Note: This essay was originally written on December 3, 2017
I’ve been asked with increasing regularity what is wrong with the world, and here is what I think it is at the very core:
We have a crisis of evolution.
Since the very dawn of humankind, there have always been one or two people in the Tribe who seem, inexplicably, to possess a different view than the others. An expanded view.
Nobody knows how they got these ideas; their parents were rather unremarkable in this respect, as were their parents, and so on and so on.
These outliers, this Few, would come up with the most unique ideas: “hey, let’s see what’s beyond the Forbidden Zone,” “love others as you would love yourself,” “the Earth is round,” and etc.
And these people would be routinely cast out, tortured, burned, mutilated beyond recognition, and executed.
And so as the millennia went on, the more “streetwise” members of this Few would learn to keep their insights to themselves—creating secret groups to pass on the knowledge.
Sometimes, this Few would also create “alternate” versions of their insights—a more sanitized, incomplete version for the easily-excitable masses, and a truer one for the Initiated.
This Few were the Evolved, and they were present in every (every) culture and religion in every part of the world; they were males and females and those in-between. Their insights were absolutely necessary to move the development of Humanity along, but, as I’ve mentioned, there was all the maiming and ostracizing and killing—even with the formation of the alternate, more “acceptable” theories and the maintenance of these secret Initiated groups.
There was also the problem of the more powerful of the Not-So-Evolved co-opting every (every) successful enterprise the Evolved tried to do. Co-opting the secret knowledge groups, co-opting the new enlightened religions for the masses, and so on. Co-opting them and corrupting them and turning them into just one more tool for Total Control.
Of course, once these groups and religions were co-opted by the Not-So-Evolved for their own power reasons, purges of the Evolved would ensue—and again with the ostracizing and the killing.
And so on and so on, until we get to the present era—in which not only are there a record number of the Evolved within our midst, but they are unprecedentedly open about it!
And the gates of the Secret Information have been thrown open too, and demystified for the masses who are willing to learn and in turn become more Evolved themselves.
So a significant portion of humanity have intensely developed within a relatively short amount of time—not only in terms of science, technology, and art, but, crucially, in matters of empathy, openness, ethics, and kindness.
This situation has made the Unevolved among us increasingly agitated. In the old days, the outliers would be of course oppressed and ridiculed and killed and wiped off the face of the Earth. But now it is becoming harder and harder to do so. It is no longer…P.C. to do so.
This tension is behind much of the strife, bad feelings, chaos, and brutality we see going on in even the most so-called civilized of nations.
Because the situation we are currently in—the very mind-boggling scope of it—has never happened before in the history of humankind.
We are currently in a crisis of Evolution. It would be very tempting to put a neat binary ideological/political spin on it—the Evolved vs. the Not-So-Evolved—but it is not completely that simple.
But please understand the following:
If the majority of humans do not evolve—if we end up with the same type of purges we’ve had for millennia—Humanity will not survive into the next century. We will not survive for two main reasons:
- The brain-drain and anti-science attitude will ensure we will not develop in time the resources to confront any number of civilization-ending situations.
- It becomes more likely that the civilization-ending situation known as Complete Nuclear War will happen.
And with this grim fact the Not-So-Evolved are are largely OK with; because it’s better, in their view, to destroy it All than to change. Hence the continual Doomsday predictions in which the world ends but the Believers end up in Heaven and the Unbelievers end up in the eternal fire.
(There’s another version of this scenario, in which all of humanity—the weak and bleeding-hearts—are eaten by the zombies while the John Wayne/Negan types are behind the doors of the fort with their guns; or the one where the rich all go into their bunkers or blast off in a space-ark while the Swine perish in this or that mass extinction event. In all these scenarios/fantasies, there is the persistent satisfaction that the Others have been finally decimated. The explicit lack of empathy for others different than themselves is a key feature of the Not-So-Evolved.)
So humanity is at a crossroads. I don’t have an answer for it. I’m just speaking to what I observe.