History of the World, Part 3
The next point regarding our perspective of history is that there is purpose in creation; in other words, evolution is understood as a teleological process. Characterizing evolutionary processes with this word – meaning that it is directed by an intrinsic purpose – might conjure up controversial thoughts and connotations. It is true that teleological “grand narratives” in the past have been used to oppress peoples and impose ideologies. Yet, we can’t ignore a truth based on its abuses in the past. Let us place society’s notions aside and simply think clearly. Isn’t it the case that the purpose of the seed is to develop into a tree? Isn’t it the case that the purpose of an embryo is to develop into a human being, and the purpose of a child to develop into an adult? The seed does not randomly or haphazardly become a tree – it is its purpose.
Similarly, the biological evolution of a human being has a purpose; and the social evolution of humanity has a purpose. The human body’s purpose is to provide the vehicle for the expression of the soul, through the human mind – and the purpose of an individual’s life is to develop spiritual qualities. This purpose is realized through selfless service to humanity. And the purpose of humanity’s collective life is to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization – eventually a world civilization that has achieved a dynamic coherence between the material and the spiritual dimensions of life.
The oneness of humankind is a teleological truth (as well as an ontological truth, which we discussed a number of posts ago). It provides the purpose and direction for humanity’s social and spiritual evolution.