Andrew Cohen’s bungled ‘evolution’ idea
Awakening to Evolution
Andrew Cohen has made a New Age fetish out of ‘evolution’, but his usage gets it wrong, no?
Readers of Darwiniana (an associate blog) know the harsh critique of Darwinism that is operative there. But the New Age cooptation of the idea of ‘evolution’ doesn’t quite make sense. Of course, there is a considerable ‘New Age’ tradition already in this regard, so it is not Cohen’s doing.
But, it seems to me, that evolution refers to the emergentism of species forms, genetic and more than genetic, as with the emergence of man (easily confused with involution). But just at that point we could well conclude with New Agers, some of them, that ‘evolution’ must therefore consider the evolution of consciousness, and the evolution of religion in the context of the overall transformation of ‘man’ as he became homo sapiens.
It is likely to be a false assumption that the pursuit of New Age practices could ever discover let alone replicate these now mysterious moments of man’s evolution.
To be sure ‘evolution’ is taken by some to mean the human response to an involutionary process in the oppositions of cosmic laws. I don’t really buy that kind of metaphysics (there is a version in Bennett) because it becomes metaphysically incoherent. Whatever the case we need to adopt a consistent usage.
In terms of the ‘eonic effect’ ( a depiction of ‘eonic evolution’) we can see that ‘evolution’ on the level of civilizationsn is far vaster than any of the eclectic machinations of gurus, who simply don’t have the capacity (whatever their claims of enlightenment) to grasp, as far as I can tell, the larger evolutionary movements of civilizations (to see that consider that the emergence of Buddhism was a dependent process, perhaps, in the Axial Age).
That fact alone, and along with the general critique of the usage of the idea of ‘evolution’, should be a self-defense tactic against the impudent attempts to take over the idea of evolution as some monopoly of the gurus.