Conscious Evolution: Awakening the Power of our Social Potential
What is conscious evolution?
Conscious evolution means evolution by choice not chance. For billions of years nature has been evolving through five mass extinctions, but no species was aware of it. Now, we are aware that we are facing the sixth mass extinction, and that humanity has some role to play in this crisis. We are affecting our own evolution by everything we do; the food we eat, the cars we drive; the number of babies we have; the energy we use, etc. We have entered the first age of Conscious Evolution. The book is a vital manual and guide for our entire generation facing species-wide evolution or devolution together for the very first time. It offers us a new way through together.
What is the social potential movement?
The human potential movement was founded on Abraham H. Maslow’s genius to study well rather than sick people. He called them self-actualizing. He found every such person had one thing in common — chosen work they found intrinsically self-rewarding that was of service. He mapped the characteristics of self-actualizing people and launched the positive human potential movement. In Conscious Evolution we begin to map peaks of social creativity, innovations and projects that are now working toward a positive future. We begin to see the outlines of the self-actualizing society. Conscious Evolution is a vital step in launching a social potential movement.
What is the “New Story” that Conscious Evolution is based on?
It is the newly discovered universal evolutionary story based on the recent discovery of cosmogenesis, the scientifically based awareness that the universe has been, is now and will ever be evolving — and so are we. It is also obvious, when looking at the whole 13.8 billion years of the New Story, that nature is like an evolutionary spiral. It takes jumps toward higher consciousness, freedom, and order through forming new whole systems, as from single cell, to multicellular creatures, to large animals, to humans and now to humanity developing a new nervous system, a global brain, a “noosphere” or thinking layer of Earth through the Internet, 7 billion cell phones, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Linked-in, etc. We are being connected to one another as one living system — which is the next whole system jump.
What do you mean by co-creator with the process of evolution?
The same process of creation that creates the universe is within us, motivating us to be more, to do more, to love more. This tendency within us is the Impulse of Evolution motivating us. Our atoms, genes, brain, organs together are a resume of the whole story of creation. Within each of us is an Impulse of Creativity, a yearning to realize our potential. A co-creator is a person who feels this impulse within as an expression of his or her own life purpose. It is one who says yes to this impulse and begins to seek fulfillment through expressing his or her own unique creativity. Co-Creators are the next step after Paul Ray’s definition of “cultural creatives.” Co-Creators are deeply attuned spiritually and to to their vocations, or soul’s purpose. They are learning to co-operate with one another co-creatively as co-equals, outside of the current top down pyramidal system. They are innovators of a new culture and a new society now arising in the midst of the dysfunctional world.
What do you mean, “problems are evolutionary drivers.”
Stress causes evolution. Problems force us to seek new solutions – to discover emerging potentials within the system – like new clean energy, new health practices, etc. We find that the solution to problems is not more of the same. Every time nature hits a crisis that cannot be resolved by doing more of the same, it begins to innovate and transform. This is what is happening now. As crises mount, innovations are increasing in every field. What is needed now is to connect what is working by developing greater synergy among innovations. On a personal level, each crisis we face, especially depression, can also be seen as a driver to find out what wants to be expressed and what potential is emerging within us.
You talk about A Spirit-Motivated Plan of Action. What is that?
Given the immediacy of our environmental and social crises, especially global warming, it is obvious that we need a coordinated plan, as great or greater than the technological plan for the lunar landing. John F. Kennedy proposed that we place a man on the moon and bring him back alive “in this decade.” I propose that we take the next step. We declare that within this decade from 2015 to 2025 we, humanity, will scan for, map, connect and communicate what is working in the world toward a sustainable, evolvable, spiritually fulfilling world for all. Conscious Evolution is a call for social co-creators and pioneers to join together to undertake this great social necessity.
What kind of new educational system does Conscious Evolution call for?
It calls for the opposite of the current model of education, especially at the masters and PhD level. Instead of specializing into ever narrowing fields, evolutionary education requires us to take a holistic, evolutionary, big picture perspective. We must see the entire process of creation from the Big Bang to the present and beyond as one continuous process of innovation and transformation with specific laws of chaos and transformation that can be applied to enter our own process of evolution consciously.
This new system activates a new community of evolutionary leaders, innovators and co-creators in every field and function and invites all students to learn from these innovators as to what is working toward the next stage of evolution, mentoring and guiding the young. It is drawing together a new “memetic code” for the future. As genes build bodies, memes build cultures. Currently our leadership at the head of existing systems, such as politics, organized religion, economics, and the arts do not have memes to guide us toward a positive future equal to our potential. This lack of images and ideas and visions to move toward must be filled by evolutionary education, including self-education and by curriculum. Conscious Evolutionary education is a life-long process of gaining ever greater guidance from within oneself, and from the process of evolution as to how each person on Earth can realize their full creative potential for self and society.
What can an individual do about all this? How do I participate personally in conscious evolution?
Excellent question. The best way to participate in evolution is to discover your deepest life purpose, the impulse of creativity within you and to say yes to that. It is to follow your inner “compass of joy,” learning that when you feel joyful, on purpose, alive and creative you are participating in both self and social evolution, provided that your actions are also of service to at least one person as discovered by Maslow’s study of self-actualizing people. Another key is to form small groups of two or more who resonate with these ideas and learn how to cultivate a field of “resonance,” heart coherence, resounding to each other your highest traits and aspirations.
Futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard is a prolific educator and author of seven books, including a revised and updated edition of her seminal work Conscious Evolution. She is an evolutionary thinker who believes that global change happens when we work collectively and selflessly for the greater good. Visit her online at www.evolve.org.
Excerpted from the book, Conscious Evolution. Copyright © 2015 by Barbara Marx Hubbard. Reprinted with permission from New World Library.