I wonder if we are the height of consciousness. It seems likely not.
I think I would prefer that our consciousness is derivative of an older, more sophisticated one. But the preponderance of evidence marks me skeptical.
And anyway, the prior consciousness I imagine means, basically, that I am god – as are you. We are the the most recent manifestation of a unity.
I am a skeptical but happy god.
An unrelated, parallel origin and development of consciousness is possible. This, however, would make us less kin. If we cross paths, we might be friends, but we might also be enemies or something else.
I wonder what our conscious kin will think when we finally meet. What will they think when they find out we killed all the other humanoid species, in a time before we remember: in prehistoric times, before we wrote things down. That might lessen our collective culpability, until they see Lascoux and such. I wonder if some of the caves show other hominids.
Perhaps humans didn’t think of other species as anymore different than different races. Species are races are basically equally social constructs. Especially if you believe humans and other hominids came from the same species originally – and chimps and humans come from the same species – and humans and bears came from the same species. Killing humans; killing bears; splitting hairs.
I doubt the Ancient Consciousness cares much about such minute details. Everything is more or less a prismed sliver of the greater unity.