…it should be obvious that an increase in ‘subtlety’ is an inward evolution (Colin Wilson, The Occult: A History).
The human race is ready for an increase in subtlety. In the past, I have called it “the epoch of soul.” We yearn for a deeper descent into the depths of the unconscious in order to gain new meaning, new significance for our lives. I believe the next evolutionary leap will be one of consciousness. This will bring a tremendous increase in our ability to access the unconscious mind, thus opening doors to powers that have lain dormant for centuries, if not millennia.
The subtler powers of human being include things that science and reason have taught us to reject as nonsense and superstition. In many cases, these powers manifest, at times, even now. For instance, someone is preparing to board a plane, but they have a heavy feeling of uneasiness about the trip, a feeling of dread. They make the decision to make other arrangements, and the plane crashes, killing all those aboard. The person is saved by a premonition. This knowledge does not come from ratiocination, but from subtler sources in the unconscious.
The mind is not really bifurcated into conscious and unconscious. We simply discuss it this way for convenience. Furthermore, the mind is not just the brain. These are not synonymous. The mind functions throughout the human body. The brain is a facilitator. The ways and depths of the psyche are beyond our attempts to grasp them intellectually. After we reach the next stage in our evolution, we will undoubtedly gain new insight into the interaction between consciousness and unconsciousness.
Future humans will have senses beyond the five that we are aware of. What they will be like is unknown, but they will undoubtedly have greater awareness of their environment and of their own selves. The most poignant difference will be a freer flow of information between the conscious and unconscious minds.
Rudolf Steiner said,
I have often mentioned that a new stream of spirituality is now ready to pour into man’s earthly existence. The present forms a link in mankind’s evolution between an era of mainly intellectual development which began in the first third of the fifteenth century and has now practically run its course — and a future devoted to the spiritual. The most important task for mankind in the era of intellectuality was the development of reason through the investigation of external nature and the development of technology (The Elemental World and the Future of Mankind, lecture given in Dornach, May 28, 1922).
I take issue with the use of the word, “spirituality,” because I believe spirit is an archetype of the soul, but I understand and concur with what Steiner is saying. We are headed toward a new day in the evolutionary process, which, in my opinion, is entirely natural. There are sufficient powers in the universe to bring all this we have discussed to pass. The soul is a deep, deep well of living water.
The “era of intellectuality,” as Steiner calls it, has served its purpose. We have achieved amazing things using our intellects to develop science and technology, but these are powerless against solving mankind’s greatest problems. Most technological breakthroughs nowadays are made in the name of corporate profit. It is time for a deeper knowledge to come forth in the earth. I am referring to a deeper knowledge of the most precious jewel in the universe, Soul.
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