From Animal-self to Human-self to Spirit-self…the Evolution of Human Consciousness

From Animal-self to Human-self to Spirit-self…the Evolution of Human Consciousness

Humanity’s first rule-makers were early adopters of a higher consciousness that was evolving within our species at that time. As our brains got bigger and human beings developed a stronger sense of individuation, a desire for agency and a demand for personal rights emerged to reflect our new and expanded understanding of what it means to be human and alive. Evolutionary advancements in mentation (the ability to project and to reflect) as well as the emergence of more complex personal emotions (compassion and love) fueled mankind’s drive to develop a set of minimum universal values by which all people should live.

The 10 Commandments are therefore not high spiritual values. In fact, they cater to the lowest common denominator of a species that had just begun to realize it had higher capacities than did the animals all around it. “Don’t kill. Don’t steal. Don’t lie. Don’t screw with someone else’s happiness. Fear the Creators of the Rules, enough to obey the rules without question. Know your place in the world as a subject of it.” A simple code, for a young and still relatively simple-minded species. The point of the code was to demand that men deliberately learn to subjugate their baser animal nature, so that the higher aspects and capacities of the human spirit could find time and have room to emerge and make themselves known.

Lovely! This practice served its purpose beautifully, for thousands and thousands of years. It has indeed created ample time and space for human beings around the world to awaken to the realization that a code that teaches us how not to behave like animals will not be rich enough to carry us into a future of Spiritual Man. What we need now is an inner realization of how to be; a means by which our Spirit-selves can rise and sing within this world of form.

Expressing Higher Values Than "Thou Shalt Not"

The cultural and spiritual sicknesses that permeate modern society seem to be expanding, even as many are beginning to express higher values than “Thou shalt not.” Our society isn’t collapsing because we’re feeling called to sink back into our basest animal natures, but because we’re mired in a social system that treats us all as if we are animals, and informs us we must perceive our entire species (including ourselves) as potentially beastly at all times, otherwise we may risk death at the hands of all those scary “animal others.”

Because we’ve been focusing so intently on how not to behave, we’re still lacking a coherent model for—and realization of—how to be. We’ve been taught to feel unworthy of achieving Christ-consciousness, because we’re an innately sinful, bad, and broken species. And while we revere, or even worship, the best role models who ever lived, we believe it’s hubris to ever imagine we can become as them.

As a result, many of us feel lost and internally isolated from our own yearning spirits. We direct that anger and unhappiness outward, because we’re not instructed to turn within and seek answers for what ails us. We crave positive spiritual role modeling and greater emotional nurturing from our own society, yet that society remains obsessively focused on what we ought not to do, at the expense of setting examples for how to be. We fear drifting back into the base animalistic consciousness of our species childhood, yet we’re sick to death of the ego-driven and narcissistic self-consciousness that typifies our species adolescence.

Hungering For A Higher Vision Of How To Be

I believe humanity today hungers for a higher vision for itself; one far greater than merely how not to behave in the basest and most thoughtless of childlike ways, or the most selfish and self-destructive of juvenile ways. I believe we crave a more beautiful and lovable image of ourselves that unveils our highest adult potentials and inspires us around how to be, as maturing Spirit made Flesh. What’s ripening within us right now is an insatiable longing for the means to cure our collective dis-ease of Spirit.

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The “cure” for adolescence is always adulthood. The “cure” for our species’ adolescence—and its accompanying exhibitions of rage, victimization, excessive materialism, persecution, insecurity, sexual discomfort and obsession, isolation and separation, cliquishness, jealousy, and melodrama—as well as all the accompanying physical, mental and emotional suffering that arises out of those practices, is to transcend adolescence through personal transformation. We cannot accomplish that by fighting or through further internal struggle, but by surrendering our egos, which have carried us as far as they are able, to the evolutionary impulse that is our emerging Spirit-self. This unconditional surrender means we willingly place our bodies, hearts and minds in service to Spirit. By making ample inner space for Spirit to fully emerge, and by granting ourselves adequate contemplative time to connect and then merge with Spirit, we develop the power to become the cure we seek.

This new wave of spiritual emergence seems similar to what occurred back when humanity first created the code of “How not to,” only this evolutionary impulse appears to be ushering in a much higher order of consciousness that initiates a far deeper connection with Spirit. The advance guard of our species, whose role models are the early avatars of this higher-order consciousness—Buddha, Jesus, Lao Tsu, Krishna, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, to name a few—are now turning their collective attention toward how to be in alignment with the highest creative capacities of Spirit, as we move through flesh and form as life itself.

It’s important to note that the early adopters of this collectively evolving realization of how to be don’t demand that everyone throw away their rule books, or give up their existing beliefs and opinions. Nor do they threaten others with physical punishment or eternal damnation because they cannot, or will not, do so. Instead, they compassionately note that society’s rule-makers have grown increasingly unable to keep pace with the accelerating rate of change in our world, so they realize that rule-making is becoming obsolete.

There exists no need to destroy what is going extinct. There does exist, however, an enormous need to midwife what wants to be born.

Blessedly, the early Spirit-self practitioners of “How to be” can be found everywhere among us at this time. They’re the people who are consciously choosing to manifest boundless love, kindness, compassion, gratitude, grace, mercy, forgiveness, faith, hope, and a reverence for all of life. They quietly invite others to notice how they’re choosing to move through the world, and inspire others to follow suit if they choose. They understand that this shift represents an internal evolution, so it cannot be advanced using external force.

Sometimes an individual’s consciousness has not yet experienced sufficient preparation, so their ego is not yet willing to make its own transition to this new way of being. Thus, our early adopters must apply discernment in determining who appears ready to make the shift and requires assistance, and who does not yet seem ready to do so; without judging the not-yet-ready as “bad” or “evil.”

These early adopters remain humble while midwifing the higher emergence of Spirit-self within themselves and others, because they realize they’re not bringing it about. Rather, they express wonder and gratitude that they’ve been touched by grace, and have been invited to help usher in this astonishing change.

Early adopters are additionally called to develop a practice of patience and forgiveness. Patience because they observe, and sometimes struggle with, how many are not yet able to release the fear that humanity cannot outgrow its own angst-ridden adolescence. Because so many remain focused on fear and not love, they’re unable to make internal space for their highest Spirit-self to emerge and guide them into the promised land of self-love. Early adopters must therefore patiently continue to model “How to be,” even for those who persist in acting out “What not to do”, without surrendering to the pull of despair.

Patience My Loves… All This Too Shall Pass

Early adopters must also practice constant forgiveness, as they witness (and personally experience) the suffering that arises whenever a human ego battles the emergent Spirit-self. Our news media focuses its attention on those situations where one of us—or worse, some frightened or self-righteous group of us—has driven themselves into a blind rage or sunk to the pits of despair, and behaved in ways that are harmful and life-negating. We must forgive all of humanity, including ourselves, for this temporary inability to root ourselves fully in the perfect ground of unconditional love, though we feel regret for the damage that our fear-driven actions are causing.

Forgiveness my loves… for on the eternally loving and infinitely compassionate ground of beingness, our Spirit-selves will continue to learn how not to behave in the world, even as we gradually ease ourselves into how to be.

So let us not lose hope as we continue to evolve our Spirit-selves. Hold fast to the hope that this ongoing emergence of our individual and collective Spirit-selves will someday be realized to have been as inevitable as was our earlier shift from unaware animal-human to self-conscious human. It’s happening right now, and it’s happening here, which means Spirit wants to emerge more fully within us. Why bet against the evolutionary thrust of the entire universe, which has conspired to bring us all to the here and the now? Why not enter life’s flow and allow it to guide us?

I suspect the reason we’re all not intently focused on the emergence of the Spirit-self just yet, and why it’s not a major part of our public dialogue, is that it’s not a change to which we can point as an obvious biological advancement. What’s arising instead is a quiet, spacious internal enhancement of our mental and emotional capacities; one that, because it’s Spirit-driven, can only be perceived by paying attention to the energetic and expressive changes that show up in our behavior as our Spirit-selves awaken and more fully manifest through us, as life itself.

Seeking clues that might reveal our ongoing human evolution by looking for physical changes in our biological forms (an objective-material approach) will no longer suffice to reveal for us the truth of our larger life journey. We can only spot the effects of human evolution by noticing the constant shifts taking place in what truly matters to us—both as individuals, and as a collective.

The truth is not to be found in the form; the truth in-forms us, and is seen through the form’s self-expression.

What aspect of your Self are you choosing to express in the world today? How are you choosing to be? Are you fear… or are you love?

I would encourage you to inquire deeply of yourself which of these two emotions feels better to you when you feel it, and then allow that truth to in-form how you’re showing up. Let the truth be your guide if you can and will; allow truth to overcome our aging codes of conduct for “How not to be.”

Trust yourself. You are Spirit made Flesh for a reason. Become the reason.

Copyright by Eileen Workman.
Reprinted with permission from the author's blog.

Book by this Author

Raindrops of Love for A Thirsty World
by Eileen Workman

Raindrops of Love for A Thirsty World by Eileen WorkmanA timely spiritual guide to surviving and thriving in today’s pervasive, gloomy atmosphere of alienation and fear, Raindrops of Love For a Thirsty World, lays out a path to life long self-actualization, and reconnection through a shared consciousness.

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About the Author

Eileen WorkmanEileen Workman graduated from Whittier College with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and minors in economics, history, and biology. She began working for Xerox Corporation, then spent 16 years in financial services for Smith Barney. After experiencing a spiritual awakening in 2007, Ms. Workman dedicated herself to writing “Sacred Economics: The Currency of Life” as a means for inviting us to question our longstanding assumptions about the nature, benefits, and genuine costs of capitalism. Her book focuses on how human society might move successfully through the more destructive aspects of late-stage corporatism. Visit her website at

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