“There are two mistakes one can make on the road to truth. Not going all the way and not starting” — Buddha
The world around us, and to a great extent the world within us, is in turmoil and disarray. Seasoned history buffs of every stripe might well say that this is nothing new. Humanity has turned on itself time and time again in many ways both large and small. Today, however the crisis is global. Everywhere and in nearly every way humanity and our planet are under siege. Parents fear for the future of their children to whom they must hand over an ailing planet and an ailing species all very clearly looming up ahead. We and especially our children must accept the task of forging a New Allegiance to a humanity unified as a single organism of planetary consciousness—a humanity liberated from old allegiances and false divisions. It is we the children of humanity, who must bear the burden of finding truth in the vast wasteland of humanities shortcomings—a journey that must take place in a millennium of transformation, unification and rebirth which is just now underway.
If this new millennium is to bring about the beginning of the unification and renewal of humanity, there must first be a significant transformation of human consciousness. In order to better understand the potential scope of change involved, it may help to review certain aspects of human evolution. What differentiates the human species from other primates is the evolution of a descended larynx enabling speech as well as the development of self-awareness. In many ways these two developments are both progressive and complimentary. But they are also the fertile ground from which most of today’s difficulties arose. Of course this includes the great leaps in knowledge over vast time frames. But both these evolutionary developments also played a role in creating the great conflicts of human history as well as of those of our time. As self-aware ego forming primates we have separated ourselves from one another and from our environment, concocting many a tale or myth concerning our origins and our purpose in being.
The idea of natural selection is that a species will adapt to its environment and eventually pass on the adaptations to their offspring. One kind is termed directional selection and involves the favoring of one set of changes over another usually in environments that have changed over time. Charles Darwin provided one example of this type of evolvement. Darwin studied finches while in the Galapagos Islands. The beak length of the Galapagos finches changed over time due to the relative availability of certain food sources. In times of fewer insects large beaked finches survived because they could crack open seeds to obtain the otherwise unavailable nutritional value. When insect populations became more abundant directional selection provided finches with smaller and longer beaks. The overall patterns of evolution can be classified in one of two categories: stabilizing or disruptive. Stability implies conservation while disruptive implies challenges to the status quo. We must change if we are to survive as a viable species on this planet. This might come as a form of disruptive evolution. But a disruption of the current situation of horrid violence and conflicts seems essential if we are to survive as a species. Humans of the future are likely to be inundated by evolutionary challenges to the status quo requiring a genetic allegiance to a new and necessary kind of human one that has overcome the false separations of minds cultivated by dualistic thinking and action. All action taken positive or negative is the right hand interacting with the left.
A thousand years ago, no human being could have even begun to imagine the scope and breadth of change that has come to exist in our day. Life today bears little resemblance to life as it was lived then. Despite the much-touted “progress” made over the last thousand years, most if not all of that progress has been external and material. Even the Galapagos finch remained a finch despite the changes of beak length. Humans of the future will have to rename and recreate themselves—something that the finch cannot do. Change is a function of survival but not always a clear cut improvement. The great leaps of the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution certainly freed us from the dictatorship of nature and the environment but they did very little to improve the inner life of modern humans.
We have transformed nature worship into modern forms of religion over which we murder one another and science has become somewhat the slave of its own technological developments. We have adapted our environment to suit ourselves rather than adapt ourselves to the environment as did the finch and as it increasingly appears the dinosaurs did. The scientific revolution and the Enlightenment, while liberating us in some important ways also promoted a view which saw the human as a self which was separate from the world around it and very different as well. Humans became the only real center of consciousness. All else was either lifeless or soulless. Ultimately the cost of that view relegated us to living in isolation from and in competition with an environment and universe that seemed to have no purpose other than something to conquer and plunder for our own comfort and security.
No fundamental change for the better can arise from the sense that there are two or more of us, alien to one another, and constantly at war with one another over the control of the planet or of some portion of it. For many thousands of years that has been the de facto conception of humanity and its concurrent modus operandi. What is needed is a new image of humanity, a new self-conception and a new allegiance to this new identity. If we conceive of humanity as a single organism of planetary consciousness we can begin to see the outlines of what we might call the “planetary being.” Such a new allegiance to a unified vision of humanity is not a mere realignment of priorities based on a system of values that have proven to be inadequate. This new allegiance does not hinge upon political agreements because it arises from roots firmly embedded in the realization of an identity held in common. It is an allegiance and thus a loyalty to the one planetary being that lives within the hearts and minds of each and every human being. The blood of this planetary being courses through many and separate veins but its spirit pulses to the rhythm of one heart.
It is an awesome task to under-take, this journey… this search for truth. Some may say that too is nothing new. Perhaps that is so, but perhaps it is also true that for much of humanity the search for truth became more of a detour when one religion, philosophy, scientific breakthrough, or cult claimed to have found the truth. The search must be authentic and no longer bound and blinded by the self-serving falsehoods of dogma and dictation. No matter how you pursue the truth, be it the path of science or that of spirituality, it is an opportunity to participate in and contribute to the transformation of humanity. A new understanding of our relation to one another and to the planet must be cultivated. This renewed understanding of humanity’s purpose is both compass and sail.
It is the past, which crumbles and decays now. Humanity everywhere must soon engage in a great struggle to invent, as though from the very beginning, what it means to be human. Human life, as is all life, is an expression of the cosmos and is for us focused here on earth, which has become a womb for life. It is the meaning and purpose of this womb, this life, for which astrology must search just as much as any science or spiritual discipline. It is to this end that we must realign our allegiances to the life force itself as it courses through our very lives if we as human beings are to ever experience unification let alone rebirth as a new and improved species. Dane Rudhyar called that evolutionary species “transhuman… something more than man.” I call it in its single form the “planetary being.”
Dane Rudhyar, is the father of Humanistic Astrology and creator of Transpersonal Astrology. In 1975 he presented a talk in Berkeley CA which I attended. Many of us there may not have fully and truly understood his message that day. While I count myself among those who might not have understood the full depth of meaning that he transmitted, I hope the ideas and views I have expressed in this blog might at least provide a few small clues to the tasks that lie ahead for all.