April 11, 2009

Conscious Spirit and Evolution

Below is a post from Bill Harryman, dated June, 2005, on the possibility of an "integral" perspective on kosmic evolution. Bill is one of our all-time favorite bloggers, and a great example of someone who truly attempts to embody the positive synthesis of physical, emotional and intellectual health. His work (thru blogs and poetry and..) expresses a truly holistic sensibility rarely found on today's ever expanding internet.

In this post, Bill makes a great distinction between what should be taught in science classrooms (e.g., empirical science) and what can be explored through high school humanities courses. When creationists or other crypto-religious critics of evolutionary science argue for a "wider view" of the history of the Kosmos, they do so based on a confused and under-critical understanding of the inherent differences between empirical methods (and knowledge) and other kinds of knowing, interpreting and discourse.

A truly more sophisticated and "wider" perspective includes many methods and perspectives, each allowed to operate based within their own validity domains - and explicitly attempts to get at both broad (holistic) and narrow (analytic) understandings of living complexity. Thus, as Bill argues, humanities teaching (e.g., religious studies) can complement science (e.g., biology), simply because they address different aspects (perspectives) of the same integrated world.

And this is not to say that we agree with everything Wilber has to say about the nature of evolution, because we do not; only that however the Kosmos is unfolding, it certainly is part of Spirit's universal way.

From Integral Options Cafe:
On Evolution

by William Harryman

The following quotes attempt to articulate an integral view of evolution -- not the mere flatland view of scientific evolution, which is devoid of Spirit, but evolution as the unfolding of Spirit becoming conscious of itself. All quotes are from the books of Ken Wilber and are cited according to their place in the Collected Works (with individual book titles noted where appropriate). A brief commentary follows.
Evolution is best thought of as Spirit-in-action, God-in-the-making, where Spirit unfolds itself at every stage of development, thus manifesting more of itself, and realizing more of itself, at every unfolding. Spirit is not some particular stage, or some favorite ideology, or some specific god or goddess, but rather the entire process of unfolding itself, an infinite process that is completely present at every finite stage, but becomes more available to itself with evolutionary opening.
--CW 7: A Brief History of Everything, p. 61.
Read More: Here>

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