The Universe Is a Laughing Matter
DA FREE JOHN: Shall we talk some more about evolution?
Some scientists today believe there is evidence that the genetic material from which human beings developed migrated to Earth from other planets. Do you think this is a possibility? Where did we come from? What are we doing here? We do not seem to have evolved directly from the ape, if at all, if we accept the latest evidence-although current scientific thinking vacillates between accepting Mans evolution from the ape and regarding Man as a special intervention into the scheme of evolution. You are all human beings-what do you think? Where did you come from?
As an ape, you would have had to do a lot of evolving to become Man, and the conventional evolutionary scale does not describe much in the interval between apes and men. Truly you cannot become Man merely by adapting as an animal. Human beings possess functions that animals do not possess, but we human beings ourselves have not yet adapted to or evolved those functions. Not only did we not create them by adaptation-they are still latent in us!
Where did these higher or latent human functions come from, then? No animal created them. No animal approximates the full development of the brain of Man. Therefore, we did not acquire the higher brain centers from the lower creatures. Certain mechanisms of the human being can be found in animals, and we can see our relationship to the genetic series of the world. But the unique element that is in Man is not the product of adaptation. Furthermore, what is truly unique about Man is even now unused by human beings. We have yet to adapt and evolve toward what is already in us!
Can you account for Man within the scheme of natural selection and the adaptation of lower creatures? You absolutely cannot. What exactly is going on, then? What is evolving as Man? If lower creatures are not evolving as Man, then something senior to the human race is trying to take birth. We have yet to adapt to the functions we have been given, the higher functions of the human brain, which are new in the scheme of life on Earth. Since the human race began, only a few remarkable individuals have awakened to these higher capabilities. Over time, however, the laws by which these functions may be developed-and which extraordinary individuals have demonstrated in their own lives-may become known to many people who can apply them toward the evolution of Man.
QUESTIONER: You often speak of our urge toward self-enclosure or death, but it must also be true that we possess an equivalent urge toward life, or this higher process you are describing. Otherwise, if we felt only our mortality, we probably would not continue to live.
DA FREE JOHN: Yes. In the deep psyche you are awake. What is more, the body is not your personal representative. The human body, your body, is the genetic representative of all the functions and capabilities of the species that is Man, not merely those qualities that you, in your limited adaptation, are willing or able to manifest at the present time. Thus, it is not only your personal awakening to the Truth that moves you bodily to live and to evolve. The genetic impulse inherent in the body is more profound than any personal strength or weakness. We are the pawns or servants of the genetic motive. Man is working through us. The "Man motive" is our controller.
Therefore, we are not controlled by what is less than we are in the scale of evolution except to the degree that we are confused by existence and recoiled from Life. When we discover the Truth of our existence, when we therefore become Life-positive, then we are obliged by that insight to adapt to what is inherent in us as Man but that we have not yet acknowledged in our personal existence. When you can laugh at the animal in yourself, when you can laugh at your present vitally obsessed state and transcend it then you can be responsible for your habits of living and for your moral, relational existence, and you can begin to adapt bodily to the Process of Life. It is then that evolution begins.
The powers of knowledge in the world today, however, are not so Life-positive. They are possessed by a negative view of life and the world. The problem is not that the priesthood of science is simply materialistic, as all ordinary men are. The problem is that this priesthood does not account for anything beyond the world as it seems to be. As a result, and despite the best work of our sciences, we still do not understand our situation as human beings. We are limited by our presumed knowledge, which has been given to us by our religions and our sciences. We naturally assume that something of the scientific dogma of evolution is true, but even so we cannot account for Man in terms of what apparently preceded him in the scale of evolution.
To account for Man we must look into the furture, to something that is more or greater than Man. Just as the wilderness of Nature is the realm in which animals adapt, so the realm of the higher conscious individual is the wilderness of Man. The higher functions of the body-mind are our wilderness. The ordinary world of survival, of the lower bodily functions of food, sex, and relationships, is the domain we should already have mastered. It is our "civilization," the part of our existence to which we must already have brought order. The truly human epoch begins when we bring order to the scheme of our daily existence in the world. Only then are we free to wander in the wilderness of the higher functions and of our true existence.
The consideration of the higher evolutionary growth of Man rightly belongs to the tradition of esoteric religion and spirituality. However, the true consideration of Man and his relationship to the world and to God has been locked away, obscured by the mumbo-jumbo of metaphorical religious philosophy and exoteric dogma. True religious and spiritual teachings essentially describe the evolutionary and transcendental destiny of the human species. Thus, the visions and symbolic descriptions of the traditional mystics describe not God but the psycho-physiological structures of our own body-mind. We must demythologize mysticism through our own experience of the higher processes of the evolution of Man. We must understand that the principle of mystical experience is also the principle of gross bodily experience. That principle is the Radiant Life-Current that pervades and surrounds and gives Life to the body-mind and all beings, and in which the entire universe is arising, changing, floating, and disappearing.
In the midst of this consideration, however, you must realize that we are still talking only about conditions of Man, conditions of our own nervous system and brain. These higher centers seem marvelous to us, and so we locate them in the realms of the cosmos beyond Man and Earth. Hallucinogenic drugs also can give us an experience of expanded consciousness (although the content of drug experiences is far exceeded by the content of mystical experiences of the highest type). The states of consciousness produced by mystical awareness and hallucinogens seem, in either case, to be generated in a space beyond body and mind, and so we make judgments about the total universe based on these experiences. But, after all, they are developments of the brain, not of the cosmos. We are still only investigating ourselves.
What is truly marvelous is not realized within the realm of our experience. We can experience only the realm of Man. What is marvelous is not even symbolized in our consciousness. It is beyond ourselves-beyond what is latent within this nervous system, this brain, this genetic structure, beyond all that we can investigate. What is truly marvelous is not even contacted in our higher mysticism, which still contacts "me," the structures of Man. Although mysticism contacts the higher centers of the brain, nevertheless the skull is still the foundation and signature of our sky. The brain is our vehicle, our compartment, our limit. Thus, when you have finished exceeding yourself and going higher and higher in your being, you find that you must reach beyond the body-mind, beyond knowledge, beyond the universe of matter. Once you make that transcendental gesture, you cannot know what our destiny will be. You must simply take the gamble!
That toward which we are evolving is present in us as an urge, not as a vision. Enlightenment is an urge, not an answer. It is the process by which we realize what is marvelous, what no one has ever envisioned or suggested. It has only been felt to be necessary! Somehow the entire expanse of everything is sitting in a Room somewhere. To break out of the pattern of the arising world and become identical to its transcendental Principle is to enter that Room-whatever it is. The Transcendental Domain is beyond comprehension. It has nothing to do with our memory, our repetitions, or our possible knowledge. We may acquire knowledge about the workings of the entire universe, all the galaxies and the totality of manifestation, and still not realize the marvelous. The Domain toward which we have the ultimate urge to go does not stop short of the marvelous. Thus, there is nothing to say about what is beyond the ultimate stage of the evolution of Man. You can linger in that stage or you can cross over. When you will do this is immaterial. It is a laughing matter!