A SECOND LOOK AT HUMAN EVOLUTION
by Gopi Krishna
The confusion among scholars about the factor or factors responsible for the birth and the growth of the moral sense is due to the fact that there is no awareness about the evolutionary dynamics of the brain. The evolution of morals has not occurred either through the exercise of reason or through experience.
The crude struggle for existence draws into play those resources of the body and properties of the mind which help one to overcome the other competitors and rivals in the race for survival. The emphasis of this struggle would therefore be on the strength of brain and muscle, on endurance and courage, on cleverness and wit, on strategy and cunning, on deceit and trickery, planning and plotting, falsehood and sham, or on violence and aggression, to achieve the dominating position in the battle.
These are the traits that we continually see at work in the animal kingdom everywhere on land, in the ocean or the air. But the moral virtues that have been highly regarded since the dawn of civilization and are admired even today are the very opposite of these traits.
Ethics and Reason Branches of the Same Tree
Innocence has a greater appeal to the heart than cleverness, frankness than duplicity, truth than falsehood, simplicity than sophistication, humility than pride, honesty than deception, self denial than indulgence, pacifism than aggression, calmness than violence, artlessness than deceit and trickery and so on. Some of these virtues are in direct opposition to the essential qualifications needed for the ruthless battle for self existence. But the learned have no awareness of the factors that have brought about this change in the instinctive armor necessary for survival.
The theologian ascribes the emergence of morals to divine commandments transmitted through Revelation. Scholars ascribe their growth to mundane causes, for instance the demands of civilization but without convincing evidence. The inference is obvious that for any kind of moral behavior which militates against the demands of the struggle for existence, there must occur changes in the depth of the human psyche and consequently in those intricate mechanisms of the cerebrospinal system that give rise to it.
Ethics and reason represent the two branches of the same tree confused by the vicissitudes through which mankind has passed and the variances in the moral impulse displayed throughout.
We find it difficult to reconcile the erratic behavior of the ethical sense with the action of a consistent evolutionary principle in the human mind. But this is exactly where the error lies. Looking at the past we can easily find that the growth of reason has always been attended by absurd behavior, irrationality and superstition, as if two opposite forces were contending for supremacy through the human mind. In the same way morality has been accompanied by immorality and even diabolic traits of character, deceit, untruth, ruthlessness and inhumanity to this day.
Pinholes in Other Planes of Existence
We often do not give sufficient thought to the colossal task that evolution has to accomplish. It represents a rise from the earth to the sky. A clod of earth has to gain the power of thinking, of awakening to the knowledge of itself and then of the universe around it. A handful of insensitive matter has to win a state of awareness where it can mingle with a consciousness which pervades The universe from a handful of dust to be one with the All. It is a stupendous transformation, a mighty drama which only an absolute power could design, stage and play.
We are wont to underestimate the inconceivably vast dimensions of creation and the stupendous proportions of the power of it because our mind and senses, like the brain and the eyes of an ant on a log floating upon the surface of an ocean, are not able to register our own insignificant position compared with the titanic forces by which we are encompassed. We believe that the picture of the universe presented to us by the mind and intellect is all that there is, and we start to speculate how the entity we picture could have come into existence. We never expand our thinking to be conscious of the fact that we are staring at an infinity through a pinhole and that there are countless other pinholes in other planes of creation through which this infinity can be viewed.
In countless different ways each pinhole presents a different image of it. The colossal nature of consciousness begins to dawn only when the human limit of perception is exceeded through the grace of the still partially hidden biological mechanism responsible for evolution. For the attainment of a transhuman dimension of consciousness, the evolution of morals is as much, if not more, necessary than the evolution of the intellect.
A monkey who knows how to ignite the fuse leading to a store of gun powder cannot be expected to be nice about it when his instinct drives him to set fire to it. Modern man, with the power to use the force of nuclear fusion for destructive purposes, is hesitant to employ it partly because of moral scruples and partly because of the equally terrible retaliatory action that would follow.
But he has certainly not attained to the moral stature yet when the very idea of using such a weapon, either for offense or for defense, would be repugnant to him. Wars can be fought even without the use of instruments that can wipe off all life from the earth. He has also not attained to the moral height where the massacre of defenseless and innocent men, women and children, would be repellent to his mind.
When the First Nuclear Blast Strikes
The fact that both these moral considerations were thrown to the winds in the wars fought during the last century is a clear indication that moral evolution has not kept pace with the evolution of the intellect. The effect of this disposition between the moral and intellectual evolution of humanity can be disastrous in the extreme. This is the real cause behind the highly explosive and dangerous situation of today. By creating these tensions and pressures, the aim of Nature is to teach this important lesson to humankind.
The overgrown intellect, denied true insight, exhausts in ferreting out the causes for the crisis and proposes remedies without ever lighting upon the truth. The academic hair-splitting and noisy hubbub of the learned world will vanish with the first blast of nuclear weapons in the next World War. Until then, unable to see into the future, it will continue to thrust its opinions on a multitude hopelessly lost in the confusion it has caused.
Undreamed of Possibilities Will Open
Entry to transhuman consciousness highly adds to the responsibilities of man. We have gained the awareness now of the potentialities of the intellect and the almost limitless power it can exercise both for destructive and constructive purposes. Our forefathers only a century back had no awareness of the technological achievements possible to man with the exercise of his mental ability and skill.
What undreamed of possibilities will open before man and what stupendous forces will come under his sway with the further evolution of his mind to the transhuman state is impossible to conceive of at present.
It might become possible for him then to extend his sovereignty over all the solar system as he now extends it over the earth. But how can Nature allow man to win this sovereign position unless he has also gained the capability to shoulder the highly increased responsibility in a befitting manner, and not to abuse the almost unlimited powers gained?
This is the reason why in every case of the awakening of the evolutionary mechanism secret devices in the brain come into play to mold the individual towards a state of mind where the possibility of abuse of psychic power is eliminated. The desire for self reform is the first sign of the activity of this dormant psycho-physiological mechanism.
This is also the reason why almost all those who possess psychic talents are never able to control the power, or to exhibit them at their own will and choice, or often even to remain alert and conscious when the phenomena come to pass. This is also why through all the past, in spite of the great advances made in spiritual science, the secret of domination over the super- intelligent forces of creation was never revealed. It is also why discoveries, whether in the spiritual or the material realm, were made in a series of different minds and were not vouchsafed to but one individual, including Buddha and Christ, however high their spiritual stature might have been.
Excess Erudition Damages the Brain
Unfortunately, our notions of immorality are still distorted. War is not considered to be an immoral act. If it were, then the armed forces of nations would not receive the approbation, the honor and the homage that they do.
But prostitution on the part of a woman who is driven to it by starvation, by reduction or by other pressures in her life is considered to be a grossly immoral act. This disorientation and confusion in our ethical values and ideas about immorality is due to the fact that there is no awareness at all about the aim of evolution and the moral code of behavior that must be followed, by individuals and the race, to achieve it.
Excess of erudition can be as damaging to the evolutionary activity of the brain as excess of any other kind. If it were the aim of nature to turn it into a computer then inspiration and the flash of discovery would have been denied and great writers and thinkers provided with the resources of the intellect to compose their great works or to initiate the laws of science.
But according to the affirmations of some of the greatest minds which humankind has produced, it is obvious that all really great works of literature, all great masterpieces of painting, music, sculpture, of philosophy, and all the discoveries of science were made by minds which, in addition to accumulated knowledge and intelligence, had the gift of intuitive insight or inspiration. To say that inspiration or creativity comes from the subconscious is to make the confusion worse confounded. If the subconscious has access to new knowledge never gathered before, or to laws of the physical world never discovered in the past or has the capacity to create works of art never thought of previously, it then means that it excels the surface consciousness in all that is original and creative.
In all our thinking about man, about his social, political, cultural behavior and dietetic needs, the factor of evolution has never been taken into consideration. But, there can be no doubt that it will be necessary to revise our thinking and to overhaul all the existing systems to conform when once the reality is established beyond dispute.
The experience of life imparts a knowledge that cannot be gained in any other way. Even the study of the whole existing literature on human behavior cannot make us so wise about the complex nature of human life as experience can do. It is a great mistake to suppose that entry to the transcendental stake of consciousness can make one infallible, all wise and all knowing.
Attribution of infallibility and absolute wisdom to prophets and sages has been mainly responsible for the evils of religion. If the race is not to stagnate human knowledge must continue to grow to the end. The dogma of infallibility precludes further progress in knowledge and is, therefore, inimical to the evolution of the mind.
Dogma Precludes Progress
I do not feel myself to be superior in any Way to my fellow human beings. There is no idea of purity or chastity, virtue or saintliness in my mind to inflate my ego. Our whole constitution stands on frailty. We live at the mercy of forces beyond our ken. There is hardly any man or woman who has not a beautiful trait of character or a small store of wisdom lying inside. It is through the inherent goodness in human beings that human- kind is able to prosper and progress.
Legions hesitate to speak an untruth, to sell dear, to adulterate, to be unjust, to deceive, to blackmail, to be mean or avaricious, not out of fear of the law but because of an impulse in their interior which keeps them on the side of right. The great importance of religions and their founders has lain in the fact that they sowed and nurtured this righteous impulse. The materialistic thinking of the last two centuries now poses a great threat to humanity because it tends to uproot and destroy this natural, still-developing sense.
The only exceptional knowledge I possess is the harvest of the extraordinary experience I have undergone. I still keep my intellect Free and benefit immensely from the books I read. In my contact with the transcendental world to which I slowly gained entry, after the awakening, I am but a child, constantly wondering at what I perceive, trying to pick up the alphabet of a language more difficult than any knowledge of the physical universe ever gained.
A New Concept of Religion
The supreme experience is staggering, enrapturing, blissful and inspiring but, at the same time, inexplicable and ungraspable by the intellect. The experience is illuminating, no doubt, because it reveals the grandeur, sublimity and eternal nature of the soul but beyond that what? All that is beyond lies out of the reach of the intellect and hence cannot be translated into any language devised by the mind.
The inscrutable and ineffable nature of mystical ecstasy cannot constitute a permanent barrier to the unraveling of the Great Mystery. The evolution of man is a transition from darkness to light. But this transition has to occur in millions of years. At the first dim dawn of reason the new processes of thought must have appeared strange and inexplicable to the evolving primate.
He must have felt bewildered when the new-born faculty began to overrule the instinctive behavior of the mind. Entry to another dimension of conscious-ness, where reason is superseded, must have the same perplexing and mystifying effect on the mind. When this area of study is accurately demarcated with painstaking research of the phenomenon, a new alphabet, a new language and new symbols will develop to understand and interpret the experience.
The Myths of Divine Birth Ruled Out
The evolutionary concept puts a different complexion on religion. The myths of divine birth, miraculous transformations and special delegation are entirely ruled out. It has to be conceded then that the whole race is evolving in the same direction followed by the great prophets, sages and mystics of the past and has to achieve the, same goal.
It has also to be admitted then that what we call miraculous, supernatural or paranormal might be the outcome of laws ruling the spiritual world or the forces compounding it of which we have no real awareness at present.
There can be no two opinions about the fact that all the great spiritual prodigies of the past had the same kind of body, the same physiognomy, the same brain, the same power of reasoning and the same emotions as other normal human beings. They were prone to hunger and thirst, to age and decay; were vulnerable to disease and death; and even in the length of their life span they were like other human beings.
The only remarkable difference between them and the others has been that they claimed to be in communion with an absolute Power or Cosmic Intelligence which they called by different names. The proof of this inner experience was furnished by the revelations which they made and the way in which they molded their life. Their revelations are still before our eyes. There is nothing supernatural or miraculous coming out of them, save that for thousands of years they have had a most profound influence in shaping the life and thought of millions of followers who reposed their faith in them.
Reverse Effect of Today’s Religion
The current concept of religion has the very reverse effect of that which was intended by the founders. They prescribed a certain way of life and behavior for the multitudes that accepted their teaching, but due to a travesty of fate, their self-appointed deputies, instead of persuading others to conform to their directions themselves took the lead in violating them.
Instead of laying stress on inner discipline and purification they put more emphasis on outer show, ceremony and ritual. But when it came to making the teaching an actual part and parcel of life they treated it as a dead letter meant to be pondered over and admired but not to be practiced at all. This is why the modern world took a sudden spurt in the opposite direction and now is filled with fear at the consequences of this step.
An ordered life free of immoderate ambition, desire and lust is a primary need of evolution. The transformative processes ceaselessly going on in the brain become disorganized with uncontrollable outbursts of anger or passion, constant preoccupation with ambitious projects, greed, lust for power and ignoble thought or propensity. The basic teaching of all revealed scriptures tends to keep man from yielding blindly to passion, desire, malice, envy or other evil tendencies of the mind.
In fact, the whole world of science would stir to activity if confronted with the phenomenon of a voluntarily produced Einstein, Plato or Shankara, because their matchless intellectual contributions would be a sufficient proof to validate the transformation. We can be sure that, in such an event, the most eminent scientists would vie with each other to be the first to announce the discovery.
Evolutionary Mechanism Now Active
My writings mainly revolve around a still unrecognized organic device in the human body and its activity. I write on a subject still obscure and unknown, centering around the still unsuspected evolution of the brain and the future of the race. All that I say may appear hypothetical and speculative in the extreme, but it is awaiting the confirmation of empirical science to receive acceptance as a branch of accurate knowledge.
When this awareness dawns on a successful termination of the proposed experiments, all that I am writing about this subject, and the evolutionary target of the human race, will then be priced at its correct value and allotted its due position in the annals of science. The evolutionary mechanism can be active, in varying degrees, in thousands, even millions, of people without resulting in any spectacular mental transformation. But with enhanced knowledge about the mechanism, executed with the right knowledge of the human body, spectacular results can be achieved.
The dangers inherent in a metamorphosis of the brain, as a result of the awakening, to give rise to a transcendental state of consciousness, will come to light when the phenomenon is subjected to investigation. A glance at the hazardous practices and disciplines of certain forms of spiritual disciplines of Yoga is sufficient to show what mastery over the vital functions of the body had to be gained and that a will of iron had to be cultivated by those who ventured to arouse the evolutionary mechanism from its dormant state.
An Explosion of the Inner World
The first experience of a sudden awakening of the power is that of a raging psychic storm, as if a tornado has been let loose in the system which, if not handled with an iron grip on the mind, can drive one crazy with its unimaginable violence. Long years of careful preparation will always be needed in the case of those who would like to brave the hazard of arousing evolution to accelerated activity before the due time.
The explosion of the inner world is far more beset with dangers than the exploration of outer space. In less than another half a century these and other pressures from the psyche must cause drastic changes in the structure of human society in all parts of the world. These shifts will not be confined to the western nations alone.
The less-developed lands will also participate in this transmutation. The growing urge in the younger generations of all countries for a more equitable social order, for a simpler and more natural life, and for the brotherhood of all nations, will find fulfillment in some way. The urge betokens a certain advanced stage of evolution, demanding a new form of society and a new world order.
A storm is brewing in the psychological depths of the race to bring about radical changes in all spheres of human life. It will be so radical and unthought of that scholars will be taken completely by surprise at the onslaught of superconscious forces of which they had no knowledge at all. It is this approaching revolution in the life of individuals and the nations that will bear clinching testimony to what I say. The only cause for anxiety is that a conflict between the progressive and the retrogressive forces—by retrogressive I mean those who stubbornly refuse to change with the times—might result in a global strike, causing colossal loss of lives and unbearable agony to myriads. The huge armies and vast arsenals of the most destructive weapons ever devised by man’s ingenuity, are the outcome of a kink in the mind.
The Paranoid Mental Condition of A Few
The whole nuclear armory owes its existence not to a real threat but to the over-excited and paranoid mental condition of a few nations not able to adapt themselves to the idea of peaceful coexistence with other human beings. Were they compelled by a superior extraterrestrial species of life to sink their differences on pain of total annihilation, the whole military situation of the earth can change in a few days.
The same brain, brawn and muscle which was employed to create the gigantic forces of destruction would be engaged now to disband the armies and destroy the armaments in but a tiny fraction of the time in which they had been built up.
The commanders, designers, scientists and technicians would vie with each other to be the first to complete the task of liquidation, spurred on by the frantic exhortations of the media. All nations would be galvanized into activity to undo what had taken decades to accomplish.
If the threat of annihilation at the hands of a concrete extraterrestrial power can work the miracle of establishing lasting peace on earth, why doesn’t the more concrete threat to total extinction with nuclear weapons, now scattered all over the globe, have the same effect on the minds of those who are piling them up?
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