“Since the infancy of the personal computer in 1983, authors and scientists have been churning out works on the subject of a coming global brain strung together by computer networking. Today the Internet, the World Wide Web, and its successors allow a neuroscientist in Strasbourg to swap ideas instantly with a philosopher of history in Siberia and an algorithm juggler in Silicon Valley. But according to the visionaries who predict a world-spanning intelligence, this is just the beginning. They tell us that a radical human transformation has begun, one that will hook ‘the billions of minds of humanity together into a single system.’ We will soon come together, predict the techno-prophets, on a post-World Wide Web computer net that will learn ours ways of thought and fetch us the knowledge we need before we know we want it, a web that will turn the human race into a single ‘spiritual super-being,’ a massive ‘collective conscious’ spanning the entire surface of the Earth. The result will be one of the greatest leaps in the evolution of our species.” ~ Howard Bloom, from Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century
“Do you see what’s happening? The spiral is tightening as it goes faster and faster. The resonances are impinging. The thing is getting nuttier, and nuttier, and nuttier as computers link all cultures together, all informational barriers dissolve, everything is becoming connected to everything else. Not only everything in the present moment, but all past moments as well, are being drawn, compressed, squeezed towards the production of the transcendental object at the end of time. Which is nothing less than all time, all space, shrunk down to an atomic dimension and handed back to us, do you see?” ~ Terence McKenna
“Various forms of what might be termed ‘collective consciousness’ in modern societies have been identified by other sociologists, such as Mary Kelsey, ranging from solidarity attitudes and memes to extreme behaviors like group-think or herd behavior. Mary Kelsey, sociology lecturer in the University of California, Berkeley, used the term in the early 2000s to describe people within a social group, such as mothers, becoming aware of their shared traits and circumstances, and as a result acting as a community and achieving solidarity. Rather than existing as separate individuals, people come together as dynamic groups to share resources and knowledge. It has also developed as a way of describing how an entire community comes together to share similar values. This has also been termed ‘hive mind’, ‘group mind’ and ‘social mind’.”
“Human society, like our own brain, can be seen as one enormous communication and memory system. We have grouped ourselves into clusters of cities and towns rather like the way nerve cells cluster into ganglia in a vast nervous system. And similar to our cities and towns , linking the ‘ganglia’ and the individual ‘nerve cells’ are vast information networks.
Society’s slow package systems of communications such as the postal services, with specific items sent to different parts of the system, are like the relatively slow chemical communication networks of the body, such as the hormonal system. Our faster, electronically based telecommunications networks (internet, telephones, television, radio…etc.) are like the billions of tiny fibers linking the nerve cells in the brain.” ~ Peter Russell, from The Awakening Earth
“At any instant there are millions of messages flashing through the global network, just as in the human brain countless messages are continually flashing back and forth. Our various libraries of books, tapes, and other records can be seen as part of the collective memory of Gaia. Through language and science we have been able to understand much of what happens around us, monitoring the planet’s behavior much as the brain monitor’s the body’s. We might see the Western and Eastern cultures as the two sides of Gaia’s brain – the rational/intellectual left and the more intuitive right. And humanity’s search for knowledge could be Gaia’s way of knowing more about herself and about the universe in which she lives.
Many of the above parallels relate to the higher mental functions, to thinking, knowing, perceiving, and consciousness, to the functions associated with the cortex of the human brain – the thin layer of nerve cells wrapped around the outside of the brain – and it might be more accurate to liken humanity to the cortex of the planet.” ~ Peter Russell, from The Awakening Earth
“In many cultures the faculties associated with the left and right sides of the brain parallel male-female symbolism. Masculinity is associated with active, doing, intellectual modes of operation; femininity more with passive, receptive, intuitive modes.
Taking humanity as a whole, the dominance of the left-brained approach suggests that the global brain is also left-dominant, and this becomes manifest in the masculine nature of most contemporary societies. Most nations seem preoccupied with science, technology, rational thinking, and with making things happen. The feminine principle, on the other hand, symbolized the energy of the living Earth, the creation and sustenance of life, the ecological principle, living in harmony with the planet. This is the currently under-used ‘right side’ of the global brain. In this respect the rising wave of feminism may be more than an overdue revolt against a male-dominated society: it may also be a sign of a growing shift in consciousness, both in the individual and society.
With a widespread shift in consciousness, and the integration of the male and female within us all, we might expect social attitudes and values to become androgynous. This does not mean neutral, but an integration of the qualities of male and female. The important differences between masculine and feminine ways of thinking would be recognized and given value. There would be a balance and synthesis of the left and right sides of the global brain.” ~ Peter Russell, from The Awakening Earth
“From the birth of the Universe to the present time, evolution has inexorably pushed toward greater levels of complexity: increasing diversity, organization, and connectivity. Out of this growing complexity, new orders of evolution have emerged. There is no logical reason to suppose that this trend should stop now. On the contrary, it shows every sign of continuing. The three principal aspects of complexity appear to be once again reaching the point where a new order of existence could emerge, and the arena for this next evolutionary breakthrough is humanity itself.” ~ Peter Russell, from The Awakening Earth
“One philosopher who spent much of his life contemplating the integration of humanity into a single being was Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Teilhard displayed that rare synthesis of science and religion: he was both a Jesuit priest and a geologist/paleontologist. In the 1930s he worked in China where he was closely involved with the discovery of the skull of ‘Peking Man’. As a result of his study of the evolutionary process, he developed a general theory of evolution, which he believed would apply not only to the human species but also to the human mind, and the relationship of religious experience to the facts of natural science.
One of his principle conclusions was that humanity was headed towards the unification of the entire species into a single interthinking group. He coined the word ‘noosphere’ (from the Greek noos, ‘mind’) to refer to the cumulative effect of human minds over the entire planet. Just as the biosphere denotes the system comprising all living beings, so the noosphere denotes a system comprising all conscious minds.
Evolution, having passed through geogenesis (the genesis of the Earth), and biogenesis (the genesis of life), was now at the stage of ‘noogenesis’ (the genesis of mind). He saw this stage as the ‘planetization of Mankind… (into) a single, major organic unity’. The fulfillment of the process of noogenesis Teilhard referred to as the ‘Omega Point’, the culmination of the evolutionary process, the end point towards which we are all converging.” ~ Peter Russell, from The Awakening Earth
“The embryonic human brain passes through two major phases of development. The first is a massive population explosion of the embryonic nerve cells, starting at eight weeks after conception. During this phase, the number of cells increases by many millions each day. After five weeks, however, the process slows down, almost as rapidly as it started. The first stage of brain development – the proliferation of cells – is complete.
From there the brain proceeds to the second phase of its development, as billions of isolated nerve cells begin making connections with each other, sometimes with neighboring cells, sometimes growing out fibers to connect with cells on the other side of the brain. By the time of birth, a typical nerve cell may communicate directly with several thousand other cells, and some cells with as many as a quarter of a million. This proliferation of connections continues through the first years of life.
Similar trends can be observed in human society today. We seem to be moving out of the period of massive ‘cell’ proliferation and into a phase of growing interconnectivity. As worldwide communication capabilities become increasingly complex, society is beginning to look more and more like a planetary nervous system. The global brain is being activated.” ~ Peter Russell, from The Awakening Earth
“Social super-organisms are not new to nature. In the animal world there are several examples of organisms that come together to form integrated social units. Thousands of bees may live and work together in a single hive, regulating the temperature and humidity of their collective ‘body’, the colony as a whole surviving the continual birth and death of its members. Army ants form colonies containing up to 20 million individuals. Advancing like a single organism through the forest, a colony will cross streams by forming a living bridge of ants clinging tenaciously to each other. When one army meets another they will avoid close contact, behaving like two separate entities. Termite construct complex cities housing up to several million individuals, complete with ventilation shafts and complex food-processing systems.
Similar tendencies can be found in higher animals. Many fish swim in schools, the whole acting as a single unit without a single leader. Individual fish may take on specific functions, such as that of an ‘eye’, reducing the need for others to be continually on the lookout. When danger is spotted the whole school can react in less than a fifth of a second. Flocks of birds can likewise behave like a super-organism. (One of the largest ever recorded was a flock of 150 million shearwaters, over ten miles across, observed between Australia and Tasmania.) Slow-motion films of bird flocks have revealed 50,000 individuals turning in synchrony in less than a seventieth of a second. There is no indication of their following the leader; the flock is integrated into a functional whole.” ~ Peter Russell, from The Awakening Earth
“Emergence theory posits that various types of new phenomena and higher states of organization for existing phenomena simply emerge when conditions are right. This includes the birth of our sun, which ignited when the central temperature of a contracting cloud of gas and dust reached 10 million degrees Fahrenheit. It includes our planet’s oceans, which emerged once the temperature had cooled down enough for water to exist. It even includes the emergence of life itself, of the first single-celled organisms, which are believed by many to have evolved from inorganic matter through various chemical and molecular processes once the environmental conditions were suitable. It also includes the emergence of flowers 114 million years ago, various super-organisms like ant colonies, termite colonies, and bee hives, animal herds and packs, human tribes and nations…etc.”
“Surveying the history of evolution from the Big Bang through to the emergence of modern civilization, we saw a general trend towards greater complexity – increasing diversity, organization, and connectivity. When certain levels of complexity are reached, new levels of evolution emerge, with qualities entirely different from what has come before. Thus physical matter emerged from energy, life emerged from matter, and self-reflective consciousness emerged from life.
Evolution also shows a tendency to accelerate, particularly before the emergence of a new evolutionary level. Today the rate of change in society is accelerating so fast that it is difficult to predict the future even a decade or two ahead. Moreover, many of humanity’s achievements represent evolutionary developments as significant as the earlier invention of photosynthesis or sexual reproduction. We are living through the most dramatic and crucial period of human history so far. We appear to be on the threshold of a major evolutionary transition.
If the patterns of the past continue, we should expect the next major step in evolution to be integration if humanity into a single whole – a social super-organism. This super-organism might well be like some form of global brain. Already there are a similar number of people on the planet as there are cells in the human brain (that magic number 10^10). Furthermore, the rapid development of the global communications network suggests that humanity is fast approaching a similar degree of connectivity as that found in the brain. When this occurs we may see the emergence of a new level of evolution – the Gaiafield – The planet’s equivalent of consciousness.
Whether we do make such a transition is, however, far from certain. Humanity is clearly in a time of severe crisis and cannot continue on its present path for very much longer. Yet from an evolutionary perspective crises can be the impetus to new levels of order and organization – if, that is, the system can make the necessary adaptations to survive the crises. Clearly more is needed than humanity linking up to form an integrated global nervous system. It is apparent that despite this increased communication, the problems are far from disappearing.
Ten billion neurons, even with their trillions of connections, do not necessarily result in consciousness – something more is needed. Similarly, even though the several billion people on the planet are connecting into a global nervous system something more is needed before an integrated social super-organism can emerge. It is to this missing ingredient, and to the ways in which it can be developed, that we shall now turn…” ~ Peter Russell, from The Awakening Earth
“What we have traced so far is society’s increasing complexity, and the many indications that we could now be living through the most significant, dramatic, and crucial period of human history – the progressive integration of human minds into a single living system.
Yet we do not have to look far to see that humanity today is also on the brink of disaster. Paradoxically, the very same technological, scientific, and social advances that have pushed us so far forward may also contain the seeds of our demise. We appear to be at a historical cusp, wavering between two mutually-exclusive directions: breaking through to become a global social super-organism; or breaking down into chaos and possible extinction.
Clearly, if given the choice, most people would not consciously opt for catastrophe. Nevertheless, as a group we seem to be drifting in that direction. Unable to fathom the complexity of the society we have become, we seem powerless to steer it in the direction we would want to go. Why is this? Why are we not more like the organism we have the potential to be?
The answer lies in what characterizes a successfully-functioning organism. When we look at organisms that work – and just about every organism apart from human society does work – we find that there is one particular quality which they all share: the many components naturally and spontaneously function together, in harmony with the whole. This characteristic can be seen operating in organisms as different as a slime mould, an oak tree, or the human body. It is usually described by the word synergy, derived from the Greek ‘syn-ergos’, meaning ‘to work together.’
Synergy does not imply coercion or restraint, nor is it brought about by deliberate effort. Each individual element of the system works towards its own goals, and the goals themselves may be quite varied. Yet they function in ways that are spontaneously mutually supportive. Consequently, there is little, if any, intrinsic conflict.” ~ Peter Russell, from The Awakening Earth
“There is an urgent need to ensure that our global brain is sane rather than insane. Each of us ‘neurons’ can take a few steps toward collective sanity. We can make sure, for example, to conserve physical resources in our personal lives. We can discover new methods for personal renewal. We can try to elect and support leaders who seem to respect the interdependence of all people. We can BE those leaders. We can also move beyond survival. We can deepen our own sense of meaning by using our imaginations. We can see ourselves as part of a greater whole, a humanity emerging into the springtime of a new understanding.” ~ Marilyn Ferguson
“Rupert Sheldrake, a British plant physiologist, proposes that systems are regulated not only by the laws known to physical science but also by invisible organizing fields – what he calls ‘morphogenetic fields’ (from the Greek ‘morphe’, form, and ‘genesis’, coming-into-being). He sees the regularities of nature to be more like habits than reflections of eternal physical laws. His theory postulates that, if one member of a biological species learns a new behavior, the morphogenetic field for the species changes, even if very slightly. If the behavior is repeated for long enough, its ‘morphic resonance’ builds up and begins to affect the entire species.
Applying Sheldrake’s theory to the development of higher states of consciousness, we might predict that the more individuals begin to raise their own level of consciousness, the stronger the morphogenetic field for higher states would become, and the easier it would be for others to experience these states. Society would gather momentum in the direction of enlightenment. Since the rate of growth would now be dependent on the achievements of those who had gone before, we would enter a phase of super-exponential growth. Ultimately this could lead to a chain reaction, in which everyone suddenly started making the transition to a higher level of consciousness.” ~ Peter Russell, from The Awakening Earth
“Some of the science-fictiony scenarios of future communications technology correspond remarkably to the shift in the human sense of self I have described. We can look at cell phones and instant messaging already as a form of telepathy. These technologies, after all, allow us to share our thoughts with other people over a distance. “ ~ Charles Eisenstein, from The Ascent of Humanity
“A 4th density collective vibrates to ‘reintegration of group identity without loss of ego identity’. It is not another incarnation of communism where nobody has any private property. A well synchronized group will make sure that its members each live at a comparable level of comfort with the physical possessions necessary to meet the current standard of living. Some having a lot of luxury and others living very poorly would negatively affect their synchronization. If they are truly 4th density, they would share the difficult times as well as times of abundance.” ~ Heidrun Beer, From Separation to Co-Creation
“The main difference between the 4th density group identity and any 3rd density hierarchy, no matter how well organized, is that the 4th density group is a composite of independent contributors who act (and synchronize) out of their own determination. Their group consciousness could form based upon compassion alone, as compassion melts away much of the solid boundaries between individuals. In the absence of direct telepathic communication, its members could interact with the various physical communication methods – spoken word, written letters, telephone, fax, e-mail…etc. So, even with their telepathic perceptions not yet fully developed, they could still be a 4th density group identity.” ~ Heidrun Beer, From Separation to Co-Creation
“People for whom love and compassion are senior to cultural commandments set in stone, who are even willing to pay a price of punishment, are either 4th density or in the process of growing into it: their perception equipment enables them to feel with another person – ‘be them’.
Jesus Christ’s precept ‘thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself’ comes to mind. His new message of love outgrows the Old Testament’s 10 commandments. He was actually the first to postulate a 4th density group identity! And he was crucified for it by his 3rd density society – but since then we have had more than 2000 years to evolve, so there is still hope for us…” ~ Heidrun Beer, From Separation to Co-Creation
“You don’t know the power of your own mind, you can change the future, especially if you know what’s going to happen on the worst timeline that you can go down. Because the power of the mind is so powerful it can change anything. And if one man’s mind is that powerful, imagine the power of group mind, where you have groups of people all focusing on one thing, peace, or whatever it is, you can perform miracles, because the power of group mind is not only multiplied, it is squared. The power is tremendous.” ~ Dolores Cannon
“Meditation and yoga techniques – raj yoga, karma yoga, Tibetan yoga, shamatha vipassana meditation, zen and dzogchen, tantric practices and the various forms of meditative theophanic prayer – all exist merely to point us toward the Supermind. We are, as Sri Aurobindo puts it, only a transitional being. Enlightenment is not the last stop of human potential, it is but the waking up from the ignorance to our true nature. But that is only on an individual level. There is no such thing as ultimate enlightenment like some absolute rest stop on the freeway of evolution, because we are all in flux whether we are enlightened or not. In reality, our next stop is the Overmind, which in planetary terms, is the advent of the noosphere.”
“As we evolve into the noosphere-Overmind we will inevitably discover that we are each a divine perceiver, or as Ibn al-Arabi understood it, we will discover that our souls are the sense organs of the Divine.”
“If we are to avert a collective catastrophe, it is increasingly apparent that some major and fundamental changes will be necessary: changes in the way we relate to ourselves, our bodies and surroundings; changes in our needs; changes in the demands we make of others and of the planet; and changes in our awareness and appreciation of the world. As numerous people have pointed out, a new world-view is needed – one that is holistic, non-exploitative, ecologically sound, long term, global, peaceful, humane, and co-operative. We need to shift to a truly global perspective in which the individual, the society, and the planet are all given full recognition. In other words, we must shift from a world-view which is low in synergy to one that is high in synergy.” ~ Peter Russell, from The Awakening Earth
“What organism could survive whose cells believed themselves to be in constant competition with each other and at war with the environment (the body), in a struggle for resources, without any purpose or significance to life beyond their own replication? That is a pretty good description of cancer cells. No, in a healthy organism the cells seek the perfection and fulfillment of their role.” ~ Charles Eisenstein, from The Ascent of Humanity
“We would seem to be rapidly approaching a breaking point, and there are two possible outcomes: breakdown or breakthrough. If we cannot adapt to the pressures being brought to bear, human society will probably collapse. If we can adapt we may move on to a new level of organization. Which path we take is now very much up to us. One thing seems clear: the pace of change is increasing, and whichever route we take major changes are not far away…” ~ Peter Russell, from The Awakening Earth
“Although we might try to soldier on, the once-bountiful ‘world-womb’ can no longer sustain the growth of fetal humanity. The effort to squeeze just a few more years out of what remains of the Mother’s resources will only poison the womb still further. Yet the exhaustion of these resources for growth does not alter our fetal civilization’s built-in imperative to grow. Hence the inevitability of its demise, or its transformation. It is very simple. A fetus grows; the womb is finite. The limits of growth trigger a birth crisis. The crises rapidly converging on our species are nothing less than the uterine contractions that will propel us into a new world; into a new way of being.” ~ Charles Eisenstein, from The Ascent of Humanity
“So now, if you want to look at a pattern that’s playing itself out on this planet right now that will give us insight about what is going on, look inside a caterpillar that’s growing. A caterpillar represents, let’s say, seven billion cells living under the same skin. Each cell is a citizen. And guess what? They’re people like us, they’re working every day, cells in the digestive system are taking the food, breaking it down and making products out of it. Some cells are the motility cells. Those are the cells that move the caterpillar around-structures like our highways with trucks and vehicles carrying materials all over the place. Something like that.
Cells of the immune system are taking their job of protecting the system. The respiration system is making sure that fresh oxygen is being delivered. So all the cells have jobs. The caterpillar’s growing. If you were in there and a reporter, you’d look around going, ‘Yeah, the economy is going great guns, it’s growing every day, everybody’s working, full employment; this is the kind of thing we love to see. How much are we growing every day, some percent, every day.’ And then, the caterpillar reaches a certain stage of growth, and at that stage of growth, it just stops eating, it can’t take it any more at this point. It’s reaching a maximum size.
Then if you’re a cell inside that community, imagine what would happen, that you’re on the job and all of a sudden there’s less food coming in and you’re a digestive center saying, ‘Well man, the work is slowing down here, the factory’s slowing down.’ Then all of a sudden it gets to such a low level that many cells get laid off of the job. Now there are cells not working. Why? There’s not enough food coming in to keep them all working. And as the food shuts down, then the other jobs are affected, because if there’s no food, then there’s no energy, and all the systems start laying off cells, and pretty soon, there’s massive chaos under the skin of the caterpillar. Why? The system stopped growing, the cells are out of work, nothing is evolving and the thing is just falling apart.
If you were a cell in that caterpillar body at that time, you would look around and say, ‘Oh my God, our world is coming to an end!’ And yet, in the midst of those billions of cells, in among them are other cells genetically identical to them, no different, but they think differently, they respond to the signals differently. These cells have the interesting name called ‘imaginal cells,’ and these imaginal cells come up with new visions, and what happens is, in the midst of all this chaos, when all the other cells are running around thinking the end of the world is coming, the new imaginal cells are laying out new ideas, new visions, a new plan, a new scheme, a new way of life, and around these ideas the cells reorganize. They start to create new massive organizations to create something much more fabulous than the previous system. A system that is much more sustainable, a system with a higher level of evolution, and that system they’re constructing is called ‘the butterfly.’
So there’s a transition from an old world of caterpillar with an old belief system and an old way of life that was no longer sustainable. And therefore you have two choices in this world right now: You can retain your caterpillar status and go, ‘Oh my God, the sky is falling!’ and be in fear, or you can say, ‘The caterpillar’s going. I want to build the butterfly.’ Why? Because if I become active and positive in the process of building the butterfly, I’m engaged, I’m working, we’re creating the future. If I sit there and bemoan the loss of the caterpillar, then I’m making myself sick and everything around me. Why? I’m not contributing to our evolution. And so, where are we? We’re at the demise of the caterpillar stage of civilization and the rise of the butterfly.” ~ Bruce Lipton
“The Uniter is going to be born here and it is going to come in plenty. It is not going to be only one human being but many. And when the Uniter is born it is going to grow and more and more humans are going to be included in the thoughts of the Uniter. As time goes by, human after human will contribute to the growth of the Uniter. The Uniter is in opposition to the old thought and its ability to limit love. But the old thought was necessary for the new to be born (or, the necessary manure for the flowering). Everything is a oneness. All the new is not really new. All this has been spoken before by different masters of different times, but it is only now in this new time that it will be understood, that it will be lived. Together all of you who are listening to this are the body of the Uniter, the body and the limbs. Together you are the new thought of the new time.” ~ Ambres
“The next Buddha will not take the form of an individual. The next Buddha will take the form of a community; a community practicing understanding and loving kindness, a community practicing mindful living. This may be the most important thing we can do for the survival of the Earth.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
“As the new consciousness emerges, some people will feel called upon to form groups that reflect the enlightened consciousness. These groups will not be collective egos. The individuals who make up these groups will have no need to define their identity through them. They no longer look to any form to define who they are. Even if the members that make up those groups are not totally free of ego yet, there will be enough awareness in them to recognize the ego in themselves or in others as soon as it appears. However, constant alertness is required since the ego will try to take over and reassert itself in any way it can. Dissolving the human ego by bringing it into the light of awareness – this will be one of the main purposes of these groups, whether they be enlightened businesses, charitable organizations, schools, or communities of people living together. Enlightened collectives will fulfill an important function in the arising of the new consciousness. Just as egoic collectives pull you into unconsciousness and suffering, the enlightened collective can be a vortex for consciousness that will accelerate the planetary shift.” ~ Eckhart Tolle, from A New Earth
“The critical mass of enlightenment can be defined as the smallest number of awakened human beings whose collective influence can initiate a significant shift in global consciousness. The process of creating enough enlightened ones to achieve this critical mass can be likened to the transformation of coal into diamonds. The pressure of surrounding human unconsciousness creates an urgency in the potential enlightened one to awaken from illusion. The total weight of so much unconscious ‘carbon’ exerts a tremendous pressure, through which a few coal stones reach the appropriate mass to become ‘diamonds.’ These awakened beings embody the crystal clarity of enlightened consciousness which can transform the level of consciousness of the entire planet.”
“You know, a child plays. A child plays and develops his or her gifts, but doesn’t apply them toward their true purpose yet. And that’s what humanity’s been doing. We’ve been messing around, playing with our gifts of technology and culture, and developing these gifts. Now we’re coming into adulthood and it’s time to apply them to our true purpose. At the beginning I think that’ll be to simply heal the damage that’s been done. There’s a lot of healing that needs to be done, and it’s almost impossible actually. You could say that really, we’re in the business of creating a miracle here on Earth.” ~ Charles Eisenstein, author of The Ascent of Humanity and Sacred Economics