Have you ever heard of the Global Brain? It is a hopeful and inspiring idea. It suggests that humanity is birthing a global consciousness.
You can see it in the expansion of the world’s population and the revolution in global communications.
We are all connected
In rural India children and farmers sit under trees and use solar-powered computers connected to a world of education, information and support.
If we move to a great city like London with all the possibilities for loneliness and alienation, through online social networks we can connect with our tribe and common interests and then meet in real life.
Twenty years ago in Glastonbury (population 8000) I helped set up a local internet messaging board. Today it has over 1000 members and there is a daily circulation of notices offering and asking for help. Community is supported. Strangers are connected.
Across the planet for minimal cost families communicate freely with loved ones.
Freedom of knowledge
All the world’s sacred texts are also freely available online.
All of this is a liberating information revolution that benefits everyone. In France access to the web is considered to be a basic human right and across the world societies are intent on bringing Web access to everyone.
The term Global Brain was first coined by Peter Russell in 1982 and his ideas built on those of the French mystic Teilhard de Chardin who wrote:
A world network of economic and psychic affiliations is being woven at ever increasing speed …. a harmonized collectivity of consciousness, the equivalent of a sort of super-consciousness.
The idea is that of the earth becoming enclosed in a single thinking envelope, so as to form, functionally, no more than a single vast grain of thought on the cosmic scale…
Could it be possible?
Individuals and tribes are developing into a single organism. One supernatural suggestion of the Global Brain is that when the world’s population reaches 10 billion it will then equal the 10 billion synapses in the human brain. This numerical correspondence will create a quantum leap in consciousness and evolution.
Another intriguing supernatural idea is that the Internet is a mirror of the telepathic, etheric and psychic web that envelopes humanity and Earth.
Whatever you believe, the reality is that the transformation in communications is spectacular. And we in Cygnus Magazine, devoted to the highest good, are part of this evolution. Our new website is just one example of this.
Revived sense of community
Right now if I were to recommend just one book on how to understand and use the Internet it would be Social Media Explained by Mark Schaefer. It is short, clear and highly readable. At its core is the often-asserted idea that the greatest benefit of the Internet is that it helps bring us back into personal relationships.
Schaefer points out that only two hundred years ago the major place for meeting, gossip, news and trade was the market place. It had the relationships and familiarity of a village. The processes of global industrialization however created a new social order in which the local market was lost. Everything became mediated through shops, marketing and advertising. We lost contact with each other.
But in our new digital world we once again trade and connect directly with each other. On Facebook and Twitter we can wave at people as if they were across the room. We can find other folk who share our interests and attitudes. On eBay we buy and sell, human to human.
The key to success in this world, says Mark Schaefer, is to be helpful and entertaining. In the old marketplaces and villages it was easy to discern if someone was a greedy or suspicious trader or neighbour because we watched and listened to them. The same rules apply in the twittersphere and social networks. The communications are personal and we take notice.
In The New Digital Age Eric Schmidt the founder of Google also takes this creative and positive view. ‘Connectivity encourages and enables altruistic behaviour … The best thing anyone can do to improve the quality of life around the world is to drive connectivity and technological opportunity.’
This is all of the utmost importance. We are living through a revolution and it is necessary to be cautious. But it is also necessary to build hope. At my most hopeful the Global Brain is developing into a Global Heart. So let us use this new global medium compassionately and mindfully for the benefit of all.
Go visit the new Cygnus website: beta.cygnus-books.co.uk
All my love.
William and the Cygnus Family