Conscious Evolution - a new vision of the future

Conscious Evolution is a new worldview that can guide humanity toward a future equal to our spiritual, social, scientific, and technological capacities.

This new worldview recognizes that humanity is entering the next stage of evolution. Evolution itself has been going on for 13.8 billion years, including five mass extinctions.  It has been a process leading toward higher levels of consciousness, freedom, and creativity through more complex order. The fact is, however, that the species involved — including the vast number who are now extinct — were not aware that they were evolving.

Now, a radical change has occurred. This current generation has become aware of our own evolution and is beginning to realize that everything we do impacts it — including the babies we have, the food we eat, the cars we drive, the wars we fight, and the aspirations that attract us. On a deeper level, we are becoming aware that we are evolution. In every atom, molecule, cell, organ, and level of our beings we are embodying the entire story of creation. We are the Universe, in person, waking up to this amazing fact. The creative impulse within each of us to be more, do more, create more, and love more, is the impulse of evolution itself incarnate in us, seeking its greater expression as we realize our full potential as unique selves. 

As Marc Gafni writes in Your Unique Self: “Evolution is the creative impulse inherent in the Kosmos, to unfold toward ever higher levels of complexity, consciousness and goodness…. Your Unique Self is the individualized expression of the love-intelligence that is the very eros of evolution that lives as you.”
As we are becoming aware of evolution on the scientific external level, some of us are awakening to the evolutionary impulse within, which drives us to higher love and creativity, animates our genius, and activates our life purpose. At the very same time, we realize we are heading for potential devolution and destruction.  We are shocked and horrified by humanity’s appalling cruelty to each other, while at the very same time, we are being awakened by our rising empathy, kindness, and caring for all life on the planet.

During this chaotic and confusing time, many of us are also becoming aware that none of our existing structures or systems such as governance, education, health care, economics, environment, etc., is designed to handle global changes of this magnitude. In fact, the very opposite is true in many ways. The current monetary system produces radical inequalities with billions of people in poverty while the global war machine is sucking up resources as one of the dominant enterprises in the world. Our political systems, including liberal democracy, are not yet capable of global cooperation. Our organized religions contend with each other, and the ever more specialized nature of higher education does not encourage holistic thinking. All of these and more are foundational causes of the breakdowns we are facing. We are at the end of one phase of human consciousness and behavior and are experiencing the emergence of a new era of evolution itself.

From an evolutionary point of view, despite all the suffering, this is surprisingly good news. Why? Because we have learned from the past 13.8 billion years that crises preceed transformation. Problems are evolutionary drivers. Stress causes evolution. How does nature respond to crises? Nature takes leaps by creating new whole systems greater than the sum of their parts. This is precisely the kind of dangerous leap we are living through. Evolution is moving toward higher consciousness and greater freedom through more complex order. That direction is inherent in each of us as our own inner motivation to be more, do more, and love more.

In the face of these breakdowns of existing systems, emerging new systems, new vocations, new innovations, breakthroughs, and new understanding of reality itself, are growing daily.  Unfortunately, though, most people have no idea of the great forces that are working toward this emergence, because they are not considered “news” by the media, who focus instead on what is breaking down and not working.
Nonetheless, the fact is that we are entering a new phase of evolution itself. In simple terms it could be called Conscious Evolution, because it is happening by choice not chance. We are aware of evolution and we know we are affecting it. We are awakening to a desire in our hearts to take part in our own emergence to our full potential.  It is truly a challenging situation in that humanity has no experience of global change for survival at this scale.

This is the purpose of my book Conscious Evolution: Awakening the Power of Our Social Potential — to explain the new world view of conscious evolution and to give guidance to us now during this evolutionary crisis and transformation as to how to evolve consciously toward a future equal to our power and love.   Conscious Evolution offers a spirit-motivated process of action that suggests how we can work together for the next phase of evolution.

I believe that the fact that we are evolving, that conscious evolution is now happening at the growing edges of our awareness, will be seen in retrospect as the next stage of evolution, comparable to the origin of self-reflective consciousness in homo sapiens sapiens about 50,000 years ago. Can you imagine what it must have been like? We came forth from the caves with no fur, no claws, no teeth, no weapons, and no clothes! It is really unbelievable that our species was able to accomplish human civilization in an evolutionary blink of the eye — to make tools, learn agriculture, invent language and writing, to create all the religions, to invent science, technology, mathematics, and democracy, to build weapons of mass destruction and technologies of mass evolution.

I believe there are now three great emergent themes that hold the potential to give us the new patterns of evolution that are commensurate with nature’s great 13.8 billion-year tendency to move to higher orders of consciousness and creativity through ever greater complexity and synergistic order.

They are the New Story, the New Person and the New Society.

The New Story is the evolutionary story of creation with us in it as the next stage of evolution. It is both the external miracle of evolution from the first flaring forth of the Big Bang through the formation of quarks, electrons, protons, energy, galaxies, supernovas, and materials that formed trillions of planets. On Earth, the New Story reveals the miracle that the rock of Earth gave birth to bacteria, cells, DNA, fish, plants, the biosphere, large animals, the early humans, Homo erectus, Homo habilis, Homo Neanderthal, Homo sapiens, Homo sapiens sapiens, and now to us — Homo Co-Creators. This is who we are, whether we are aware of it or not, incorporating in our very body and spirit the impulse of evolution itself.
This eros or tendency to higher love, creativity, and genius is what Marc Gafni is calling the “Unique Self.”  When we put ourselves in the story as the story we should not be surprised that we may indeed become an emerging species. Why not? Nature is always creating new species in new conditions, to take advantages of new capacities for higher consciousness and more life.

The New Story of Creation gives us the awareness of the meaning of our crises as the birth of a more highly evolved humanity — or as devolution and extinction.
The second great theme is the New Human: Homo Co-Creator. This is the kind of human who is becoming conscious of evolution, aware that we are evolution, and can sense within themselves a driving yearning for greater love, greater expression of vocation, more creativity, and connectivity with one another. This type of human I am calling Homo Co-Creator is already emerging. Sometimes it feels to me that we are like green shoots coming up through the snow in the spring. We are a surprise!  I have wondered that if we were a bulb, growing through the green stalk, piercing through snow in the early spring, could we imagine ourselves becoming the daffodil? Could we envision the magnificence of the bloom? I think the answer for humans is yes.

The reason we can imagine and cultivate ourselves toward the future human is because we know this is the tendency of evolution and we feel it as a rising tide of passion within ourselves.  We are learning a great new process:  Co-Creation. This means experiencing the creative impulse of evolution within as our own desire to become more fully who we are, to more completely express our Unique Selves. Homo Co-Creator is learning how to join genius to give birth to the greater self and to the work in the world. It requires a fusion beyond the ego of two or more joining together and creating something far greater than the sum of their parts. The co-creative woman and the co-creative man are early members of the emerging species at the dawn of the first Age of Conscious Evolution.

Finally we come to the Co-Creative Society. Clearly, this is a society made up of co-creative humans. It is in the process of developing new structures of self-governance and self-organization — structures that cultivate social synergy, cooperation, and love. For billions of years nature has been taking jumps through connecting separate parts to make a new whole different than and greater than the sum of the parts.  The Co-Creative Society is developing processes and new social architecture that facilitate the seeking of common goals and matching needs and resources in the light of the new potentials of the whole system. In Monterrey, Mexico, in Cairo, Egypt, in Chicago and elsewhere people are experimenting with co-creating in what we call a Wheel of Co-Creation.

People are invited to choose which functional sector of the Wheel, such as health, education, economic, government, arts, etc., they want to enter to co-create. In Conscious Evolution, I describe how these Wheels can be used in practical ways to bring people together to co-create a new culture commensurate with our desire to join genius rather than to self-destroy.  

I anticipate that over the course of the next five years we will see the outlines of this new culture arising from creative humans, fulfilling the next chapter of the new Story of Creation.  I am now 85 years old; I will be 90 by then. I believe that this very passion to evolve is regenerative, and I invite everyone to join together to co-create this emerging world.

About the author: 

Futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard is a prolific educator and author of seven books, including a revised and updated edition of her seminal work Conscious Evolution. She is an evolutionary thinker who believes that global change happens when we work collectively and selflessly for the greater good. Barbara kindly provided this article based on her the book Conscious Evolution: Awakening the Power of Our Social Potential with permission of New World Library. Visit her online at

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