The Global Brain – SUMMARY
[PCI urges you to purchase the whole book here!]
I first read this book, and heard Peter Russell speaking, shortly after it was published in 1982. It struck me as perhaps the most intelligent, science-based introductions to the New Age: Russell argues that – because it took 10 billion atoms to create one living cell – and because there are 10 billion living cells in a single human brain – that when there are 10 billion conscious human brains on the planet, we will create a Global Brain – a “Gaiafield” that brings the human family together in a selfless, super-organism that organises and stewards our collective host – Planet Earth – in a peaceful happy way. In the first part of the book, he argues that evolution is tending, inevitably, in this direction. In Part II, he argues rather too earnestly for my liking, that New Age thinking will bring about the planetary consciousness needed to “awaken” the Gaiafield in our lifetimes. It hasn’t! – Yet!
- Invitation: Positive Vision – I make no apologies for this! Positive vision equates into an attractive force for the future – rather than oppressive darkness.
Prologue – the Blue Pearl:
“All of history and music and poetry and art and death and birth and love, tears, joy, games…. All of it exists on that little spot out there!” Russell Schweickart, Astronaut’s reaction to seeing the Earth from Space. Perhaps the most valuable spin-off from the moon shot may not have been the rocks brought back from the moon, but the shift in consciousness caused by looking at that Blue Pearl;
- The Living Earth / the Gaia Hypothesis: “… a self-regulating, self-sustaining system that continually adjusts its chemical, physical and biological processes in order to maintain the optimum conditions for life!”
- A General Living System: 19 sub-systems; 1st 8 are matter/energy processes – ingestion to excretion; the next 9 are communications systems; the last two hold it all together.
- Humanity in Gaia: Humanity could be – 1) a vast planetary nervous system; OR 2) some kind of Planetary Cancer; In order to become the former – and create the Global Brain, we have to defeat the tendencies which are making us into the latter;
PART ONE: Evolution Past, Present & Future:
- Evolution so far: How did the universe begin? With a “’Superhot’ Big Bang!” It cooled from about 100 Billion degrees centigrade at the explosion to 900 million degrees in the first 3 minutes – and neutrons & protons combined to form atoms. Solar systems and galaxies kept emerging from smaller Big Bangs over 15 billion years: our own sun is a probably 4th generation star; and all the time, the universe was cooling creating that ‘Primeval Soup’ from which emerged –
- The Building Blocks of Life: by bombarding the primeval soup with sparks, simulating lightning, experiments have shown you can create the basic chemical compounds that are the basic constituents of life. But lightning on this soup of chemicals is just one of many ways that the basic building blocks of life could have been formed.
- Evolution of Life on Earth: Started in Oceans and Rockpools – as algae and bacteria (macro-molecules made up of millions of atoms). These produced oxygen – which rose to become an ozone layer protecting planet Earth. Oxygen produced photosynthesis which turned some bacteria into plants, others into animals. Oxygen magically remains at about 21% concentration in the atmosphere.
- From Single Cells to Complex Organism: single cells survived by eating physical matter to become bigger cells. The great leap forward was when cells learned to clump together into organisms and start feeding off other cells – becoming complex multi-cellular organisms like molluscs and worms. Then came the nervous system then the spine to contain the main nerves which then combined to form nerve centres or Brains. Brain weight as a rato of body weight has increased from Factor 20 (dinosaurs) to 350 (humans) – in just 50m years! And it is still evolving and growing!
- Self-Reflective Consciousness: Consciousness is the “field in which all experience takes place…” Humans – and many other mammals have it – but probably only humans are “conscious that we are conscious.” That is Self-Reflective Consciousness. The development of language has enabled us to describe and communicate our conscious thoughts to each other. Language led to writing, to printing, broadcasting, digital communication – so, in a flash of evolutionary time – human beings have grouped together in amazingly complex groupings – families, communities, nations, and – maybe eventually – a planetary family.
So – what’s going to happen in the next 4 billion years?! The Next Million? The next 100? The next 10 years?
- Hidden Orders in Evolution: the universe has developed in unexpected ways since the Big Bang. Life is much more than a collection of atoms; the human brain and consciousness is much more than 10 billion living cells encountering each other. There are other things going on. Just as the potential for life is present, but unmanifest, in inanimate matter, so the potential for consciousness and a new order of being is present, but unmanifest, in the life-forms of today.
- Evolving Complexity: Complex means ‘Inter-woven’ – it has 3 x basic characteristics:
- Diversity = hundreds of millions of atoms gathered into protein and other molecules. Russell argues that diversity of the order of 10 to the power of 10 (10 billion) is needed to create the leap forward: 10 billion atoms in a living cell; 10 billion living cells in the cortex of the human brain.
- Organisation = atoms / molecules / living cells are all fantastically well-organised to produce the living organisms we know. Organisms are a product of that fantastic organisation;
- Connectivity = in low forms of life – scents, hormones, and pheromones linked early cells – and language, printing, then telecommunications connected the more complex clumps of cells;
- Order vs. Disorder: the 2nd Law of thermodynamics says that all evolution leads to disorder – but that is only in Closed Systems (the ink-drop is a jar of water.). Living systems are Open Systems – they therefore tend towards becoming more ordered.
- Self-organising systems: how does order arise out of disorder? Self Ordering processes = dissipative structures; self-reinforcement produces the self-organisation out of chaos.
- Dissipative Structures in Evolution: Eric Jantsch’s “Self-organising Universe” is a product of dissipative structures. And we are dissipating the resource and energy structures of our planet wildly at the moment resulting in pollution and eco-destruction. This can only result in either Breakdown or Breakthrough. We have to move up to a new level of organisation.
- The Increasing Tempo of Evolution: If you compress the 15bn years of the History of the Universe into a single year(P54), dinosaurs don’t appear until the last week of December and walking human beings until 11.00pm on Dec. 31st. Human language appears at 90 seconds before midnight – and the Industrial Revolution in the last half second.
- Evolutionary Leaps: Most of evolution has taken a long time – millions of years. But some advances happen very rapidly: so bacteria emerged relatively quickly from the primeval soup – but it took a long time for those bacteria to merge into living cells. With the emergence of the human brain, self-reflective consciousness is making incredibly fast evolutionary leaps so human evolution today is advancing at a breathtakingly rapid pace.
- Acceleration Today: Biology has advanced very fast since the 17th Century and the invention of the microscope; now, with genetic modification, biology is advancing even faster; atomic physics, solar cells, space and air travel, telecommunications – all these accelerating technologies cross-fertilise and speed each other up. Futurist, John Platt, wrote: “Anyone who admits that the invention of Agriculture or the Industrial Revolution represent sudden jumps in evolution must conclude that today we are passing through a jump far more intense than these…” Could we be on the threshold of an evolutionary leap as significant as the evolution of life from inanimate matter?
- Our Evolving Society: Exponential growth is a mathematical fact – especially in relation to population: In 1000AD, population doubled every 500 years; now it doubles every 35 years. Super Exponential growth – but it cannot go on forever: bacteria doubling in number eventually fill the petri dish; humanity will fill the planet – and we’ll have to stop doubling. Declining fertility has already produced zero population growth in some countries.
- The Magic 10 Billion (P68): “So population may stabilise at around 10 billion (1010) – the approximate number of elements that need to be gathered together for a new level of evolution to emerge. (The No. of atoms in a living cell; the number of living cells in the Cortex of a human brain;) If the same pattern recurs, the human race may be fasth approaching the stage where the next level of global consciousness can emerge.” But it is not an exact figure – it could emerge at 8 billion, or we may have to wait to 11 billion.
- Social Organisation: But the 1010 brains, like atoms & cells, have to be organised thus –
Step 1: Clumping – of people, communities, nations into groups like the EU;
Step 2: Intelligence – the ability to draw meaning from our perceptions into concepts; Step 3: Specialisations – we need to make a network of interdependent specialists in a wide variety of fields;
Step 4: Information Sharing – the ability to organise and order our experience of the world and to store / communicate that experience in language and art;
- The Information Age: The workforce in the agricultural revolution doubled every 45 years; for the Industrial revolution, it doubled every 16 years; for the Information revolution, it’s doubling every 5 or 6 years. LDCs are getting through the Ag. And Ind. Ages to the Information age much quicker. And from language, through to printing took forever compared to radio, TV and recording through to the Internet age. Massive acceleration in information sharing now going on in Robotics and AI “speeding human evolution towards ever greater complexity.”
- The Evolution of a Global Brain: the growth of the human brain starts shortly after conception with a massive proliferation of millions of brain-cells. There-after, growth slows down as nerves start to link the braincells. So it is in society: population growth is slowing as inter-connectivity of human brains (via the internet) is growing. “The Global Brain is being activated by near-instant linkage of everyone to everyone through communications technology…” (written in 1982!!) In 1980, there were 440m telephones – a minute fraction of the “trillions of synapses in the human brain through which nerve cells interact.” But – back then, Russell projects that, with data-processing capacity doubling every 2.5 years, a telecommunications network equalling the complexity of the human brain could be in place by the year 2000. “No longer will we perceive ourselves as isolated individuals; we will know ourselves to be a part of a rapidly integrating global network: the nerve cells of an awakening Global Brain!” (P79)
- The Emergence of a social Super-organism: There are many social super-organisms in nature: bee-hives, ants nests, termite mounds; shoals of fish; flocks of birds – the largest recorded was 150 million shearwaters – 10 miles across. Slow-motion films show flocks like these turning synchronously with delays of less than a 70th of a second. A human social super-organism would be different – as humans are different, not all the same like Ants or Birds; so Russell suggests the Human social super-organism will come together through the evolution of consciousness rather than a physical or biological evolution;
- The 5th level of Evolution – the ‘Noosphere’ (Mind-sphere): Pierre Teilhard de Chardin concluded that humanity was headed towards the “unification of the entire species.” He saw this as the “Planetisation of Mankind” – the “Noo-genesis” or ‘Omega point’ towards which all mankind is converging. “Integrated Planetary Consciousness” – or, as Sri Aurobindo called it: “Supermind.” Russell calls it the “Gaiafield” – and compares it to a print photograph composed of millions of dots – people – that together form the whole. We – as one dot – only know the cell we are, so it’s very hard to imagine this new level of consciousness. When might the super-consciousness happen? De Chardin thought thousands of years; Aurobindo thought hundreds or even decades; maybe even in our own lifetimes. Right now we are in the “Twilight Zone” – disconnected, uneasy.
- Evolution’s Twilight Zones: Russell describes the “Grex” – primeval slime amoeba that cluster together in a great pile until it topples over and moves along the ground searching for food – like a slug. Similarly, the Kachin hill tribes of N Burma stay separate until famine hits, then they come together under a single King to find food together.
- Emergence through Emergency: Transition through a Twilight Zone is fraught with danger – political, economic, environmental, moral. Such dangers may be an evolutionary catalyst, preparing to move us to the higher level; The photosynthesis emergency 3500 million years ago would have looked ridiculously dangerous to the bacteria of the time: “The oxygen it produces will poison us and, if ignited, will burn us all to ashes.” But – the bacteria were not conscious: photosynthesis went ahead and the result was plants, animals and human beings! The current emergency is “Wei-Chi” – Chinese for “Opportunities for Change.” The question for us is: “Will we seize those opportunities?”
The Journey so far…. So – we have learned that we have this opportunity to create a Global Brain. But “Ten Billion neurons, even with their trillions of connections, do not necessarily result in consciousness. Equally, the several billion people / brains on the planet will not necessarily connect into a global nervous system to create a Global Brain. Something more is needed….
“We no more know our own destiny than a tea leaf knows the destiny of the East India Company.”
Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
PART TWO: Inner Evolution:
Synergy…. Why, when humanity sits on the brink of achieving “the progressive integration of human minds into a single living system…” – is it also sitting on the brink of disaster? Answer – the lack of spontaneous ‘synergy’ within the system. Synergy is the essence of Life in any body. When it is not well-functioning, the body is sick; when it ceases all together, the body dies. If it is to avoid disaster and to push ahead into higher levels of integration, crucial changes are going to have to take place in the realm of human self-reflective consciousness.
- The Skin-encapsulated Ego: Mindsets are hard to change – but when they do change, they often change very quickly. EG. For millennia, men thought the sun travelled round the earth. In a few short years, they reversed that idea. But we need to have a mindset to encourage change.
Self Models: usually me! An Individual – but imagine: you could be a universal Self Model;
- The Development of Duality: A child is ‘out there’ in the universe; but from education and parents, s/he learns to be in there – a skin-ecapsulated ego. This makes us feel separateness! Example of the hole in a piece of wood – defined by the wood around it, not the hole!
- To be loved, to belong, to believe: Patriotism, a sense of belonging – doing stupid things because “your country needs you!” This is the downside of being ‘out there’ – defined by others.
- The Low Synergy Society(LSS): In an LSS, at the first rumour of fuel shortage, people fill up – even though it is NOT in the interests of wider society to do so. In an HSS, people would work together to conserve fuel, share it wisely, and make it go further. The dominant sense that “Little me won’t have an effect on the whole…” is the whole cause of eco-destruction. Coercive legislation is not the answer: we have to create an LSS by changing our consciousness.
- Egonomics: the idea of a perfect Communist system in Russia doesn’t work: private farms produce more than collective farms – because of the greed/financial incentives.
- Humanity vs. Nature: Nature is destroyed for short term needs; sulphur is burned even if it causes acid rain in other countries. Nature cannot continue to deal with human Egos.
- A New World-View: this change is not just desirable. It is ESSENTIAL if we are to survive as a species. If we just concentrate on the skin-ecapsulated ego, we’ll never make it: we need to listen to our spiritual selves – follow our spiritual teachers and find our deeper identity.
- The Quest for Unity: Russell’s skilful – but not entirely convincing – argument that the New Age will usher in the linking of the skin-ecapsulated egos into a single, global brain is peppered with compelling quotes and images. One is the idea that, if humanity were a ‘hole’ most of us would describe ourselves as “the wood surrounding the hole – rather than the air in the hole which is much harder to describe….” Really hard to pin down: you are your body (male or female) but that is not all you are; you are your emotions (angry / loving) – but those emotions change. Who is the real YOU? The Pure Self?
- The Pure Self: ” – lies beyond description. A state in which you listen – but you are in total silence: there is nothing to listen to.” ‘ The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao…’ The Pure Self is in a personal quest for union with the Divine: “I and all things in the Universe are one…” 4th Century Chinese Mystic. “All creatures are the same life, the same essence…” Henry Suso, a German monk. For those of us who think of ourselves as separate, wonderful individuals – try thinking of yourself as Rumi told us: a pure drop of water which is separate but also part of the infinite ocean.
- The Perennial Philosophy: “We are at our core, United…” That is the Perennial Philosophy as defined by Aldous Huxley. “A psychology that finds in the human soul something of the Divine…” It is not really a philosophy – it is an invitation to experience something that many others have experienced – and you can experience too. Even Alfred Lord Tennyson experienced it: “Individuality seemed to dissolve away into boundless being, not a confused state but the clearest state where death was a laughable impossibility…” If you have not experienced this state, you may feel it all sounds a bit wacky and far-fetched. But modern physics would testify to its possible existence…
- The Mystical Physicist: You and I and everything else in the universe – are composed of the same elements: a hundred or so atoms. “We are all of the same physical essence.” Einstein spent the later years of his life trying to prove his ‘Unified Field Theory’ – how gravity, electro-magnetism and nuclear forces were physical manifestations of a single principle. “We are all intrinsically interwoven into the fabric of the universe.” So – the physicists are proving the perennial philosophers correct!
- Awakening the Self: Einstein wrote: “Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison of thinking ourselves separate from the rest of the universe by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in all its beauty…” William Blake talked about the same thing when he talks about “Cleansing and Opening the doors of Perception to see the Infinite – which, up to now, we have seen through narrow chinks in our cavern…” It’s very hard to change because we are isolated by language, culture and our own egos. We need a Paradigm Shift.
- The Copernican Revolution: Russell tells the story of the most massive paradigm shift in history from Ptolemy to Copernicus and Kepler finally to Isaac Newton.
- The Identity Shift: Getting to feel that the “I” – the Ego – and the Universe are one and the same Essence is a paradigm shift of equal magnitude and complexity. It is sourced in the experience of “Unboundedness” – like seeing the earth from space. But – HOW to make that experience permanent? How do you avoid slipping back into feeling the boundaries of the ego?
- The New Copernican Revolution: Willis Harman says that “just as the original Copernican Revolution shifted the geocentric model of the universe, so the new Copernican Revolution must shift the Eco-centric model of the material world.” True enlightenment is to re-invent the ego where it does not define itself at the expense of others… The Ego is liberated from its self-centredness. It becomes SELFLESS! It is in love with the rest of Creation. As Tao Te Ching says: “Love the world as your own self, then you can truly care for all things!” Teilhard de Chardin says the same thing, and Russell says: “The Enlightened person experiences a deep and universal compassion and his life becomes one of service to the whole world. Therefore, it is toward this goal of Enlightenment that the whole of humanity must now move.”
- Healing the Planetary Cancer: The increasing incidence of Cancer in humans coincides with the appearance of humanity itself as a malignant cancer to the natural environment. We have to tie ourselves back into the natural world – to re-discover that One-ness. The way to do that? – the Latin for ‘Tie back’ is ‘Re-ligare’ – from which the word ‘Religion’ derives. We need a spiritual renewal – a total re-invention of “Religion.” That is the ‘Evolutionary Imperative…’
- Evolution from the Inside: “Consciousness is the spearhead of Evolution. It is the Universe evolving through us…”. Our question now: “How do we facilitate this Inner Evolution?”
- The spiritual Renaissance: Many people, in all walks of life, experience the unbounded joy of life in the spirit. But, only for a handful, is it their dominant mode of consciousness. Making it a permanent state for all is a challenge – and looking to conventional religion doesn’t help. The teachings of the original founders/prophets of all religions have been distorted by sects and cut off from the source. Walter Stace, who spent his life studying the writings of all the great spiritual teachers, concluded that they all had the same, central message: We are at one with Creation. IE – they taught Perennial Philosophy. We need to get back to that.
- Paths of Awakening: Many work through Meditation. TM – by definition – transcends normal thinking. Hatha Yoga and Tai Chi aim for the same stillness and serenity= oneness with the universe. All need to be taught – and taught well. It will not happen overnight, but it’s started.
- The Marriage of East & West: linking western science – esp. neuro-science – with eastern meditation. Isolation Tanks, hypnosis, psycho-technology and accelerating spiritual growth through drugs or ‘biochemical means’(!) also deliver the necessary marriage. Russell feels that “Chemicals are capable of triggering the brain states associated with the Pure Self.” And the final component of western science? Telecommunications: these allow spiritual teachers to “spread the means to self-realisation and enlightenment directly and accurately worldwide.”
- A New Age Dawning: Russell defines the New Age as having 4 x components:
- We have Potentials beyond what we can even imagine!
- Humanity and the Environment are a single system;
- We are mistreating both ourselves and our surroundings
- Humanity CAN change for the better
The New Age movement is broad and massively diverse. But all are moving us towards the Age of Aquarius. The Sixties represented the flowering of the New Age – with the Beatles, “All You Need is Love” providing the creative flash of insight. Infrastructuralising that flash is hard!
- New Age or Old: Some argue that we must give up on the Inner Journey in order to make society work for all of us. But if having ‘society work’ means that we all have to have a house, a car, a yacht and a home in the country – that is NOT where the evolutionary path to unitary consciousness is leading. We have to defeat these ego-driven dreams and aspirations.
- On the Threshold: “The Ultrahuman is formed of 2 x essential elements: the Love of God and Faith in the World. At this moment, these two components are everywhere…”. Russell believes we are on the threshold of an exponential growth of human consciousness. He tells how, in 1948, a Science magazine article predicted it would take 200 years to land men on the moon: it happened in 20! Star Trek fantasies about computers that could speak were realised in a 20th of the time predicted. Consciousness movements are accelerating even faster – doubling every four years. He predicts that, early in the 21st Century, we shall move from the Information Age into the Consciousness Age. (Of course we didn’t – but Russell’s optimism is significant!) “People would be as familiar then with meditation and spiritual experiences as they are today with pocket calculators and cassette tapes…” He believes that more people will be working in the ‘Consciousness Industry’ than in the ‘Information Industry.’ Two things make him confident that the transition will happen faster than we think:
- As the old consciousness fades, the inertia and pushback it produces will fade: the new consciousness will drive forward, achieving a momentum the old one never could;
- Mind Links: In Indian philosophy, darshan: the idea that just by being in the presence of an enlightened person, or having them in your mind, you can achieve enlightenment. ESP – extra-sensory-perception. Transcendental Meditation – electro-magnetic waves, Rupert Sheldrake’s Morphogenetic Fields which produce ‘formative causation…’ He cites experiments of Lab Rats learning habits by ESP. All this can be proved, he says.
- Reaching Critical Mass: Lyall Watson explained the 100th Monkey effect; the Maharishi said that if just 1% of the human family practised TM, “the age of enlightenment would dawn.” Georges Gurdjieff, a Russian Mystic, said that ‘just 100 fully enlightened people could change the world.’ So what is ‘Critical Mass’? Russell uses the example from physics: the laser operates because it combines light waves in coherent bundles, geometrically intensifying their power. TM does the same thing with human mind waves: crime goes down in cities where 1% are meditating. “Christ, Buddha, Moses and Mohammed were ahead of their time: bubbles emerging from the primeval soup as it came to the boil. Now – with consciousness accelerating and the critical mass of 10 billion brains approaching, a healthy ‘super-organism’ may about to be born. “We alive today could be about to witness the emergence of a true high-synergy society.”
- Towards a High Synergy Society: Buckminster Fuller said: “The world is now too dangerous for anything less than Utopia…” A Utopia is a High Synergy Society. One in which the goals of the individual are in harmony with the goals of the whole; in which we feel for the whole in the same way we feel for ourselves, individually. In which destroying the Rain Forest would feel as painful as chopping off our own finger. In which gathering possessions for ourselves is embarrassingly painful for us. In such a society, solutions to the problems we face today would not just be sought: they would be positively yearned for.
- No Limits to Growth: Operational limits to material growth have already been reached and exceeded. Every person has a hierarchy of needs(Maslow): at bottom – food, water, air; 2) shelter, clothing, warmth; 3) love and procreation; 4) esteem & social status; 5) self-actualisation and enlightenment. Growth has to be raised to this 5th level at which there are NO LIMITS!
- Unemployment Revalued: Most people think “Employment = good” / “Unemployment = bad” For most, learning stops when we leave school/college – but, if we seek to grow enlightenment, being “employed” in lifelong learning, meditation or contemplation can grow planetary consciousness. In the past, agriculture freed people from the constant work of hunter-gathering – and allowed the development of language, art, religion etc. Today, technology and AI can liberate human beings from the drudgery of employment and allow the growth of consciousness.
- Healthy, Holy and Whole: All 3 x words derives from the same Greek word: ‘Holos’ – meaning whole or well. A High Synergy world would be a healthier world based on – 1) less stress through more relaxation; 2) less stress through less dependence on ego-driven need for esteem; 3) fewer man-made health problems – dirty water & air; fewer cigarettes, sweets, alcohol and cancer-inducing trace elements in food/drink products; 4) holistic health practices; less medicines (1/3 of all US hospital admissions are the result of previous medical treatments!) 5) Greater recognition of the healing potential of the mind itself. 6) Regular Meditation!
- Left and right: 2 x sides of the brain have different functions. Left = rational thought, language, getting things done; Right = aesthetics, emotions, intuition, letting things be…. For many, Left = Male; Right = Female. Electrical studies of brains in deep meditative state show greater integration of both sides of the brain. Society must work out how to achieve that integration between Right and Left / Male and Female to achieve the right kind of Global Brain.
- Synchronicity Rules: Incredible coincidences happen when the chances of them happening are sometimes of the order of a Trillion to One (Alan Vaughan). They are generally beneficial to the person and not at the expense of other people. Also, they happen more often to people who do meditation or pray. “When I pray, coincidences start to happen. When I don’t pray, they don’t” (Bishop William Temple). Chains of positive coincidences like these may be the first manifestations of the synchronicity that drives a social super-organism.
- ESP and the Miraculous: ESP = telepathy, clairvoyance and pre-cognition. (More than just being able to know the winner of the 2 o’clock at Cheltenham!) Deeply spiritual people recognise and experience many more miraculous talents: Indian Yogis call them ‘siddhis’ – and include levitation, invisibility, walking on water, ability to be in two places at once. Jesus did similar things – with healing being the one that most remember. Many Christian and other religious traditions record similar powers from their prophets. Possible? We don’t know – but we could certainly CHOOSE to move in this direction. Historical reports suggest it is not impossible.
- Choosing the Future: “I choose to take a positive vision of the future because I feel that, being optimistic, helps that positive vision to emerge.” That is unusual: most news is bad news – most films show bad / violent futures. Negativity breeds negativity and Fred Polak, a Dutch Futurist, proved that positive imaging breeds positive outcomes. (Think the question: “Will humanity still be a round 1 million years hence?” Most people say “No Chance!” Saying “Yes!” enables you to plan for a long-term future…)
- Images that Heal: if you imagine a swarm of white blood cells overwhelming red cancerous cells, that image can help you cure cancer. Russell realises that “getting people to sit down to imagine world peace may not be so beneficial…” admitting that it may sound a ‘way out’ to some but he suggests that, as psychotechnology becomes more established as an area of scientific research, imaging that heals may become mainstream.
- Our Evolutionary Test: A test of our consciousness to find out whether humanity is fit to live on planet Earth. A test of whether we can live in harmony rather than in conflict; whether we can connect with that level of unity. It’s a test which, Russell admits, we may well fail – and, if we fail, humanity will probably be discarded as an evolutionary blind alley. And it’s a test that has a time limit – it is our generation that must take it! “Whether we like it or not, we are now the custodians of the evolutionary process on Earth. It’s in our hands – or rather in our minds. Let us follow this Cosmic Imperative!”
- Beyond Gaia: “If humanity were to evolve into a healthy, integrated social super-organism, it would signal the maturation and awakening of the global nervous system and the ‘Gaiafield’ might emerge with faculties quite literally beyond our imagination.” The earth would recognise its place in the universe – and find other gaias with consciousness, and start to see beyond Gaia to other solar systems in the universe!
- From Gaia to Galaxy: Our Solar System is tiny compared to the size of the whole galaxy – about the size of an apple in the continent of North America. Our sun is but a speck and our Earth a ten thousandth of an inch. There are about 10 billion other stars like our sun in our Galaxy, each with its orbiting planets, one or two of which could, like our’s support life like Gaia. So there is the beguiling possibility of 10 Billion global brains – creating the potential for an inter-galactic super-organism (6th level of consciousness) The only possible nerve connection would be by ESP. Even the speed of light is too slow!
- Full Circle: Our Galaxy is but another speck within the immensity of the Universe. When we look at the night sky – we are looking at less than a billionth of the Universe! Our Galaxy is part of a cluster of 27 known other galaxies just outside the Virgo Super-Cluster of thousands of Galaxies. So – could the entire Universe become a living Super-organism? Perhaps – but we must remember what a close shave it was that any of this happened at the time of the Big Bang – if the masses of the electron and proton were 1% different, complex molecules would not have formed; if gravitational force had been just a fraction larger, no convection between stars. Vary any one of a hundred factors – and the universe would never have formed. A fluke? Or is the Universe guided by a Universal Gaia? Guiding us to a 7th level of consciousness!
- What then? – a “Big Wumph”? – the universe collapsing in on itself – and starting all over again with another Big Bang – and another 15 billion year cycle, all in the effort to create the Perfect Cosmos!
“When the mind rests steady and pure, then whatever you desire, those desires are fulfilled.”
Upanishads, India, 500 BC
“Truly I tell you, if two of you on earth agree about something and pray for it, My Father in heaven will do it for you….”
Matthew Chapter 18, verse 19
Trouble is, He doesn’t! We prayed for Remain. We got Brexit – and Trump! We pray for United Nations – we get China and the USA blocking Coronavirus Ceasefires – and the Rohingya exile. We failed the Test didn’t we? And we are about to be discarded on to the evolutionary scrapheap! Shame!!