Monday, July 21, 2008

A Deep-Time Perspective

from Andrew Cohen

The discovery of an evolutionary context radically changes one's relationship to one's own personal experience, with all its ups and downs, challenges and victories. Think about a deep-time developmental context—all the way back to the first moment when something burst out of nothing. As far as we know, fourteen billion years ago there was an empty void, and then suddenly an impulse to become burst forth and became energy, light, matter, life, consciousness. and eventually, you. So putting your own life in an evolutionary context means making the effort to see every aspect of your personal life experience as occurring within this huge process. And even more importantly, it means that you begin to recognize that as the process moves and develops, in order to actually be able to contribute to that development, you need to be aligned with the very edge of evolution itself. Otherwise, you are just going to be following the beaten path, living out the patterns that have been formed by countless others. Without even knowing it, you will simply do what everyone else is doing, and assume that because evolution has blessed you with a very highly developed cognitive capacity that means that you are conscious. But it doesn't necessarily mean you're doing anything new. It doesn't mean you're a change agent. To be a change agent means living on the very edge of this vast process, knowing that it has taken fourteen billion years to reach this point, and actively endeavoring to move the entire process forward through your own transformation. That's conscious evolution.

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