For those who are sceptical of a reductionistic view of evolution where blind forces and accidental mergings are purported to account for the observed diversity of life, here is an alternative theory. This approach begins from a standpoint that assumes mind and consciousness to be primal as opposed to the above view which treats lifeless physical substance and forces and nothing more as the originator of life.
The primal mind and consciousness I will call spiritual, the physical substance and forces I will call material.
In my opinion the material is condensed out of the spiritual. So I am just giving an explanation of evolution to be considered and not trying to pass anything I say below as fact.
From this aspect the sun that we see in the sky is just the physical manifestation of the spiritual sun which covers a much more inclusive area. All of the surrounding sphere of influence of the sun is encompassed by the spiritual sun. And so our earth and all the planets are included in this sun. When we look up at the night sky all that we see, all of the visible objects are manifestations of the spiritual. All that we don’t see, the darkness, the vacuum of space, this belongs to the spiritual from which the physical is condensing. And through physics we are starting to realise that empty space is anything but empty. It is only empty from the point of view of human physical senses.
Now there are distinct levels of condensation. If we look at the solar system, the gas giants have condensed less than the earth and inner planets.
Moving on to earthly life, the single celled organisms we see around us are descended from those forms which condensed the earliest and by so doing have become less plastic and unable to develop further. There forms are not suitable for the descent of consciousness into the physical forms. But this remaining behind was an absolute necessity in order to form a base from which ever higher forms of life could emerge. And at every stage of life’s development certain forms remain behind and develop their consciousness no further. Organisms such as fish have descended more slowly and have thus been able to evolve further than the earlier forms. But they have progressed no further than their current stage. And this is how evolution continues. Humans have taken the longest time to condense down to the physical and thus have developed a physical form in which consciousness, which is spiritual, is able to become manifest in the individual organism.
And this is why we see a nested hierarchy of life from its early beginnings up to the present. Life is an evolution of consciousness which can also be described as a condensation of individual consciousnesses out of a cosmic consciousness. Prokaryotes share in the cosmic consciousness but have very little in the way of any noticeable individual consciousness. Humans are at a level where they do manifestly display a certain amount of individual consciousness.
This development of life can be seen mirrored in the development of each one of us from conception to adult. See the diagram below:
Images of human development compared to the evolution of sentient life:
A & K – Single cellular beginnings
B & L – Cells multiplying
C & M – Differentiation of forms
D & N – Distinct forms appearing
E & O – Developing locomotory systems
F & P – Early stages of central nervous system and senses
G & Q – Transition to a terrestrial existence
H & R – Limbs have developed to a point where they can support the body
I & S – Bipedalism gives the upper limbs more freedom from the gravitational forces
J & T – Organisms have moved from being just creatures to being creators
And this series is not meant to be taken as a simple progression one following on the one preceding it. There are overlapping forms between and within each level. I’m sure everyone understands that life is vastly more complex than depicted by this simple diagram.
Thinkers such as Lorenz Oken and those ancient astronomers who interpreted the heavens in the form of the zodiac, the circle of animals, pictured the animal kingdom as a spreading out of the human form, a series of individual forms each displaying a one sided aspect of that which is seen as complete in the human form. The human is the culmination of all that was prepared in preceding life. And that is what I have tried to show with this diagram. What is spread throughout the animal kingdom is condensed in the individual human being.