Worlding – A Brief Integral Account of Human Evolution

An adequate and integral orientation to worlding recognizes the broad ark of conscious evolution. Earth yielded an arch of self-awareness that constituted the human experience and forever changed our home. At home, the ever-developing capacity to see still fulfills itself through the unification and complexification of material and consciousness. A ‘worlding’ is upon us.

We know that “history is sound and fury”.[1] Wondrous origins, feats of survival, and gross reality mark the development of Earth’s biotic organisms. Earth developed mineral compositions, cellular multiplication, and plant proliferation. With the emergence of animal life, scales of development increased and converged, speed and flight manifest. Life built language and culture, tool making and machine, evolving itself toward its own perception – its own history. The Earth too, panpsychic in quality, manifested an incarnation of self-consciousness – adding to its spherical development an envelope of thought, a noosphere.

Humanity became a champion at memory, community, and culture. Becoming wise, human ability constructed the past in the present and oriented itself toward the future. Its powers of concentration and complexification grew through sociological metamorphosis.[2] A mind activated body gained perspective and humanity became the greatest of tyrants and the most magnificent artists. Our machines grew larger, and our powers of control and mastery constituted new paradigms. The experience of hominization was also an experience of conscious evolution.

The Planetary Era emerged through a powerful mentality. It took the cumulative insight, risk, and discipline of many including Ptolemy, Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, and Einstein to initiate human consciousness into a modern experience of cosmological orientation, where we became a spherical planet, gravitationally determined to orbit the sun.[3] Jettisoned into a universe where life became an isolated, biotic, autopoietic event, meaning became a precarious phenomenon bound to an evolution of organic consciousness, seated in a geological time called the anthropocene.

Globalization, through our commercial and material exchange, became the will to power, the driving force, behind our era. Our local worlds multiplied through communication, mobility, and military might and our Earth shrank. Great worries have beset our time. Bound within a history of accumulation, debt, and expenditures, it is apparent to many thinkers that capitalism is in crisis. Global systemic failures are growing beyond the human’s capacity to manage. Despite the emergence of profound thinkers, thinking the whole, the external movement of markets, technology, and knowledge subsists without adequate internal orientations, without wisdom. The practice of globalization is happening through capital entropy, but no one knows why or where ‘we’ as a global species (nor our fellow plant and animal companions!) are headed.

Many of the most attentive contemporary thinkers believe that the human condition – its industrial capitalism, increasing international competitions, and energy deficits, along with the massive amount of unaccountability regards historical violence, military complex, and overwhelming waste – is determinately blind. The ‘invisible hand’ is ‘invisible’ indeed – the relationships of asymmetrical access, value, and power do not produce the ‘best possible world’. The more efficient machines become does not necessarily mean humanity becomes ‘happier’. In our race toward progress, power, and performance the force of human evolution seems to have lost its way. “The threefold race in science/technology/industry that has taken over the human adventure is now out of control: Growth is out of control, its progress leading to the abyss.”[4] Edgar Morin’s commentary on the “Earth In Crisis,” is powerful. It considers problems across global domains: economy, population, pollution, and ecology. It is a ‘tragedy of development,’ he says, and is congruent with the spiritual deficit now so overwhelming little hope remains for global systemic balance.

 


[1] Morin, Edgar. Homeland Earth. 2.

[2] Morin, Edgar. Homeland Earth. 2.

[3] Morin, Edgar. Homeland Earth. 27.

[4] Morin, Edgar. Homeland Earth. 72.

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