Since the early 1980s, when I discovered Ken Wilber’s three-stage model of human evolution in Up from Eden, I have been exploring how we could collectively harmonize evolutionary convergence to cocreate a global community that would accelerate the transition into a species with superhuman intelligence, far beyond what Nick Bostrom, Director of the Future of Humanity Institute, calls superhuman computers able to beat chess grandmasters.
First of all, this transition needs to be seen in the context of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s four-stage model of evolution since the most recent big bang, characterized as physical, biological, mental, and spiritual. Secondly, awakening in the Age of Light can only be fully accomplished through the death of Western civilization within us, like the other twenty-odd civilizations that were born and died during the patriarchal epoch, as Arnold Toynbee explained in his monumental A Study of History.
In 1982, Fritjof Capra presented the rise and fall of these civilizations around the Mediterranean in The Turning Point: Science, Society and the Rising Culture, as this diagram indicates.
For many years I held the hope that such a radical transformation of culture and consciousness could happen en masse within two or three generations, fulfilling the prophecy that Teilhard made in 1940, later published as The Human Phenomenon: “The way out for the world, the gates of the future, the entry into the superhuman, will not open to some privileged few, or to a single people, elect among all peoples. They will yield only to the thrust of all together in the direction where all can rejoin and complete one another in a spiritual renewal of the Earth.”
Similarly, Thich Nhat Hahn has said, “We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness,” saying at a Day of Mindfulness in 1993 in California, the next Buddha—as Maitreya—can only be a community or global sangha, practising mindful living rather than an individual. For Sanskrit maitreya means ‘friendly, benevolent’, from the same Proto-Indo-European base as community, from Latin commūnis ‘shared, common, public’, originally in sense ‘sharing burdens’, from cum ‘together with’ and mūnare ‘to give, present’.
Community is also cognate with Pāli mettā ‘loving-kindness’, the translation of Sanskrit maitrī, akin to Buddhist compassion (karunā) and love or charity (agapē) in Christianity. And when our lives are based on Love, the Divine Essence we all share, we realize that kindness is our True Nature, for kind is the native English word for nature, having the same root, which is also the base of generous, genuine, genetic, and pregnant, from a base meaning ‘to give birth to’.
So could we collectively give birth to a harmonious social order, giving everyone on the planet the opportunity to realize their fullest potential as individuals before our inevitable demise as a species? It is an enormous challenge, for there are some seven and half billion humans living and dying on Earth at the moment, communicating with each other and the one billion hosts in the Internet, much influenced by our one hundred billion forebears, all living with various worldviews within many evolving civilizations and cultures.
The psychodynamics of society is the most complex structure in the world, far more complex than the brain, studied by neuroscientists. For each of us is engaged with our particular jobs, families, and other projects according to our lights, at many different levels of development, as we move through what Shakespeare called the seven ages of man in the spectrum of consciousness, which we look at in a moment.
To see how some of these at least could come together with a common focus, we first we need to look at the central issue of our times, which affects every child, woman, and man living on Earth. As this diagram illustrates, we are currently passing through the most momentous turning point in the fourteen billion years of evolution since the most recent big bang.
As evolution is an accumulative process, exponentially building on what has already been built with occasional backtracking, the periods between successive turning points diminish geometrically. But the sum of an infinite number of terms in such a diminishing series is not infinite, it is finite.
Using the nonlinear mathematics of systems dynamics to map the growth of systems under constraint, we can calculate that evolution’s Accumulation Point in chaos-theory terms was reached in 2004, give or take a couple of years. This is a little earlier than the end of the Great Cycle in the Mayan Calendar and the technological singularity in time when some computer scientists mistakenly believe that algorithmic machines will take over the workplace.
As a dripping tap is another example of such a bifurcating system, we can liken the whole of evolution to a dripping tap, which reaches its accumulation point when the tap is turned full on. Today, the evolutionary tap is flowing continuously; there are no more distinct evolutionary turning points to be discerned, the most momentous turning point in the entire history of evolution.
This evolutionary model explains why the world is degenerating into chaos at the moment, with a few oases of self-similar order hidden among the turmoil. This situation has led me to see that the democratic masses and their leaders may not be ready to pass through the necessary death and rebirth process before the inevitable extinction of our species, which is getting ever closer with every day that passes.
At best, we could cocreate a transcultural global community of awakening beings that could coexist with the prevailing cultures perilously seeking to maintain the status quo at these times of unprecedented rates of evolutionary change. This is being driven by scientific discovery and technological invention, which needs to be fully explained, as it cannot drive economic growth indefinitely.
My thoughts on how such a global community could emerge have themselves been evolving since I took early retirement from IBM in 1997, expressed through three generations of websites, the latest of which is for the Alliance for Mystical Pragmatics with the motto ‘Harmonizing evolutionary convergence’. I am now setting up this eponymous website to explore the possibilities as they present themselves in the coming days and years.
To see what this evolutionary model could mean for the future of humanity, I find it useful to use a modification of Ken Wilber’s spectrum of consciousness, a synthesis of several developmental models, depicted here.
In general, the terms on the top of the diagram indicate the intensity of the light of consciousness that is necessary for Self-reflective Intelligence—as the eyesight of Consciousness—to function. As development progresses from left to right, we move out of darkness into light. The two terms in the third tier indicate the two principal approaches to the search for Love and Peace, consciously returning to the Nonmanifest, recapitulating what Joseph Campbell called the ‘Cosmogonic Cycle’, before the deaths of our bodies.
Cosmocentric and Numinocentric refer to the upward and downward paths of spiritual awakening, which are evolutionary and involutionary, respectively. These two paths merge beyond all levels and tiers in the spectrum with a Holoramic ‘Whole-seeing’ perspective. After seventy-six years of development, this is where I live my life today, simultaneously living at all levels of consciousness in order to heal a deep wound in my psyche that I experienced before I was born, a prenatal period in our lives that is often mistakenly omitted from studies of our inner psychological development.
Using my generalizing skills as a Panosopher and information systems architect, I am using this model to invite specialists in all walks of life to join me in the Alliance for Mystical Pragmatics, harmonizing evolutionary convergence, integrating four major movements taking place today into a coherent whole: Spiritual Renaissance, Scientific Revolution, Sharing Economy, and World Peace.
Integral Relational Logic is a taxonomy of taxonomies, used to classify and organize all categories of knowledge into a coherent whole. This commonsensical, universal art and science of thought and consciousness could therefore be used to show the relationships of all specialists in the body politic working synergistically for the common good, not unlike the cells in our bodies.
However, one major difficulty in this exercise is that no matter what classification system that we might devise, there are inevitably many fuzzy edges and individuals and organizations often belong to more than one category. Indeed, as no one can return Home to Wholeness because nobody has ever left Home, any classification system must be superficial, hiding the True Nature and Identity that we all share, which is Love.
So it doesn’t feel appropriate to separate people and organizations into different specialist categories. Nevertheless, to understand the challenges we face as a species, here is a list of possible categories of individuals and groups in the second and third tiers of the spectrum of consciousness who might wish to consider joining us in setting up the Alliance for Mystical Pragmatics: Climate scientists, Cognitive scientists, Evolutionaries, Integrators, Medical practitioners, Modern mystics, New economists, Peace seekers, Psychospiritual philosophers, Psychotherapists, Scientific revolutionaries, Spiritual teachers, and Systems theorists.
Some of the organizations that could be classified in one or more of these categories include Academy of Advaita, Academy of Ideas, Academy of Inner Science, Apollo-Gaia Project, The Association for Global New Thought, Beyond Awakening, Buddha at the Gas Pump, California Institute of Integral Studies, Choice Point, Center for Research on Consciousness and Anomalous Psychology, The Chopra Center, Coalition for One Voice, Evolving Wisdom, Foundation for Conscious Evolution, The Human Connection Institute, The Human Network, Institute for Consciousness Research, Institute for Sacred Activism, Institute of Noetic Sciences, Integral Enlightenment, Integral Life, International Transpersonal Association, The Interspiritual Network, The Laszlo Institute of New Paradigm Research, The Liology Institute, Mystics and Scientists conferences, Nature Bats Last, The New Economics Foundation, Omega, Open Sciences, Resonance Academy, Resurgence and Ecologist, The Scientific and Medical Network, Science and Nonduality conferences, The Shift Network, Source of Synergy Foundation, Undivided Journal, Sounds True, Unit for Research into Changing Institutions, Unity Earth, Uplift, and What Doctors Don’t Tell You.
Of course, there are probably many thousands of similar interconnected organizations seeking to cocreate a saner society, in relationship to the mulititude of political, economic, business, academic, medical, and religious institutions seeking to maintain the status quo to some extent, even at these times of unprecedented exponential change. So is it still possible, with the Doomsday Clock at two minutes to midnight, for some of these living organisms to come together with a common purpose, harmonizing evolutionary convergence?
And associated with each of these human groupings are millions of individuals engaged with their lives in their own particular ways. Taking a top-down approach, here are just a few of the leaders of the great awakening movement spreading around the world today: Rick Archer, Anne Baring, Maurizio Benazzo, Fritjof Capra, Deepak Chopra, Andrew Cohen, Amy Edelstein, Charles Eisenstein, Riane Eisler, Duane Elgin, Tim Freke, Ananta Kumar Giri, Amit Goswami, Stanislav Grof, Nassim Haramein, Andrew Harvey, Hazel Henderson, Jean Houston, Thomas Hübl, Kurt Johnson, Ervin Laszlo, Bruce Lipton, David Lorimer, Guy McPherson, Lynne McTaggart, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Nukunu, James O’Dea, Elaine Pagels, Dean Radin, James Robertson, Peter Russell, Elisabet Sahtouris, Sonu Shamdasani, Vijai Shankar, Tami Simon, Vir Singh, Henryk Skolimowski, Rupert Spira, Eckhart Tolle, David Wasdell, and Ken Wilber.
But if as many as possible are to awaken to their fullest potential before our inevitable demise as a species, we also need a bottom-up approach, with the grass roots actively participating in the four global movements that the Alliance for Mystical Pragmatics is focusing its attention on.
With all this inspiring synergy, each level in the spectrum of consciousness could assist those at the lower levels to awaken to ever-increasing levels, enabling as many of us as possible to end our days as Homo universalis. We shall not be able to prevent the extinction of Homo sapiens. But by stimulating Love, Light, Life, Consciousness, and Intelligence, we could have a lot of fun cocreating harmonious social order, living in Inner Peace at these end times we live in.