A Message from Ervin Laszlo: Humanity’s Sacred Mission – 5 Point Upshift Manifesto.

Nov 6, 2023 | News

Project for Apprehending and Advancing Humanity’s Sacred Mission

Position paper

ervin laszlo upshift movementThe religions and spiritual traditions often speak of the mission of humanity, and claim that we have a sacred or divine obligation to pursue it. The project announced here is based on the proposition that humanity does have a sacred mission, and that seeking and advancing it is of urgent and vital interest. But humanity’s mission is sourced in the universe, rather than in a transcendental Being or Intelligence.

This proposition is supported by evidence uncovered in the sciences. Our project seeks to uncover the evidence regarding a sacred mission of humanity, and to highlight its meaning for our life and future. The key issue is the understanding we now have of the processes that brought us forth on this planet.

There is a new, or better newly rediscovered, insight on this score. It is that living species, including humans, did not emerge by chance. Unlike in the classical understanding of evolution, we do not owe our existence to random processes subjected to natural selection producing a fortunate configuration of our genes. We, and other living species are here because the evolution of complex and coherent systems is a basic and intrinsic process in the universe.

This claim has a scientific basis. Statistical analysis shows that random processes could not have produced the phenomena of life in the available span of time. The time available for evolution is finite because the universe, as we come to understand it, is temporally as well as spatially finite.

Space and time were created in aftermath of the singularity known as the Big Bang some 13.7 billion years ago. At that time processes got under way that led to the emergence of integral ensembles of diverse components in semi-stable configurations. In the course of time, these processes produced atoms and molecules, macromolecules and crystals, cells and ensembles of cells, and in favorable environments, living organisms. At the cosmic scale, they produced stars and stellar systems and entire galaxies.

In the period of time that elapsed since evolution took off in the universe, random combinations of molecules and cells are extremely unlikely likely to have produced anything more complex than the DNA of a fruit fly. Mathematical physicist Fred Hoyle suggested that the probability that living organisms emerge through a random shuffling of their genes is like to the probability that a hurricane blowing through a scrapyard produces a working airplane.

Something other than random mixing subjected to natural selection must have been responsible for the evolution of living systems. This “something” is best seen as a universal force or impetus that biases the random mixing of otherwise lifeless components and thereby increases the chances that they produce complex and coherent systems.

The known forces and laws of physics could not have produced the systems we observe — and indeed exemplIfy — in the available period of time. There must be a complex and coherent-producing “attractor” or other non-conventional force present in the universe similar to the elan vital postulated by Henri Bergson. Whatever the nonconventional force or impetus may be, it is orienting interactions toward the formation of complex and coherent systems. Wherever physical conditions permit the formation of complex chains of carbon, evolution builds networks of systems in complex and coherent multilevel and multidimensional structures.

For conscious and responsible human beings, the creative life-force manifesting in evolution is a life- and consciousness-creating sacred source. Apprehending it and advancing the evolution it produces is a sacred mission. Pursuing it is highly promising. It helps people find meaning in life; and advancing it overcomes the pessimism, inertia and depression spreading among young people in many societies. These considerations are the reason and the basis for creating and implementing the cooperative “apprehending and advancing humanity’s sacred mission” project.

Drafted by Ervin Laszlo
November 1, 2023

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1 – We are nearly eight billion people on the planet. Are we a peaceful and cooperative community of eight billion, or are we a group of stressed and depressed individuals fighting wars and facing intolerable conditions? This is still for us to decide.

2 – We appear to be heading toward chaos and catastrophe. But our descent is not fated: we can upshift the way we evolve. Every war and aggression, every climate catastrophe, every migrant emergency can reinforce our resolve to find our way to a peaceful and cooperative world.

3 – We are in crisis, and crisis brings awakening. In our case it brings the awakening of a conscious species capable taking its evolution into its hands. Evolution took off in the universe 13,7 billion years ago in the aftermath of the Big Bang and has been unfolding ever since. On Earth it has created a planetary web of living systems, endowed with diverse forms and levels of consciousness. We are not a cosmic accident: we are part of this evolution. We can align with it and ensure our life and wellbeing, or ignore it and risk chaos and extinction.

4 – We can align with evolution in the universe: we can create a world of peace and harmony on the planet. This is a feasible task. In The Great Upshift Thirty-five international thought-leaders show how it can be achieved.

5 – Upshifting to a peaceful and cooperative world is humanity’s sacred mission. It is the mission of a conscious living species to safeguard the presence of life on Earth, and to advance the evolution of the consciousness associated with life.

Ervin Laszlo
November 2023


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