II. CONCEPTUAL FORMULATIONS
6. EVOLUTION AND THE TWO-WAY COSMIC PROCESS
While other thinkers (for example, Smuts, Whyte, Koestler, von Bertalanffy, Laszlo) have recognized that the universe is a hierarchy of wholes evolving to form increasingly complex and refined systems of organization and states of being — atoms, molecules, cells, organs, organisms — Rudhyar differs from such thinkers in three ways:
1. While Smuts and Jung considered the presentday human condition (which they called "Personality") to be the apex or ultimate product of evolution, the "highest" or most complex, most refined, and most sensitive whole, Rudhyar believes that mankind is still "in the making," still responding to a process of evolution which, in time, will transfigure humanity and lead it to realize a transhuman stage.
2. Rudhyar sees no logical reason not to extend the evolutionary sequence to include species, human races and cultures, planets, solar systems, galaxies, and so on. For Rudhyar, a society and its culture is an integrated whole (a culture-whole) operating primarily at a psychic level (as a psychic organism) through religious and secular symbols, images, assumptions, and paradigms. Most importantly, he considers the earth as the physical body of a planetary whole, Terra (or Gaia), also operating and evolving at psychic, mental, and spiritual levels.
3. In contrast to the one-directional picture of evolution presented not only by Darwin and his Western predecessors and successors, but also in ancient India ("I was a stone, I became a plant," and so on), Rudhyar stresses the reality of a "two-way" process integrating the "descent" or involution of spiritual archetypes (principles, forms, and formulas of organization) and a synchronous "ascent" or evolution (a progressive complexification and refinement) of material substances and systems coming to embody these archetypes.
If Rudhyar has called this twofold process of involution-evolution a "two-way evolution," it is because both movements — the involutionary "descent" of unitarian spirit and integrative forms of organization, and the evolutionary "ascent" or progressive refinement of material systems — imply a process of differentiation. It can be considered only one process according to which a principle of Unity gradually yields to a principle of Multiplicity (see sections 9, 10, and 11 below).
By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1983 by Leyla Raël
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