Craig Hamilton's Ideas
About Evolution

Carl H. Flygt

January 2007

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With warm thanks,

Carl Flygt

Craig Hamilton’s recent Evolution talk at the Marin Unitarian Universalist Congregation was a paragon of logic and good sense calculated to entice people to take on the hard work of creating a form of life better adapted to an overpopulated and underserved planetary environment threatened primarily by greenhouse gases, but also by social inequities and cultural clashes. For Craig, the key to extending the cosmic evolutionary process, which from primordial clouds of hydrogen gas has produced roses, giraffes and human beings, is mysticism, the unitarian impulse in the human being behind the needs for sex, for understanding and for the expansion of consciousness. The key to mysticism, in turn, is the control of the ego. The world, if it is to evolve in a way that is cosmically correct and ultimately survivable, must be made free of egotism and egocentrism.

 

Questions about the fundamental nature of human cooperation came quickly from a congregation filled with social concerns and doubts about the efficacy of the actions they or people like them might decide to take in the world. What is wrong with competition as the principle of evolution? Doesn't that explain everything? Is self-interest really what motivates social activity? Isn't love a fundamental motivator in society? Doesn’t the scale of the problem of global warming require a level of cooperation and a mode of self-awareness that human beings have never managed to sustain? What makes us think global cooperation is possible? When Craig suggested that the answer to questions like these is probably a transcendental, psychic field shared by people with cooperative impulses, real interest was stirred. Is this field a reality? What are its characteristics? How can it be controlled and used?

 

Although the mood in the room shifted tangibly when Craig then spoke about the attitude in consciousness necessary to liberate the ego from the world, no suggestions were made about how that mood might be extended into a robust and general usage of psychic energy. Craig himself remained noncommittal on the question, saying although there do appear to be real effects when groups of people meditate together in a self-disciplined way, the idea of a transcendental, cosmic field, containing all the higher wishes and nobler impulses of the human soul, and quite possibly the key to life in the hereafter, could just as well be taken metaphorically, with no necessity to pursue its physical nature or physical reality. Those wishing to pursue the glimpse of higher reality and social solidarity that Craig was suggesting were invited to subscribe to a series of telephone conferences, to be scheduled at a future date in a different context, wherein the psychic field, metaphorical or not, might be exercised over long distances.

 

But the physical reality of the transcendental field really is the key question for the evolution of life on earth. Without a sure sense of what that field is and what it can do, the power necessary to engineer it and put it to use will be missing, and if the field cannot ultimately be engineered, self-conscious cosmic evolution, and a benign trajectory for planetary society, will remain a remote and vain hope. So we need something more than a new myth of evolution. We need an actual science. I believe we can get that science by giving some attention to language and conversation. I have worked to make that premise explicit and sound and to make it understandable to common sense. In addition, we need widespread dialog and artful regular practice among groups like the Unitarian Universalists about the nature and ongoing discoveries of this science. Under those conditions, as Craig suggests, something remarkable and hopeful can be anticipated.