Evolutionary moments

September 21, 2009

I have just seen a very fascinating movie called Quest for Fire that is situated approximately 80,000 years ago and describes a journey of few Homo neanderthalensis that are desperately trying to recover lost fire for their herd. On their travels, they encounter numerous dangers as well as other tribes and adventures. What was fascinating for me was the central role of fire in the lives of humans at that stage. Fire was something magical, a great mystery and a central point of existence. It enabled warmth, safety and divided those who had it and those who did not.

The most powerful part of the movie was when one of the main characters watches a member of the Ivaka tribe (homo sapiens) make fire in front of his eyes. You can see the amazement, wonder and nearly palpable paradigm shift that goes on during these few minutes. Just imagine that you spend all your life not being able to understand the mystery of fire, you nearly die several times while travelling all over the place to find it, you go through numerous fights to be able to acquire it and suddenly you see that it is possible to make it yourself… The tears in the main character’s eyes when the fire is lit speak for everything…

Being able to make fire anytime and anywhere was one of the key evolutionary moments for humanity. Many others came on the journey ever since. The shift from gathering food to growing food and the invention of agriculture. The constant invention of better and better tools to help us on our journey. The emergence of language and self-consciousness. Development of early spirituality and later conflict with spreading religious beliefs. The formation of science and its constant battle with religion. Steam engine, printing, map making, flight, cities, electricity, photography and filmmaking, internet and…

There are many evolutionary moments such as this on humanity’s journey. The last century gave birth to many of them, we realized for the first time our ability to destroy in a massive scale, we have seen the world shrink and became deeply connected across nations and divisions. We experimented with alternative ways of living on empathy, love and compassion. We have realized the limits of money-based economy and its unhealthy effects and for the first time in our history we have realized that our existence on this planet is not sustainable without re-learning how to weave our further evolution with species/nature/environment around us.

All of these are a part of our journey. Although looking back, some of the choices we made seem ignorant, stupid and destructive, it is important to realize that it is our current level of consciousness that allows for this judgment to happen. We got where we got and that is given, I believe it is a better use of our creative energy to look forward rather than trying to complain about our past. It will be our future choices not our past regrets that will determine our further evolution and existence on this planet…

One can only speculate what key evolutionary moments are waiting for us in the future… Emergence of authenticity and people organizing their lives around things they deeply believe in. Marriage between modern technology and nature. Healthy human presence on the planet in balance with other species and the Earth. Development of artificial intelligence, mainstream spirituality and heightened attention to what goes inside and outside of us. Or many others that did not make it to this paragraph… All part of our journey, all playing a crucial role for our existence…

What will be the most important evolutionary moment in the next 100 years according to you?

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