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Entries in Evolutionaries (2)

Tuesday
Mar112014

Evolution - An Integrative Force

“We have to realize that evolution has leapt beyond the biological context,” says evolutionary philosopher Steve McIntosh in Integral Consciousness and the Future of Evolution.

In the last twenty years, not only Steve McIntosh but also philosopher Ken Wilber has focused on evolution happening in both the interior and exterior worlds of consciousness and matter (cosmos) while also examining the Individual and collective levels of consciousness and culture (shared values).

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the French Jesuit priest and paleontologist, wrote in the early 1900’s, “Is evolution a theory, a system, or a hypothesis? It is much more: it is a general condition to which all theories, all hypotheses, all systems must bow and which they must satisfy henceforth if they are to be thinkable and true. Evolution is a light which illuminates all facts, a curve that all lines must follow.” (The Phenomenon of Man, 2008, p. 219) To learn more about Teihard’s ideas go to. This link contains a transcript only without slides, but is very comprehensive.

What does evolution in this large overarching sense have to do with us and with our world?

We know our planet, our cultures and institutions are experiencing profound dysfunction and breakdown. The need for a new vision, a new paradigm along with workable models for living has never been greater than now.

Evolution, as an all-pervasive process, seems to hold the promise. Entering into a deeper grasp of this all-pervasive process will challenge our old ways of seeing ourselves, culture, cosmos, and even God. We humans will know (urged from the Spirit of God within) that we are the consciousness of the cosmos, the universe. If this idea seems mind-blowing and radical – it is!

To learn more about this process YOU ARE INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE SUMMER SYMPOSIUM 2014, ‘Becoming Agents of Evolutionary Change’.  Find out more HERE.

Science has established factually that we are 13.8 billion years old – going back to the “Big Bang” and the emergence of stars whose elements are found in our bodies. Tracing the evolutionary process from its beginning up to now is going on and has been for the last two hundred years. Only in the last twenty years have this research and knowledge gained rapid ground through authors and researchers already mentioned as well as many others.

The evolutionary way of understanding “everything” is now beginning to take deeper root. Unlike previous philosophical systems it is as yet unformed in mainstream societies.  This evolutionary understanding is in progress, and as Henri Bergson, evolutionary philosopher and Nobel laureate, wrote in Creative Evolution (1907), “…it [evolutionary thinking] will only be built by the collective and progressive effort of many thinkers, of many observers also, competing, correcting and improving one another.”

Each one of us is in process of becoming, of evolving. The question is, “Am I evolving consciously, with intent, with others similarly wanting something better for everyone?”

Hopefully in our search to make our world more “whole,” we will discover an evolutionary way of viewing ourselves, our culture and our cosmos and be in tune with the Source that originated the “Whole” of creation and of which we are an integral part.

Mary Vandersteen, csj

 

Monday
Aug122013

Engaging Evolutionary Consciousness

What I find wonderful and hopeful, despite our current ‘natural’ and human-made disasters, is the basic reality that we live in an evolving cosmos. This is a scientific fact. The whole universe, some 13.7 billion years of it, is constantly moving and changing. The human species is also evolving, recently by means of technology more than by biology. Our cultures and our consciousness, individually and collectively, are continually developing. Both the fields of sociology and developmental psychology provide evidence that this is so.

God is constantly beckoning us forward! Ilia Delio, OSF, in her book The Emergent Christ states the following: “The God of evolution is the God of adventure, a God who loves to do new things and is always new.”

Letting go of tried, trusted concepts and then opening to new ideas, novel ways of thinking is a challenge for most of us. A group, in the London neighbourhood, which included Sisters, Associates and friends, has done just that!

Throughout a six session study group based on the Evolutionaries, by Carter Phipps, we have explored the emerging evolutionary worldview and engaged with the concept of “evolutionary consciousness”. We have been asked to break the “spell of solidity” (that everything will remain the same), to recognize that all of the universe is “moving”, “becoming” and that, as a human species, we are not only a part of this process, but also integral to it. And, as humans, at this point in the Great Story of “God’s evolving design”, we have a responsibility to make conscious choices that can positively affect the cosmic unfolding.

Wow! What a possibility and what a responsibility! Amen . . . Hebrew for “May it be so”

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Copyright 2013. Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada.