When I’m awake to what you call “the evolutionary impulse,”I find that I care deeply for many things: the environment, the awakening of humanity, social justice, animal rights, and so on. I take responsibility to live lightly on the planet. I donate time and money to the causes that I value. I’ve dedicated my life to being an ambassador for these things and my resources are finite. Would you say that this is, in a sense, what evolutionary morality looks like?
This is a great question, and one that I think about all the time. In order to answer it, I need to make an important distinction around how you framed your question. You said, “When I’m awake to the evolutionary impulse I care for . . .”, and then you listed a variety of causes: the environment, social justice, animal rights, humanity awakening, etc.
It’s important to understand that as a person who is awake to this impulse of evolution, you might care about all the things you mentioned and many, many more. But I would guess that you don’t care about them because you’re awake to the Evolutionary Self.
In fact, you probably cared about those causes before you ever encountered the evolutionary impulse. And they would be, most likely, part of your value set independent of your connection to it.
The set of values that you laid out—things like a care for the environment, animal welfare, even spiritual awakening—are native to a general worldview that’s been defined as “worldcentric.” This worldview isn’t a spiritual awakening; it’s more of a psychological or cultural level of development based on what we value. When our values become worldcentric, we start to care about the whole world, as opposed to something smaller like our tribe or clan or even our nation.
We still care about those smaller entities, but our primary orientation is to the health of the whole planet, and everything on it. We identify as citizens of the human family and the planet as a whole more than as Americans, or Swedes, or caucasians, or Californians.
Not everyone on the planet has reached this worldcentric stage of development. In fact, most humans are still more “ethnocentric” and identified primarily with their family, their tribe, their race or their nation. But there are a growing number of us who see ourselves as global citizens. We care about social justice. We care about human rights, animal rights, and the environment. We care about the entire web of life that we’re a part of.
When we reach a worldcentric level of perspective and values, being a decent, caring person means that we care about some combination of these issues. But just because we’re awake to our role as a world citizen, doesn’t mean we’re necessarily awake in a spiritual sense. There are plenty of good people at the worldcentric level of development who aren’t enlightened or even interested in spirituality.
The shift that I’m pointing to when I’m talking about awakening to the impulse of evolutionis something altogether different. When we awaken to the evolutionary impulse as our self, we start to leave behind our personal perspective on things and begin to let in the truly transpersonal, or universal dimension of consciousness that is evolution itself. We start to become conscious vessels for the evolutionary impulse to act through us.
The real question, then, is what happens to our values? When we awaken to the evolutionary impulse,as us, or what I sometimes refer to as “the Evolutionary Self” what do we care about? What is our moral compass?
At this point, we are still a worldcentric person with all the worldcentric values: the environment, human rights, etc. We still care about all that. But we also start to care about something else—something very specific.
As the Evolutionary Self, we begin to care intensely about the evolution of consciousness. We start to become sensitive to consciousness itself, in ourselves and in the people around us. We start to become sensitive to this new dimension of our experience: what’s happening at the level of consciousness.
Another way of looking at this shift is that we’re tuned in to just how awake are those we come into contact with. How lost in ego is everyone around me? Are they awake to something higher? How awake am I? How much am I still embedded in my ego and the habitual patterns of the past? To what degree am I awake to something larger?
This kind of sensitivity to consciousness naturally gives birth to a particular kind of care. There’s this overwhelming and immediate care for higher evolution. It’s a care for the further evolution of consciousness. And that’s something that only we can do.
We become concerned about humanity waking up beyond ego. And I’m not talking about wanting to wake humanity up so that we can solve the many problems of the world, although it includes that. We’re primarily interested in awakening for its own sake. It’s as if God is trying to become manifest on earth, and we’re focused on facilitating and supporting that manifestation in any way we can. There’s a higher order principle at work that’s trying to come into form, but it needs us to be able to do so.
Of course, this kind of higher evolution would most likely give us the perspective to be able to solve most of our problems. But that’s not why it’s important. It’s important for its own sake. It’s important because heaven is trying to come down to earth. It’s important because divinity is trying to come into human form. It’s important because love needs vessels. Love needs to be expressed so that it can become known.
It’s a very deep thing. There’s something profound that needs to become known in order to really exist. In order for its potential to be realized, it must be known, discovered, expressed, and embodied. When you awaken to this, you begin to care about that dimension—in yourself, in others, and in all of humanity.
This evolutionary awakening then begins to infuse all aspects of who we are, and it adds a certain fire to our worldcentric values. As we transcend ego and start to live from a deeper center, we’re going to be more committed, more passionate about everything. And we’re going to be more effective. We’re going to be more willing to fight for all the things we believe in, to stand for them, to not compromise, and to push further out to the edge than ever before.
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