When I was in high school, I recall that in biology class I was fascinated by the question, "How did life evolve to where it is today?" There was no Google back then, so I had to go to the library (remember those?) to research the answer to that question. I don't recall most of what my research revealed, other than life on earth began in water. When creatures first ventured on to land, they had to trade their fins for limbs and their gills for lungs to maneuver and breathe on this earthy place. How those creatures were able to make those changes is beyond my ability to explain, so I leave that to experts in the field… but that evolution and those changes were necessary to adapt to this previously unknown land.
The shift to lungs and limbs does not tell the whole story. As those creatures emerged from that body of water, they accessed something more precious than air and the development of appendages. They gained previously unknown information that opened them to new possibilities that their previous selves could not have seen while underwater. Their expanded vision brought to their existence, among other things, the food they were unaware of. But they had to evolve to see it.
If we are to find solutions to the challenges we face - the global pandemic and the revelation of accompanying issues such as health care disparities, racial challenges facing this country, or the sharp political divide in America - we must evolve to see the new possibilities. We must have a view that transcends our current line of sight if we are going to access genuine solutions. Albert Einstein claimed you could not solve a problem from the level of consciousness that created the problem. The issues that we face today are beckoning us to evolve so that we birth a new humanity and way of being. However, unlike the creatures whose evolutionary process seemed inevitable and happened naturally, as spiritual and human beings we must consciously choose to evolve. Our evolution will not come on the wheels of inevitability.
As spiritual beings who want to evolve consciously, we must continue to create a vision of the future that is so compelling that our souls long to be there. Images of the future pull us forward and unhook ourselves from conventionally accepted thinking. This is not as simple as it sounds. Because all of us are subject to being snagged into “consensus thinking” and an unconscious acceptance of how things are, people say (perhaps not consciously) "This is the way it is, and there is nothing we can do about it." Such consensus thinking is everywhere. Folks are just born into it, and it’s just accepted without question. But as Jesus the Christ noted, we must "come out from among them" and begin to think independently of the consensus thinking.
For us to choose to evolve, we must become aware of what is passing through our awareness so that we can make new decisions; for it is the decisions and choices we make that determine our destiny. I heard a story about a woman who asked herself what she could do to heal the racial divide taking place. As she contemplated her inquiry, she realized she'd often join in with her friends when they shared inappropriate and racist jokes about people from other ethnic backgrounds. The woman suddenly recognized that this had become an unconscious norm within her group of friends and acquaintances. She resolved to challenge herself, and those friends, to stop uttering demeaning words about others because it dehumanized them. Moreover, she realized that dehumanization contributes to a consciousness and atmosphere where separation, racial discrimination, and unjust treatment of another human being becomes possible. This person brought to her awareness an unconsciously accepted way of thinking and being, and decided to evolve her thinking in a way that would move her closer to solving problems rather than exacerbating them. It may seem like a small thing but can make a difference in healing the racial challenges we face.
Any decision that helps us evolve is valuable. And as we choose to evolve, our problems begin to dissolve.
Peace and Blessings,