Nature’s Most Important “Emergence” Since The Birth of Human Consciousness – Insights from the Wilderness #252

Are you, like so many American’s, struggling to create a happy and meaningful life? Are you wondering what’s happened to our great Nation? Is America really falling apart as so many pundits are now predicting? Is happiness a myth? Should we just throw in the towel and call it quits?

I don’t think so.

In fact, I believe we are witnessing the beginnings of a new era for humanity. It is the most profound spiritual transformation in human history since the birth of human consciousness itself. The emergence I’m referring to is humanities awareness of the unconscious illusion of separateness created in the primitive ego of early childhood. This emergence in our collective human consciousness will create a level of change and disruption in human culture not experienced in modern times… spiritually, culturally, economically, or ecologically. It will ultimately redefine the future of our world, and our human species. No evolutionary event in the history of humanity has even come close in its ability to create sustainability and happiness.

 What Is An “Emergence” And Why Am I So Hopeful?

Emergence is an event that happens spontaneously when nature is confronted by chaos. For example, the Big Bang was an emergence in which energy appeared out of the chaos of nothing. Over time matter emerged out of the chaos of pure energy that existed after the Big Bang.  Four billion years ago life itself emerged from the chaotic soup of inert chemicals swirling in Earth’s primitive atmosphere and ancient oceans. About 35 thousand years ago a species of humanity emerged in the animal kingdom that possessed a consciousness that was aware of its own awareness.

In each of these examples, evolution used chaos to spontaneously create an emergence of self-organization. In each example novel and coherent new structures, patterns, and properties of self-organization spontaneously appeared that could not be explained by the laws of chemistry or simple physics. What emerged was radically more complex and novel than would have been expected from the individual parts that combined to create the emergence. Stated simply, the radically new entities that emerged in each of the examples… far exceeded the sum of the parts that created the emergence.

What Created This Recent Emergence In Human Consciousness?

Humanity has evolved over thousands of years from small isolated tribes into today’s highly interdependent, interconnected economically, and technologically complex global human culture. As a self-focused species, we have unconsciously used greed to drive our human civilization into a level of cultural complexity and chaos that is no longer sustainable. Humanity is currently facing major environmental, economic, and cultural challenges that threaten not only our planetary life support system but the many life forms that share the planet with us. And if 97% of our world’s credible environmental scientists are right… nature is now warning us that we could be facing the potential extinction of our own species.

We fit the definition of a species in chaos; a species once again threatened with extinction by changes in the natural environment… a species ripe for the emergent appearance of new and novel structures of self-organization.

The Transformation That Emerged In Human Consciousness

When chaos threatens the living systems that nature has been creating on our planet for four billion years, the conditions are ripe for the appearance of an emergence. Historically, evolutionary emergence in our planet’s living systems has been confined to the realm of biology. Biological emergence is measured in time spans that reach into tens of millions of years. With the birth of human consciousness, however, emergence was no longer confined to biological time spans. Evolutionary emergence in human consciousness and human culture can happen very quickly. New structures of self-organization, new worldviews, and new stages of consciousness capable of radical transformation in human culture are now possible in a single human generation.

And that is exactly what happened. Humanity awoke to the unconscious illusion of separateness that has been embedded in our human consciousness for the last 35,000 years. Essentially, human consciousness went through a big bang experience. Our focus on “self” survival shifted to a survival of our “species”. Stated simply, our obsessive focus on “self ” shifted to a collective focus on “us”; human consciousness shifted from “me” to “we.” To say that differently, human consciousness shifted from “greed” to “mutual benefit.”

How The Emergence In Human Consciousness Happened

Historically, human consciousness has been primarily focused on “self” survival…  a sense of “self” that was assumed to be isolated and separate from the rest of creation. We gathered together in human cultures and tribal communities for protection. Over time, our human cultures grew in complexity. We forged new technologies and economic systems. We embraced an economic system powered by petroleum……and the dangerous illusion of  “unlimited economic expansion”. It was an economic system that created “the modern industrial world”. Unfortunately, it also embraced pathologies of greed and competition that ultimately unraveled the illusions of separateness and unlimited economic expansion that had survived for generations; illusions that were ultimately destined to drive humanity and the modern world into the crisis and chaos we are experiencing today.

In other words, humanity was ripe for an “emergence” in human consciousness. We became a species that recognized that it had to learn to live in a right relationship with nature and the natural world. With little to no fanfare, a new structure of self-organization emerged in human consciousness. Humanity became a species whose consciousness radically shifted from its previously isolated and separate self-focused “i-ness”……. to that of an integrated, interdependent collective “we-ness”. And this radical shift, or emergence in human consciousness, has essentially happened in just one generation. Authors such as Michael Dowd, Naomi Klein, and others have become powerful voices for change in our global economic system, the need to embrace sustainability, and staunch advocates for learning to live in a “right relationship with nature.”

Summary: What This Emergence Means For Our Future As A Species

Much like the emergence of the first living organisms, or the first burst of raw energy that became our universe, the full “emergence” of this new collective human “we” consciousness will take time to fully evolve. But when it does, like the raw energy of the big bang that created matter, or the first living organism that created the living world of Gaia, I am convinced our human consciousness will create a world well beyond our current ability to grasp or imagine. But based on our current understanding of an inter-dependent, collective “we”, I believe the fully evolved human “we” consciousness of the future will embrace the natural concepts and laws of nature:

  • the concept of mutual benefit for all living species,
  • the ability to fully embrace cooperation among all living species, and eventually
  • the ability to “become” the co-creative species humanity was meant to “become”.

As our new human consciousness learns to more fully embrace the wisdom and laws of nature, humanity will naturally begin to:

  • incorporate and integrate the wisdom and gifts of all previous “stages” of human culture,
  • the wisdom contained in all of history’s religions, and
  • the wisdom embedded in all of our world’s ethnic cultures.
  • embrace the amazing evolutionary impulse to “become”; the evolutionary impulse to “become” that I believe is the “Spirit” of the Initiating Consciousness incarnate in every aspect of creation. The“Spirit” of the Creator has been using evolutionary emergence for almost 14 billion years to create new and novel forms of self-organizing structures,
  • radically increase our physical, psychological, and spiritual connection with Nature and the Natural World. It will create a shift in human consciousness that I like to call “Deep Ecology.” An awakened and enlightened ecology that will put “life”, cooperation, and the natural world at the center of our human awareness. An ecology that will transform the “self”-focused greed and competition of “i” and “me” so deeply embedded in our current human consciousness.
  • end, once and for all, the childish religious belief that we are so awesome, so special, and so loved that the Creator was compelled to give us possession of this entire planet as a gift to use for our own personal benefit.

In conclusion, some are already referring to this newly emergent human consciousness as Universal Humanity. I believe the “Deep Ecology” that will be embraced by “Universal Humanity” in the future will radically increase our sense of belonging and connectedness with the planet that birthed us. Over time, the Deep Ecology embraced by Universal Humanity will enable humanity to fully embrace for all living species the inter-dependent concept of mutual benefit, and the spiritual inter-connected unity and oneness of all creation.

Suggested Reading

Deep EcologyDeep Ecology: Living as if Nature Mattered By Bill Devall

“Deep ecology,” a term originated in 1972 by Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess, is emerging as a way to develop harmony between individuals, communities and nature.
DEEP ECOLOGY–the term and the book–unfolds the path to living a simple, rich life and shows how to participate in major environmental issues in a positive and creative manner.


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