Transitional Phases are Unbalanced - with awareness we may participate (#1229)
The First Cambrian Explosion
The Second Cambrian Explosion
(#1215) Higher Level Evolution - Second Cambrian Explosion
(#1221) Growth and Decay of Civilisation
(#1228) Informal/Formal Structures and Organic/Mechanistic Perspectives
(#1250) Civilizational cycles and the direction of the process
(#1258) Approaching the future
(#1279) Underlying Context for the Discussion on Civilisation
(#1318) Sustainability and Balance of Power
Also see other excerpts from my discussions with the Society for Scientific Exploration.
It is true that current resources and ways of living are not sustainable but new ways will arise. A healthy organism finds ways of adapting and metabolising and disposing of resources, and todays rubbish may be 'food' for future civilisations. Things may seem to be spiralling into destruction in ways with resources running out and garbage piling up but think of how things must have seemed to the single cells around the time of the first Cambrian Explosion, about 500-600 million years ago. They simply got together for mutual benefit but suddenly things accelerated out of control and beyond their comprehension. They became entrapped in bizarre collectives such as worms and crustaceans and other 'organisms'. The entire atmosphere and landscape was in a process of radical change. For many the entire environment would seem to be breaking down and spiralling into catastophe, but only for certain life forms, whereas for others things were becoming more hospitable.
This transition phase would have been very intense but it eventually balanced out and after some millions of years of gradual self- adjustment and integration the previous cellular slime gave rise to peaceful forests with graceful beings living in relative harmony throughout the waters, land and sky. Transitions are difficult and they can be crisis points for many and potentially catastrophic, but in general the evolutionary algorithm is very robust and redundant, it has survived some massive transitions and catastrophes in the past and it will most likely survive the coming events. Although the question on many human minds is "will we survive" and that I don't know, but if we do things will be very different in the future, just as there are still countless eucaryotes (single cells) dwelling amongst us but this is no longer "their world".
But we are far more self-aware than the eucaryotes, so things will be different this time. We may hold on to a degree of indiviual power and not be totally assimilated like they were. In general we are capable of greater awareness, wisdom and power so we can guide the process to some degree, not just for our own benefit but also to smooth out the transition phase and direct it towards holistically harmonious states of being. But first we must discover the right paradigms through which to imaginatively grasp the situation, mechanistic approaches will not work.
The future need not be a bleak post-apocalyptic vision. Our current visions of the future go a long way toward guiding the process of creating the future, so I try and look for positive pathways rather than dwell on potential negative outcomes. We need to be aware of the negatives but it is dangerous to dwell on them, since "with our thoughts we make the world".