Human Journey Blog
In this initial post, let’s consider the need for a sense of coherence in life, the feeling that our lives have some order and stability and that we can expect things to proceed in a way that makes sense to us.
As Robert Ornstein points out in God 4.0, this need is clearly inherent in all humans. In fact, as he explains in his chapter, “Why Religion?,” this need is likely a big reason why religion has played such an important role throughout human history. Partly, he says, this is because “God is the quickest and easiest explanation for how the world is organized . . . It is the all-embracing, universal reason.” (p.200)
But religion has survived over the ages because it has done more than assuage our need for coherence and stability. Perhaps most importantly, Ornstein cites Idries Shah’s The Sufis as asserting that religions have “successfully promoted group survival and conscious evolution” by enabling people to see beyond the formal framework to reach a “special experience” that can lead us beyond the confines of our everyday lives (p.208).
Understanding how our minds evolved can help us see their limitations. And consciously moving beyond those limitations allows us to see connections and solutions that are otherwise invisible, a step that is becoming more and more urgent as the problems we face seem to intensify every day.
For more information on the possibility of conscious evolution, see Robert Ornstein & Paul Ehrlich, New World New Mind.