The human race has come a long way in attaining its present state of evolution. From a single cell amoeba to the complex mechanism of our present-day physical bodies, one can look back at the journey so far with some reverence and pride.
But what does the future portend? What would be the salient features of the next level of our species? This article is an attempt at answering this query through the haze of our present-day myopic vision and limited capabilities.
As you read this, possibly with a steaming cup of coffee by your side and soothing music playing in the background, little do you realize the kind of miracle you and I represent.
One, we are both uniquely configured. As a physical body, we stand alone. As mental beings, we carry a unique set of beliefs and value systems which define our thoughts, actions and words. Our nature carries the baggage of all our habits and prejudices acquired during all our previous births, as also the ones freshly added from this one. Unknown to us, these determine the frame of reference we have in this lifetime. This in turn determines the perspective we have on whatever we encounter in life.
Two, we have been singularly lucky. All our ancestors were successful in finding a soul mate and ended up furthering the process of procreation. Whether it was a random outcome of Cupid’s arrows or a decision which was governed by social norms prevailing then, we may not know. We ourselves are the veritable proof that we have appeared after a long drawn out series of successful reproductive endeavors of our ancestors.
Three, a million years back, even the most prescient of magicians could not have forecast that we would eventually evolve into a species known as Homo Sapiens. When it came to evolution, we have repeatedly enjoyed biological benevolence and good fortune. In the process, what an amazing transformation we have gone through! We were possibly the first organism to have been bombarded on earth by a meteoric shower originating from Mars. From a single cell structure, we have today become a highly sophisticated machinery which willy-nilly is aware of its own existence.
In the interim, we have undergone repeated transformations. We have never been attached to a particular type, shape, color or size for too long. We first developed a liking for oxygen. We then frolicked about in the deep oceans, before trying to rule land in various forms. We bore our way underground and climbed on trees. We took wings and enjoyed the freedom of mobility, often backed by a highly effective GPS.
We became as big as a zebra or an elephant and as small as a lizard or a rat. We attempted several hissing and slithering forms and showed exemplary flexibility in adapting to newer challenges from the environment. From bonobos and apes to Homo Sapiens has been a logical jump for us, and we know that we have indeed arrived.
We now roam about all corners of the solar system. We keep messing up the fragile environment we have been gifted with. We have possibly come to believe that the journey of evolution is over. We think we can now rest on our laurels and remain content with inventing newer and better means to destroy ourselves.
Well, past experience does not support this line of thought. We are apparently on a journey the destination of which is still far away. The forces of nature are inexorably leading us towards further evolution, possibly into a kind of species which would be far more sophisticated and intelligent than we can presently imagine.
Sure enough, the seeds of our appearance and growth had been present amongst bonobos and other primates. Likewise, the seeds of the species to come must already be within us. More significantly, we do not have a choice but to ascend to higher planes of consciousness and physical perfection. The life force which has propelled us so far shall continue to do so in the times to come.
Let us consider this hypothesis further. What would be the salient characteristics of the next level of our species?
We might take a leap beyond logic. Intuitive powers may dominate our day-to-day living. We might become more aware of our souls and simply enjoy the bliss of pure and benign thoughts, leading to that elusive glow of inner happiness and an all-pervading joy. Our dependence on outer sources and gadgets for our happiness may see a gradual reduction, thereby freeing us from the incessant flow of our desires, as at present.
Our capacity to absorb knowledge may multiply manifold. The physical body might become much stronger and also capable of healing itself. A specialist may be able to ‘treat’ us in a distance mode and maintain our well-being. Visits to health centers may become less frequent, except in cases where organ replacements become essential.
Changes in our biological systems may come about. Our psychic powers may get more refined. May be, we shall become so evolved as to be less dependent on our sensory perceptions. We might be able to converse with each other without having to speak. We might be able to intuitively know how the other person is feeling and tailor our response and behavior accordingly. In other words, languages may start becoming extinct.
In evolving further, we are bound to face challenges. But the incessant process of evolution itself might present the solutions we shall need – not only to survive but to do even better. The struggle of the good ones amongst us to out-survive the bad ones shall continue forever. As we evolve further, the need for a spiritual outlook shall only grow.
As the miracle unfolds in the centuries to follow, our heads shall bow in reverence to the mighty and inexorable forces of nature and nurture which continue propelling us on the highway of evolution. On our part, a focus on spiritual practices might hasten the process.
(Grateful acknowledgements are due to a spiritually evolved guide, friend and philosopher; paintings courtesy M F Hussain and Huta.)
(Published in NAMAH, the Journal of Integral Health, Vol 22, Issue 1 dated the 24th of April, 2014)