Going by those who rant about it, opinion appears split on evolution.
The fundamentalist religious view is that evolution does not exist at all.
The concrete science view sees evolution as a grand process in which individuals and species have accidentally turned out to have a will to live and a desire to reproduce so they compete with other individuals and species for resources and, through random genetic mutations, respond more or less well to environmental changes delivered by an indifferent universe.
I’m sure one could improve on the details of my characterizations, but I think they do sum up the prevailing views.
And the thing is, with either view, evolution is either mostly or entirely meaningless to an individual. If that second view is right, then the individual is the result of evolution, and in some ways its victim.
Allow me to suggest a more useful way to view evolution:
Evolution entails expanding ability to relate with increasingly finer energetic expressions.
Since this applies across the board, it is, in my view, well worth contemplating. It is true for individuals, tribes, societies, species, art, music, literature, science, and so forth.
The early task is learning to competently relate to the dense physical. Beings need food, warmth, shelter. Then they explore relating with other beings: friendship, caring, empathy, nurturing, and their opposites—that is, the emotional realm. This is followed by increasing mental activity coming into play. After that, it’s the realm of insight, wisdom, intuition, telepathy, clairvoyance, and so forth.
If this is true, then an important aspect of the above is that once self-awareness is attained, then much about the pace of a person’s evolution is in their own hands. Once conscious, people can evolve themselves in most aspects of their life if they choose to learn to progressively relate with finer energetic expressions, inside and outside. As such, people become aware that what is within them is a cause of their own evolution. And such people become a cause of evolution in the planetary sense. Think of how those beings who have taken insight to great heights have changed the world.
One classic example of this path of evolution is carried out by many in India where their life proceeds from childhood, to starting a family, to becoming a householder—that is, a person who can provide for several or even many people—and then forsaking all that and becoming a seeker in quest of the spiritual heights.
As another example, let’s look at people’s relation with food. (Clearly, the boundaries I am drawing here are not hard boundaries, people live on multiple energetic levels simultaneously, so things overlap.) People likely began by gathering food, followed by hunting. Those who learned to relate with their fellows to hunt and gather in groups certainly prospered compared with those who insisted on “going it alone.” After a time, the mental came into the picture as people figured out how to overcome the hardships of the nomadic lifestyle of hunters and gatherers by growing food. Once villages were formed on this basis, further mental activity resulted in the vast efficiencies of division of labor as people developed specialized skills based on their unique talents, and people learned to trade goods and labor.
The growing of food progressed into irrigation systems, plant breeding, machine power, and fertilization, leading to the current mechanized globalized highly-petroleum-dependent genetically-modified mono-culture agribusiness model. In this model, a grower basically creates a dead zone where all living creatures (insects, weeds, worms, soil bacteria and fungus, etc.) are excluded except for a single plant—for example, corn, wheat, or rice—and the output is transported hundreds or thousands of miles to be processed, packaged, and eaten. Further mental activity is now revealing the consequences of this model in terms of pollution, soil loss and degradation, aquifer depletion, food lacking in nutritional value, food laced with antibiotics, mass die-offs of pollinators, and so forth, leading to organic farming where the farmer takes care of the critters in the soil (the two billion or so worms, microbes, bacteria, and insects per square foot of truly rich soil) and the soil critters take care of the plants, with an emphasis on local production and consumption. The pollinators, essential to our food crops, flourish in this environment.
Many in the organic field are evolving themselves toward permaculture in which, as in nature, guilds of perennial plants work together for their mutual benefit with minimal interaction from humans required.
Alongside but also beyond this are places like Findhorn and Perelandra. Findhorn is famous for 40 pound cabbages grown in the fierce cold, wind and very poor sandy soil of the coast of northern Scotland. Many people think this is done by people gathering around a cabbage and giving it love–which is certainly interesting in itself if that helps to create 40 pound cabbages–and while that is one thing that sometimes happens at Findhorn, the people who founded it were doing something rather sophisticated: cooperating directly with the nature intelligences that power the design and building of plants. Such co-creation methods are verifiable by those who try them. And most who try them wouldn’t do things any other way, the results are way too rewarding and have the “minor” side effect of providing a person with remarkable new insights into how life works. For anyone interested, here is a book to get started.
So that’s an example of what I mean by “expanding ability to relate with increasingly finer energetic expressions.”
Some people prefer the phrase higher vibrational expressions to finer energetic expressions. Both are excellent. But the use of finer and higher does not mean that a person gets to skip evolutionary steps. The evolutionary aim is mastery of the physical, the emotional, the concrete mental, and the realm of insight. If you haven’t learned how to handle your finances, if you are out for revenge, if wanting approval guides your life, if you want to control everyone in sight—that is, if you have some of the myriad difficulties to which we humans all seem to get attached—these things can’t be pretended away simply by trying to go higher and higher. While such things are in play, going deeper is the requirement before higher can be maintained. Why do these things exist in me? Where did they come from? Why do I maintain them? We all spiral though phases of light and darkness, of crisis and revelation. From what I have seen, deeper and higher lead to the same place, and seeking in both directions is required. In this way, a person becomes an increasingly higher vibrational expression.
As for the fundamental religious view, it seems rather odd that a God would make a world that doesn’t evolve. And one where that God doesn’t get to evolve. How would change take place? I really don’t know what to say to such folks. As I look around, it looks to me like everything is evolving. And Jesus told them that they “will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these.” (John 14:11) How will they become beings who can do works greater than those done by Jesus if they can’t evolve from where they are now?
I guess they would call me a blasphemer for saying that if a person does decide to fire up their own evolution, then as a cause of evolution, that person has become a creator.
So what are you creating today?