COLLECTIVE EVOLUTIONARY CONSCIOUSNESS
Dr. Ron Friedman
New approaches to problems of the magnitude we now face as a species are hard to come by. New combinations of old patterns of thinking and acting are not working. Is Evolution itself telling us that we must find a new way of working together as a species? Is our survival dependent on it? Is it possible that we are dealing with an offer that we cannot refuse?
When we survey the evolutionary landscape, some simple truths emerge to guide us. No created unit, be it an electron, a carbon atom, a liver cell, a planet and probably a galaxy functions alone without a relationship to others of its kind. The ability to function as a connected and cooperating group clearly is not only an advantage but apparently a reflection and requirement of evolutionary law.
At a biological level, a healthy individual unit must be self-sustaining, cooperate with others, and serve a larger ecosystem. The gathering of individual units into a larger integrated whole gives the new more complex unit abilities and possibilities not present in the individual. The greater complexity hides a larger simplicity, an elegant higher integration of all the complex subunits. The joining of cells forms an organ, the joining of organs forms a body and the body is subject to a higher organizing entity called consciousness that will now direct the magnificent instrument at its disposal.
What about a gathering of human beings? What is our next evolutionary stage?
As we experientially and experimentally begin to take in the fact that what we are is not limited to our physical body and that we are an energy form that is directed by thought and consciousness, a whole new series of questions begin to emerge. How do we influence one another, whether close by or at a distance? What is our responsibility to one another as interactive energy fields? If we are truly connected to one another and everything else instantaneously, what is our relationship to everything that is happening at this very instant everywhere? What is our relationship to the evolutionary process itself and how do we influence It?
To begin to approach these questions, there is a growing worldwide interest in the phenomenon of groups experiencing a collective evolutionary consciousness. One definition of collective consciousness is that it is a field of group consciousness that has qualities or attributes beyond the sum of the contribution of all the individual group members. That field is not simply additive, it has new and unexpected properties such as heightened intelligence, creativity and a true Unity experienced simultaneously by all group members. Such a meeting is evolutionary in that it is a prototype for a more conscious form of co-creative human relationship and communication. In this type of Circle the topic of how we got to where we are as a species and where we will be going in the future becomes of central importance. At the same time, underlying any topic, there is an ongoing exploration of our relationship with the field itself.
For fifteen years, Vistar Foundation has been devoted to exploring and witnessing the power and potential of a collective evolutionary consciousness. It is our conviction that a gathering of individuals aligned in the intention to serve their own growth, the larger objectives of the group and the unfolding of the potential of all of humanity is a prototype for what meetings will be in the next stage of our evolutionary journey. We call such a gathering an Evolutionary Circle. Such Circles are now forming all over the world.
with Barbara Marx Hubbard – Mar. 13
with Andrea Adler – Feb. 13
with Jodi Serota and Kristin Hoffman – Jan. 22
with Anodea Judith – Nov. 21
with Victoria Friedman – Sept 26
with Steve Farrell – July 31
with Mark Porteous – June 13