When we think of human evolution, we normally think of the past, the history of our evolution. And we may have in mind our evolutionary achievements, such as language, technology, manual dexterity, and the ability to self-reflect. But do we ever think about the future of our evolution? Or do we assume that human evolution has stopped? Given the state of the world today, we can be forgiven for thinking that we have stopped evolving, and that all that remains for us is to constantly try to solve the problems of our own making.
In fact, there is much evidence that we are still evolving, and that we may still have a long way to go. Although we like to think of ourselves as “top of the evolutionary tree”, humanity may still be in its infancy, in evolutionary terms. The evidence is that we are still evolving in five significant respects:
We are evolving physically, and this includes our health and longevity
We are evolving in consciousness and in knowing and understanding. Many of us are more conscious, and as a species we know and understand much more
We are evolving in intelligence – defined as “behaving wisely and well”. It often does not seem so, when we look around us or watch the news, but the overall trend is positive
We are evolving in character and maturity. This means many things, such as our ethics and morality. In practice, it means we are becoming kinder, stronger, more disciplined
We are evolving in ability, in two senses: we can do current things better; and we can do completely new things, including that considered by some to be “paranormal”
An important part of the evidence that we are still evolving is that large numbers of people are working on their own evolution (although they probably do not use this term). Under headings such as “personal development” or “therapy” or “spiritual practice, they are working on their health, their consciousness, their intelligence, their character, or their abilities – any or all of these.
Given the existential threats that just one species – ourselves – pose to this planet, there is clearly an urgent need for we human beings to evolve as much as possible, so that we can become what we are capable of being – wise and kind, with the will and capacity to care for each other and this planet as they are meant to be cared for. I hope that it goes without saying that this will involve work, much of it. That said, if you work regularly on yourself, you will almost certainly evolve. And as you evolve as an individual, humanity as a whole will somehow reflect your personal evolution.