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Dawn of the Akashic Age New Consciousness, Quantum Resonance, and the Future of the World by Ervin Laszlo (Author), Kingsley L. Dennis Book

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Dawn of the Akashic Age New Consciousness, Quantum Resonance, and the Future of the World by Ervin Laszlo (Author), Kingsley L. Dennis Book Online And Download

Overview: A preview of the post-mechanistic, holistic world in 2020 and 2030 as well as a map of the obstacles we must overcome to get there


• Reveals how the youngest generation is seeding the shift in consciousness


• Explains how society will be reorganized into grassroots networks like those revealed by quantum physics and experienced through social media


• With contributions from futurist John L. Petersen, ex-CEO of Sanyo Tomoya Nonaka, media activist Duane Elgin, and other visionaries


The world is changing. The transition from the mechanistic worldview to one that recognizes the interconnectedness of all life is upon us. It is the dawning of the Akashic Age. The Akashic field that connects the universe is now recognized by cutting-edge science. What we know about communication, energy, and consciousness is rapidly evolving in tandem with the new quantum worldview. Many adults are consciously evolving to meet the transitional challenges at hand, while today’s youth have arrived already hard-wired with the new consciousness. Rising from the ashes of the old systems, this Phoenix generation of radical change agents is seeding our evolution and spiritual transformation, a process that will continue over the next few decades.


Dawn of the Akashic Age New Consciousness, Quantum Resonance, and the Future of the World by Ervin Laszlo (Author), Kingsley L. Dennis Book





Dawn of the Akashic Age New Consciousness, Quantum Resonance, and the Future of the World by Ervin Laszlo (Author), Kingsley L. Dennis Book Read Online Chapter One


HOW WE BECAME SAPIENS

Homo sapiens no longer rely on the muscle of fight, the speed of flight, or the protective mask of shape and coloring for survival. We have come to depend on our intelligence. We evolved into Homo sapiens, subspecies sapiens, doubly man the knower. But do we live up to this proud designation?

About 5 million years ago, the evolutionary line that led to modern humanity diverged from African apes, the common ancestors of humans, chimpanzees, and gorillas. Apes are knuckle-walking quadrupeds; Homo is an erect biped. Apes have large jaws and they have small brains (in the range of 300–600 cubic centimeters [ccm]); Homo has a small jaw and a fourfold brain size, in the range of 1400–1600 ccm. Most apes are adapted to life in the trees; Homo is suited to life on the ground. It is this adaptability to terrestrial life that proved to be the decisive factor in the evolution of intelligence. Why some bands of prehominids left the trees is still something of a mystery (some anthropologists maintain that they were pushed from the forests into the savannah by physically more developed arboreal primates), but once they left the trees, their destiny was sealed: they were condemned to a form of intelligence—or to extinction. The question we now face is whether the kind of intelligence that evolved is sufficient for survival into the twenty-first century. Humanity, as Buckminster Fuller said, is facing its final exam. It is an exam of intelligence—the collective IQ test of the species.

Intelligence in a species is not unique to Homo—other animals have developed forms of it, and more species might have developed it, if they had had the need and the opportunity to do so. Whales and dolphins have intelligence, but they live in an aquatic environment that is more stable and more readily able to satisfy the requirements of living beings than life on land. Sea mammals had no need to evolve into the kind of active, manipulative intelligent beings that land-living humans did. This kind of intelligence is needed only in a terrestrial setting, where the availability and retention of water, continual energy storage and usage, and the maintenance of constant temperatures are essential to the running of complex biochemical reactions. A corresponding kind of intelligence may have emerged in various land-living species; in time it may have emerged among the dinosaurs. One species, the stenanicosaurus, had favorable prerequisites—a spacious cranium, large eyes, and long arms—but it disappeared along with the rest. Had stenanicosaurus evolved with a high level of intelligence, the biosphere might now be populated by reptilian rather than human beings, with (for us) mind-boggling consequences.

Unlike the history of dinosaurs and sea-living mammals, the chance concatenation of circumstances that made up the history of our own species allowed, and even required, our ancestors to stake their survival on a form of intelligence that was able to adapt quickly and to manipulate its surroundings. The gamble had to be taken because, once they were out of the trees, our forebears found themselves in a perilous situation. The savannahs were already populated with meat-eating animals, most of them stronger and faster than our ancesters were. The shelter of the trees was gone, and in its place they had only one substitute: their newly freed forelimbs. These were no longer needed to hold on to the branches of trees and could thus be put to other uses. Most probably, the evolving arms were used to transport infants as the bands of early hominids followed migrating herds on Africa’s developing grasslands. But they must also have been used for self-defense with stones and sticks, as chimpanzees use their forelimbs. Unlike in chimps and other apes, however, our forebears’ method of survival put a premium on bodily control, tactile sensitivity, and especially on manual dexterity. Only hominids who evolved these capabilities could survive. Our early ancestors managed this feat: in the motor and sensory cortex of the brain of sapiens, the nerves governing the hand, especially the thumb, became highly developed.

As forelimbs morphed into dexterous arms and hands, jaws were no longer required for defense. There was no selection pressure for canine teeth, sectorial premolars, or a capacious jaw to accommodate them. The pressure was for a bigger brain, capable of dexterity and intelligence, and for a cranium to shelter it. Hence, an erect bipedal species arose, with a large brain, a small jaw, and opposable thumbs—the hallmarks of sapiens to this day.

With the development of a larger brain came a whole series of evolutionary innovations. Among the capabilities that were advantageous to terrestrial bipeds, the ability to cooperate in performing the critical tasks of survival must have been the foremost. Mutant individuals who had a superior ability to communicate with each other were most likely favored by natural selection. As these socialized individuals spread through the population, the genetically based sign language of the apes morphed into the flexible system of shared symbols characteristic of human language. Social behavior was freed from the rigidity of genetic programming and adapted to changing circumstances. In the neocortex, the capacities for manual dexterity and tool use were joined with newly evolved capacities for communication and socialization. Our forebears evolved from terrestrial apes into a species that, with some exaggeration but not entirely without reason, came to view itself as the “knower.”

Sapiens remained essentially unchanged since the species first emerged in Africa about 100,000 years ago. But its sophisticated manual and cognitive capacities did not pay off during the greater part of the 5 million years since our forebears first descended from the trees. During most of these thousands of millennia, the scattered bands of hominids just scraped by, barely surviving in a world that was always vulnerable and frequently precarious.

The payoffs began slowly, perhaps 1.5 million years ago. Near Chesowanja in Kenya, archaeologists have found baked clay next to hominid bones and human-made stone implements. The clay showed traces of exposure to heat much higher than that which would normally occur in a bush fire. Whether it had been baked by fires tended by hominids who lived 1.5 million years ago is uncertain; the evidence is circumstantial—natural fires leading to an intense smoldering of a big tree trunk could have produced similarly high temperatures. But 500,000 years back in time, the evidence becomes uncontroversial. Fires of human origin are at least as old as that—and that is perhaps the first indication that our species’s gamble on intelligence would eventually pay off.

The control of fire was an intelligent move: it gave the dispersed bands of hominids a small but decisive edge in their struggle for survival. Fire inspires fear in all creatures—flames and embers burn feathers, fur, hair, and skin on contact. Since the instinctive reaction to fire is to flee, those who master fire can use it for protection and defense. Fire is also an important aid in ensuring a continuous food supply; meat that quickly rots when raw remains edible far longer when it’s properly roasted. By roasting the food, lean periods between hunts in poor weather can be bridged; one is no longer living entirely from hand to mouth.

Mastering fire, the most immediate and fearful of all elementary forces of nature, is not likely to have come about all at once, and in one place only. Homo erectus, our direct forebear, seems to have tended fires in far-distant locations over long periods. The finds speak clearly: there were humanly laid fires at such diverse sites as Zhoukoudian near Beijing, Aragon in the south of France, and Vértesszöllôs in Hungary. A number of hominid bands seem to have mastered fire almost simultaneously, without learning from, or probably even knowing about, each other.

The process must have been slow, at least by modern standards. There are fires ignited periodically by lightning in all tropical and subtropical ecosystems. Natural fires play a vital role: they clear away dead organic matter and revitalize the soil, creating favorable conditions for fresh plant growth. Homo erectus certainly encountered natural fires for untold millennia and, most likely, reacted much the same as other apes and animals—by fleeing. But gradually, some adventuresome individuals were drawn back to the smoldering remains and began to poke around in them. No doubt, they discovered the remains of many kinds of animals, and found some that were charred but not entirely burned. Experience might have shown them that such remains could be eaten, not only at the site of the fire, but at home bases for days afterward.

More and more of the exploring hominid bands undoubtedly returned to the sites of natural fires to forage for edible remains. They would not have been the only ones to do so: other animals, especially the readily imitating apes and monkeys, would have followed suit. But hominids had an advantage: with their thinly haired bodies they were less likely to be singed by flying sparks than more furry or hairy animals. Their erect posture was even more of an advantage. Liberated arms could be used far better to investigate embers and ashes than the forelimbs of quadrupeds; in addition, they could be used more effectively to hurl stones and sticks at competitors.

Then a whole series of discoveries occurred. First, some hominids noticed that a stick that smolders or burns on one end is cool enough to be handled on the other. They found that such sticks make particularly effective weapons. Entire bands of hominids rallied, making noises and brandishing burning sticks to frighten off other animals. Another discovery was made subsequently: some individuals threw dry sticks on the flames, and made handy torches for use as a weapon.

The act of igniting the end of a dry stick marked a decisive breakthrough in our species’s gamble on intelligence. A natural fire goes out after a time, but one that is kindled with additional sticks keeps burning. Our ancestors discovered that, by lighting sticks, they could not only frighten off other animals but could keep fires going. Since natural fires would not occur at all times—periods without lightning can be long—keeping fires burning became an important chore.

And then a third discovery was made: fire could be transported. A burning stick could be carried and made to ignite fires at more convenient locations, for example, in or near caves. Fires were then built near human habitations and were used for roasting food as well as for keeping predators at bay. There is evidence that fires were indeed used in this way, and for staggering periods. The famous cave at Zhoukoudian, for example, seems to have had a fire that was tended off and on for about 230,000 years—and was abandoned only when the roof collapsed and the cave had to be vacated.

Through the centuries, hominids have discovered that they could make fires on their own, without having to wait for the serendipity of a bolt of lightning igniting dry bush. Rubbing together sticks and stones and blowing on the sparks was a remarkable discovery by hominid intelligence. Together with the earlier discoveries, it endowed our ancestors with a significant measure of control over nature, far more than any other creature.

With this discovery, our species acquired an assured path to dominance. Humans no longer had to struggle for survival in constant fear of more powerful species: they could establish habitations, protect them, and stockpile their staple foods. A Greek myth tells us that Prometheus stole the fire withheld by an avenging Zeus, angry at humans for having gotten the better of him. The Promethean spark, concealed according to legend in the hollow stalk of a fennel, may have been the greatest breakthrough in the history of sapiens.

With the edge on survival assured, the payoffs of intelligence accumulated at an increasing rate. River valleys, such as the Nile, the Tigris, the Euphrates, the Ganges, and the Huang-Ho, were settled. In these environments, silt deposited by great streams acted as a natural fertilizer, and periodically flooding waters functioned as natural systems of irrigation. In the course of millennia, regular harvests were supplemented by seeds planted on favorable locations; several strains of previously wild plants could be successfully domesticated. The domestication of a few species of animals occurred at more or less the same time. With the advent of the Neolithic Age (circa 10,000 BCE)—a breakthrough that has a rightful claim to be the first great technological “revolution”—the nomadic bands of hominids morphed into settled pastoralists.

The rest is indeed history—the history of sapiens, the dominant predator of this planet. The intelligence we evolved permitted us to reproduce in ever-greater numbers and to dominate—or at least to interfere with—nature, according to the dictates of our growing needs and our increasingly voracious appetites.


BUT ARE WE REALLY SAPIENS?

We have learned to make fire and have acted on the assumption that we can also put it out. But is such confidence justified? The forces we have called into being are all fires of one kind or another—dynamic processes in nature that we catalyze and then hope to control. We believe that we have tamed these Promethean fires, that we cannot only create them but can also extinguish them at will. Yet some of the fires we have sparked get out of hand occasionally. Some, like a maverick genie let out of a bottle, take on a life and will of their own. They act in unforeseen and unintended ways, destroying rather than building life and habitat. This was how the force we liberated with the invention of gunpowder behaved, and how most of our fossil fuel–based technologies behave today. As Hiroshima, Chernobyl, and, more recently, Fukushima taught us, the genie we have let out of the nucleus of the atom is more powerful and more difficult to tame than all the others. Robots, computers, and the myriad new technologies of automation and communication we have come up with may not turn out to be reliably domesticated, either.

All this should give us pause. When the line of Homo branched off from the higher apes some 5 million years ago, our species—and with it terrestrial nature—took a chance. It put its own survival at stake. An intelligent species is not necessarily an evolutionary success, reproducing and enhancing its environment. It might also be an ecological disaster, degrading its milieu and threatening its own survival. If human intelligence were to end in a fiasco, the exit of our species could ignite a “fire” that destroys the habitat for all higher forms of life on the planet. The bet on intelligence is the greatest gamble the biosphere has ever entered into.

Though the outcome was in doubt for millions of years, in the span of recorded history the bet seems to have paid off. Yet, could it be that this period in history is now coming to an end? To envision the extinction of our species is by no means far-fetched: elsewhere in the universe, intelligent species may have disappeared not long after they became dominant. Intelligence, after all, is one of the many answers that evolution can offer in the great dance of mutation and natural selection, and it is likely that in the wide reaches of the universe similar answers will have been chanced upon. Despite this, our efforts at interplanetary communication have been a failure. There have been reports of UFOs with extraterrestrials on board landing on Earth, but they are not confirmed and their veracity has been questioned.

Even though there are many planets capable of supporting life within communication range from Earth, we have not established regular contact with any of them. The reason may not be that intelligent species do not exist beyond our planet, but that, even if a few may be interspersed in the galaxy, such species do not survive for long. If most of them have a short life expectancy, our chances of communicating with them are drastically reduced. We would have to be precisely coordinated in space and time to receive signals from them: a few hundred years too soon and they would not be capable of emitting the signals; a few hundred years too late and they would no longer be there to emit them.

Whether or not it exists elsewhere in the cosmos, we pride ourselves that intelligent life exists here on Earth. But does it? The answer depends on the meaning we attach to intelligence. As a strategy for competitive survival, intelligence of the human kind does exist: it has paid off handsomely in the last few thousand years. Yet its costs have been rising and now threaten to supersede its benefits. If they do, our species will turn into a planetary parasite that kills the host on which it feeds, a kind of cancer that destroys the biosphere. And that would hardly be intelligent—deserving to be called sapiens sapiens.


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