Pinnacle Point: We are One

By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   September 6, 2022

This will be the last Perspectives column you’ll be reading for the time being. Personnel changes at the World Business Academy, and the incredible demands on my time as the Founder and CEO of H2 Clipper, Inc., has made it clear that I need to let go of this weekly column for now. I do so with some regret as I’ve genuinely enjoyed sharing my thoughts in this space for the last three years and hearing your reactions – the overwhelming majority of which have been positive. It is my hope that the demands on my time will be reduced in 2023, and that added editorial staff at the Academy will allow me to return to a weekly offering. But for now, it is time to bid adieu.

I thought it best to end this current run of columns by reflecting on our human capacity to evolve into a type of being much more powerful, humane, and sustainable than what we have achieved to date. 

The human species has evolved at least 32 times already. Homo erectus, homo habilis, homo heidelbergensis have all died off. Our most recent human cousin, homo neanderthalenis (aka Neanderthals), failed to migrate south to Pinnacle Point in adequate numbers beginning 170,000 years ago. They ultimately perished by the time modern humans moved north circa 40,000 years ago. 

Those Neanderthals that made it to Pinnacle Point on the southern tip of Africa were overwhelmingly outnumbered by the homo sapiens who fled there too. At Pinnacle Point, these survivors lived in caves until the end of the last ice age, about 40,000 years ago, with a full migration around the globe at that time. Every person alive, all 7.3 billion of us, is a direct lineal descendant of those hearty pioneers from Pinnacle Point. The few Neanderthals that survived, left every living human today with a few Neanderthal DNA genetic markers.

The most amazing thing about Pinnacle Point is how homo sapiens survived there, or perhaps even evolved there, largely sustaining themselves with marine animals, like shellfish that attached to the rocks and harvested at low tide, as well as plants with an abundant carbohydrate composition in the tubular root structure. 

The technical definition of homo sapiens is “the man/woman who knows.” Homo sapiens evolvedover tens of thousands of years, gathering high protein food off the rocks and carbohydrates from the plants plus the occasional wild animal that wandered by. The high protein diet and the resulting rise of symbolic expression are factors in the significant growth in brain power that developed in these survivors at the tip of Africa. 

Ultimately, these beings evolved into the species most of us are today: homo sapiens sapiens. “Homo sapiens sapiens” means the “man/woman who knows that they know.” We call this reflective consciousness – the ability to reflect on what we know in order to form new knowledge.  

The evolution of homo sapiens to homo sapiens sapiens, however, was only the last evolutionary “jump” of the prior thirty-two.  

We are now undergoing another evolution. What is far more fascinating is, like the Neanderthals, homo sapiens sapiens itself is now dying out.

In the last half of the 20th century, a new species has been emerging. We can all be certain that, just like all prior species that have gone extinct, homo sapiens (which many of us were born as) is also headed towards extinction.

For decades, my dear associate Barbara Marx Hubbard and I debated what the name of this new evolutionary species would be. We settled on homo universalis. 

Keeping in mind how we defined homo sapiens as the “man/woman who knows,” and homo sapiens sapiens as “the man/woman who knows that they know,” we concluded that homo universalis was distinguished as the “man/woman who knows that they know, and what they know is that we are one.” 

That’s universal consciousness, and the human species will never be turning back to its prior isolationist framework.

Knowing that we know consciously that “we are one” means we inherently understand the unity of all things. We know we are one with the biosphere, so we can’t any longer permit our species to destroy it. We know we are one with every other member of human society. We know that we are one with the physical universe, so we can’t see ourselves as dominating nature but rather learning how we can best fit into this marvelously complex universe. 

Most importantly, we know we are one with each other. This means all forms of personal violence (between individuals in the home) or collective violence (war) are unacceptable, as it is violence against ourselves. Our growing awareness of our oneness with all life on this planet, means that we are now conscious of our very consciousness. As such we know that all we lack is the will to create the habitat for our new species: a world that works for every sentient being. 

The choice is ours. We have the financial and technical resources today to create a civilization where every single human is entitled to adequate food, shelter, clothing, education, medical support, with the absence of all physical violence particularly war – that would be heaven on earth. Creating such a civilization is the unavoidable work for homo universalis. 

The bad news is we have choice. And this means we may choose not to evolve. The good news is that we now have a species with the consciousness to create precisely, those conditions of “heaven on earth” from our awareness of universal oneness. 

We can create a sustainable society that will regenerate the biosphere. We can create a global society where there is enough for everyone, where abundance is our heritage, and scarcity no longer has a hold on us.

That’s what we can choose for ourselves – and the sooner we do the sooner we will see the end of human misery as we’ve experienced it for millions of years. We can do this. I chose for myself and my progeny that we will do this. I chose this life-affirming path to the destructive one we are leaving. I sincerely hope you will choose likewise, so we can lubricate the transition to the oneness we all knowingly share.


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