This is the ultimate “chicken or egg” question!
We are indeed the product of our environment, on the other hand the environment is what we ourselves build.
Thus how can the environment change us if we built the environment that influences us by the same qualities, nature we want to change?! In other words, can we “pull ourselves up by pulling out own hair”?!
We can’t change ourselves without the right environment influencing us, and we can’t build the right environment without changing ourselves! But we can draw an “external force” on us that can help. Or we could also say that we can awaken, initiate hidden, so far dormant qualities, abilities in ourselves in the right conditions.
Originally we are born with an inherently egocentric, self-serving, self-justifying, individualistic and exploitative nature which has reached its maximum, self-destructive potential in our times. As a result Humanity reached the threshold of a very realistic, imminent self-destruction which can unfold in different ways, even without wars, triggered from multiple different scenarios (plagues worsened by antibiotics overuse, mass unemployment, market/financial crash leading to socioeconomic breakdown, climate change, lack of nutrition, water, world wars…).
Our civilization is built on the service of the ego, based on excessive overconsumption, ruthless competition, success, survival at each other’s and Nature’s expense which is clearly unsustainable.
Thus there is a growing awareness, need for changing ourselves, for changing our Human relationships, the way we discuss and solve problems. When this need and our obvious inability to change ourselves, obvious inability to discuss and solve the mounting global problems that threaten our existence reaches a certain quantity and quality, the desperate helplessness, humility will draw help from Nature’s evolution.
Nature’s evolution relentlessly, in a deterministic fashion drives the whole Natural system towards a final, most optimal integration. And in this Humanity also need to take part. But contrary to other parts of the system Humanity was left with the chance to make the transition from egotistic, selfish individualism to selfless, altruistic integration freely, consciously, by our own efforts. This is why we are born different, seemingly outside of, against Nature.
Thus evolution “awaits” our conscious decision, need for change, so it could help us progress in a positive, mutually responsible, mutually complementing way above and against our original nature.
Of course it is not mysticism but empirical Natural science.
Nothing changes from evolution’s point of view, Nature is pushing the system endlessly, relentlessly in a lawful manner towards its goal.
It is us who change.
By reaching the above mentioned desperate helplessness, the need to change and the sharp, obvious inability to change at the same time, we become more sensitive, perceptible to evolution’s influence we simply ignored, didn’t feel before.
As a result of the humbling helplessness we subdue ourselves to evolution’s flow, we start to change together with the whole system, submitting to its direction in the lack of any other choice. Then as Nature’s evolution “upgrades” us with Nature’s selfless, altruistic qualities we change and as a result of the changes we can rebuild Human society to become similar to, compatible with Nature.
This process can be greatly hastened, facilitated, augmented by the right, “Integral Education”.
This is how the apparent “chicken or egg” problem is solved!