“…In short, neither animal nor further human evolution is automatically progressive.  Progress occurs when there is change toward a better condition, however that improvement is defined, whereas biological and human evolution is sometimes regressive and often leads to the extinction of entire species and cultures…many individuals and cultures will be judged not to have developed beyond their predecessors, and some have even clearly regressed.

And the same principle holds for the development of extraordinary human attributes.  Long experience in the sacred traditions has shown that ecstasies, illuminations, and super normal powers provide no guarantee of lasting goodness and growth, and many contemporary studies have shown that meditation, psychotherapy, and other ways of growth do not automatically transform those who undertake them.  Whenever we propose that progress might or could occur, we do not mean that it necessarily will. Further human advance depends on us, even if there is reason to believe the scales are tipped in favor of it.”

From the book God and the Evolving Universe, by by James Redfield and Michael Murphy