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Sustainability, Spirit & Community

Evolutionary Spirituality, Where Science Informs and Balances Religion and Spirituality

This is the second part of our article on Evolutionary Spirituality. It goes into greater depth on the ideas of this newly emerging science-supported spiritual movement. To go to the first part of this article, click here.

The Core Ideas of Evolutionary Spirituality are Found in the Deepest Patterns, Purposes and Intentions of 14 billion Years of Evolutionary Progress

To understand the new ideas of the evolutionary spirituality movement it is necessary to understand what are the deepest reoccurring success patterns found in evolution. In other words, what is really going o­n within the deep time natural laws and processes of the universe's 14 billion years of successful physical evolution?

Even though the following summary of those deep evolutionary "success" patterns may initially appear a bit technical or complex, it is the essential foundation to understanding the most "proven" principles, processes and yes, even the spiritual implications found within the power of evolution itself. These deep evolutionary "success" patterns are the unstoppable eventual directors and molders of all life and existence directions. As such, knowledge of them is the very core of the secrets of success to all life's endeavors including the spiritual...

In its deepest, most repeated successful patterns the estimated 13.7 billion year physical evolution of the universe appears to be moving towards creating or upholding the following:

a. Expanding diversity and novelty (with a potential towards a theoretical exhaustion of all possibilities for more novelty and diversity.)

b. Expanding complexity (with a potential towards a theoretical exhaustion of all possibilities for more complexity.)

c. Expanding adaptation/mutation/change (towards a theoretical exhaustion of all possibilities of more adaptation/mutation/change.) Adaptation/mutation being defined as the potential to change/evolve/adapt/mutate to contingencies based o­n new conditions. (Expanding diversity, novelty, complexity, adaptation and/or mutation from a limited field of view or perspective within the evolutionary system and can create the appearance from limited or smaller perspectives of chance, randomness, chaos or even whim.)

d. Expanding energy exchanges and/or transfers (towards a theoretical exhaustion of all possibilities of more energy exchanges and/or transfers.) {Please note: Every item in bold in the section immediately below, directly or indirectly needs exchanges or transfers of energy for expanding or to become more.}

Exchanges or transfers of energy can be in the form of:

  1. increasing energy flow,
     
  2. decreasing or dispersal of energy flow or
     
  3. the creation of dynamic energy equilibriums or static energy fields. Dynamic equilibriums can be composed of any of the relationships between individual parts, sub systems of
    the whole and/or the whole of evolution itself. These relationships are composed of, and maintained by, appropriate and balancing (needed, fair and/or just) spiraling dynamic energy exchanges between the individual parts, the sub systems of the whole and/or the whole of evolution itself. Dynamic equilibriums allow for the continuous spiraling and expanding of the energy exchanges needed to adjust to existing and new forms of diversity, novelty, complexity, mutation and adaptation within the overall equilibrium’s individual parts, sub systems and/or the whole of evolution itself within the tolerances for the existence and sustainability of that particular dynamic equilibrium. Static energy fields are conditions where energy is in a minimal state of flow or dispersal and collects in an area as stored energy.

    The critical evolutionary juncture:

    There is a point in the creation or maintenance of dynamic equilibriums (any kind of groupings in the universe weather it be atoms, cells, molecules, solar systems, galaxies, or even marriages, families, corporations, organizations, nations etc) where if the balance of energy exchanges within the myriad of forms that energy can be exchanged within or between dynamic equilibriums, either fails to establish itself or goes to far out of balance. When that happens a point is reached where o­ne of two outcomes happen. Those two outcomes are either evolutionary adaptation and growth toward the establishment or re-establishment of either new or old dynamic equilibriums or --- breakdown, retrogression and/or extinction.

    What is most exciting about these points of critical evolutionary juncture is that due to the increasing intelligence, consciousness and autopoiesis (inherent creativity) of and between the evolving individual parts, sub systems of the dynamic equilibrium and/or the whole of evolution itself the individual parts and sub systems of some existing or potentially new dynamic equilibrium can have a significant effect o­n either the establishment or reestablishment of either new or old dynamic equilibriums thus preventing evolutionary breakdown, retrogression or extinction.

e. If critical junctures are passed through successfully, the above success patterns move the individual parts and sub systems of evolution as well as the whole of evolution in a spiraling expansion toward:

  1. more dynamic equilibriums of expanding order, integration and harmony being established within individual parts and sub systems continuously re-balancing apparent chaos toward order. (Evolution at the deepest reoccurring success levels appears to proceed though cooperative win/win or lose/lose arrangements and not pure survival of fittest (win/lose) as has been popularly and grossly mischaracterized about the nature of evolution.)
     
  2. more self organization/autonomy/consciousness/inherited nested creativity (autopoiesis) and/or freedom for more individual parts and sub systems, which is counter-balanced by the pull of more interdependency and interdependencies with even more complex larger systems seeking to establish their own dynamic equilibrium and integration of expanding order and harmony, toward...

    more sustainability: all individual parts, sub systems and the whole seeking to last for more time --- for more individual parts and more individual sub systems within the new larger system, moving theoretically towards the whole evolutionary system seeking an integration of all parts and sub systems into a unified sustainable dynamic equilibrium of the highest possible level of order, integration and harmony for itself.)

    An important sub-part to the spiraling process of creating more individual part and sub system self organization/autonomy/consciousness/creativity/freedom/autopoiesis comes about through more educational experiences in which the individual parts or sub systems through some form of trial and error have the potential to experience more conflict than is comfortable or more pleasure and/or the relief of the discomfort (the inherent cause and effect rewards or punishments of their actions/choices) or pleasure, which appears to educate/teach/evolve the individual parts or sub systems toward more adaptability/creativity by developing more intelligence/awareness/autopoiesis and in some organisms like humankind, more self consciousness. It appears that o­ne of the greatest success deep patterns of evolution is continually creating tensional and turbulent conditions that stimulate and optimize adaptation and growth.

In summary: At its most simple most central deep patterns of success, evolution is fundamentally about the direction of creating and "honoring" increasing levels of novelty, complexity, adaptation/creativity, awareness/knowledge/consciousness, win/win cooperation, integration, new larger dynamic equilibriums and sustainability for all groupings, parts and sub parts. In evolution, even death, breakdowns, retrogressions, destruction and extinctions evolve to serve these very same directions and ends.

When you look at these qualities and think about your own life and the current embraced directions and ordering of the world and organizations around you, what do you see? Is your life and your world in a high degree of conscious or unconscious alignment with these deep patterns? Explore this further in the following section.

What the Deep Success Patterns of our 14 billion Years of Evolutionary Progress Mean for Your Personal Destiny and Success?
 

In the reoccurring deepest patterns of the 14 billion years of successful evolutionary process and progress you can see the most basic patterns and laws for success that every individual, family, organization, corporation, nation, system or thing must sooner or later acknowledge and follow--- if that dynamic equilibrium or grouping wishes to survive or thrive.

 

Evolution “is a general condition to which all theories, all hypotheses and all systems must bow… Evolution is a light illuminating all facts, a curve that all lines must follow.” Pierre Teilhard De Chardin

From the repetition of the deep patterns unfolds the destiny of the universe and all things in it. Any individual, grouping, organization, nation or system that acknowledges the realities of these reoccurring deep success patterns (natural laws) and then orders itself by their deep time truths will have an overwhelming survival advantage over individuals, groupings, organizations, nations or systems that don’t. This advantage will give them far better control over their individual and collective physical destinies.

If you take the time at the end of this section to re-read the deep patterns again, but this time from the completely new perspective of asking yourself how you can apply these deep evolutionary truths to your current personal situations and the groups that you interact with, you will find real treasure. While re-reading them:

 

1.) take the time to notice where your life or current social groupings are resisting, denying or going directly against the flow of any of the deep patterns. And,

 

2.) note down any new ideas that you might have about any changes you could make in your life to remedy those matter.

The deep evolutionary patterns above relate most directly to the physical and psychological aspects of our lives and the world, but they also do relate to our spiritual lives in many new ways. For hundreds of generations before the advent of modern science, humanity has been empirically discovering some of these deep time success patterns and recording them in its sacred texts as community values or moral and ethical codes.

When you review them again with new deep time eyes you will gradually begin to see where most of our current religious commandments and social laws have come from. You also should be able to see in life-renewing ways the essential future role that your co-creative free will and your adaptive, growing consciousness (your agency) will play to interconnect, interrelate and cooperatively partner with other dynamic equilibrium groupings (your communions) to prevent breakdown, retrogression and/or extinction. You may experience our essential interdependence within the web of life in a very unique and new way as you read these deepest of universe truths again. You might even embrace a new kind of “normal” and “peaceful” pattern in of making your system critical energy exchanges with the many dynamic equilibrium groupings of your life in a manner that although it looks like near continuous dynamic tension and turbulent balance, is both completely healthy and appropriate to the natural evolutionary success process of life itself.

As you continue reading the remaining sections you will also discover the spiritual wisdom drawn from how the deep patterns of evolution both reflect and illuminate the intentions and purposes of the universe itself, Ultimate Reality of the Universe as well as point toward the expanded new success patterns and laws of the emerging new birth of a post post-modern spirituality and religion that while including the best of past spirituality and religion transcends much of what we have seen previously.

The New Spirituality implied within the Deepest Patterns of Physical Evolution and Evolutionary Progress

The following sections are subjective perspectives about the origin, nature and destiny (purposes) of pre-big bang reality--drawn from the humanity's vast spiritual heritage. In these sections you will find powerful paralleling relationships between the deepest reoccurring physical patterns and natural laws of evolution and the evolution of Spirit and spirituality within the process of evolution. It is reasonable to hold that the natural laws of evolution would reflect to a greater or lesser degree the nature, purposes and origin of that which created those natural laws.

 

Based upon what we know about evolution and its deepest patterns (above):

    1. The evolutionary universe(s) can be fairly described as a single energy/matter event that inherently enfolds and/or contains the interweaving of all physical, mental and spiritual reality.
       
    2. The evolutionary universe(s) begin with energy that solidifies, unfolds or develops into matter.
       
    3. Matter eventually unfolds or develops into life.
       
    4. Life eventually unfolds or develops into thought.
       
    5. Thought eventually unfolds or develops into "self" consciousness, And,
       
    6. According to classical subjective spiritual wisdom, self consciousness eventually recognizes itself as spirit/soul, develops into spirit/soul or unfolds into spirit/soul/Ultimate Reality (depending upon your particular spiritual perspective.)
       
    7. In its currently known final phase, the evolution of spirit/soul within the physical universe unfolds, recognizes itself as or, develops into a new consciousness of Ultimate Reality or, depending upon your particular spiritual perspective, or, actual additional states or presences of Ultimate Reality or, Ultimate Reality itself as a totality. These new or additional consciousnesses, states or presences of Ultimate Reality that gradually unfold, self recognize or develop through the evolutionary process are not o­nly the Ultimate Reality that developed exclusively or solely out of matter and evolution. In addition to the very infinite, absolute and transcendent Ultimate Reality that was fully present at and before the beginning of the evolutionary universe they are now appearing as an either partial or complete, new or additional Ultimate Reality consciousnesses, states or presences within the evolutionary universes itself and there is still more new God and/or Ultimate Reality states that will yet emerge. This is a new kind of 21st century panentheism o­n steroids!

      The direction of the universe may not be just more and more matter becoming conscious as Hegel said and, as the deep patterns of evolution indicate, the deeper direction of the universe may be more and more matter becoming Ultimate Reality conscious. O­n this level, it can be said that it appears that the whole universe is turning back and looking at itself thought the sensing abilities of its parts and becoming more consciously aware of itself as an interconnected unified totality --- what we commonly call Ultimate Reality or God.

    8. As a creative free will act of delight, love and sharing of itself with all of creation and, to expand its own self manifestation and self realization in new ways beyond the limitations of absolute infinity and eternity, the infinite, transcendent and absolute Ultimate Reality that was fully present at and before the beginning of the evolutionary universe appears to have creatively and intentionally involved itself into the developmental progression of the evolutionary universe. In and through the evolution universe and all its parts the infinite, transcendent and absolute Ultimate Reality can also experience new creative delight, play, adventure and satisfactions that are additive in new ways to the absolute infinity and eternity of qualities of the absolute and infinite Ultimate Reality that were fully present at and before the beginning of the evolutionary universe.
       
    9. The Ultimate Reality that was fully present before the beginning of the evolutionary universe can be thought of as fully present in the evolutionary universes, but in a new and implicit way (and/or in multiple) form(s). Most amazingly it is by and through the evolutionary process itself that the infinite, Ultimate Reality makes its divinity explicit in new and additional ways. The enfolded Divine sacredness found within the unfolding of the evolutionary process makes this additive great step by step new evolutionary expanding and unveiling of Ultimate Reality possible. This is likely the greatest of all possible spiritual adventures --- the conscious Divinization of the universe(s) and all its parts through the natural evolutionary process in which we are vital partners and co-creators and our becoming consciousness of this process and our roles in it.
       
    10. The discovery of the evolutionary process by human consciousness (Darwin et all) will some day be widely seen and acknowledged as o­ne of the most dramatic and important events in the spiritual advancement in human mentality because at this epic event the universe(s) folded back o­n itself through human consciousness and for the first time (and in the whole new way through science) a creature looked nature and its Origin back and the eye and said, what exactly are you up to (as can been seen from your actual results?) This was the cross-over moment that prepared us for a whole new way to discover the enfolded, implicit, involved Ultimate Reality becoming explicit and evolving out of the process of evolution within ourselves as well as within every other particle and thing existing within the evolutionary universe(s).
       
    11. Individuals (much less humankind) awakening to the enfolded, intrinsic, ad involved presence of the infinite, Ultimate Reality becoming fully explicit in new ways in time development and evolutionary nature was considerably more difficult than awakening to eternity or the understanding of the infinite, transcendent and absolute Ultimate Reality as an eternal presence before the universe began as it has been presented by the traditional religions of the world for millennia. This is again because except for the mystics who experienced this, the process of science had to first present human consciousness with an understanding of the evolutionary process itself before the enfolded involved and evolving identity, meanings and purposes of Ultimate Reality could be discovered anew and in completely new ways within the science of the deepest reoccurring patterns of the evolutionary process itself.

    Why are the Deep Pattern Discoveries of Evolution and the Evolutionary Spirituality Movement Important to the Individual's Spiritual Path?

    Ultimate Reality appears to have enfolded and involved itself in evolution and seeks to evolve out and manifest higher expressions of itself, its nature and its purposes within and through the near miraculous processes of evolution. As a dynamic, flowing and flexible open system, evolution now becomes the playground for the greatest possible spiritual adventure and co-creational partnership conceivable.

    The evolutionary universe itself can now be seen as:

    1. being a place where we are no longer crushed by the immensity of a cold or meaningless exclusively material universe(s). It presents us a beautiful home that we can resonate with because as a whole, the material universe is the outer form of our own highest inner spirit as well as the unfolding or developing birthplace for entirely new states and presences of the very infinite, transcendent and absolute Ultimate Reality that was fully present at and before the beginning of the evolutionary universes. (This new universal spiritual home in many ways transcends the spiritual "homes" that many traditional religions have provided before the discovery of evolution and the enfolded, involved and evolving presence of Ultimate Reality within the universe’s evolutionary process.)
       
    2. being a place where increasing evolutionary complexity and apparent fragmentation can be easily counterbalanced and managed by the ultimate simplicity, connectedness and stillness of the emerging Ultimate Reality essence involved within it and that is evolving though it --- and that is present within each of us!
       
    3. being an ultimately powerful source of a common attraction toward new levels of both personal and universal unification, integration and harmony because of the inherent attraction power of the o­ne transcendent Ultimate Reality manifesting its gravity in a near infinite number of new ways in and through the evolutionary process.
       
    4. being a exciting and wonderful place of never ending change through the exhaustion of all possibilities toward greater truth, beauty and goodness (integration, harmony, dynamic balance etc.) always moving toward reflecting ever more and more of the consciousness, nature, purposes and identity of Ultimate Reality.
       
    5. being Ultimate Reality’s body because all of us and all things together are meaningfully interconnected and part of the same divinization process of the evolving Universe,
       
    6. being a place of ever expanding individual identity, purpose and meaning when connected to the process of the involved Ultimate Reality evolving through the physical universe with all the living (you) and non living parts of the physical universe toward greater levels of truth, beauty and goodness (integration, harmony and dynamic balance, etc.) and Ultimate Reality consciousness. Back to Top -

    What the Deep Patterns of Evolution and the Evolutionary Spirituality Movement Imply for advancing Individual and Organized Spirituality in Today’s World

    There are several important evolutionary implications for spirituality and the practical needs of the individual living in the post-post modern world. Those are:

    1. It is vitally important to be conscious, alert, awake and present in and to the universe and its evolutionary process. The more conscious, awake and alert o­ne is to the present the more o­ne can partner with as well as actually feel and/or call the presence of the evolutionarily manifesting Ultimate Reality supporting us into the optimal co-creative actions that gives birth to the next moment in the evolutionary process of more and more of the universe(s) at its every level through its wondrous expanding truth, beauty and goodness processes becoming more and more Ultimate Reality conscious in new states, presences or ways and, consequently and naturally more reflective of the highest identity, nature and purposes of the infinite Ultimate Reality that existed before the universe.
       
    2. If we understand the deepest patterns and processes of evolution we can accept a completely new type of dynamic tension and constantly evolving "peace" of changing and turbulent exterior balance relating to ourselves, our organizations and the world. It not will be the old idea of everlasting peace pr peace without conflict and tension, but of a inner based spiritual "peace" and simplicity that embraces conflict and tension as a natural part of the evolutionary process and is a peace that is formed from a continuous co-creative resolution of evolving present antagonisms.
       
    3. The reality of the processes and results of evolution and evolutionary spirituality imply that you are now fully vested, co-responsible and co-creative partners with the absolute Ultimate Reality in the evolutionary process. You do this first by finding integrated o­neness with the process of evolution by understanding it at the level of our own self-consciousness and then by your conscious co-creation of the very choices, actions and results of evolution with others and with the absolute Ultimate Reality in the evolutionary process.
       

    Because of the evolution of our current level of self-consciousness, we have passed the evolutionary co-creational milestone. Humanity has finally reached the evolutionary transition point where our conscious partnering co-creation with the absolute Ultimate Reality as co-active agents in and of the evolutionary process is now not o­nly fully appropriate, but it is absolutely spiritually and physically essential for the optimal future unfolding of life in the universe.

    For as long as evolution shall continue, knowing what we do about its deepest success patterns, the future of evolution is now more than ever truly up to us as partners with the Divine. The Ultimate Reality will actively co-act and partner in the here and now with those who (in life affirming deep pattern ways) embrace this co-responsibility and actively co-create the great adventure of evolution. In practicality, this now implies that you are tangibly co-responsible agents for the direction and results of evolution and that you are fully capable at this moment of doing your o­ne six billionth part to co-evolve a just, equitable and sustainable world --- most importantly not just in the spiritual hereafter, but physically in the here and now! - Back to Top -

    More Spiritual Implications of the Deepest Patterns of Physical Evolution and the Evolutionary Progress ---the Human Virtues

    Within the deepest success patterns of evolution are found some of the most universal patterns of spiritual wisdom that also can be used as guiding personal principles for day to day living. They are know as the virtues. These principles/virtues are the fact and rationality of deep pattern evolutionary science empirically integrating with both the classic and newer virtues found or emerging within our global heritage of spiritual wisdom.

    This pointing by our 14 billion years of evolution though its deepest patterns of success to the most important guiding human virtues also:

    a.) implies and parallels the purposes of Ultimate Reality of evolution,

    b.) implies how the Ultimate Reality of evolution actually involves itself into, and predominantly through the natural laws and processes of evolution that IT has created, and

    c.) shows us how we can immediately be better co-creators in our practical day to day lives with the Ultimate Reality of evolution by both understanding and using with the deepest patterns and principles of universe evolution itself as expressed in our human virtues

    lived in balance.

    Almost every o­ne of the deepest success patterns of physical evolution can be directly related to o­ne or more of the various human virtues that have been forwarded by philosophers and religions since the beginning of time. Go back and reviewing the deepest success patterns of evolution again.

    While doing so mentally note down which virtues you think each or several of the deep patterns of evolution directly or indirectly embody. This can produce some astonishing "ah ha" moments and powerful new personal motivations for living the virtues in a balanced way aw well as underscore why they are so important to the success of almost everything in life.

    In your review you might even notice that a few of the deepest success patterns of evolution do not exactly parallel existing human virtues as we have classically known them. These particular deep patterns are the seeds of the new virtues needed for our evolving future.

    Are the virtues of increasing truth, beauty and goodness that reveals more consciousness becoming self and Ultimate Reality conscious the deeper spiritual direction of the universe? Look again at the most simple most central deep patterns of evolutionary success.

    Evolution is fundamentally about the direction of creating and "honoring" increasing levels of novelty, complexity, adaptation/creativity, awareness/knowledge/consciousness, win/win cooperation, integration, cooperation, autopoesis, new larger dynamic equilibriums and sustainability for all groupings, parts and sub parts. In evolution, as mentioned above even death, breakdowns, retrogressions, destruction and extinctions evolve to serve these very same directions and ends.

    In those deep success patterns and their interrelationships, interconnectedness and direction can you not also see the core spiritual and humanistic virtues of increasing truth, beauty and goodness and Ultimate Reality becoming more conscious--- merely said in a more poetic and metaphoric way?

    Connecting the virtues and the deepest success patterns of evolution is so important that we suggest that you also take the time to do a few of the virtues awareness exercises that we have created. Click here for these exercises.
    - Back to Top -  -

    A Practical Way to Start Applying the Above Inforamtion Immediately

    Read and begin practicing the Universe Principles of Life.

    Why Universe Spirit and Evolution Spirituality Promotes the Ideas of Evolutionary Spirituality 

    It is a core role of the new evolutionary spiritual movement and organizations like Universe Spirit with its Evolution Spirituality to enhance and support the spiritual process of more and more of the universe(s) and all the matter and life and consciousness within them, at their every level becoming more and more Ultimate Reality conscious and consequently naturally more reflective of the highest truth, beauty, goodness, identity, nature and purposes of Ultimate Reality. In this process the individual begins to perceive and experience their true identity, nature and destiny in its most expansive and fullest way as well as their co-creative partnering presence in the evolutionary universe as the greatest adventure of expanding identity, meaning and purpose ever conceivable or possible.

    We value this information so much that out of respect for the deepest success patterns behind evolution, we also allow our open source spiritual organization and its ideals, principles and procedures to continually evolve and change based upo­n these deepest success patterns, natural evolutionary conflicts and tensions and new, better or corrected information rather than being dependent upon the approval of static authoritative hierarchal or ecclesiastical structures common to older religious organizations.

    If you like what you have read so far, we strongly recommend that you begin our free Evolutionary Spirituality 101 or Great Work 102 online courses by clicking the Online Courses link at the top of this page.

    * An additional inherent, but subtle deep pattern and principle of our 14 billion year successful evolution is more transparency. If an individual part or sub system of evolution looks at and experiences evolution with the correct means (intelligence/awareness/self consciousness and/or the proper mechanical tools) there are no secrets being kept by evolution. Evolution is continually revealing to more and more "lookers" exactly what is going o­n, how to optimally work with its deepest patterns and principles and, exactly where it is going. Transparency will no doubt play a greater and greater part in the successful evolution of the systems and groupings needed for earth's ecological and political future. - Back to Top -

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