The tides of evolution are much like the tides of the ocean in that they are powerful, inevitable and can move, or go around, obstacles and can sweep away impediments that seek to divert or block their inevitable rhythm.
The course of human development throughout time is guided by evolution. Not evolution in the strict Darwinian sense of the word (or how Darwin is currently interpreted), but the inevitable progression of human achievements manifested through a precarious and ever changing blend of spiritual awareness and scientific knowledge.
A review of history reveals that, periodically, powerful trends, or evolutionary factors, converge at a single point in time and significantly change the course of humanity’s destiny. These moments occur only rarely during passage of time but the people that live through them and the events that transpire during those times profoundly impact the evolutionary path of humanity.
We live during such times. When the planet comes to the end of an evolutionary era and gets ready to rebirth or take an evolutionary shift, it can look frothy and chaotic.
Evolutionary trends destined to become the new foundations of humanity are juxtaposed with the existing structures and paradigms struggling to maintain their stability, relevance and their place in the old order of things. To people living during these times, it can feel like the crashing waves, high winds and chaos experienced during a hurricane!
Stunning, and previously unimaginable, advances in science, medicine and technology have occurred at such a rapid pace that society is struggling to integrate them into our existing legal, ethical, spiritual and societal structures. An inevitably greater awareness of universal spiritual values conflicts with a well-established structure of religious beliefs rooted in systems of faith that are hundreds, or even thousands, of years old. In the developed nations, a hybrid structure of industrialization and technology, along with well established political and legal systems that support capitalism and democracy, have produced a system of wealth creation that has brought unparalled material abundance and consumption but is seriously depleting and shattering the delicate ecosystems of the planet.
It feels as if the planet and the very structure of our civilization, from an economical, political cultural, environmental spiritual and emotional standpoint, is being enveloped by an overwhelming crisis. It is as if the very sustainability of human life on this planet is at stake.
And it is.
However, things are not always as they seem. Humanity is actually undergoing a powerful rebirth.
The signs of crises are actually the signs of a quantum transformation. It is at this moment that the future of humanity can unfold into the promise fulfilled of all the major religions.
As Barbara Marx Hubbard, President of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution, teaches us in her book, Conscious Evolution (1998):
- Quantum transformations are nature’s tradition. Quantum, in this context, means a jump from one state to the next that cannot be achieved through incremental change alone.
- Crises precede transformation. When nature reaches a limitation, it does not necessarily adapt and stabilize, it innovates and transforms. Problems are often evolutionary drivers vital to our transformation.
- Evolution raises consciousness and freedom. As a system becomes more complex – from non-life to life, from single cell to animal, from animal to human – it jumps in consciousness and freedom. Each is a jump through greater complexity.
Barbara notes that humanity is being given the tools to become co-creators of our reality through innovations in biotechnology, nanotechnology, genetic research, and the “growing body of knowledge in almost every arena – science, psychology, cosmology, art, literature, philosophy and business.”
What we are experiencing on this planet at this moment is a natural stage and the next step on the evolutionary spiral for humanity.
As we consciously co-create our next step on the evolutionary spiral, it is essential to realize that new structures and evolution for evolution’s sake are no longer adequate for humanity’s sake. The next turn in evolution must be heart-based evolution.
Much as this section has discussed the context of evolution and where humanity currently stands in the evolutionary spiral, the next section describes the cycles of U.S. history, where we are in that and how that impacts what is to come.
The Fourth Turning, a book by William Strauss and Neil Howe, documents the historical cycles of the United States. In this book, the authors show that American history is cyclical, comprised of four “turnings” of 20-25 years each that repeat in the same sequential patterns. The four turnings together comprise a saeculum – approximately 100 years, or the length of a long human life. The turnings are a High, an Awakening, an Unraveling and a Crisis and are always repeated in that sequence. America has experienced four full saeculums (and, consequently, sixteen turnings) since the 1500’s when the first European settlers arrived on the continent.
The three Crises in American history have been the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and the period of the Great Depression and World War II.
In the first turning, a High, the nation has just emerged from a Crisis (the Fourth Turning, or final period of the last saeculum). The last American High began in the late 1940’s after the nation had completed World War II, but flowered in the 1950s and early 1960s. A High marks a time of healthy economic growth, euphoria and a national unity born from the crucible of the last Crisis. Government has the national consensus and ability to propose - and accomplish - sweeping solutions to difficult issues confronting the country. It is a time when the views of the majority are in the forefront, but the views of the minority are rarely heard.
In the second turning, an Awakening, a new generation reaches young adulthood and begins to question and ultimately tear down and displace the value structure of the previous generation. It is a time of social ferment, agitation and unrest. Institutions and institutional values are attacked. The last American Awakening began in the 1960’s and reached its apex in the 1970’s.
In the third turning, an Unraveling, the social alienation and disdain for institutions that began brewing in the Awakening come into full flower. The United States is currently in an Unraveling era and the last Unraveling before this time was in the 1920’s. During these periods, the national unity of the High has dissolved into its opposite - a nation rife with culture wars that rage as the nation descends into political gridlock. The political leaders are partisans, who help facilitate the fragmentation of the nation into opposing ideological camps. As the opposite of the High, national consensus breaks down and the government seems powerless to address pressing national issues. On the other hand, individual freedom of expression peaks during this time, artistically and culturally. Unraveling eras always include accelerated economic activity that ends precipitously (stock market booms of the 1920’s and the 1990’s) and rapid technological advances (the appearance of automobiles, radios and telephones in the 1920’s and the Internet, biotechnology and personal computers of the 1980 and 1990’s). The social fabric that binds us all together as a nation and the covenants that have previously united us, and which, in the past, have created national consensus and a sense of community, starts to unravel.
This leads to the fourth turning, which is a Crisis. In this period, the rage and frustration of the culture wars that have steadily built since the second turning erupt into conflict, violence and upheaval. During this time, it seems as if the world has suddenly turned upside down. The foundations on which the country has previously been built and which have held stability and order for decades, feel threatened by forces unleashed that are so powerful and pervasive that it may seem as if the nation itself will not survive the turmoil of the Crisis. As noted before, the three previous Crises of the American nation were the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and the combination of the Great Depression and World
The energy of the Crisis will build for decades (the current crisis has been building since the 1960’s) but will be unexpectedly ignited by a catalyst, seemingly out of nowhere. The Boston Tea Party (Revolutionary War), Lincoln’s election (Civil War) and the day the stock market crashed (Great Depression) ushered America quickly and unexpectedly into bone jarring crises.
The crucible of the Crisis always holds tremendous transformational energy for the country and leads to changes in societal attitudes. Governmental institutions become stronger and more respected as the nation coalesces to meet the demands of the harsh new reality of the crisis. Teamwork, unity and social discipline become keys to the new national dynamic. Consensual, collective action is recognized as the most effective blueprint for effecting social change. Authority is respected and regarded as an essential component of addressing the overwhelming challenges facing the nation.
Emerging from a crisis, the nation eventually evolves from a country riven by bitter and intractable national divisions and consumed by a warren of competing and conflicting cultural values and political ideologies, to a people more united for a common purpose.
In the end, after the crescendo of the Crisis recedes, a new sense of national purpose and unity emerges that propels the country to a greater and higher manifest destiny.
After the Revolutionary War, a new nation was born. After the Civil War, a nation with a stronger foundation and a much clearer alignment with its highest ideas was born. After World War II, a new nation, whose destiny was to lead the world into its next great age, was born.
According to the authors, we should be, by now, in the last stages of the Unraveling and the beginning of the Crisis. There is ample evidence to support this given the chain of events since 2000: the extreme political gridlock (Editor’s Note: and the diametrical dips and swings in the moods of voters as well), all of which have driven the nation further apart
By all accounts, things look grim. However, just as in evolution - crisis precedes transformation.
The crisis will enable the nation to make sweeping and very necessary changes in its political, economic, cultural and spiritual systems. These changes, if done correctly, will enable this nation to emerge from this Crisis with a much higher destiny. America’s finest hour awaits us.
The convergence of the two powerful streams – evolutionary tides and the cycles of U.S history, is, and will, result in a dramatic and historical remaking of this country with profound impact on its destiny. The next section will discuss the rebirth of the nation and the role of the Foundation of the Evolution of America in assisting the United Sates to achieve its highest destiny
The Rebirth of the Nation
(Editor’s Note: We came across this compelling and still highly relevant article by Kelly Parker, founder of the Foundation of the Evolution of America, some time ago, but have no information on her with which to write a biographical note. We look forward to hearing more about and from Ms. Parker in the future and hope to see her foundation take wing.)
“America has faced pivotal points in history where the destiny of the country hung in the balance. Always, during these times, leaders arose, men and women who were called to challenges that were greater than themselves that changed the course of history forever.” – Kelly Parker
As is discussed in the previous sections, the United States is at a very crucial time in its history and is experiencing, and undergoing, very powerful evolutionary changes. Everywhere you look, powerful convergences in change are driving extraordinary developments in science, medicine and technology. These advances are compelling society to remake its ethical, spiritual and philosophical foundations.
This convergence of forces, when combined with advances in communications that sweep information across the globe at the push of a button, have created evolutionary tides, that once set in motion, are more powerful than we can currently envision.
Much as change of this nature creates transformation of scientific systems and spiritual/philosophical beliefs, so it also transforms the destiny and historical paths of nations.
The United States has been profoundly affected, and unalterably changed, by these rapid and dramatic surges in progress. The nation is, simultaneously, at the cusps of the end of an age and the beginning stages of a striking and remarkable rebirth.
Each nation has its own destiny to fulfill in the course of its existence and its own gifts and wisdom to give to the community of nations. Each age of the world has seen a certain set of nations whose ideas and principles uplifted humanity into a new, more enlightened age. The United States has reached this point in its destiny.
We feel that the creation of this nation was divinely ordained in order to change the history of the world. The powerful forces guiding this established a nation that would enshrine, in its very core values as God given rights, freedom, democracy, and the right of all people to create and determine their own destinies. Historically, the United States has been a powerful light for upliftment and a powerful deterrent to oppression.
As America begins to experience the pains of rebirthing itself, it is clear that the systems and structures in business, government, the media, science and medicine, education and the environment that have carried this country to its present state of development have outlived their usefulness. They are no longer adequate to carry us into the foundation that we are creating for the new future. New blueprints are to be designed and implemented for the nation to create a sustainable foundation for the future. In this new creation, we will value and use heart wisdom as the central core of the new blueprint.
In her book, The Heart’s Unraveling - The Birth of a New Evolutionary Directive, Maria Lucia Picaza, writes that:
“A country that does not love itself makes choices that are not sustainable and continues to stubbornly perpetuate its old and worn out ways with little change of sustainability for itself and its children.”
In order to evolve to the next stage of its destiny, the country will have to undergo a fundamental shift from the way it currently designs and approaches its sociological structures as a nation. This shift is crucial for its sustainability and the sustainability of the planet.
There are many people and organizations currently developing these new foundational structures for America, but we feel a coordinated effort is imperative in order for the country to make this transition to its new destiny.
The Foundation for the Evolution of America (FEA) will act as a nexus for these innovators to gather, exchange information, design new heart-based systems, structures and implementation plans for the new foundation of America.
The purpose of the Foundation is to assist the rebirth of the country by bringing the heart into the evolutionary change and into the forefront of eight major centers of influence in the nation - business, the political system, the media, science and medicine, education, the environment, religious and spiritual belief systems, and the arts and entertainment sector.
FEA will act as a neural network to connect and help coordinate the work of social innovators that are working on the creative forefront of society to bring in the new structures for the eight sections.
Evolution is demanding that we move forward. As noted earlier, it is clear that the systems and structures in business, government, the media, science and medicine, education and the environment that have carried this country to its present state of development have outlived their usefulness. Shifts in the environment tell us that our current methods of creation are no longer sustainable and we have been given the tools to create the next great shift on the evolutionary spiral for humanity. The profound transformation in humanity is already taking place and, if consciously created, using our innate connection to our heart wisdom and the Spirit inside each of us, we will truly be living Humanity’s Greatest Moment.