16. Development phases of Life and of Humanity -------------------------- Previous - Next - Contents

We are all very familiar with the early growth stages of a new born baby. I have forgotten the exact sequence of events, but the main stages include :

  1. crawling around on all fours
  2. trying to get up and after some practice walk the first few steps
  3. grasping a spoon and managing to use it for eating
  4. learning the first few words
  5. gradually widening the circle of awareness

Now, did it ever occur to you that these small milestones are exactly the same as the progressive development stages of the early human species ?

  1. our earliest "ancestors" lived in the trees and walked around on all fours
  2. they then descended to the ground and started to walk upright on two legs
  3. they started to pick up and grasp an implement like a stick, perhaps using it to dig food from the earth
  4. they gradually communicated with one another through more complex patterns of speech
  5. and they widened their awareness ever farther beyond their immediate sphere of interest

In other words, the familiar and natural progress of a new born baby (representing the Growth Phase on the Diagram below) mimics the early development of our species, but within a millions of times reduced time span, like a very fast speed up film.
So I ask myself, if our Growth Phase of life imitates the early development of our species, can we turn the comparison the other way around ? Can the rest of the Diagram, covering the life of an individual, be used to predict further evolution of the human species ? I find this a most intriguing and attractive idea.
Let us assume that this is true, then where, as human species, are we now in our development ?
Phases of Life, genes and memes

I firmly believe that the human species is right now somewhere in the middle of the second Life Phase, the Reproductive Phase. We live in a hugely materialistic world, literally everything is judged and decided by the "bottom line". On a small scale too, we are still very selfish, greedy and money is the main consideration of almost all decisions we make. In other words we are still very much under the control of the "selfish" gene.
True we are trying to improve, help our fellow man, the underdeveloped countries, the suppressed. But it is only in its very early stages. We have moved forward these past 500 years or so, but still have a long way to go.

What is required to move forward in our development towards the two Meme Phases (on above Diagram), away from selfishness and to direct our lives and actions on the basis altruism, goodness and help towards our fellow man ?   I believe two essential and most important steps are :

  1. Firstly the greater spread of education and improvement of living standards.   Most in the underdeveloped world are still illiterate and live in appalling conditions. No improvement of their understanding and awareness is possible without that.

  2. Secondly it is necessary to leave behind us the old religions which are based on concepts and indoctrinations derived from our ignorant past. This too is holding us back from positive development.
Only when these two goals are being accomplished (I believe) are we firmly on a path of positive evolution and enlightenment. How long will this take ? My guess is anywhere between 500 to 1,000 years. If we manage that without self destruction and within such time frame we have done well as a species.

I have hurried these last few Awareness sections through to have them out off the way before my travel. More thoughts on these will no doubt follow in due course. My entries from now on may appear at somewhat irregular intervals with two or more days uploaded at the same time, depending on where I am during my travels.

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Copyright © 2010 Michael Furstner