From its beginning the universe
is a psychic as well as a physical reality.
My purpose has been to understand and
encourage our collective potential to evolve.
– Barbara Marx Hubbard
I remember the day back in the mid-1990’s when I first began to imagine the implications of Thomas Berry’s notion that our Universe, from its beginning, has experienced both physical and psychic evolution. I recall feeling both relieved and amazed as the realization of Berry’s observation settled into my own awareness with new clarity.
Suddenly, I knew that my own “consciousness” had emerged, not from nothing, but from within the long process of evolution. In fact – and this was the entirely new and exciting thought – I have conscious awareness because I am part of that process! Suddenly, there was a reason for my consciousness and in the grandest way possible, on the largest scale imaginable, I belonged.
Still, it has only been in recent years, through the writings and presentations of the futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard, that I have begun to understand more deeply the full significance of my own conscious evolution. Marx Hubbard has spent nearly 50 years attempting to awaken us to the realization that the future of our Universe is literally in our own minds, hearts and hands.
In her 1998 book, Conscious Evolution: Awakening the Power of Our Social Potential, Marx Hubbard develops a plan for bringing humanity “across the dangerous threshold” upon which we now stand, given the numerous crises facing human society and Earth itself. The first element of this plan promotes the New Cosmology, or the story of the evolution of our Universe, as vital to the shift in awareness required for our transition to a positive future (p. 2). “Our worldview is important. It profoundly shapes how we see reality and how we act,” notes Marx Hubbard (p. 86).
Through the discoveries made in science during the last decades of the 20th Century, we know now that our Universe is the result of an amazingly intricate and dynamic process of evolution some 15 billion years in its unfolding. That process resulted in Earth’s appearance in our Universe as well as our place on it in this moment in time. That knowledge in itself makes our time in history unique. We are the first humans to glance backward in time to unravel the details of this story.
Even more important, however, as Marx Hubbard tells us, is the realization that we now must consciously choose what the next steps in this process will be. In other words, at least here on Earth, and maybe only here on Earth, the process of evolution has become conscious of itself in us. “Conscious evolution ultimately means that the cosmic intelligence that is manifest in every particle and entity in the universe becomes self-aware in us, as us,” explains Marx Hubbard (1998, p. 201).
This realization – that I now am evolution become conscious of itself – is one of the reasons it became important for me to create this blog site and to share it with others. I want to be consciously, intentionally aware not only of the process of evolution that has taken place within our Universe, but also within me. I want to be aware of the influences that have shaped my own consciousness to this point. Lastly, I want to re-examine the important human questions (“Who are we?”; “Why are we here?”; “How are we to be here together?”) from the vantage point of a consciousness that has made the journey through the steps outlined on this site. Having done so, I want to encourage others to enter into this journey. It will take all of us to make the necessary changes required to create a positive future for all Earth’s community of Life.
As Marx Hubbard suggests, as we go forward, we will need to learn to “repattern our social lives – our intimate relationships, our families, our workplaces, and our communities” (2001, p. 159). That, too, is why I created this blog. I want it to become a respository for the advice and practices I have learned in re-thinking how we are to be here on Earth with one another.
What’s next? As Marx Hubbard suggests, it is a matter of “[d]eepening and sharing this process of inner union, communion and co-creating” (2001, p. 130). Each of us has this as our primary mission now on Earth. Or, as Gandhi reportedly said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Marx Hubbard adds: “I realize now that the being-ness is my purpose. For only as this being can I ‘do’ what I am to do” (2001, p. 130).
For us now, the New Cosmology “becomes our story, the narrative of our developmental path of cocreation. It provides perspective on the next step of that path: the challenge of the Great Shift” (Marx Hubbard, 2012, p. 61).
What I hope to be able to do is adopt Marx Hubbard’s vision for allowing the “Impulse of Evolution or what others call ‘spirit-in-action’” to take over my life (2012, p. 62). I have recognized in my own life that doing so is very “counter-cultural.” For example, several years ago I was between full-time, paid positions and doing freelance work. After about two years, I began to feel the call to begin again to search for a full-time position. During my search, I often would meet people who would say to me, “What is it you would like to do?” It felt odd but deeply true to have for an answer only this: “I want to do the will of God. I just don’t know what that is yet.”
Admittedly, turning one’s life over to “spirit-in-action” is not an easy space in which to be. I became so aware that neither the Spirit nor Marx Hubbard’s “Impulse of Evolution” is likely to take out a classified ad in the jobs section of the Chicago Tribune newspaper. One feels as though one has to spend a lot of time wandering in the desert looking for signs to point the way. Essential in this process is the knowledge we have gained along the way that we can trust that those signs will come. We learn to follow the energy flow, to respect the dead ends, and to act on the information and imperatives we receive. When the time is right, doors do open, and we find ourselves in amazing places, co-creating with like-minded individuals.
Then, gratitude seems the only appropriate response. Gratitude and celebration. Celebration of our identity as humans aware that we live in a Universe that is “all a mystery, all awesome beyond words,” as Marx Hubbard says. And, too, that as humans we possess “an eternally questing spirit and a love too great to be contained….” (2001, p. 166).
Berry, T. (1987) Thomas Berry and the New Cosmology. Mystic, CT: Twenty-Third Publications. p. 107.
Marx Hubbard, B. (1998). Conscious evolution: Awakening the power of our social potential. Novato, CA: New World Library.
Marx Hubbard, B. (2001). Emergence: The shift from ego to essence. Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads.
Marx Hubbard, B. (2012). Birth 2012 and beyond: Humanity’s great shift to the age of conscious evolution. Shiftbooks. http://www.shiftmovement.com