With that disappearance, he knew, even as Noÿs moved slowly into his arms, came the end, the final end of Eternity.
—And the beginning of InfinityIsaac Asimov – The End of Eternity
Never before has the world been so gripped in such….well something.
Just what that something is we can’t know because it’s early – too early to tell. Perhaps it’s always too early to tell.
The brief story that I never tire of is told here by Alan Watts, the greatest stand up spiritual teacher and I say that with nothing but respect.
It is the story of the Chinese farmer.
As Alan Watts concludes:
“The whole process of nature is an integrated process of immense complexity. And it is really impossible to tell whether anything that happens in it is good or bad, because you never know what will be the consequences of the misfortune or you never know the consequences of good fortune.”
Every moment is an eternity and a waypoint. One can never be sure of the score and the process of existence and becoming rolls on.
Many of us now see humanity in the midst of a great change although that is always true in some sense. Personal change is the same. One year may seem like the last until one looks back and sees the watershed – the moment or period signifying a new stage or epoch.
There does not seem to be much question that we are in turmoil, individually and collectively, with powerful forces unleashed to upset whatever equilibrium we were experiencing. Regardless of how we will see these times from the perspective of some future, it is difficult to avoid the thought of that grip we sense as a sleeping innocent intuits the alarm clock on a quiet morning – no subtlety here.
We never know the nature of changes until sometime after the fact, but many of us feel the buffeting of violent storms and crashing waves. So many currents in our culture and species seem to be conspiring to bring about disruptive change.
I’ve been considering these developments for some time now – years – but they are now impossible to avoid and so I am more formally exploring a thesis I have been considering. I have been looking for an overarching perspective or lens to try to make sense of our reality and the changes we are experiencing. I have sought the largest tent to relate the largest number of features of life and existence and I have come up with the notion of an underlying process that constitutes the purpose of existence, as near as I can tell.
Meaning is, I believe, the currency of the realm in life and meanings are ultimately found and seen in the connections of the features of our existence. The greater the connections, the greater the meaning, so I believe the greatest meaning can be found in that which unifies in the most compelling and comprehensive manner. My thesis is that of a unifying process connecting everything and I call that deep evolution.
Deep evolution is the ultimate process in our existence given where we are now. Our level determines the limits of our perspective. An insightful ant may understand the colony and if a genius, may conceive a role for the colony in the life of the field and its inhabitants. But even an ant of extraordinary brilliance is unable to consider the geopolitical issues facing the country where the field resides. One is bound by certain limitations. And so are we. But both the ant genius and our human species do well to stretch our understandings to the limits of our abilities and perceptual perspective.
I am trying to do just that for our species. I suggest that from our level of understanding right now, the process of deep evolution, as I will describe, is a useful and for me the best way to understand our lives and our existence in the broadest and deepest context.
This website, mashupsoup.com will host ideas and reference material I run across that support, illustrate, explain, and explore my central notion of deep evolution. My more formal explorations and explanations will be at deepevolution.org. I will be starting this website very soon.
Very briefly, deep evolution is an extension of the idea of Darwinian evolution or what I call biological evolution. That traditional idea is a small subset of the greater idea and process of deep evolution. I will be discussing many important thinkers, but none greater, more important, or more wide-ranging than Carl Gustav Jung. His work and explorations, along with those of his students, has inspired my thinking more than anything or anyone else. I believe that deep evolution puts Jung into a context that makes clearer his importance for the culture and the species as a whole, as well as each of us as individuals. Jung does not need my assistance. Many people already know his importance for understanding our humanity, as well as our past and more importantly our future. But I hope to expand appreciation of Jung in more people and so encourage many more to discover Jung for themselves.
Deep evolution applies to us as individuals, as social structures and as a species – as above, so below. Deep evolution applies to all levels of existence, but it may not be the ultimate explanation, if we remember the limits of our genius ant along with our own. But we need to explore the space of our existence as completely as we can and I have found that deep evolution is a most valuable tool in that.
This is my second presentation of the ideas that have consumed me for years. I’ve been sitting with and exploring these ideas and am now ready to write about them. As Isaac Asimov wrote, and later David Deutsch borrowed as a title of a book, we are in all ways, and always, at the beginning of infinity. That is a good place to be, and a good place from which to launch into becoming. And so it is with our deep evolution, that we become.