There are two central elements to my thesis. First, I believe our social and technological development is an extension of biological evolution, following the same paradigm we see in the natural world, in many respects. Second, I see the ecological crisis as an initiation – a collective rite of passage – for humanity, forcing us to reach another level of consciousness , individually and as a species.
In traditional cultures, the function of initiation is to impel the young member of the tribe or community to overcome their ego-based identity. They undergo a dangerous, frightening ordeal which forces them to realize a visionary or transpersonal state. Once they have survived this passage, they have the capacity to take responsibility for the community as a whole, overcoming self-interest when necessary.
Similarly, I believe we have subconsciously self-willed the ecological mega-catastrophe in order to force ourselves to break free from limiting constructs and egotism. By undergoing a universal calamity, humanity can overcome hyper-individualism and alienation, becoming self-aware agents of a regenerative biosphere, constructing a new social design based on shared responsibility, mutual aid, and universal empathy. I also believe we require this crisis as it will force us to access dormant capacities of the Psyche – our psychic abilities, which include intuition, telepathy, and more.
We can understand the process we are undergoing as purposeful, teleological, and even, implicitly, designed – in the same way that nature designs, or orchestrates, conception, fetal development, and birth on the level of an individual organism. We find ourselves in an evolutionary trajectory that will ultimately lead to our extinction or to the collective realization that humanity, as a whole, constitutes a planetary super-organism: one unified being. We are in an ongoing, symbiotic relationship with the ecology of the Earth, as a whole system. The more we can prepare and awaken to our situation now, individually – choosing to pass through the portal of initiation, before disaster strikes – the less collective suffering may be experienced by humanity, as a whole.
In Non-Zero: The Logic of Human Destiny, Robert Wright proposes, “the entire 3-billion-year evolution of plants and animals is a process of epigenesis, the unfolding of a single organism. And that single organism isn’t really the human species, but rather the whole biosphere, encompassing all species.” Wright noted that humans keep developing increasingly larger and more complex forms of social organization over time – from the small tribe to the city-state, to national governments today, to extra-national bodies like the United Nations and the European Union. For Wright, this suggests an eventual transition to global government. I look at it slightly differently, and propose we will eventually transcend national governments by establishing a harmonic planetary orchestration, where local communities function like the cells and organs in an efficient, self-regulating body.
Daniel Pinchbeck and The Woke Network have just released a new podcast, “How Soon is Now,” which explores ecology, politics, spirituality, technology, and social change. This podcast looks at our current world and proposes new ideas and solution-oriented approaches to the problems facing us.
Two episodes have already been released. In the first, Daniel discusses our post-Trump reality and spiritual activism with thought leader Marianne Williamson and author Charles Eisenstein. In the second, Daniel is joined by Alnoor Ladha and Margaret Klein Salamon for a discussion about climate change, humanity’s place within the ecological system, and the Samurai perspective.
Daniel Pinchbeck talks about our strange post-Trump reality, spiritual activism, and “the more beautiful world we know in our hearts is possible” with thought leader Marianne Williamson and author Charles Eisenstein.
This podcast is available on iTunes — check it out here.