The central issue affecting every human being dwelling on our beautiful planet Earth is that evolution is currently passing through the most momentous point in its fourteen billion-year history. Because evolution is an accumulative process, the time periods between major turning points, such as sexual reproduction and the birth of mental evolution, are diminishing exponentially.
Now we can model the whole of evolutionary history as a series of bifurcation points in chaos/complexity theory using the reciprocal of the first Feigenbaum constant (4.669) as the diminishing factor. Using the analogy of a dripping tap, evolutionary turning points are like drips, which become closer and closer together as the tap is turned on until the tap is flowing continuously, aptly called the accumulation point in systems theory.
Evolution too has an accumulation point. A simple calculation shows that the evolutionary tap was turned full on at the beginning of the first decade of this century, a slightly different calculation from that made by students of the Mayan calendar (2011 or 2012), which is uniquely exponential in character.
We are currently passing through evolution’s accumulation point because the sum of the infinite number of these rapidly diminishing time periods is not infinity; it is finite. For instance, the sum of this diminishing geometric series, taking the ratio between successive terms as 1/2 rather than 1/4.669, is not infinity, but 2:
This diagram shows a mapping of these bifurcation points to major evolutionary points, which was developed by Nick Hoggard of Holma College of Holistic Studies in Sweden around 2000, inspired by a talk by Carl Johan Calleman, also from Sweden, on the Mayan calendar.
A simpler model of evolution as a whole, more rhapsodic than mathematical, has been given us by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the French palaeontologist, geologist, and Jesuit priest, in Le Phénomène Humain, written between 1938 and 1940 but only posthumously published in 1955 because the Church considered that Teilhard’s writings contradicted Catholic orthodoxy and prohibited their publication.
In this penetrating book, Teilhard looked at the whole of evolution in four stages—physical, biological, noological or mental, and spiritual—which he called Pre-life, Life, Thought, and Superlife, studied by the physicists, biologists, psychologists, and mystics, respectively. The unifying theme running through these various stages of evolution is increasing organization, leading to the law of complexity-consciousness: the greater complexity, the greater the consciousness.
The pace of evolutionary change is becoming faster and faster because evolution is an accumulative process of divergence and convergence, proceeding in an accelerating, exponential fashion by synergistically creating wholes that are greater than the sum of the preceding wholes through the new relationships that are formed out of Formlessness.
Because of this, from the perspective of us here on Earth, the four basic stages of evolution get shorter and shorter, as do the transition periods between them. The transition period between the physical and the biological took around one billion years, from about 4.5 billion years ago, when the Sun and the Earth were formed, to about 3.5 billion years ago, when the first primitive, self-reproducing forms of life emerged on Earth through the divine power of Life.
In turn, the transition period between the biological stage of evolution and the mental or noological was just 20,000 years, from some 25,000 years ago, when we human beings were given the great gift of self-reflective Intelligence, to the dawn of history, marked by the Fall in the Garden of Eden. ‘Where we’ve come from’ looks briefly at how we have been led into and out of Paradise during these 25 millennia.
There is considerable evidence that we are now at the mid point of the transition period between the mental and spiritual phases of evolution, which began around 1960 with the birth of the human potential and ecological movements and the rebirth of the women’s liberation movement.
We are thus now entering the eschatological epoch at the end of time prophesied by visionaries in all the religions, which we can call the Age of Light, in contrast to the Dark Ages of the patriarchal epoch. Yet even though we have arrogantly called ourselves Homo sapiens sapiens ‘wise, wise human’, very few know that this earth-shattering event is happening or why. We are therefore not adapting to our rapidly changing environment, which is being radically transformed through our scientific discoveries, technological inventions, and financial instruments.
And, of course, any species that does not adapt to the changes in its environment can expect to survive for long. As Herbert Spencer expressed it in The Principles of Biology, individual and species adaptation comes about through ‘the survival of the fittest’, echoing Charles Darwin’s notion of evolution by means of natural selection. Not that the human race is destined to live forever, for all structures that emerge from Consciousness eventually return there. But we can come to terms with the inevitable extinction of Homo sapiens sapiens by ending the long-running war between science and religion.
However, as this has not yet publically happened, for the most part, our global society is being driven by fear and ignorance rather than Love and Intelligence. If this situation continues for more than a year or two, the panic that will inevitably arise from the imminent collapse of the global economy could cause the deaths of many millions if not billions during this decade. It is thus of the utmost importance that we present our evolutionary story to both the general public and the political, business, scientific, medical, academic, and religious leaders of society in as simple a way as possible, but also grounded in the most rigorous and comprehensive scientific research.
To this end, you are welcome to read a 50-page synoptic synthesis called ‘Mapping the Universe’. Wholeness explains our evolutionary story in much more detail, particularly Chapter 5 ‘An Integral Theory of Evolution’, Chapter 6 ‘An Evolutionary Cul-de-Sac’, Chapter 8 ‘The Growth of Structure’, and Chapter 10 ‘The Evolution of the Mind’. The final three chapters of Wholeness, still under development, will describe how we could intelligently adapt to the unprecedented rate of evolution as a species, if this is meant to happen.
However, books and websites are not sufficient to bring our evolutionary story to the attention of the general public. What is needed here is a television series explaining in as simple terms as possible where we human beings have come from, where we are all heading in the most frantic rush, and how we could live in love, peace, and harmony with each other, our environment, and the Divine, free of fear, conflict and suffering. A 13-part TV series was drafted in 2006, but no producer or funds for this series have yet been found.