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Does Consciousness evolve?

Posted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 4:59 pm
by Nebula
In A New Earth, Eckhart talks about consciousness evolving. Now i'm not sure if he means "evolving" in the true sense of the word, or not. The way I see it is: a lot of people are "waking up" - or shedding the stories they've accumulated over their lifetimes.
But two thousand years ago, this very same process was occuring.
The difference being, that then, there was less opportunity for information sharing.
Nowadays, we have the internet/books etc, and people have more opportunity to find out about this - not that becoming enlightened is all about learning.....
So i'm not convinced that consciousness is evolving (in the true sense of the word - evolving)
I see us all as blank sheets of paper when we're born, we collect experiences, we're taught to identify with certain roles/thoughts etc. Our abilities to awaken are not dependent on the internet/books, but I think we are influenced by these things.
Consciousness evolving, implies a process beyond our control.......
What do others think? I'm not sure if i've made myself clear?

Re: Does Consciousness evolve?

Posted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:02 pm
by Onceler
I would say that it does and it doesn't.

But what do I know? The caffiene from my first cup of coffee has barely soaked into my nervous system.

Re: Does Consciousness evolve?

Posted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:28 pm
by kiki
Consciousness itself doesn't "evolve" - what evolves is the form in which consciousness expresses itself and the degree to which consciousness shines through that form. Consciousness itself is formless, therefore there is nothing to "evolve". Its expression within form evolves until eventually the formless consciousness knows itself through the form as the form. In other words, consciousness as form evolves to the point where it knows itself as everything.

Re: Does Consciousness evolve?

Posted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:05 pm
by Nebula
what evolves is the form in which consciousness expresses itself and the degree to which consciousness shines through that form.
So by form, do you mean humans/bodies?
I'm confused by this....it seems that human's capacity to become conscious (spiritually speaking) may be increasing (?) but this does not appear (to me) to be an evolving process.
Just because more humans are becoming more conscious, does not to me imply evolution. I think humans could become more conscious, then become more unconscious....etc....and this perhaps has been happening - up and down - for some time.

Re: Does Consciousness evolve?

Posted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:33 pm
by James
Nebula
When it comes to viewing consciousness unfolding, we are only seeing a short span of time, our lifetime or recorded history; a few thousand years, it may not be an accurate gauge. Whereas consciousness and life has been unfolding for millions and millions of years on this planet. Beginning with only basic elements, minerals, and then the first life, single cell organisms. Now look at the diversity and complexity of life here on Earth. Quite miraculous when you think about it.

J.

Re: Does Consciousness evolve?

Posted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:21 pm
by James
Consciousness has eternity to play its divine game of form :wink:

Re: Does Consciousness evolve?

Posted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:01 pm
by goldenbirdies
Observing the human race, you might be tempted to think that evolution is destroying rather than increasing consciousness. Most other creatures just take from nature what they need to exist in the present moment. Fuelled by greed and navigated by the egoic mind, humans are destroying the planet.

The good news is that any of us can opt for consciousness, and it is immediatly accessible. Consciousness does not depend on evolution, in my view. Evolution depends on time, while consciousness is timeless.

David

Re: Does Consciousness evolve?

Posted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:22 pm
by James
Nicely put Dave, you said:
The good news is that any of us can opt for consciousness, and it is immediatly accessible. Consciousness does not depend on evolution, in my view. Evolution depends on time, while consciousness is timeless.
indeed :D

Eckhart likes to quote this passage from A Course In Miracles, it is a good one to contemplate:

"It has taken time to misguide you so completely...
But it takes no time at all to be who you are."



J.

Re: Does Consciousness evolve?

Posted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 10:55 pm
by Webwanderer
goldenbirdies wrote:Observing the human race, you might be tempted to think that evolution is destroying rather than increasing consciousness. Most other creatures just take from nature what they need to exist in the present moment. Fuelled by greed and navigated by the egoic mind, humans are destroying the planet.
David
Are humans really destroying the planet? Natural events have visited mass extinctsions on the planet several times long before humans ever arrived. And though enormous changes resulted, the planet survived. Today's increased carbon dioxide is actually helping to increase plant growth, and with more vegetation there is more food for herbafores, which is more food for carnivores. Now whether humans will wipe themselves from the earth is an open question, but with the increased rate of awakening the species may yet survive and even prosper.


The world remains a beautiful place, and it remains a vessel ripe with opportunity. One can focus on the pain and ugliness of the world as people work through their egoic motives, or one can look at the experiencial richness that life offers in all its wonderment. There are ample opportunities for both. The beauty is that we get to choose the lens through which we see the world.

WW

Re: Does Consciousness evolve?

Posted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 5:54 pm
by Glycine
goldenbirdies wrote:Observing the human race, you might be tempted to think that evolution is destroying rather than increasing consciousness. Most other creatures just take from nature what they need to exist in the present moment. Fuelled by greed and navigated by the egoic mind, humans are destroying the planet.
David
In reality, if given the chance, any plant or animal species will replicate itself until all resources are exhausted. An equilibrium appears to exist because of the multitude of species that interact.
Now, everything has changed since we humans acquired a thinking mind - it has given us a great advantage over the other species. It has given us the ability to consume all resources. Nevertheless, it also allowed us to became very creative. However, this thinking mind and creativity may also ultimately destroy us unless we evolve enough to connect to consciousness.

I don't think consciousness evolves - but our mind evolves, and I hope it will evolve enough to connect us with the "source/awareness".

Re: Does Consciousness evolve?

Posted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:15 pm
by goldenbirdies
Webwanderer wrote: The world remains a beautiful place, and it remains a vessel ripe with opportunity. One can focus on the pain and ugliness of the world as people work through their egoic motives, or one can look at the experiencial richness that life offers in all its wonderment. There are ample opportunities for both. The beauty is that we get to choose the lens through which we see the world.

WW
Agreed, there are plenty of positives around humanity, as well as negatives. Whether one can simplify reality down to what is seen through "one lens" or whether there is an independent reality confirmed by empirical evidence is open to analysis. At this moment, consciousness is a preferred state to analysis !

David

Re: Does Consciousness evolve?

Posted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:20 pm
by goldenbirdies
James wrote:Nicely put Dave...
Eckhart likes to quote this passage from A Course In Miracles, it is a good one to contemplate:

"It has taken time to misguide you so completely...
But it takes no time at all to be who you are."



J.
Thanks James. I see a reference to "A Course in Miracles" in ANE - I may follow up...

David

Re: Does Consciousness evolve?

Posted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:06 pm
by domokato
Maybe what Eckhart means by "the evolution of consciousness" is more like "the evolution of humanity into consciousness" or "the rise of consciousness in humanity as a whole". That makes a little more sense, but is not the same as biological evolution. It's just the general concept of evolution as change/adaptation.

Re: Does Consciousness evolve?

Posted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 9:03 pm
by goldenbirdies
domokato wrote:Maybe what Eckhart means by "the evolution of consciousness" is more like "the evolution of humanity into consciousness" or "the rise of consciousness in humanity as a whole". That makes a little more sense, but is not the same as biological evolution. It's just the general concept of evolution as change/adaptation.
Agreed Domokato, and this still allows for the immediate accessibility of consciousness.

David

Re: Does Consciousness evolve?

Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:49 pm
by Sw A Devagni
Dear all,

Allow me to add my piece to the pie (and I confess, I haven't perused all of the contributions, too numerous they were for my lazy eye).

Consciousness in the Absolute sense does not evolve, as you rightly point out, as it is the Uncreate, unmanifest, unborn, undying, unchanging consciousness.

What it seems to do (and I'm getting my information from the mystics here) is it seems to throw itself out in what Osho called a 'superabundance' of energy that simply has the desire to play with itself, seeing how stuck it can get, how disguised from itself.

So it throws itself out and creates Form. Form is temporary; it is an illusion. We are all form and yet not form, always already. This is called the Unique Self by Genpo Roshi. What it means is that consciousness itself is formless, and yet it expressses itself through form; i.e. it gets to know itself in and through form.

This is quite significant. This is what the Universe is doing, so it would seem, or partially at least.

So it behoves us to recognise ourselves as a partial manifestation of the Absolute, which with its unique talents and skills can bring something to the table, and hence further the evolution of consciousness in the sense that consciousness gets to know itself better through form.

This is quite interesting. It means the game has a purpose. Consciousness wants to get to know itself. How interesting. I can't say anything more about it and indeed I am being drawn away by something Ineffable to cease saying anything more about it.

But this is my contribution to the game, for the moment, and I hope it was of some service.

I should point out two links in this connection: www.bigmind.org (click on Zen Eye when you get there) and anything you can find on spiral dynamics and integral spirituality (spearheaded at present in particular by Ken Wilber).

So there we are - hope that was of some help.

Dan x