Potential of Post Darwinian Evolution
Science has given us the end of Darwinian Evolution. Previously where all evolutionary progression had been shaped by native environmental pressures, now we shape the environment, and ourselves to frameworks based on our ability to manipulate physical constraints(eg: we sit to drive a car). We make tools to extend our interface with our surroundings. We continue to evolve, following the foundational mandate of Living Things to extend the Force of Life (create more life), but we now design our evolutionary trajectory inside the framework of our built environment. As far as we know, this is the first time this has occurred in the history of life on this planet.
Our brains are wired to build and then work from a learned map of “reality” vs. the genetically hard wired map our reptilian ancestors used to successfully navigate their environment. Having a learned map provides us with relatively vast adaptive capacity, but also lengthens our childhood development cycle while we carve out a working model from an originally amorphous neural network (play). By the age of 8, the basis of this network and our working sense of reality (our library of the known) has been imprinted. How safe we feel, and how freely we operate in the world correlates tightly with how our experience and our map of the world synchronize. This relates directly to our adaptive capacity, the enhancement of which is the goal of this website.
Embedded in this neural network, and essential for its success, is a directive to need to trust that our sense of reality is real. This impulse to trust is so intrinsic that it is almost impossible to shake the experience of living in a “real” world. The instinct to trust (to know) and the experience of feeling safe are tightly correlated. However, upon close examination, it becomes apparent that the known world which we are trusting, our “Operating System”, reflects our “built environment”. Not long ago this built environment changed slowly over generations fostering a stable, community-wide consensual reality. Now the pace of change in our built environment is transforming so rapidly that the difference in world views between age groups separated by less than ten years is quite striking. What all of these groups have in common is their underlying belief and trust that their differing perceptions of reality are “real”.
Accepting that “reality” is arbitrary is inevitably quite distressing, and until one is ready to face this rational insight head on, much energy will be impulsively invested in reaffirming the sense of realness of one’s personal reality. The weirdness of our politics and consumer culture can be better understood when viewed as efforts to validate and protect the instinctual trust with which we shield our model of what we know and the threat we experience when that model is challenged. Once one settles on the idea that reality is merely a map which we use to navigate the built environment one becomes liberated from operating exclusively within that maps limitations. The freedom that liberation enables offers new possibilities for human evolution beyond the limited options defined by ones perceived reality.
Philosophy and religion are attempts to open a path forward from this evolutionary dead end of self (ego) reinforcement. However, the temptation to embed these insights into a framework that establishes them as real or true, thereby making them palatable as an update for our map of reality, constrains their evolutionary efficacy. By accepting that our compulsion to make and protect a map of reality is simply a powerful emotional tool enabling us to successfully navigate our surroundings (which we inherited from our Mammalian ancestors), we can directly access the intent of the great philosophical and religious writings – unencumbered by the impulse to evaluate those insights against our library of the known.
The great mystery is the nature of The Force of Life. It is perhaps beyond our rational limits to understand this force, even though we experience it continually though the course of our lives. However, once this force has been witnessed experientially* it becomes possible to choose to act as its agent, creatively expressing its foundational mandates to live and extend. It seems likely that human evolution inevitably will move in this direction, acting as agents for our most essential quality – that we are living beings, which exist as an attribute of the community of living things that have inhabited this planet for over three billion years.
That Life has manifested an attribute of itself which is able to think about what it thinks (second-order cognition) is a profound accomplishment. We are able to unthink our thoughts and act from pure intention. The freedom enabled from embodying this wisdom moves us from metaphorically looking down at our feet to looking up at infinity, and acting as a living expression of our souls.
ASLEEP -> AWAKE
*It is this authors belief that as a species we are moving beyond a tenable fixed view of reality because the rate of change in our post-industrial world already exceeds the capacity of our minds to easily maintain such a map of reality. However, there are many ways to jump forward to experience The Force of Life directly. Maximizing the maturation of all of our evolutionary layers is very helpful, and perhaps something of a prerequisite, as it minimizes the role that adaptations and compensations play in our perceptions and actions. Here are some additional resources that can be explored:
FORCE OF LIFE RESOURCES