The Age of Conscious Evolution
by Barbara Marx Hubbard
We are being presented with the greatest opportunity
that humanity has ever consciously faced together: the
effort to co-create a planetary shift in time to avert
global catastrophe by helping humanity cross the gap
from “Here”—our current breakdowns—to “There”—our
future of infinite possibility.
Why is this invitation so urgent?
Because our current condition of over-growth in our
finite Earth system is simply not sustainable.
We will either evolve toward a more sustainable, compassionate, and creative
global system, or we face the real possibility of devolution and destruction of our
life support system and of much of life on Earth—within our own or our children’s
This dangerous reality is motivating us to enter into what I call the first age of
conscious evolution—that is, evolution by choice and not by chance. What is being
required of us is to learn to co-evolve with nature and co-create with Spirit.
Why do I believe that the timing is so urgent? Why now?
For the first time in our conscious history we are being given the opportunity to
guide and ease our transition to the next stage of evolution. This situation is new
for humanity, for we are the first Earth species to consciously face evolution or
This condition is new for humanity, but it is not novel for the universe. Evolution
operates by “punctuated equilibrium,” long periods of slow change, punctuated by
apparent sudden jumps. For billions of years, nature has evolved through creative
leaps, progressing from energy into matter, to planets, to primitive life, to animal
life, to human life. When we look back to our 13.7 billion year history, we can see
nature’s lessons as recurrent patterns:
. Crises almost always precede transformation.
• Problems are evolutionary drivers.
• Nature takes jumps through greater synergy and cooperation within and among
These lessons are a great wake-up call for the maturation of humanity. When a
system reaches a “chaos point, it tries to right itself by going backward to the old;
this is why we see reactive movements everywhere now. An evolving system must
seek out new structures and systems toward a new configuration—or face rapid
decline. According to system theorists, small positive fluctuations in a sea of social
chaos can jump the system to a higher order.
The opportunity being offered to us is to co-create positive innovations and new ways of being, behaving and living as a new humanity. The new good news is, we are now intentionally co-creating humanity’s Great Shift to the age of conscious evolution. Now it is our turn in evolutionary history to co-create a new society, a new humanity, a new Earth.
This article is adapted from the new book Birth 2012 and Beyond: Humanity’s
Great Shift Toward the Age of Conscious Evolution By Barbara Marx Hubbard and is
reprinted with permission of Shift Books Copyright 2012.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
BARBARA MARX HUBBARD
is the co-founder and chairperson
of Foundation for Conscious Evolution. A speaker, social
innovator, and author, she is focused on evolutionary
education. As a modern developer of the new worldview of
conscious evolution, she is establishing this new field as a
context for self, social, and scientific/technological evolution
for the 21st century.
She lectures throughout the world and teaches seminar
courses on conscious evolution for the Shift network. She also
serves as a global voice for Birth 2012: Co-creating a Planetary Shift, a celebration
of what is working, coherent and creative in the world, to be inaugurated on