I find it imperative that we keep in mind that the Earth is literally our Mother. For us to have evolved on this planet as opposed to even slight differences on another is no small effect. A fun thought experiment is to imagine what living on another planet would do to human morphology given a few “interstellar generations”. What would space do to our physiology, and more interesting to this writer, our psychology? We must protect this planet as long as we can seek to help it NURTURE us. Like an eager sapling, we may be trying to bloom off-world too soon. We still need a strong support system. The Earth’s magnetic field has been our radiation shield against bombardment from space for so long we take it for granted. We are something close to 800,000 years away from the last magnetic polar reversal. They are supposed to occur naturally, every 200,000-300,000 years.
This is part of what a lot of the 2012 hoopla was about: a pole shift causing massive catastrophes and so on. It is still fascinating to think on why this might be, why are so overdue for a planetary event? There is a particular balance that exists here. The Earth seems to be out of balance in our modern world, whether by a natural cycle ending, our own interference, or both. The Mayan calendar divided epochs into wheels of great change: either of enlightenment or great suffering. This is old news by now, but I support proposals that we are on the precipice of such a shift. For example, our bio-electricity, bone-generated piezoelectricity, “eyes in the back of your head”, or “sixth sense” if you will, all evolved in earth’s particular gravitational and magnetic field. The planet has shaped us in every way. Aspects we can take for granted in thinking about how we got to be the way we are.
-What about Collective Evolution?-
These points are important because they reflect the knowledge that WE ALL evolved here. Individual differences are minimal when compared with planetary evolution. If you open an evolutionary biology textbook, you will find tons of info on animal ecology. Very few of these texts however, will deal with humanity’s continued evolution. What does that even look like anyway? A lot of importance is played up to the tune of the most precious individual differences. I 100% agreed with this notion, and thought it the be-all-end-all for a time. I came to the conclusion: The problem with evolution is that it was individually driven by the Selfish Gene, as Dawkins proposes in his seminal book. I read this as an undergrad and it did blow my mind. It caused me to completely rethink what evolution meant for myself, and my kin.
Occam’s Razor proved true once again, the simplest solution for evolution was to make us utterly selfish beings. Of course, in the process, having had dire implications for us as members of a society and our evolved psyches. The “gene’s eye view” makes us look like real bastards in the grand play of life. I didn’t stop here in my confusion but poured through more texts on evolution. The ones that do study human evolution, especially evolutionary psychology, are quite brief. They mainly investigate human mating strategies, kin violence, psychopathy, and epi-phenomena like decision-fatigue. It is a complete faux-pas to begin discussing the mechanics of collective evolution in these texts. And yet, one sees that we as socially complex and co-dependent mammals, cultural human beings, evolve together. Independent evolution and the effects of single mutations lose potency in large populations. We are in such a state, in need of mutants to push the boundaries of our genotype. If you propose collective evolution as a legitimate factor, then what comes out? All Homo sapiens would then be reacting and changing according to the environment, both physical and mental. To its benefits, symbioses, as well as its dangers and extinction threats. We may need such a global threat (a la Adrian Veidt in Watchmen) to push us to fight for the good. All of the world’s consciousness is needed in this fight. The outcome could lead to an era of peace.
What does Collective Evolution look like then? Can we together pilot our species away from inequality and destruction? True power on a species-level involves giving power and not taking it. When you empower more consciousnesses in a person you deeply serve them. Not only have you enabled them to join in with the rest thinking on a higher level, but you increase the conscious power available to the collective. Power (personal, financial, familial) opens so many doorways in the material world, and we spend our lives in search of it. It is so valued that a tiny percentage of the entire planetary population holds almost all of its power in any appreciable terms. This model will persist indefinitely as long as selfish-consciousness, and ignorant or slavish-consciousness, exist interdependently.