The Most Amazing Story You Have Never Heard
We have all heard of Charles Darwin and his description of evolution. Scientists are still arguing over the details of exactly how it all happened, but the idea that such an incredible array of life forms can only have happened with “a creator” is now generally regarded as irrelevant. Some theists, believers in a God, remain convinced that life seems so amazingly directed it could not happen through evolution.
However, there is another understanding of these events that is never told – and is one that neither the scientists nor the theists want to consider, for their different reasons.
Let’s go back a little and imagine the life of planet earth as if it happened over one year.
Boom! January 1st – 9.3 billion years after the big bang – and there we are!
A blob of molten stuff whizzing around our sun. Meanwhile, here we are, looking back on this amazing year at midnight on December 31st, just as the New Year is starting.
It took a little while for that molten blob to settle down, but it seems it became hospitable enough for “life” to appear perhaps half a billion years later! That is in February of our “Planet Earth in one calendar year” scenario. By the end of March, there is no doubt about the evidence of life. By “life” we mean the remains of tiny, microscopic creatures, each made up of one cell, like bacteria. To put that into perspective, the modern human body is said to be made up of about 37,000,000,000,000 (37 trillion) cells.
Nothing much changes until November! Only then creatures made up of more than one cell leave traces of their existence in the fossil records.
Then the process really starts to take off with the sudden – well relatively sudden, like over about ten million years or so – arrival of thousands of new kinds of creatures each made up of many cells.
There were some big dramas around the 10th of December. Volcanoes spewing out carbon dioxide, and then like now, turning the oceans acid and removing its oxygen…. Most of the existing life forms were destroyed at that time in a mass extinction often called “The Great Dying.”
It is another 50 million years before a more hospitable environment emerged – that is 4 days in our Planet Earth in the one-year scenario. Now we are in mid-December and into serious Jurassic Park times. Just around the same time, the first mammals appeared. So, that is your uber-great-great grandmother!
These lengths of time are just so huge it is hard to grasp. So, looking backwards, the AD / BC division before and after the birth of Jesus of Nazareth is 2000 years ago. Five times longer ago than that, and we come to the birth of agriculture.
Twenty times longer ago than that – about 200,000 years ago – and you are starting to see the first humans.
Five times longer ago than that and you reach one million years. And we are just talking about an interval of 50 million years… four days on our Planet Earth in this one-year metaphor.
Then came the end of the dinosaurs. That is a little over five days ago from where we are standing at midnight on New Year’s Eve.
At coffee time on New Year’s Eve morning, for some reason, the chimps and the bonobos went their separate way, and we went ours.
Now we come to the most untold story of all time.
Yes, we know these pre-human, two-legged apes spent that last afternoon of the year learning to walk upright, learning to use their thumbs so they could tightly grip stuff, learning to make tools so they could survive, and learning how to move on from the simple gestures we still share with our animal cousins to verbal language!
In a blink of a cosmic eye, after billions of years, this human animal is making spears and other weapons to hunt for food and is learning to control fire and using it to cook, radically changing its dietary situation. Meanwhile, its brain makes a dramatic increase in size.
Such was the power of those changes that you are now reading these words about your own evolution. Meanwhile, your pet dog sleeps blissfully at your feet, completely unaware that there is anyone much interested in what happened yesterday, or tomorrow for that matter – or more poignantly, what it means to be, or not to be, a dog!
Yes, that transition from non-human animal to human animal is perhaps the greatest watershed moment in the history of planet earth.
It is the moment when the human mind appears. Which means the end of what Osho calls “unconscious evolution.” With the mind, comes awareness, including the awareness to know that it is not a doggie! And with that awareness comes judgment and all the other qualities we associate with the mind. This mind is a brilliant survival mechanism, and most importantly, the moment heralds the possibility of consciousnesses.
In Osho’s words:
“The mind is the bridge between matter and consciousness, between without and within, between the gross and the subtle.”¹
After all those billions of years of unconscious evolution, nature has reached a point where it has created a creature that is qualitatively more conscious than any previous creature.
As Osho puts it:
“This evolution to the human stage is the highest flowering in nature.“
“Nature is unconscious evolution, godliness is conscious evolution, and man is the link in between.Your further evolution is in your own hands.”
So, it has taken about one-third of the history of the universe for single-celled life forms to evolve into creatures with the potential for consciousness.
Does that mean that this is such an incredibly long and tortuous journey that it may never have happened anywhere else beyond our solar system? Who knows?
The point is that the transformation of matter into consciousness is the greatest moment in the history of the universe, wherever and whenever it happens.
And the greatest challenge to us all, as described, here, and here.
This is a very different view of evolution and totally changes our understanding of what is going on.
Up until now, in the contemporary world, there have been two parties to the discussion. Firstly, there are the theists who are clinging to the childish need for a father figure in the sky. They rationalize that need with the argument that life seems so intelligently arranged, and so complicated, that it could only happen with a “creator.”
And secondly, there are the scientists who are basically materialists, meaning that they believe that the essence of everything is “matter.” So, while they correctly see the mind as a biochemical super-machine, they then assume that consciousness can only be part of that material mind.
“No ghosts in the machine” is how the materialists confidently assert this belief – as if their believing something makes it true.
Osho presents a totally unappreciated point about this watershed moment: unconscious evolution stops once it has created the material basis, that is the human mind, for consciousness to emerge.
From this perspective, the human body is not going to keep evolving as before, any more than there is a queue of monkeys waiting to climb down from the trees to slip on a shirt and tie and head off to work! They are still exactly where we left them 7 million years ago.
So, while the theists insist there must a creator, a “God” at the beginning of it all, Osho makes the opposite point:
“God is not the beginning, godliness is in the end. God is not the creator, but godliness is the ultimate peak, the omega point of evolution. It is the last, not the first; not the alpha but the omega.”²
And the consciousness at the peak of that conscious evolution is just another word for godliness.
As Osho makes clear:
“Consciousness is godliness.”³
See also the contrast with the conventional scientific view. While the Scientific American 4 is clear that, “The evolutionary origins of our cognitive abilities thus remain rather hazy,” evolutionary psychologists explain, “Natural selection has no goals, foresight, or morality; all that matters are the effects that inherited traits have on survival and reproduction.”5
While Osho’s is saying something radically different here:
“This infinite universe you see about you, this sun, moon, stars and planets, is not without cause. This whole evolving system exists within a great framework, within a great destiny. Just as flowers are hidden in a tiny seed and bloom from that seed, the potentiality of godliness flowering is hidden in the vast universe.
“Everything in it is moving towards this flowering, towards this manifestation.”
What Osho is explaining is that consciousness is what the universe is all about. So, naturally, the incredible story of evolution seems so intelligent because consciousness is what “life” does for a living! And there is nothing more intelligent than consciousness.
You can read the exact details of this dramatically different understanding here.
As Osho describes it, the next step in evolution is the evolution of consciousness. It is a journey from unconscious evolution, which is part of nature, to conscious evolution which no longer “just happens.” It depends on each individual explorer creating the situation to allow it to happen.
So, while unconscious evolution is collective, conscious evolution is individual.
This transforms our whole understanding of our world and our place in it, where it is going, and where it could go.
As Osho explains, for millennia, the scientists of the East have approached the question of consciousness from a completely different understanding from the contemporary Western approach, scientific or otherwise. Of course, those mystic didn’t have laboratories so there was no question of exploring matter, let alone only matter like today’s Western scientists. Instead, they explored their own inner worlds: the world of consciousness they discovered that lay beyond their minds.
Patanjali’s first Yoga Sutra talks about “the cessation of the mind.” Since then, wherever you look, those inner explorers all confirm the same basic hypothesis. All the mystics of the East – whether from India, Tibet, China, Japan, or in fact from most of the East – all concurred on this one point: consciousness happens when the mind is transcended.
The mind is a gift of nature to every human being, while consciousness is only a potential in each one of us.
For mystics, this creates a totally hilarious situation. White-coated scientists are earnestly staring down test tubes looking for consciousness. They insist that “proper” science is “objective” and must leave the scientist himself or herself out of the equation. In truth, the only place they are going to find consciousness is by looking in exactly the opposite direction! At themselves, not at the test tube!
No wonder scientists are struggling with what they call, “the hard question” of consciousness. It is bound to be hard if you are pointing in precisely the wrong direction!
As always, there are exceptions. The real Western geniuses do understand that the mind is not the only doorway to explore existence! As Einstein put it:
“The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it Intuition or what you will, the solution comes to you and you don’t know how or why.”
The implication of this failure to appreciate both the value and the dangers of the human mind cannot be overstated.
Humans start their journey with the arrival of the mind. It ensures the survival of this otherwise rather weak and vulnerable animal. Now they can make weapons like spears that can be thrown from a safe distance. They could communicate and strategize – not to mention then being able to cook the animals they kill.
The result is that this physically modest creature becomes so formidable it takes over the whole planet.
Here we are. On the cusp of the New Year.
Modern humans arrived about 200,000 years ago. That is just 12 minutes before midnight on New Year’s Eve where we are standing on our Earth-in-a-year scenario. Agriculture starts about 70 seconds ago.
The first recorded understandings of the transcendence of the mind as the doorway to consciousness by those original, revolutionary mystics – Patanjali, Buddha, Mahavira, Lao Tzu, Socrates, Zarathustra… – happened about 15 seconds ago. Darwin wrote The Origin of the Species a second or two before midnight!
From this standpoint, you can see that the arrival of the human mind is a very recent event. You can also see that the spears it helped create to ensure our survival have now become intercontinental ballistic missiles with multiple nuclear warheads which now threaten that survival. While the control of fire and the ability to burn carbon-based fuels, like firewood, to cook our food was another revolution in our ability to survive, it is now we who are being cooked by a climate catastrophe because of the burning of carbon-based fuels.
In short, the mind that brought us this far is now the greatest threat to our continued survival.
If those mystics are correct, which any western scientist can confirm by looking within themselves at their own mind and what lies beyond it, then a totally different set of options emerge.
Those mystics have concluded, all of them, that the mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. Its very operating system is based on contrast. It is a brilliant analyzer, dividing everything into smaller and smaller elements, but always by contrasting one aspect against its opposite. Night and day, up and down, inner and outer, good and bad, left and right, and so on.
So, if you want to sort out your tax returns, the mind may be the best assistant you have. But for anything that benefits from harmony rather than contrast, the mind is helpless. All it can do is accentuate divisions, which provide the basis for conflict.
Which is exactly the way the world is working. Look at the map of “nations.” Look at where people are fighting and killing each other. Look at politics. Look at religion. “Peace of mind” is a complete contradiction in terms, as is “mental health.” So, here we are with 25% of the richest people in the world being prescribed drugs to diminish the inevitable effects of that same conflict-creating mechanism – the human mind.
As Osho puts it so succinctly:
“These are the three fights: man fights with other men, man fights with nature, man fights with himself. When man fights with other men it is politics. When man fights with nature it is science. And when man fights with himself it is religion.” 6
You can see the endless flow of this madness here and here.
There is no harmony anywhere because that is not what the mind does, and we insist that the mind is our greatest asset, so we make it the master.
From Osho’s perspective, the evolution of technology in the absence of an evolution in consciousness is creating an infantile humanity.
Osho also describes how how only conscious evolution, transcending the mind, can lead to freedom, and what are the barriers we create to prevent our own evolution!
For health, relaxation, or sleep; for friendliness, for love, for music, for dance, for playfulness; for the ability to embrace the differences between us – basically for anything that makes life worth living, the mind cannot help and can only hinder.
Hence the mystics’ insistence on no-mind and the significance of conscious evolution to us all.
So, here is the ultimate question that faces Homo sapiens and its civilization. Will those Western scientists of the outer world have the intelligence and humility to consider the thousands of years of work by the inner scientists of the East?
If the intelligentsia, including the scientists, could understand how crucial it is to explore this fundamental shift in how we understand the potential future of human being, everything can change.
Yes, that transition from non-human animal to human animal is perhaps the greatest watershed moment in the history of Planet Earth so far. Now we need to take the next step in this extraordinary journey. From human animal to conscious human beings. From mind to no-mind.
1- Osho, The Ultimate Alchemy, Vol. 1, Talk #7 – Mind Is the Bridge between Matter and Consciousness
2- Osho, The Book of Secrets, Talk #63 – Start Creating Yourself
3- Osho, The Old Pond…Plop!, Talk #24
4- The Origin of the Mind – Scientific American
5- Understanding the mind from an evolutionary perspective: an overview of evolutionary psychology – Todd K. Shackelford and James R. Liddle
6- Osho, Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol. 2, Talk #4 – Earth and Sky Apart
Links to excerpts from Osho on different aspects of evolution:
From Unconscious Evolution to a Revolution in Consciousness
Evolution and Consciousness – The Ultimate Journey
What Is the Evolution of a Seeker on the Journey to Consciousness?
From Natural Selection to Conscious Evolution to Total Consciousness
Evolution and Consciousness – From Existence to Essence
From Instinct to Boredom – Have Human Beings Stopped Evolving?
Does Evolution Naturally Lead to Freedom?
This article is published on Medium