The Evolutionary Urge Carried by the Unbroken Line

How do you see the journey you are on as a human being? Do you see it as an individual path that challenges you to make something of your life? Something creative, rewarding, and meaningful?


Here is an alternative view that does not deny the individual journey but sees it in the context of something larger. 


We are each part of a lineage. We are the living descendants of a long line of ancestors—blood ancestors, cultural ancestors, and spiritual ancestors. The evolutionary urge has been moving in that long line, propelling it forward. This urge is the innate desire to fulfill our potential—to become all of what is possible for us as human beings, and possible for the world in which we live.


Despite any ignorance, shortsightedness, lack, or failure of any of our ancestors, the unbroken line of our lineage has come to us. Embracing this line, we embrace the evolutionary urge within it. We embrace the possibility that was present from the beginning. And we embrace every enlightened soul in our lineage who allowed the evolutionary urge to be fulfilled through them.


This understanding of ourselves and the journey we are on doesn’t deny the exploration and discovery that are ours to pursue. It doesn’t deny the compulsion we have to manifest the potential for our lives. It just connects our individual experience to the potential and power contained in our lineage. Embracing our place as the manifestation of our lineage today, we connect with the highest hopes and aspirations of those who went before us. We unite with the illuminated awareness of the awakened ones from our past. And we embrace their victory as our own.


The secret of it all is that we can reach beyond the shortcomings of anyone in the past who wasn’t a clear expression of the potential of our lineage to find the pure potential within it. We can embrace the victory of all the enlightened souls from our line and let it light the way before us as we fulfill the evolutionary urge now.


Whatever your lineage may be—genetically, culturally, or spiritually—I know there have been those enlightened souls whose knowledge and inspiration come to you now. In every lineage, there is the urge for evolution—the desire to become something, not only as an individual or as a specific culture but as the human race. 


The evolutionary urge, interpreted in whatever way it has been over the years, has brought us to this day. Along the way, ancient superstitions and an ancient sense of separateness have affected the human journey. Ignorant choices created a twisted path. And still, the evolutionary urge has been so powerful that our lineage continues to the present day despite these things.


For many of us in the Western world, Jesus of Nazareth was an enlightened soul in our lineage. And truly, anyone anywhere can claim him as their spiritual ancestor. 


Jesus wasn’t the initiating point within our lineage. But he certainly was a high point, a punctuation point, an illuminated beacon on the path. 


He was born into the Jewish lineage, which continued from the Israelite line. He was born into a Jewish culture. He taught in synagogues, and he mainly taught Jewish people. He followed the Jewish law. And yet, in so many ways, he transcended the Jewish law, at least as it was interpreted by the religious leaders of the day.


Jesus taught the fulfillment of the evolutionary destiny of humankind. In the ignorance and violence of the world around him, he brought the promise of knowing and loving and the fulfillment of love, which is oneness.


And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

John 8:32


He didn’t say, You shall know my teachings, or You shall know the Hebrew Bible. He didn’t promise that people would know a set of beliefs or memorize a creed. He said, Ye shall know the truth, without restriction or limitation. Not this truth or that truth. No, the truth. And ye shall know the truth, and that knowledge shall make you free.


That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us:

John 17:21


Here is Jesus’ teaching of oneness and the formula for how it is known, born out of love.


These teachings were radical in his day. They are even today. And so, his culture couldn’t contain him. They reacted to who he was and the message that he brought. 


He called humankind to its destiny, beyond ignorance and beyond a futile search for knowledge—to know who we are and why we’re here, to know each other and ourselves, and the God that created us.


He called us to love the Creator of all things, not with a fearful love from afar, not with a superstitious love, but with the kind of love that brings communion. He taught a consummated love that knows union and oneness with the creative spirit inside us until we know that’s the truest thing of who we are. Knowing that, Yes, I have a name. I have a lifetime of experience. I have a background, education, and personality. But the realest thing about me is the Creator, with whom I know oneness. 


For many of us, Jesus is a part of our lineage. And we have spiritual ancestors who followed after Jesus’ lifetime. But often, when a great light comes into the world, people interpret it in terms of the culture of the day, with all its fears and superstitions and all its tendencies to autocracy and oppression.


Those who had been with Jesus were joined by others after he left. They had the urge to bring the significance that Jesus was to them to the larger world of the Roman Empire, outside of the Jewish culture in which Jesus taught and ministered. 


Jewish law details many things about life, including diet, worship, purity, and social and familial relationships. Desiring to bring Christianity to a world that didn’t follow those laws, the apostles of the early Christian church had long discussions on whether to require their newfound followers in the Greco-Roman world to follow Jewish law.


Perhaps the most challenging law of all was the requirement of male circumcision. That was a big ask of prospective male converts. And so, the apostles argued amongst themselves whether it should be a requirement. 


In the end, for gentile converts they agreed to suspend all but the most fundamental Jewish laws.


As you read the New Testament, you see how Peter, Paul, and the rest of them tried to figure out how to bring something so profound to the world. Perhaps all the detailed regulation of Jewish law wasn’t as important as Jesus himself seemed to indicate. But it went beyond that. They ignored and altered foundational aspects of Jesus’ teaching.


To begin with, the disciples had only been with Jesus for a little over three years. There is plenty of evidence that they didn’t really understand what he was telling them. Then, they attempted to share the significance of something they only partially understood outside their familiar culture. So, they adapted Jesus’ teaching to make it acceptable and appealing to that larger world. As it turned out, they were highly successful in doing so. They gained millions of followers. But this had enormous implications for Jesus’ spiritual lineage. It meant that his original teaching was covered over by all that the leaders of the early church did to make Christianity appealing to the Greco-Roman world.


Such is the way of the world. I don’t care what culture it is—East, West, North, South, Asian, European, African, Australian or in the Americas. There was an original urge and somebody in the lineage who knew that urge clearly and profoundly. Somewhere along the way, something happened to that knowledge so that it became muddy for others. And ancient superstitious patterns ended up coming back in and swallowing up that knowledge, or so it would seem. And yet, the evolutionary urge is still there in the lineage, and still present in us all. 


If we acknowledge that along the way our lineage has been distorted or corrupted, what do we do? Do we abandon our lineage? I say it’s a sad state of affairs if we do. There is power in the lineage and an opportunity to reclaim its original truth. 


I was raised in the Unitarian Church in Westport, Connecticut, where I grew up. We never called ourselves Christians, that I remember. And Christianity as it is practiced is often strange to me. Nonetheless, today I declare my lineage back to the light Jesus of Nazareth brought to the world. I am of that lineage, despite everything that happened afterward. I embrace Primal Christianity—what he lived and taught to the world.


And I would encourage anyone to own their own lineage. We’re not going back to biblical times or any other ancient times. We are here now. But the power of the evolutionary urge comes rushing forward to meet us if we embrace the lineage through which it comes.


As we do, we are on a magical journey that is taking us to places we could hardly imagine. What we have in store as a race is a total transmutation of the human experience, and with it, a transmutation of the flesh of humankind. 


We are becoming a sun. This is our destiny. This is the fulfillment of the evolutionary urge carried by the unbroken line within us all.