporation political decision. Rather I am simply suggesting that in a possible world where all humanity lives by the Golden Rule, where the “other” they are “doing onto” is everyone and everything, there would have been other decisions, actions and outcomes.
Yet to get to that world, doesn’t it start with each one of us?
Absolutely. Each of us can examine our own lives to find examples where we are not living the Golden Rule. Do you ever cut someone off on the highway because you’re in a hurry to get where you want to go? Do you ever gossip or bad mouth someone because they don’t think or act like you want them to? Do you ever ignore someone’s request for help because for some reason you’re mad at them? Do you ever forward on some viral but untruthful e-mail because it makes a political statement you happen to favor? Do you ever judge others negatively because they’re different from you — different race, religion, sexual orientation, etc.? The point is, every day we are at choice. Are our choices in alignment with doing onto others as we would wish to be treated? As each of us grow in our personal awareness, we will sense and know how we are each stewards of this planet in the third dimension as well as caretakers and teachers for those continuing to struggle. It does not serve the collective good for us to stay mired in the third dimension, but rather it serves the greater good for us to grow and become enlightened. The more of us who move into that place in our consciousness, the greater the collective evolution of humanity.
In what ways are we “collectively evolving”?
We are growing collectively inwardly and outwardly. Inwardly, we are evolving at both a cultural level as well as in our collective consciousness. Outwardly, we might consider that our global systems — the outward expression of society such as our technology and ability to tap the collective “global brain” is also evolving.
How are we evolving culturally?
This is where I find a model of Spiral Dynamics so helpful. The data that supports this theory shows that humanity is evolving through a series of worldviews. As we make a level of needed one worldview, we evolve into a higher view of looking at life and the planet. Humanity’s earliest worldviews were centered around meeting base needs similar to Maslow’s theory we looked at previously — safety and survival, banding together in tribes, etc. Current predominate worldviews on the planet include a traditional view superseded by a modern view followed by a postmodern viewpoint. Descriptions of these levels can be found with a little research or by reading some of my other articles on the subject. Ultimately, Spiral Dynamics as well as other similar models point to our evolving to even higher levels of individual and group awareness where we are able to recognize and value the interplay of all the other levels. Interestingly, some of the characteristics at these higher levels of awareness include such factors as the melding of science and spirituality, recognizing the interconnectedness and systems interplay of everything on the planet, of an awareness of a greater unity of all. Characteristics that mystics often sy come at higher levels of awareness. Although Spiral Dynamics data shows that much of humanity are at earlier worldviews, the theory points the way towards our evolutionary future and shows that growing numbers of people are headed towards these higher worldviews.
So what do you mean by “collective consciousness” and how is it evolving?
Just as we have an individual consciousness, all of our individual consciousnesses feed one group consciousness for all of humanity. Carl Jung wrote extensively about this. What many have realized is that not only does our individual consciousness provide input into humanity’s collective consciousness but that this greater consciousness is tapped into by each of our subconscious providing silent input into our thoughts and choices. The group mind, in a sense, serves to limit us and what we see as possible. As each of us grow individually, we feed a greater level of potential for all humanity into this group consciousness raising the bar on what is considered possible for all of us.
And what about outward evidence of our evolution?
In spite of all the challenges our planet currently faces, there is plenty of evidence that we are moving into a world where humanity senses at a greater level our interconnectedness and our related expanded sense of care and concern for each other. The Internet and related phenomenon such as the rise of social media sites connects us with each other globally and immediately. There is a rising trend in corporations to be considered successful by the combination of profits and social responsibility. There is an increased tendency by individuals later in life to release careers that brought material success and move into “work” that feeds their soul. There is a rise in the number of nonprofit groups whose mission is to enhance life conditions for everyone around the planet. The United Nations continues to promote the meeting of certain basic human needs as a “right” through such efforts as their Millennium Development Goals designed to end poverty and hunger around the planet. These and similar examples point to a trend in our evolution.
So what is our role in contributing to such evolution?
Hopefully by now it’s clear. The collective consciousness of humanity evolves by our personal evolution. Humanity’s cultural and societal evolution moves forward by our personal growth. Each of us has a responsibility to answer that inner call that asks us to transcend our limits and grow to the greatest levels of possibility for our lives. Our growth occurs in our consciousness inwardly and in our actions outwardly. We previously mentioned that each of us should set our intention towards our highest possibility for our lives, to create a vision of what that looks like and then to act in alignment with that vision. We also mentioned using logic and intuition to create our individual plan as well as some components the plan should contain. Considering our collective evolution, we must add one additional aspect to our plan — service to others. There are so many issues facing our planet at this time that it’s easy to get overwhelmed and do nothing. Let go of that feeling. Pick one issue that you are passionate about and then act to do something to address it no matter how small. Add this service action to all your other personal aspects to your plan for growth. The combination of our individual actions coupled with their igniting cascading change through the “butterfly effect” will truly make a difference. Hold firm in the knowledge that to the degree that we all grow individually to transcend the third dimension, that growth supports the collective growth of all.
We sort of assume here that we wish to transcend the third dimension. Is this true?
That’s an individual decision for each of us to make based on experience and our own free will choice. I believe that ultimately more and more of us will become enlightened and realize the importance of transcending this school and playground of space and time. There may always be some who will choose to move through the third dimension, but in the vast expanse of time as experienced in the third dimension, I believe those numbers will diminish.
Any final thoughts?
Yes. One aspect of being human is that we learn and grow by the dual gifts of our intellect and our intuition. We listen to our heads and to our hearts. On the one hand, the thoughts expressed here were hopefully presented in a logical and easy to understand manner that fed your intellect. But beyond that, I hope that as your intellect resonated with the ideas presented here, it also opened your heart. French philosopher, paleontologist and Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin wrote about the evolution of humanity and our path as we move upward in consciousness. He described the melding of individual human minds into one global mind called the noosphere. As our consciousness grew beyond that, he pointed to what he called the “Omega point” — some point in the future that is pulling all creation towards it. So let us consider this: Spirit or Ultimate Consciousness divided itself up in awareness and embedded itself in all of life so that we could experience individuality and free will choice as we simultaneously moved upward followed the laws of evolution. This evolutionary track involved smaller pockets of consciousness coming together in greater pockets of consciousness until in humanity here on earth (and perhaps elsewhere) such consciousness crossed a threshold into self-awareness. Our personal individual pocket of consciousness is now being pulled by the process of evolution to combine with others at an even higher level of awareness that we can only imagine. What is this Omega point that is pulling us upward and onward so that we might ultimately transcend the third dimension? What force can we imagine that seeks to pull us out from our sense of separation from one another and desires to connect us in our awareness with others? What force could that be? Teilhard de Chardin wrote, “Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.” That force is love. Spirit embedded in us consciousness and love. It was love that placed us here in the third dimension. It is love that is calling us home.
So let’s turn the question around — what you think? What is your experience of the third dimension and our evolution? Do you believe we are called to transcend it or not… and why? I would love to hear your thoughts and your beliefs. Thank you for reading mine.
Check out all of Mark Gilbert’s books—available at Amazon. Click here to visit his Author Page. This includes his recent one Our Spiritual Rights and Responsibilities. In this book, he offers what he suggests are the 5 basic rights we all possess by virtue of our being these spiritual beings on planet Earth — and our 2 responsibilities we all hold in relation to one another! Check it out!