Viewing the Human Being from Nature’s Standpoint
Evolutionary Mentology (henceforth EM) does not view the human being and his problems from a humanist standpoint, the reigning approach in the history of civilization. In earlier times this approach largely pertained to raising the moral or spiritual level of man so that his afterlife became better. While in modern times it has assumed the form of reducing his material misery concerning food, shelter, economic security, education, health, etc. and thereby improving his living conditions. Which also now include safeguarding him from dictatorship and providing him with his legal, democratic human rights, etc. This has so far been the basic humanist view of man.
The main work of EM is looking at the human being (and human species) from the perspective of Macro Nature that has produced him at a certain stage of its own evolution, and is continuing to develop and evolve him. It aims to connect with the place and role of the human being in the process of Nature, and his unfolding future evolution inherent in it. So that he is able to link up with this process at an intelligent level and not on the basis of some ‘good intention’, as that will again trap him in some humanist ideology of reform.
The nature of the concept and thinking of ‘reform’ is that it accepts the present human being as a completed product of Nature. Therefore it sees the human problem and its solution as nothing more than an issue of modifying and managing some minor defects left in the individual human formation. Defects which produce problems like cruelty, injustice, poverty, disease, insensitivity, so called ‘immoral’ and unworthy behavior and so on. All ideologies of religious and political reform starting from Moses till Marx are based on this very assumption.
As opposed to this the basic premise of EM is that the process of Nature is still continuing to work on man. This premise is based on the understanding that mankind as a species has evolved and is still well within the natural framework of the fundamental evolutionary logic underlying all forms and stages of evolution in Nature. However, in the case of man (unlike other living species) this evolutionary logic is primarily operating at the mental plane, which means Nature’s further evolutionary work on him has to be in terms of qualitative changes occurring in his mental processes and formations.
Our problem is that we have been understanding evolution largely in biological terms and thereby limiting its concept to the biological plane. This has generated an equation within our minds that since we are no longer evolving biologically so our evolution has come to an end. This view is completely illogical, because if evolution is the operating logic of Nature then we cannot limit it to biological phenomena. We know from the work on big bang (in Astrophysics) that evolution has been taking place even in the pre-biological phase of Nature, and big bang itself was a consequence of that. So how can it come to an end with biological processes, especially when there is plenty of evidence to suggest that biological processes (of the brain) in turn produced a post-biological phenomenon, i.e., our mental processes. In fact over the course of our evolution, mental processes have come to constitute the main part of our being rather than the biological processes.
Today what we are really confronting is the issue of further evolution of this post-biological mental phenomenon, albeit at an intelligent level. And we can do this with the help of our growing mental functions of intelligence and awareness, because they are themselves logical products of Nature’s evolution in relation to man. Hence asking man to raise the process of his further evolution to an intelligent plane is completely in accordance with the ‘logic of Nature’. His further evolution as a species should now fully involve the role of his evolved intelligence, as a decisive factor in that process. That is how the relationship between human species and the evolutionary process of Nature will become intelligent.
Of course within this larger framework we should continue to do reform for improving our living conditions; reducing pollution, doing population control, removing social injustices, cruelty and so on. These are matters we should try to attempt on a day-to-day basis but not as a fundamental task and challenge which faces mankind. The primary challenge of a human being (and our species) is to evolve intelligently so that a growing happiness becomes an integral part of the future human life process.
At present EM cannot be about the future evolutionary journey of man but can only channelize him (by whatever intelligent tools available today) towards making a shift from the hitherto unintelligent evolutionary process. This is now an urgent issue and not really optional because human intelligence has already evolved to such an advanced level that if it is not connected to the fundamental issue of further human evolution in accordance with the logic of Nature, then it is going to implode.
With the present level of human intelligence and knowledge we can manipulate our world/environment like never before. We have such powerful tools, including accumulated material wealth and technological capability, that if we use them for a past framework of motivations, concepts, beliefs, social and personal structures, it would be like using atom bombs to ‘shoot’ animals for food, which would be a destructive anomaly. That is why it is of critical and urgent importance that the human being moves on, and connects to another evolutionary stage where his present framework of motivations, etc. becomes qualitatively different, and comes in sync with his increased and growing intelligence.
The issue of moving on to our next evolutionary stage becomes all the more pertinent if we also view it in the light of hitherto practical experience of the reformist approach (including political revolutions) and its growing failure to address contemporary human problems. We can observe the inherent problems of reformist struggle from the fact that in human history of last one hundred years there have never been so many movements and good people making their best efforts to change human society and life and yet their failure to do so. This clearly tells us that it cannot just be a problem of personalities, tactics, planning or strategy, but a fundamental issue of the further evolution of man’s mind in accordance with the evolutionary logic of Nature, of which he is an integral part and parcel.
i. The existing life was not ignored but betterment (in terms of doing good deeds, behaving justly, etc) in it was proposed as a stepping stone towards a better afterlife.
ii. As a matter of fact the human being in a few million years, has journeyed through many stages of evolution, which are well known today.
iii. Not an a priori place and role but discovered on the basis of reason.
iv. Which includes political revolution, as a radical means of political reform.
v. One can find accumulating evidence (based on observation and reason) of evolution of life in general and particularly human evolution in terms of facts and information coming from disciplines like Evolutionary Sciences, Paleontology and Genetics. To read about some of this evidence see the following links: Introduction to human evolution, The story of human evolution, Human Evolution
vi. To see how the concept of evolution is primarily based on biology please see the following link: Evolution
vii. This proposition will be elaborated in detail in the module of Brain/Mind but to see the crux of its rationale go to edited piece # 4-‘The Contemporary Knowledge Framework of Evolutionary Mentology
viii. Here we are referring to the experience and knowledge of one’s environment and its problems at all levels of human existence.
ix. The fundamental causative process in Nature, to be elaborated in a separate module. See ‘fundamental evolutionary logic’ in the Glossary of new and redefined terms.
x. Our approach to the issue human happiness is not limited to its prevailing connotations, which primarily pertain to the physical and material (tangible) sources of happiness. We view happiness as a holistic process, emerging from the evolving human emotional, intellectual and sensitivity processes, connected to both the internal mental layers and dimensions of the human individual and also the tangible physical and environmental sources. This concept will be further elaborated in the forthcoming pieces, particularly in chapters on the human pleasure and happiness process.
xi. Here we are referring to movements starting with the Russian revolution in 1917, and then the Chinese, Vietnamese and Cuban revolutions, and even the Iranian revolution. And also those such as the Spanish Civil War, the Colonial struggles---like the Algerian and Indian freedom struggle---Julius Nyerere’s nationalist struggle and last but not least Nelson Mandela’s struggle against apartheid. There have also never been so many heroes (like Che Guevara, Ho-Chi-Min, Lenin, Mao, Khomeini, Ben Bella or Fidel Castro, etc) from the standpoint of motivation, suffering and doing and yet we find in each case the failure to carry out sustainable and comprehensive political, social and cultural reform in their societies.