This morning I was struck by a comment by a man named Ravi Something--a bald smiling Hindi professor from Nova Scotia--who was discussing the topic of spiritual oneness. He said that people don't evolve, but consciousness evolves. I am taking the true meaning of this comment to be that one's consciousness evolves and not necessarily the consciousness of a generation, because if it meant that our current generation is more consciously evolved than the great thinkers who came before us, like Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, Rumi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Simone de Beauvoir, to name a few, we'd be in big trouble. And besides, much of the wisdom these fine minds lent us way back when still dumbfounds us, and we cannot put into practice. For example, Jimmy Carter has been telling us forever about the problem in the Middle East and the ecological disaster we are creating, but have we evolved? [That was meant to be a rhetorical question.]
I've spoken to a couple friends recently about the Kogi people, a pre-Columbian civilization living in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range in Colombia. They are a highly intellectual, sophisticated and analytical culture totally removed from the Western world, and yet, they could arguably be far more evolved than that guy who lives down the street from you driving his Hummer. [And they have no problem telling you why they are superior. Check 'em out.]
My point, then, is that I hope what Ravi means is that individually my own consciousness will evolve, as will yours [whoever you are], and that perhaps this time around, we will reach Nirvana, or we'll go to Heaven, or we'll find ishq, or whatever form of union with the higher power that the Universe will grant us.
Or maybe that's just my American optimism speaking.