I thought I would put up some more material on Bennett’s (outlandish) perspective on evolution and history. (The material on the eonic effect is much better)
I am not a proponent of these views, but I am not a Darwinist either. Bennett raises many issues that are behind the scenes in biological theory.
Also it has a few of the Gurdjieff cosmology ideas mocked up in a system. Once you see it in action it is so silly you might graduate from Gurdjieff on the spot, goodbye.
His system doesn’t work here, but Bennett is one of the few with the nerve to make a fool of himself by carrying out the calculations of certain viewpoints.
Darwinists will cringe with horror at this material, part of the puckish reason I scanned it.
And in the end the issue of the evolution of consciousness remains.
We can’t really make fun of Bennett if we can’t answer that question, one that he wrestled with in a very strange, yet classic, way.
Sorry, the scanjob is so-so.
Do the best you can to read it. You can usually guess what is meant.
life is short, and decent scanners expensive.
THE HISTORY OF LIFE ON THE EARTH
THE START OF HISTORY
The content of history lies outside our present moment. All that is
contained in the present moment is non-historical. This includes the
messages we receive by light signals from other planets, stars and;
galaxies. All these are in immediate contact with our present moment,
~because light travels in a nul-vector. We know the past only by traces
that we find in the present, and when there are no traces there is no
past for us.
Almost all the traces of the past that have reached us are on the earth
and concern the earth. An exception is Tycho Brahe’s star, seen in 1572
and rediscovered with modern telescopes as a shell of fragments that
are undoubtedly the relics of the catastrophe first seen as a supernova
four hundred years ago. We have here an elementary ‘historical occasion’
inasmuch as the traces (Brahe’s records) reach the present moment
together with the signal (nul-vector of light) that connects us with the
star. In nearly all other cases, we have only the light signal which is non-
•… historical. The achievements of astrophysics in the past forty years
are among the greatest triumphs of the scientific genius and the volume
and variety of data relating to the present state of stars and galaxies is
such that no one mind can assimilate it all. But it is all knowledge of the
same moment-for it is all directly connected with our present. From
knowledge of the present physical condition of tens of thousands of
stars, various hypothetical lines of development have been proposed,
such as the ‘main sequence’ to which o!lr sun belongs. These are no
more history than if we were to classify, by observing their appearance,
tens of thousands of men chosen at random in a great city and from the
regularities found were to construct a ‘main sequence’ of bodily condi-
tions and imagine that thereby we were arriving at human history.
Without traces of the past, there can be no history. Until recently,
the only traces taken into account were the written records; and so
history was supposed to have started with the earliest inscriptions on
stone or clay made five or six thousands years ago. All that went before
that was ‘pre-history’. This is a convenient, but artificial, distinction.
The earth’s history written. in the rocks and ocean bed can be deciphered
tSy geologists- by different means, but no less well, than archaeologists
decipher hieroglyphs or cuneiform. The first condition of knowing
history-the availability in the present of traces of past events-is
satisfied, so far as our earth is concerned, for a period that extends back
before the first appearance of life itself.
However, it is only on a very broad interpretation that we are entitled
to speak of the ‘history of the earth”:’: 1;:he earth is a hypernomic entity,
which means that its existence is of a higher order than life. Although,
for our observation, the earth appears to be actualizing successively and
irreversibly-or in the usual language, it appears to exist ‘in time and
space’ -this is true only from our human standpoint. We cannot imagine
how time appears for bodies like the planets and sun: their cosmic
significance is still a mystery.
By a hazardous speculation, we have assigned to the planets the role
of ‘sub-creation’.’*’ This becomes much more comprehensible in the
light of the conceptions of chapter 42. We can look at the earth as the
director of history rather than an actor upon its stage. It would be wrong
to regard the earth as the author of the plan of history for this role
must, certainly be played upon a still higher level. This suggests that the
Earth is to be treated as a Demiurgic Intelligence, or possibly as the
‘ support of a society of such ‘Intelligences.
. It is probably nearest the truth to say that the entire period of the
preparation, emergence and development of life has been a ‘present
moment’ for the earth. What appears to us -;is a succession of events is
probably one total experience. The analogy of our own experience
makes this plausible. Within the present moment of.an.act olper-ception
millions of events occur upon the scale of existence of the cells ofwhich
our body is. constructed. An incomparably greater number occurs in a
few seconds on the scale •of atoms and quanta. A single act of perception
involves a complex and irreversible succession of impulses passing
through millions of nerve cells. This involved process occurs wholly
within our present moment.’] Now, we have found that the region over
‘which the present moment extends is a function of the degree of inte-
gration of the experiencing entity concerned. The present moment of
the earth is likely to be much nearer to a totality than it is for the
ordinary man. This view is strongly supported by the association of the
novempotent plants” with the ninth level of energy-that is Conscious
Energy (E 4).
We find that all our lines of approach lead us to the conclusion that
the ear!-I! isan Intelligent Being on the next level of existence above lite.
-Intelligence is not subject to the”determination of time in the same
way as are the lower energies and so we can perhaps venture to reach the
conclusion that the history of life on the lif1J’th works its!!,.if out in the earth’s
Although,” on this view, history starts within the earth’s ‘mind’ and
works itself out according to the determining conditions as they apply
to life-not as they apply to the earth-this does not mean that history
is started by the earth. The Intelligence of the earth links the operation
of Consciousness (E 4) and Creativity (E 3); whereas the sun spans
Creativity (E 3) and Unitive Energy (E 2). We have assigned !b.e role of life
_creatio~ to the sun. t We shall for the time being regard this, not so much
as an hypothesis, but as a convenient way of distinguishing between life
~oreordained on the earth and the forms of life as predestined.I We
may say that the appearance of life on the earth was foreordained by the
Unitive Energy working in the Sun and that the pattern according to
which life has developed was predestined by the Creative or Demiurgic
activity of the earth. There remains the predetermination of life
upon the level of the material energies. This we shall reserve to the next
Before passing on, we must revert to the scheme of Creation outlined
in Vol. II.§ With our present knowledge of the immensity of the
freation, it seems reasonable to interpret the doctrine of creation as
described in Genesis as referring specifically to the earth and not to the
~hole universe. This would require, in turn, that some measure of
4~egated creativity must be invoked to link the Supreme Act where-
by the Universe was brought into existence with the detailed working
out of the consequences. Delegated creativity implies the separation of
agent and instrument without denying the instrument of some of the
powers that are proper to the agent. Thus St. Gregory Palamas who
treats the working of the Divine Power as a complex of energies such as
love, goodness, etc., allows these energies to pass into the Creation
which thus receives a secondary deification.” Similarly, in our present
study, we see that the creative and unitive energies, though properly
referred to the Cosmic Individuality, nevertheless enter into the sun,
and appear again in the Demiurgic Activity of the Earth and even of
Man when he enters the Psychoteleios Order.
It is difficult to reject the view that there have been subordinate
creative acts within the immense freedom with which Existence is
‘ endowed by and from its Source. If this notion is rejected, the whole
universe either becomes a _mech~nism . set in motion at its ince£!i2D.
_and preordained to work itself.out inexorably and perfectly;..gr it becomes
an even less acceptable faulty mechanism that can go wrong, but cannot
be put right except by setting aside the laws of its own creation. On
either interpretation God becomes a remote, inaccessible Absolute and
theism and atheism are rendered, for all practical purposes, identical
doctrines.f The notions of determining conditions and energies lead
to the conclusion that the Cr~e Will of the Sun is not a wholly in-
dependent power, but rather a mode of operation of the Universal Will.
When, therefore, we say that life on the earth is foreordained by the
Creative Will of the Sun, we are not saying anything other than that the
appearance of life on the earth is the result of an activity in which the
_Sun transmits the Unitive Energy (E 2) and the Earth the creative
energy (E 3). – –
We now have to see how far these notions can be reconciled with
. accepted views as to the origin and evolution of life.