The Age of Imagination or Individuals Evolving into Unividuals
14 billion years ago what existed was mostly just hydrogen, but that has evolved into the rich magnificence of the physical universe. 4 billion years ago single cells emerged, evolving into complex, sentient, conscious life. And then, as the fruit of all of the continual miracles of evolution, came the emergence of psyche. ‘Psyche’ is the Greek word for ‘soul’, so let’s be bold and say … 14 billion years of evolution have led to the emergence of the soul: this immaterial realm you are experiencing right now, full of ideas, images, thoughts, and dreams … the imagination.
Where next for this grand evolutionary story? When people speculate about the future it is usually in terms of amazing new technology. Yet all that technology comes from one place … the imagination … the psyche or soul … the most emergent aspect of the evolving universe. We are truly living in ‘The Age of Imagination’. As I look around me now nearly everything I can see has arisen from the imagination … the computer, my coffee cup, the paintings on the wall, the building I am in, the glasses I wear to see. We have created the latest chapter of 14 billion years of innovative evolution with the imagination.
So, is another unexpected, evolutionary jump coming in this great saga of endless creativity? I wonder whether it will be a momentous leap of imagination in which we realise something both astonishing and yet obvious … that we are the universe conscious of itself. And when we make that imaginative leap, we will evolve from individuals to unividuals … individuals conscious of unity with the universe. And that profound recognition of our essential oneness will change everything.
Tim Freke is a religious philosopher, authority on the spiritual traditions of the world, the author of 35 books including Deep Awake and Soul Story, creator of Unividualism: A Deeper Way of Living, and the founder of The International Community of Unividuals, which combines evolutionary science and deep spirituality to offer a visionary new understanding of the nature of reality and the purpose of life.