World History and The Eonic Effect can be a useful resource on the question of ‘evolution’ for those in the field of religion and New Age search (to say nothing of biological research), if they can free themselves from the stock thinking of the religious politicians trying to can the subject. And the New Age circuit, well aware of the problems with Darwnism, has produced its own misfire in the confusing metaphysical propositions of ‘spiritual evolution’ from Blavatsky to Ken Wilbur and Andrew Cohen. They have fumbled the ball, and unwittingly strengthened the reductionist Darwinists, who rightly point out the unviable concoctions of the spiritual gurus. The latest is Andrew Cohen’s book on evolutionary enlightenment. Useless junk. My own far superior approach will get no hearing, and I am tired of the black magic attacks from Tibetan Buddhists and idiots like Cohen. It is worth remembering that Gautama was still unaware of ‘evolution’ (I suspect), and yet did sense the Axial Age, however limited his perception, while the Israelites definitely know of it, but let it become encased in ethnocentric religious mythology. My point is that Gautama was almost better off being ignorant here, and concentrated on what he knew: the path to enlightenment. The attempt now to graft that path onto some kind of evolutionary metaphysics is spoiling the tradition with nonsense.
We have cited J. G. Bennett here many times, and his take on human evolution, while I am fearful of endorsing its outlandish sidelines, and despite its severe problems, and some confused design arguments that are added on, is actually a useful outline, or, at least, an actual look at specifics, instead of speculations on ‘spiritual evolution’. What actually happened at the dawn of human speciation? Bennett, veering off into science fiction perhaps, actually tried to consider this question, and his take is refreshing. Bennett constructs a useful outline, and then brings in his ‘avatar’ approach using the idea of demiurgic powers, who enter the human frame as guides. The latter I cannot endorse, my point being that the approach of Bennett is the only one in existence that tries to answer to the riddle of human ‘self-consciousness’ in evolution. That’s a tough one! Gautama didn’t have the answer, if he knew the question, and the false theorizing of the Ken Wilbur’s and Andrew Cohen’s is creating its own new establishment. Avoid it.
Unfortunatley, he produced too much speculative wrapping paper for his argument to be viable. But his basic strategy is simple: tell the tale of what happened, the chronicle of human emergence, wary of theories, and open to the real complexities of human species innovations, from complex consciousness, to language, ethical action, and emergent ‘will’ and individuality. It is frustrating that this brilliant trial derailed so badly in the end. But his basic strategy can substitute from the type of speculative philosophy produced by New Age gurus, and commentators. The point is simple: how did homo erectus emerge, and how did homo sapiens emerge from homo erectus. Can a purely naturalistic framework succeed? What do we mean by nature, and is consciousness part of it? Bennett’s answer would be ‘yes, but…’ here. In any case, we don’t need to agree with Bennetts’ now ‘cold fries’ treatment to see that his general outline and chronicle is the only way, but one that is barred to us by the lack of hard facts. But we can use variants of this to keep Darwinists from claiming all the answers, that old bluff, in control of opinion, but not of truth.
Meanwhile, WHEE does something different: it looks at world history, and asks if evolution can be found there. It can, and it challenges the idea of purely genetic evolution. It then suggests that this discovered macroevolution was the kind of thing that brought man over the threshold to ‘homo sapiens’.
You can free yourself from the kind of morass the Dalai Lama et al will create, but since it is not ‘kosher’ material on evolution, it will be ignored. But you can always free yourself from the general Darwin delusion, whatever you think of the ‘eonic model’, which is only a way to make you observe world history closely.
In any case, Buddhists and New Agers aren’t going to get evolution straight, and that will make them parallel to Darwinists in their combined muddle. We see this already with Francis Collins, who grafts Darwinism onto Xtianity, with toxic results. Buddhists will end in the same PR fix, so say goodbye to them, and move on. Grafting Darwinism onto Buddhism is dangerous and will lead to a kind of Nietzschean eugenics, which is intolerable in a religion like Buddhism.
WHEE is clse to being banned in public by the bigwigs of science and New Age/religious sophistry, so check it out quietly, and subtract your case from the politicians of religious propaganda.