By  Terry Plotkin.

I believe the day will come, sooner rather than later, when the theory of evolution will have to be updated, revised, perhaps radically, and some of its tenets discarded. For instance, it is assumed that humans and apes have a common ancestor. Why must that be so? If everything evolves from something else, where is the original starting point? Is it not ludicrous to assert that the Primordial Soup of amino acids produced an incredibly complicated species like humans and all the other varied life forms we see? And where did the soup come from anyway? And if you push it all the way back to the Big Bang then you have the entire universe emerging out of something smaller than a pinhead, somewhere in space, a very long time ago. No one has ever explained what was in the pre-exploded Bang that it would contain everything the universe has in it, or why it would explode anyway. How can anyone believe this idea? The story of Adam and Eve is easier to swallow than that one.  And if natural selection is the way things evolve, why have we such large brains, much of which we don’t use? How come consciousness is factored out of the formula, even though ideas come to us from we know not where? What are the roles of the dream world and other planes of existence that we are barely aware of, but are there nonetheless? How can you explain the advent of a genius like Mozart who composed great symphonies as a child? How can you account for mystics who appear from time to time who tell us that there is a higher plane of consciousness, that they have experienced, that is very different from this world, but that is, to them, as real as this world?

As a counter-juxtaposition, I will not fall into the trap of having to defend the Biblical idea that God made the world in seven days about 5700 some odd years ago. Clearly, that is not the case. Nor is it my duty to say what actually did happen for life to appear on this planet. Just because I doubt the prevailing scientific theory doesn’t mean I have to have the answer.

Allow me to speculate. Shoot holes in my ideas if you want. I don’t treat them as scientific fact or as religious dogma so I am not threatened by skepticism. Maybe, there is a plan for us here. Maybe we have an evolving brain, parts of which most of us don’t yet use for reasons that has not become manifest. Perhaps, we live in the shadows of a world of light, a world of consciousness, a world that brings life and substance to this world, but we can’t know it because it is imperceptible to our senses. Maybe, there are other planes of existence that are informing and affecting this world in ways we cannot possibly comprehend because we cannot access them.

Without knowing about the place where thought and intelligence come from, we are in no position to pass judgment about matters that we are literally in the dark about. If, through spiritual practice, right living, and a culture that fostered the proper conditions, we were to quicken our evolution, more of us would become sages and help explain what is really going on to humanity, void of superstition. Trying to create the ideal conditions that would allow for a more evolved human to emerge would be a better use of our time then honoring theories that don’t make sense or believing dogma that will not stand up to reason. Even the worst-case scenario where nothing much came of the effort would still leave us in a much better world than we are creating now. What do we have to lose?

2 Responses to “Evolution”

  1. http://davidwilcox.com/index.php?page=songs&category=Big_Horizon&display=161

    I hope this link posts…it is to a song called “Big Mistake” by a favorite singer/songwriter of mine named David Wilcox…you will like it.


  2. Terry, a puzzling post – not quite sure whether you believe in darwinism or not – though it’s pretty clear you don’t believe in creationism.

    I recall my time in India about 30 years ago, sitting at the feet of Swami Muktananda. Many people asked him about human evolution.

    One asked, “Do you believe we are descended from apes?” He laughed and said, “You may have once been a monkey, but I never was!” His responses like that often puzzled me; clearly he was smart enough (an authentic wise man after all) yet he refused to buy into the western scientific certainty that we are little more than smart monkeys.

    In more detailed explainations of evolution, he would emphasize the difference between man and all other animals. “Humans are the only animals” he would say “that have the ability to truly know themselves, and to attain the highest states of consciousness.”

    In alignment with vedic teachings, he talked about human evolution as a process of transmigration of the soul. Kind of like individual souls hopscotching from one body to another, even spending time on other planes of existance, even other planets. Muktananda’s autobiography describes his own remarkable inner journey and visits to these other places.

    According to this theory, personal evolution is a journey of increasing self-awareness until the body dies then (after finding another body) spending another lifetime on the journey.

    According to this theory, time spent in a human body is the most important time for evolution. Only in a human body can one finally reach the highest state – total self awareness. Having reached that state, the soul is free to go anywhere and do anything.

    Of course this type of theory is near impossible to verify – certainly not with scientific methods. But I would not dismiss it as religious dogma. The vedic teachers never ask the student to “believe”; instead they encourage us to “seek”.

    This is perhaps good advice for people of all religions and those with no religion. “Seek and ye shall find.”

    Personally, I try not to be troubled by discrepencies between religious and scientific views of evolution. Though I am troubled when people use their beliefs to oppress others.

    Can we say that Mozart’s symphonies are evolved from a metal string? Can we say that a beautiful clay pot has evolved from clay? Can we say that human consciousness has evolved from an ape?

    Isn’t it a much better use of time for us to simply revel in the symphony, to caress the pot, to become aware of our own consciousness. The type of dissection that occurs with the scientific process seems to destroy the very beauty we seek to understand.

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