The Evolution of Man. Part I

During the last few thousand years man has made great steps in his evolution. The early nomadic forms of man were primarily concerned with survival, with obtaining the basic necessities of life and protecting himself against environmental hazards. Since then man has been more and more able to control nature in accordance with his own needs and whims. In other words, nature has increasingly become the servant of man instead of the enemy. Particularly in modern times man has been able to devote more time to affairs outside mere survival. People are able to think about such questions as existence and happiness. Furthermore, whereas primitive man’s evolution was determined by the external environment, modern man is able to decide the direction of his own evolution. The direction of man’s evolution so far has in general been physical and mental. That is, the human body became an increasingly efficient instrument and the mind more capable of heightened intellectual sophistication and deeper thoughts. This process is still continuing. Yet at the same time, this path of evolution appears to have come to a dead-end. Or rather we should say that this evolution process seems now to be suspended above an abyss. The path continues on the other side of the chasm, vet to continue on this path one must build a bridge. This bridge is meditation. Each of us have reached a certain point in our evolution, vet at the same time our present condition and values seem to be lopsided. Something is missing from our lives. This missing link is inner, spiritual evolution. This is the whole point of meditation.

Evolution is a continuous progression from the unrefined to the refined, from the disorderly to the orderly and from the gross to the subtle. The present time is a crossroads in the path of evolution. We can either continue our present physical and rational development and fall into the abyss, or we can develop and untold our more subtle inner faculties to land safely on the other side. In other words, we can continue to concern ourselves only with the external world to the exclusion of our inner being, or else we can realize our inner potential while still expressing ourselves in the outer environment. This is the choice. The first choice leads to chaos and unhappiness as is prevalent in the world today. The alternative leads to knowledge, happiness and a harmonious interaction not only with yourself but with others. Furthermore, the first choice has limitations in its scope, whereas the second offers infinite possibilities, for it leads into new and higher planes of existence, new planes of consciousness, and to indescribable states of happiness. The second choice is the spiritual path. It does not lead to abandonment of the external world. On the contrary, it leads to even more growth, enjoyment and accomplishment in day to day activities.

This alternative path of evolution has been known and explored by large numbers of people throughout history. It is not something new or recently discovered. It is not a path that has been taught and practised by a few deluded people with their ‘heads in the clouds’. On the contrary they were very practical people. They were the saints, prophets, mystics, sages and yogis who have existed in all places, eras and in all societies. They all knew that the path each of us must tread lies in awakening our inner potential.

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