Featured Essay in September and October 2023

Three Universe Stories: Beyond Creationism and Scientism: CosmoErotic Humanism

An Early Version of a White Paper by Dr. Marc Gafni in Conversation with Dr. Zachary Stein and Barbara Marx Hubbard

This is an early draft of an essay written by Dr. Marc Gafni in conversation with Barbara Marx Hubbard and Dr. Zak Stein. It was edited and prepared for publication by Kerstin Tuschik. We welcome substantive feedback as we prepare a later, more advanced version of this essay that will be published in due time.

Download the PDF of this White Paper

The Evolution of Conscious Evolution

CosmoErotic Humanism, as we are describing it here and in other writings, is the next step after what has been described as Conscious Evolution. My (Marc’s) dear friend and evolutionary partner (and co-author of this short book), Barbara Marx Hubbard, has been called the mother of Conscious Evolution.

In our collaboration, she shared so much that was of value and wonder, and we were also able to evolve together the presentation of Conscious Evolution. In the old presentation, as Barbara articulated it over the years, unconscious evolution meant two things:

First, evolution until now has been unaware of itself.

And second, evolution until now has been a primarily random process, or what Barbara called evolution by chance.

In this early articulation, these two points reverse themselves in Conscious Evolution:

First, evolution has only now become conscious of itself through human awareness of evolutionary processes.

And second, we can now move from what Barbara called, evolution by chance to evolution by choice.

This early understanding is important, inspiring in certain ways, and true, but, as we together realized over many conversations, only partial.

So, we must evolve our understanding of Conscious Evolution.

In our new understanding, by Conscious Evolution we do not mean that evolution becomes conscious of itself for the first time through us.

Rather, the new vision expresses itself in at least five distinct ways:

First, from the beginning, evolution possesses its own intrinsic consciousness. In other words, evolution is inherently—at some level of depth—intelligent or conscious.

Second, the consciousness that inheres in evolution is itself evolving. This process has evolved through several stages:

from matter

to life

to mind

—and through each of their sub-stages—

e.g., within matter, the evolution

from elementary particles

to atoms

to molecules.

At each state, as Reality dances into novel becoming, consciousness itself is clearly evolving.

This does not mean that evolution is a linear movement of ever-greater consciousness in all regards, in which the earlier is always lower and the latter always higher.[1] According to a vast literature based on empirical observation, various forms such as bacteria, anthills, and beehives seem to have depths of superorganism consciousness that human beings have not (yet) cultivated.

Indeed, the simple exercise of epistemic humility[2] reminds us that we do not have interior access to the quality of consciousness of any dimension of Reality other than our own.

At the same time, there are dimensions of consciousness that most definitely seem to evolve in some genuine fashion.

For example, there seems to be a clear evolution of the potential for ever-deeper goodness, truth, and beauty. To the best of our knowledge, there are no hospitals caring for the vulnerable animals in the wild, nor is there a general felt sense of kindness, care, or sacrifice for the sake of a stranger who is not of one’s kind.[3]

Moreover, in the worlds of matter and life, there do not seem to be creations of art, drama, music, literature, or the like, as we know them in the human world of value, including the classic triad of goodness, truth, and beauty. There also does not seem to be a process that transmits and evolves truth through bodies of knowledge, like science or moral philosophy.

It is therefore fair to say that not only does evolution possess innate consciousness at the cellular level,[4] but there is also an evolution of consciousness. These first two features significantly evolve the original version of Conscious Evolution, which suggested that evolution suddenly awakens only through human consciousness.

Third, in the evolutionary process, human beings eventually emerge. In specific ways,[5] we are more evolved or advanced expressions of consciousness than anything preceding. As such, we have the capacity to become aware of the entire evolutionary process. Significantly and beautifully, the human being is now, for the first time in history, aware of the entire evolutionary story, with the capacity to tell that great story. Humans are awakening to the realization that we are Conscious Evolution in person. Evolution may have always been intelligent or conscious, but until now, we had no sense that the evolutionary story was being told.[6]

Fourth, as part of that process, human beings have become self-aware to the extent that we consciously realize that we are part of the process. Humans at the leading edge of consciousness self-identify as evolution. And more particularly, as we examine in other writings on CosmoErotic Humanism, we each realize individually that I am an irreducibly unique expression of evolutionary intelligence, desire, and intimacy. In other words, I am not just evolution generically; rather, I am the personal face of the evolutionary impulse.

Fifth, all these uniquely human qualities have together generated the Anthropocene, a global civilization with exponential technologies, in which human choice has virtually unlimited impact on the course of evolution. And humans are becoming increasingly conscious of the power of choice.

This is clearly a new level of Conscious Evolution that is just coming alive in this period of human history. In that sense, it is accurate to say that evolution is becoming aware of itself in what may be a qualitatively different way than ever before.[7] (more…)

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Podcasts, Videos, and Audios Published on This Site in September and October 2023

On November 5th, We had Episode VI of the Podcast:

Love or Die 

Next Episode Coming Up December 3rd

11 am PDT • 2 pm EDT • 7 pm UK • 8 pm CET

We are super excited to announce a new episode in the interview series with Dr. Marc Gafni at Parallax, hosted by Andrew Sweeny, from Parallax — a wonderful center of culture and creative debate, aligned with our vision at the Center for Integral Wisdom and Unique Self Institute.

Welcome to this series of dialogues, hosted by Parallax in partnership with the Unique Self Institute:

Homo Amor, Unique Self, and Unique Self Symphony: The Holy Trinity of CosmoErotic Humanism

If you register, you will receive your personal Zoom link that you can use for all calls. After registration, you will have an option to save all dates in your calendar with your personal Zoom link. If you lose it, you can always sign up again.

Read More and Register for the Zoom Link Here
Watch and Listen to the Previous Episodes

On Thursday November 2nd, we had a live dialogue with Dr. Marc Gafni & Andrew Cohen:

Evolutionary Spirituality: Towards an Engaged Evolutionary Mysticism Episode VII

Topic: The articulation of an Evolutionary Spirituality as an overriding moral imperative in response to the meta-crisis

Evolutionary Spirituality: Towards an Engaged Evolutionary Mysticism

The topic of this dialogue with my (Marc’s) friend Andrew Cohen was:

What is Evolutionary Spirituality and why does it matter so much in response to the meta crisis? 

Allow me to try and explain why this feels so beyond vital. 

There can be no intelligent and transformative understanding of any crisis in the world, including the devastating targeted massacres of civilians that we just witnessed in Israel these days, without the articulation of a compelling Evolutionary Spirituality. 

Evolutionary Spirituality brings together two distinct fields:

  • The first is that of spirituality.

  • The second is that of evolution or evolutionary studies.

The general assumption in culture has been, that these two fields are fundamentally distinct and even opposed to one another. Evolution as a theory was thought to replace spirituality. Evolution was the rejection of spirituality as an explanation of reality — replaced by an evolutionary explanation. Evolution was though to be about the emergent and the Avant Garde, while spirituality seems stuck in the moray of tired and discredited lineages.

Watch and Listen to the Previous Episodes
Read more and Register for the NEXT Dialogue
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