Human evolution – Becoming a wise & compassionate society
Posted Oct 11 2012 11:45pm
Human evolution and achieving our full potential has been a passion of mine for many years now. Recently during my research I had a flow of thought that seemed very clear about the direction we are headed and I thought I’d put it on paper to share with you. Below is a bit of a deep read compared to my other articles, it provides an exploration on why I feel a wise and compassionate society will be the next step in human evolution.
I feel that we can view this emerging evolutionary step by exploring human nature.
What is inherent and clear, is humanity’s ambition to tackle the impossible, to challenge our own potential and to surpass that which we think are our limits, which has led us to reaching epic heights in comfort, security and connection. What has allowed us to do this are emotional abilities and cognitive abilities.
Supported by many years of experience based research there seem to be four emotional abilities that we have cultivated as survival mechanisms that have allowed us to achieve what we have achieved in todays age; compassion, loving-kindness, empathy and equanimity – these are qualities distinctly vivid within humans. The reason that I deem these emotional abilities as “survival mechanisms” is because, without these community and family would have not formed, collaboration would not have manifested and society as we know it would not exist. The emotional management centers of the brain constitute the “most evolved” parts of the brain, or the parts of the brain that have had the most time to develop; moving from the stem to the amygdala and interconnected throughout the central wiring system of the brain.
The cognitive abilities that have helped us along are attention, self-awareness, memory and decision making – very powerful and important qualities though much less vividly distinct than other animals. These abilities are housed primarily within our frontal cortex, the front part of the brain and the “least evolved” or most recently developed part of the brain.
It is important to know these two dimensions of abilities that human beings have, as they comprise wisdom (cognitive abilities) and compassion (emotional abilities).
Conversely, I feel what is not inherent in human nature is to act in a self-obsessed manner; selfishly killing, steeling, acting with ill-intent, etc. as portrayed so explicitly in today’s media – mostly with an intent to instill fear and anxiety.
By taking into consideration the inherent nature of humanity as one of “in perpetual search of mastery over one’s own environment” as we explored in the opening lines of this call to theory – I feel it is inevitable for humanity to surpass self-obsession, as in its nature, self-obsession is too easy; a weak and simple reaction to outside pressures and a limiting agent in our ability to continue to evolve.
What is a challenge, one that requires effort, skillful means and courage is to embody and act with wisdom and compassion – i.e. we can kill animals for food in a compassionate way, being mindful of the conditions we impose on them and setting precedence on sustainability for future generations. This, I feel will be the next evolution of humanity.
We’ve mastered the outer world, now it seems that the logical next step is to master our inner world. I feel those that do not take this challenge and take the easy route will slowly dwindle in numbers, as we become more and more connected we need to become more wise and compassionate, otherwise we’ll lose out on the opportunity to have others trust us and to have trust in others, to collaborate, to have the support network to grow.
I guess the question lies, do you know anyone up for the challenge?