(This article is a chapter of my book Butterfly Communities – the Heroes of a New Metaphysics)
Let’s challenge ourselves with a little mental exercise: Imagine that someone asks you: “Do you want to evolve?” What do you answer? If the answer happens to be “No”, the exercise ends. If the answer is “Yes”, we go further, to the second question. “If you are shown that the direction of evolution on this Earth is towards ever wider scales of cooperation, would you still want to evolve?” If the answer is still “Yes”, we go further, to the third question. “If it is shown to you that in any evolutionary path some barriers against evolution must be overcome, are you ready to overcome these barriers?” If the answer is “Yes, I am ready to overcome these barriers!”, we go further, to the fourth question: “What are these barriers for your own evolution and how do you intend to overcome them?”… Try to answer this question.
The book helps you understand:
1) why evolution is always towards increasing levels of cooperation,
2) that in order to evolve certain barriers against evolution have to be overcome,
3) what are these barriers for us and
4) how can we overcome them.
As John Stewart has shown in his book “Evolution’s Arrow: the direction of evolution and the future of humanity”, the evolution of Life on our planet is toward increasing scales of cooperation. It’s so because cooperation is more efficient than competition and cooperators will always have an advantage over non-cooperators.
But if cooperation is so efficient, why don’t we see cooperation everywhere? Because for evolution/cooperation to go further, it has to overcome certain barriers. Until now, Life has found ways to overcome many of them. Its next evolutionary step is up to us and is about conscious evolution.
To understand how we can overcome these barriers, we need first to understand what they consist of. I have summarized these barriers in 3 simple sentences:
The first barrier that we have to overcome is our metaphysical conditioning.
The second barrier that we have to overcome is our emotional conditioning.
The third barrier that we have to overcome is our social conditioning.
We have to reinvent ourselves! As we are acting now, we are heading toward collapse. To change this outcome, we have to act differently – to reinvent ourselves – as individuals and communities. We have to align ourselves with the principles that make Life flourish on this planet.
As we’ll see, Life’s principles are about cooperation, synergy and mutual consistency. Therefore, we have to change our life strategies from competition and separation to cooperation and solidarity. There is no other way to go further.
As someone takes its evolutionary journey further, she opens for herself a whole new horizon of possibilities and opportunities. Any evolutionary step employs an innovative behavior. Choosing cooperation and solidarity is an innovative behavior. Innovative behaviors are not random behaviors that happen to be useful, but are expressions of intentionality, proactive action, guiding intelligence and personal choice. When old behaviors are not anymore useful, it is the time to change them purposely.
But how to change our behavior? To change our behavior we have to overcome all 3 barriers against evolution. We can’t act differently, if we don’t overcome:
1) our old metaphysics that informs our beliefs, perceptions and values etc
2) our old emotional system that informs our motivations and behavior
3) our current social organization that is conducive to the old behavior