We have been raised to think of evolution as a straight line… we are born, we grow up, we live and die… we are told apes turned into Neanderthals (or maybe their relatives) and then modern man and that this is the way we came to be… and we ‘believe’ this, or at least we accept it with our minds. But really, when you stop and feel this as a possibility in your body, does it in any way feel true for you?
What does evolution mean?
The word ‘evolution’ comes from the Latin evolutio, meaning ‘unrolling’, from the verb evolver, ‘to roll out of’.
The early use of the word related to movement, as it was first recorded in describing a ‘wheeling’ manoeuvre in the realignment of troops or ships. As the word evolved it came to convey the notion of ‘opening out’, giving rise to the sense of ‘development’.
So the feeling of the original sense of the word ‘evolution’ is one of unrolling, unfolding, opening, developing.
What has evolution come to mean?
Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, which has only been with us since the 1800’s, states that:
- Evolution occurs; that is, organisms change over time.
- Evolution occurs by natural selection; that is, living things with beneficial traits produce more offspring that survive, as they are better suited to the conditions around them than others. This results in changes in the traits of living things over time.
The theory is that we are the result of ‘random’ mutations and that the genetic ‘mistakes’ that conferred survival advantage are the ones that endure, so they become reproduced, producing us.
But can random mutations really be responsible for the awe-inspiring delicacy, precision and perfection of the way life is?
Is the evolution of a butterfly from an egg on a leaf to a grub through a chrysalis to the beauty that we see in nature, really a random event?
How can the exquisite precision of the delicate and beautiful folding and unfolding of the human embryo in development be something that has ‘randomly’ evolved?
If evolution is so random, you would think we would have a 50:50 chance of making a mistake in development every time, so how do we get it right so many more times than we don’t?
Why do we get it right so often? Is it really random?
As a doctor, I am always inspired by how often the human body gets it right, and how able it is to restore itself to health and balance when things go wrong. I am amazed at the physical perfection of nearly every newborn baby; not just the fact of the five fingers on each hand and the five toes on each foot, but the delicate perfection of each one.
When I look into people’s eyes I am in love with the utter wonder of them – their beauty, delicacy and the extraordinary precision with which they are put together. There is nothing random about eyes (nor indeed the rest of us). They are divinely designed so that the length of the eye is an exact match for the focussing power of the optical system – each cornea and lens together, bringing light to a point focus on the macula at the centre of the retina, so that we can see clearly.
And when it comes to our insides there is always a lot going on, and it usually runs smoothly, largely without us even being aware of it. In fact, we only become aware of our insides when something is not quite right. Even when we treat our body harshly – be it with excess food, alcohol, drugs, contact sport, overwork, or stress of any kind – it usually bounces back quickly with little complaint. It is only when we pound it over and over again that it tends to say: “OK, I need to have a little rest from this, so I’ll just be sick for a while, or break down with injury, as that is the only way you are going to stop doing this and give me time and space to recover.” And if we oblige, it usually recovers.
There are so many processes going on, all at the same time, usually without our conscious awareness, let alone active participation, and for the most part they all work in perfect harmony together, maintaining an awe-inspiring homeostasis.
How often do we stop to appreciate the power and perfection that we walk in and around with every day?
How have we come to think that this is random, and due to genetic ‘mistakes’?
Is this a convenient truth for us that allows us to give our power over to the ‘powers that be’ and to ignore our responsibility in all this? Does it give us permission to live in a reckless and selfish way, without feeling personally responsible for the consequences of our actions?
We say that when something happens to us it is ‘an accident’ or ‘bad luck’ and that somehow it had nothing to do with us and our choices. Yet we know that some of our actions do lead to consequences – we know that smoking does cause lung cancer and a whole host of other cancers and diseases; we know that drinking any amount of alcohol increases the risks of cancer, not to mention all the other diseases and love-less human behaviours it leads to.
What if all of our actions have consequences? What if every single thought, feeling, and movement has a direct consequence, on ourselves and for everyone else?
This is an enormous level of responsibility and power to feel and live with, and we can see why we may have settled for the ape theory in preference!
We are much more responsible for our own evolution than we care to realise, and the process of evolution is much more conscious than we care to know. If we let go of the ‘random’ theory of evolution, we realise that it is up to us; that we have a choice as to whether we evolve, how we evolve, how fast we evolve, and indeed that we have power and mastery over our lives in a way we have not been taught to fully realise.
The original meaning of evolution is still with us
The original meaning of the word ‘evolution’ has not been lost, but can still be found in our everyday language.
We use it to refer to the gradual development of something, as in ‘our language undergoes constant evolution’, or ‘the business has evolved into a major company’.
In chemistry, evolution is the giving off of a gaseous product, or of heat, as in ‘the evolution of oxygen occurred rapidly during this process’, or ‘the energy evolved during this chemical exchange is transferred to water.’
This is much more true to the original sense of the word, whereby there is a process in which growth and development is unfolded out, from within, in a gradual way.
And chemistry gives us the clue to the specifics of this process, in that it is effected by raising the vibration, increasing the frequency, allowing the energy to rise.
As this applies on a molecular level, so too can we apply it in our daily life, forever allowing ourselves to deepen, to unfold, to develop, to allow ourselves to expand as the energy within us builds and rises…
The word ‘evolution’ is also used to describe a motion incomplete in itself, but combining with other coordinated motions to produce a single action.
And so as we unfold from within, in harmony with ourselves and our internal processes, we unfold out, and then come together to unfold with each other in a coordinated harmonious way, giving rise to a single way – a unified oneness with all.
What is the purpose of evolution?
But what is the purpose of all this unfolding? What are we unfolding out from? What are we unfolding out to? And what, or Who, is calling us to unfold?
This is where science and religion have diverged in the past, but this is actually where they meet, where they are one. For we are all much more than merely physical: we are energetic beings who have made wilful choices to walk away from the truth of who we are and to indulge in physical life. But deep inside us all, forever burning within, is the spark of God we are – the spark that forever calls us to burn more brightly, and that always calls us home.
The true purpose of evolution is for us to learn to use our will again, no longer to indulge in our separative forays, but to return to who we truly are, as equal Sons of God, an essential part of the whole, that we may all evolve back to Him and expand with the Universe as One.
This article was first published on Unimed Living on 23 February, 2018
Image with kind permission from and heartfelt appreciation to Dean Whitling of All is Light: www.allislight.com.au