This post provides an exploration of how the Earth and Humans evolve. In summary, you will learn how life has progressed and how this shows that humans will always move forward. You will also understand what role suffering has to play in the development of life as a whole.
Has change always been taking place?
Undoubtedly, since the universe first began, its clear that change has always been taking place. The expansion of the galaxies, and the life cycle of stars, are just a few systems that show this change. At first, every star system started as a cloud of dust and gas. After billions of years, the force of gravity pulled everything together, which formed a central star, like the sun. Soon after that, the surrounding gas and dust became planets.
In summary, this is how the solar system and the planets formed. Can you see how gas and dust go on a long journey over many years to become planets or stars? For one thing, this shows that change is an essential part of all life and creation. Without constant change, nothing new could ever develop. In effect, you would have a stagnant universe that would no longer exist.
To illustrate the point of constant change further, consider the life of some of our nearby planets. For example, observe how much the atmosphere and surface of the planet Mars have transformed. During the early stages, of its life, it’s very likely that there were a dense atmosphere and liquid water. Later on, Mars could not protect itself from solar winds and radiation. By and large, because its protective magnetic field ceased to exist. As a result, it soon became unsuitable for even the simplest form of life to survive. Whereas, the Earth has evolved to support all the elements needed for life to thrive.
It’s clear that as Earth changed through its past, all life adapted. One of the most important events was when human beings first began to evolve.
How do humanity and Earth evolve?
The word ‘evolve’ comes from the term ‘evolution.’ Both these terms have the same meaning and refer to steady change.
Planets in the universe evolved from simple clouds of dust and gas. in the same way, humans have evolved from the most simple organisms over billions of years. As life changed, it became far more complicated. With all things considered, humans are the most evolved form of life. In light of this, they can think about their existence and place in the world.
Over thousands of years, humans have developed and changed hugely. Suppose you traced back to your first few human ancestors. For the most part, you would find that they will have all lived as hunter-gatherers. These are people who mainly lived by hunting, fishing, foraging as well as harvesting wild food. Similar tribes still exist today and shed light into how our ancestors lived.
Without a doubt, there are vast differences between these tribes and urban humans.
On the one hand, there is the bow and arrow that serves the purpose of hunting for food. On the other, there is a smartphone that seems to have limitless uses. Notice the differences between the bow and the phone. Can you see how far humanity has progressed in just a few millennia? Furthermore, notice how people have made use of resources and learnt how to build on existing knowledge. In reality, these changes are a result of humans that have kept evolving and learning.
Many branches of science work together to study all parts of the Earth’s history and the life that it supports. In the hope that we, as human beings, can understand our planet better. With this in mind, people can learn how to live more healthily and harmoniously.
Does the world’s suffering show that we are regressing?
A common point made by many is that humans are getting worse and probably devolving. The media raise instances of recent wars, starvation and wealth divide as proof of this. Moreover, when humans first learned how to split the atom, they made vast weapons of mass destruction. Seeing examples in the media and through history can lead you to question: Are we making progress as human beings? Or are we moving toward destroying each other and the Earth? Is this the behaviour of an evolved species?
Every aspect of life, at some point, will include chaos, pain and suffering. In short, these are the contrasts to peace, harmony and ease. Even though they seem the complete opposite, they are all the same life energy. You can never know or understand what one contrast is without having the view of its opposite. As human beings, we are now at a place of transition. At this point, we are becoming more aware of the impact that suffering has—both on ourselves and the Earth. The awakening of this knowledge is beginning to drive change.
At a human level, whenever pain reaches a threshold point, it can become tough to bear. Eventually, this serves to force you out of such a state and motivates the search for freedom.
Humanity is beginning to awaken.
Take the case of freedom of expression in the past few centuries. In some countries, merely expressing your opinion could get you killed. Contrarily, in the present day, most western countries have become far more open to new points of view. People are freer than ever before to live a lifestyle aligned with their own beliefs and choices. In the same fashion, some eastern countries are now changing. Sooner or later, others will begin to follow suit as the world must work together to make progress.
Many examples of leadership in the world are starting to function in a far more aware manner. In addition to this, a new, more mindful generation is now debating old beliefs to push change. At this time, the light of awareness has just begun to shine and is starting to affect the world.
For many years, there have been teachings on awakening from mental torment. Moreover, the central points of many lessons were the ‘end of suffering.’ Perhaps in the past, the world was not ready to apply such teachings. In contrast, the world now seems primed for awakening on a much larger scale.
Without a doubt, the Earth is gradually moving to a new and more balanced age. On the whole, this is part of humanity and the world’s next step of evolution.
Is Human evolution guaranteed?
In each stage of human history, people have seen and adapted to some large changes. For the most part, due to the circumstances that life placed them in. For example, during the Ice Age, (which ended less than 12000 years ago) the climate became very cold. Many species went died out, mainly due to not being able to adjust to the changes. On balance, humans survived by moving to hotter climates and made tools such as needles to make warm clothes.
Later, during the Neolithic period between 4000 to 9000 years ago, they learnt to both farm and produce food. The ability to store food took energy and time away from hunting. In turn, this allowed for progress in metalwork, art and building. Continued learning and change took humans into the Bronze Age, where they invented new ideas like the wheel. During this time, cities began to form as well as governments and law.
With this in mind, it’s clear that life is always a forward movement. The universe, including the planet, its climate and all life that it supports is subject to change. Hence, no regression can happen, just like the human race is not going to return to reinventing the wheel. Progress, making advances in growth and learning, have always been taking place. In essence, this shows that the human path of growth toward higher awareness is sure to happen.