To understand what is happening to humanity today, we first need to recognize that we are all the products of some fourteen billion years of evolution since the most recent big bang. None of us would be where we are today without all these aeons of development. By recognizing that evolution is not just the biological evolution of the species, we can thus begin to answer Paul Gauguin’s questions depicted by his famous painting, ‘Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?’
We saw in ‘Our evolutionary story’ that we only began to become fully human when we were given the great gift of self-reflective Intelligence about 25,000 years ago, which led to the transition period between the biological and the mental or noological stages of evolution. A new species was thus born, more psycho-spiritual than biological, which we can most simply call Homo divinus.
During the early years of this epoch-making transition period, our ancestors were like babies in adult bodies, to map human ontogeny on to the phylogeny of our species. Because they had no cognitive past, their consciousness had not moved very far from our Divine Source, giving rise to the myth of Shambhala, an enlightened society living peacefully in the mountains north of Tibet, somewhere between the Kunlun and Altai ranges.
Then gradually, as the mind began to develop, a gap opened up between those who remained in conscious union with our Immortal Ground of Being and those who became separate from our Divine Source. This development gave rise to the myths of all-powerful gods and goddesses comingling with ordinary mortals, as Barry Long describes in The Origins of Man and the Universe.
Then, at the dawn of history, the egoic, analytical mind began to stultify our Natural Intelligence in the attempt to manage our practical affairs with whatever consciousness and understanding we had at the time. What Ken Wilber calls matrifocal societies in Up from Eden became patriarchal civilizations, with men holding domination over women, even treating women with contempt, basically because they were afraid of their spiritual intuition.
Now when the analytical mind became the dominant mode of evolution, Homo divinus split into two subspecies, which we can call Homo divinus analyticus and Homo divinus divinus, respectively. For while the majority of people were moving further and further away from Reality as Homo divinus analyticus during this patriarchal epoch, some found a way of returning to our Divine Source. Foremost among these mystics, as early exemplars of Homo divinus divinus, were Siddhartha Gautama and Jesus of Nazareth, respectively known as the Buddha ‘the awakened one’ and the Christ ‘the anointed one’, from the Greek khristos, a translation of the Hebrew masiah ‘messiah’.
However, it takes a mystic to see a mystic. So these highly developed spiritual beings were often not really understood by their followers. Rather, it was the analytical mind that formed the twenty-odd civilizations that Arnold Toynbee identified in his monumental A Study of History. During the mental-egoic patriarchal epoch these civilizations have gone through the birth-growth-decay-death process of all structures in the Universe. This diagram, reproduced from Fritjof Capra’s The Turning Point: Science, Society and the Rising Culture shows some of these civilizations around the Mediterranean.
There is a growing awareness today that Western civilization is no longer viable, not the least, because of all the conflicts that raged during the twentieth century. Even before the onset of the First World War, Oswald Spengler could see that the events that were then taking place were happening as the result of the broad sweep of history, leading to The Decline of the West. Western civilization, which still dominates the world through the American economic hegemony, is now dying, just as the decline and fall of the Roman Empire brought the Helenic civilization to an end.
In general, Toynbee identified three key factors that lead to the breakdown of civilizations: A failure of the creative power in the minority; an answering withdrawal of mimesis on the part of the majority; and a consequent loss of social unity in the society as a whole.
But what is emerging today is not another civilization in the patriarchal epoch. Rather, we are currently in the middle of the transition period between the mental and the mystical, which we can say began about 1960 with various countercultural movements, and which is destined to last a hundred years, at most, because of the unprecedented rate of evolutionary change we are experiencing today.
Now Teilhard prophesied that this epoch-making transition would come about when all the divergent streams of evolution converged or coalesced at the Omega point of evolution in a megasynthesis, “a gigantic psychobiological operation”. Through the law of complexity-consciousness, Teilhard foresaw that this convergence would usher in a peaceful, eschatological epoch of superconsciousness and superintelligence, quite unlike the conflict-ridden patriarchal epoch of the past few thousand years.
The unified relationships theory (URT) is the megasynthesis that Teilhard prophesied, albeit in the individual, not yet in the collective. But because of the unprecedented ontogeny that brought this synthesis of everything into being, it is far from clear whether it can assist with human phylogeny, which at present is becoming more and more polarized.
On the one hand, mainstream religion, science, and economics at first-tier levels of consciousness in Ken Wilber’s spectrum of consciousness are continuing to hold on to status quo, still engaged in the evolutionary outer movement away from the Truth. On the other hand, there is a growing minority of individuals and organizations at second-tier levels of consciousness engaged in the conscious transition from the mental to the spiritual, if not yet the mystical, which is actually more an involutionary process than an evolutionary one.
Of course, this is not a black and white situation; the general picture of society today is distinctly confused and fuzzy as people struggle to make sense of what is happening to us all. By standing at the Omega point of evolution and by using the URT, it is one of the purposes of this web site to bring some clarity to this highly critical situation.
To this end, we provide a broad overview of what might happen in the immediate future in the next page and on other pages in this website.