Conscious Evolution For Humanity
Glen T. Martin
There has been a great deal of talk about “conscious evolution” in recent years. Diverse thinkers from Barbara Marx Hubbard to Robert Ornstein and Paul Ehrlich have urged us to focus on a conscious evolution that alone can bring human beings to a higher level of existence from which our present omnicidal problems, such as the threat of nuclear war and climate collapse, can be addressed. However, the limitations of what these thinkers propose involve what the western philosophical tradition might refer to as their “nominalism,” their perhaps unconscious assumption that the world is a collection of 7.8 billion individuals who are organized in various individualized social groupings such as different nation-states, religions, races, ideologies, etc.
This nominalism came into Western thought in a virulent form with William of Ockham in the 14th century and infected the thought of the reductionist scientific cosmology that began to emerge in the 17th century—culminating in the so-called “Newtonian world view” that came into force in the 18th century and whose basic assumptions still remain with many thinkers, movements, and institutions today. It denies, perhaps unconsciously, what Jürgen Habermas and many other thinkers from the late 20th century to the present have shown—that each of us as an “individual person” is inseparable from what we are in terms of what Karl Marx called our “species-being.” In other words, the world is not composed of individual entities, contingently lumped together in collectivities called nations or races or religions. What we are already includes a universal dimension—we are literally part of one another from the very beginning.
In addition, we see that the emergent holistic paradigm that began with Max Planck and Albert Einstein at the dawn of the 20th century continued to the advanced insights of quantum physics that the matrix of all things includes a unitary “Akashic” dimension. This dimension involves an integral oneness beyond anything we can imagine in the spatio-temporal world (Laszlo 2014). These two insights (the species-being and the Akashic) form only two components in a transformative conceptual process that has blown nominalism out of the water as simply false. Neither the world nor humanity are a collection of atomistic individuals. Many conscious-evolutionary theorists have yet to understand this.
This is why conscious evolution necessarily involves the demand for ratification of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. Our evolution is a species-evolution. It is humanity that has evolved from a primitive unconsciousness of 100,000 years ago into an “age of magic” evidenced in the cave-paintings that took place around the world some 15 to 40,000 years ago. It was humanity that then transmuted into an “age of mythology” evidenced between 10,000 and 3000 years ago and then into an “Axial Age” in which persons came to be able to clearly separate subject from object and begin the process of the accumulation of “objective” knowledge of nature, human beings, and perhaps God (see Martin 2021). Our evolutionary upsurge as been collective and so our future evolution must likewise be collective.
The Earth Constitution unites humanity into the community that we truly are. It completes the actualization of the human community as philosopher of law John Finnis contends (1980, 149-50). It is regressive nominalism to claim that we can be a planetary community while retaining the system of militarized sovereign nation-states and the system of global economic competition for the accumulation of private wealth. The Earth Constitution recognizes the collective people of Earth as sovereign and establishes and economic system directed at the common welfare of all, not simply the top 5% of super-wealthy persons who control 90% of the wealth in today’s broken world disorder.
The great philosopher of a cosmic evolutionary upsurge behind and empowering the human evolutionary process was Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.
… Humanity, the spirit of the earth, the synthesis of individuals and peoples, the paradoxical conciliation of the element with the whole, of the one with the many: all these are regarded as utopian fantasies, yet they are biologically necessary; and if we would see them made flesh in the world what more need we do than imagine our power to love growing and broadening till it can embrace the totality of men and the earth (1969, 145)
Teilhard recognizes the evolutionary upsurge as impelling the emergence of human unity, a process that is both “biologically necessary” and a phenomenon of “love” that must grown and broaden until it embraces the “totality of men and the earth.” This process is why I have repeatedly in my writings spoken of “democratic world law as the 21st century form of love.” The Earth Constitution recognizes, sanctions, and institutionalizes the love that is required to establish an effective human community, the totality of humans now governing themselves consciously and democratically to further actualize the synergistic harmony required to end war, disarm the nations, protect universal human rights and restore the broken planetary biosphere.
In harmony with Teilhard’s perspective Christian evolutionary philosopher Errol E. Harris links the divine nisus or impulse behind the cosmic evolutionary process with the development of the human mind: “The conception of God with which we conclude, then, is one of a completely perfect mind realizing itself in and through the cosmic process, manifesting itself in human consciousness and fulfilling itself in the perfection of personality as revealed in the person of Christ” (1959, 98). The emergent human mind is not your nominalistically conceived mind versus my individualistically conceived mind. It is our common humanity that must consciously come to self-actualization.
The Earth Constitution is a key to the entire process. Human beings, even with thousands of “Unity Earth” type organizations and collaborative NGOs around the planet, remain institutionally and semi-consciously fragmented into sovereign nations, races, religions, and private corporate competitive entities. “Conscious evolution” does not mean merely your or my individual efforts to become more self-aware. It means taking the next step in the unification of humanity on this Earth. It necessarily means legally and politically uniting in such a way that people will necessarily begin thinking as world citizens because they will be born into that framework from the very start. The Earth Constitution alone makes possible the next step in human conscious evolution.
Finnis, John (1980). Natural Law and Natural Rights. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Harris, Errol E. (1959). Revelation through Reason: Reason in the Light of Science and Philosophy. London: George Allen & Unwin, LTD.
Laszlo, Ervin (2014). The Self-Actualizing Cosmos: The Akasha Revolution in Science and Human Consciousness. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions.
Martin, Glen T. (2010). Constitution for the Federation of Earth: With an Historical Introduction, Commentary and Conclusion. Appomattox, VA: Institute for Economic Democracy Press.
Martin, Glen T. (2021). Design for a Living Planet: The Earth Constitution Solution. Independence, VA: Peace Pentagon Press.
Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre (1969). Hymn of the Universe. New York: Harper Colophon Books.