Whatever our ideas or beliefs, we’re part of the evolution of something infinitely bigger than ourselves, governed physically and mentally by forces that prevailed long before we did. Whether we think these forces are conscious or otherwise, whether we call them evolution or God, they act as a cosmic ‘organizing agent’ that works through us. Not only did they create us, they built into us the need to find reason and purpose, to make connections and see relationships between things, and this way we progress naturally a conscious unification of all things. (Scientists’ search for a theory of everything that would reconcile the effects of gravity with the quantum universe, is an example of our inbuilt need for a unifying principle.)
Both idealistically and logically, this need for unity can lead to a greater understanding of ourselves, creating more harmony, equality and balance. Whether that happens in God’s name or in science’s (ultimately one and the same), there’s just one way we’ll achieve it – by outgrowing our past.
All our problems are a result of confusing our evolution as consciousness, with what evolution designed genetic organism bodies to do: replicate and reproduce genes. The legacy of this confused mis-identification – personified by our survival instinct – represents the past that we have to outgrow.
As an evolutionary imperative to keep genetic organisms alive and reproducing, the survival instinct shaped bodies, nervous systems and brains, and in so doing determined how we perceive ourselves and the universe.
We can sum up all the problems this survival instinct creates for us in one word: selfishness. While our genetic evolution so far has depended on our being selfish for our genes, our future depends on learning to be unselfish as conscious beings.
Regardless of whether we feel the need to know a higher power is looking out for us, or to find enlightenment through science, what matters most is learning to be unselfish.
Here’s a relevant clip from Diary of my life after death:
…At this point a series of faces comes on the screen, the features morph from one to the next and the program informs me that, as human beings, we all share the same mental evolution and the same subconscious structure. The morphing halts on the face of a smiling old guy with white hair and old fashioned glasses with round wire frames. The picture animates in 4-D and he begins talking (in some European language but I can understand every word) about how subconscious human minds all share the same symbols for their fears, aspirations, hopes, dreams, and understanding of reality.
This old guy is Carl Jung. I heard of him but I had no idea he named these subconscious symbols ‘archetypes’, or that one of these archetypes is the notion of god. He’s telling me that the same survival motive behind religion, with the same inbuilt ‘material provider’ god archetype, is as fundamental for all human beings as breathing and heartbeat. People may have cultural, social and personal differences, but these archetypes are what actually form the common underlying structure of what human beings understand as reality.
“But Laurie”, he cautions, “Some folk choose not to interpret these subconscious influences as a need for ‘religion’ or ‘god’. For them, the influences emerge as other, equally fundamental beliefs.” He tells me that god, like any other idea, is a way of figuring ourselves out. As human consciousness evolves, ideas about religion and god will evolve to give people a truer picture of themselves, of where they should be going and why.