Quantum mechanics maps the individual mind observing reality -- what physicists call the universe. Modern cosmology and specifically the theory of parallel universes maps a collective of individual minds, a society operating in the noosphere -- what physicists call the multiverse.
Earth is moving all the time toward a universal linkage of minds into one collective. If all goes well, there will be a perfect balance between the individual and society -- between secular and tribal.
It is simply not true that "everyone is created equal." However, it is not people's fault for being born -- and here they are, on Earth, barely scraping by, most of them. While there is a distinct hierarchy between individual humans, every citizen of Earth ought to have an equal right to life and equal treatment under the law. This sounds a little too idealistic in a reality like ours, and perhaps it is. But while hierarchy is inherent and inevitable, there is no fundamental reason why only a few of us should make a reasonable living, and be truly included and taken care of. A combination of hierarchy and economic and legal equality is quite possible.
The Noosphere: all consciousness, from humans, animals, even plants -- that of Earth itself -- is linked into a collective, unified network that underlies or envelops the entire biosphere. Many mystics and psychonauts have reported tuning into this array, and sensing a unity that exists at a more fundamental level than the everyday. For example, you could be at a (good) party and observe that all of the partygoers are behaving according to a rhythm that is somehow common to everyone yet is normally beneath the surface. Everyone is him- or herself, but there is a current guiding everyone's activity, and all are in some kind of active union. It is very difficult to describe, and hard and rare to see. When the planet awakens to itself, God only knows what it will be like.
The noosphere comprises the totality of the non-local quantum network of consciousness -- for our purposes, in the vicinity of Earth. When a tipping point has been reached, we will achieve a new level of evolution through a quantum jump in the collective mind of the noosphere. The sixties, and the eruption in 2006, were false starts in achieving this shift. But they were not random, and they were not accidents -- they were evidence of a strategy evolution must employ to achieve this necessary mutation. Evolution is not perfect, and its methods are often coarse, so we had precisely what one would expect: a premature form of the mutation that resulted in nothing. But if Earth keeps trying, and gets better at engineering these waves so that eventually the momentum creates a lasting change, the mechanism will have been a success -- one in a long line in the history of evolution on this planet. The noosphere is pregnant. One day in the not too distant future, there will be a profound transformation of all life on planet Earth.
Humanity has been organized into egalitarian societies, and hierarchical ones, depending upon the socioeconomic constellation. Egalitarianism gave way, in large part, to hierarchy, after the mode of production had to become specialized and the food and water had to be distributed. Before that, social equality was mandatory as the group's survival depended on it. But the egalitarian ethos may have been something of an illusion, and pure hierarchy has been seen to be rather cold and brutal in many respects. What would be ideal is a fusion of the two, a system in which the best and brightest can ascend without limit, but in which each individual, of any rank, has an undeniable right to an unfettered existence. A fusion of horizontal and vertical into a new continuum.
Each individual human in society is like a neuron in the cultural meme-system's brain. And this brain constitutes the local noosphere.
People are very confused on this. It is true that not everyone is equal. There is an inherent hierarchy among human societies -- some are smarter than others, some better looking, etc. However, this does not, as is so often tacitly and incorrectly assumed, mean that any one person has any more right to live an unfettered life than any other. No one chose to be born, and it was the luck of the draw regarding what we were born into. Through no fault of anyone's, here we all are. Everyone should have an equal right to the resources and securities needed to live; we should value life at least that much. The confusion on this subject arises because people are thinking in an Aristotelian "either-or" framework. In reality, the ideal human society is composed of both hierarchical and egalitarian elements.
The noosphere is the nonlocal envelope of Earth consciousness and activity. All thought and culture exist and evolve through it -- the collective mind of Earth.
One very important duality is that of equality and hierarchy. It is best to exist in the middle.
Earth is a series of fields upon fields, active information being shared by all sentient beings. Becoming more attuned to it should be a major goal of our kind in this century.
Humans evolved to be social beings. Virtually everything we do communicates something to another human. We are a group species. But too much community can be suffocating. The individual has to be prized and allowed to flourish, and in many societies, to varying degrees, this has been accomplished. But -- take things too far in that direction and you get on the one hand extreme loneliness and on the other the beginnings of madness. Has any human society yet found the perfect balance between a secular (with a strong valuation of the individual's merits and freedoms) and a tribal (with the recognition that without the group to support it, the individual could not exist) sort of arrangement?
Hierarchy is not desirable. Pure egalitarianism is not desirable either. What is desirable is a fusion of hierarchy and egalitarianism, where everyone has an equal right to life and equal treatment under the law while not preventing the smart and strong from rising to whatever heights they may attain. Egalitarianism sometimes keeps those who should be at the top in the middle or at the bottom. Hierarchy can be unfair and keeps the people at the bottom from an equal right to life and a potential rise of their own. What is needed, and what evolution will probably provide in the coming decades, is some sort of fusion of the two.
It is not someone's fault if they are born stupid, or poor, or sick, or disabled. The people whom the conservatives and even the libertarians would like to ignore, to let fend for themselves, didn't ask to be here and came into problems through no fault of their own whatsoever. We should not ignore basic human needs. Seemingly, a lot of people think we should. 'Let them figure it out -- it's every man for himself and by God that's how it ought to be.' That's not how any society should operate. Any society, no matter what its constitution, should foster an equal right to life for everyone in it. Shame on our callous, outrageous cultural orientation.
Every communist and hippie and young idealist champions egalitarian society and culture, but I think we can agree that not all hunters out on the savanna were equal. The system was in place because it had to be -- for survival, by evolution -- and not because of its merits. Hierarchy may be harsh, and a burden, but we live in a hierarchical world, and those principles are most fundamentally in play in civilization. We don't need egalitarian society -- we can't have it. And more hierarchy would only be dreary, even if appropriate. What the future promises is a fusion of both: A fundamentally hierarchical system whose members are on an equal footing with each other -- that is, each member has an equal right to existence as any other, and none may hamper that of even the feeblest and most inconsequential, while recognizing that they are indeed on a spectrum of rank. I think a fusion of egalitarian and hierarchical is what the future holds for us, and I think it is what we should want.
People use the term "collective unconscious" to refer to a global network of an unconscious or subconscious mind suffusing the biosphere and the noosphere -- a telepathic continuum of shared mind. This is frowned upon by many because it is not at all what Jung meant when he coined the term, but there must be a reason why this term has been appropriated....
In the future, we will be able to surf the internet -- and the noosphere -- with our thoughts, and we will communicate telepathically in general.
Minds affect the noosphere nonrandomly and nonnegligibly.
If one accepts the notion that there is a non-local consciousness; that the non-local correlations discovered by quantum mechanics are in fact real and constitute a kind of suffusing matrix or network of connections between every point and every other point in the universe and potentially also the multiverse, then it is not a stretch to assume that there is a collective mind operating on Earth. This collective mind operates both locally and universally. The local orientation exists because Earth is specially attuned to itself -- signals generated in one Earth entity are decoded easily in the identical or like equipment in other Earth entites; you merely have to tune in or become aware through some event. This phenomenon ties into the larger network because it is self-same; it is just that the signals from deeper in the multiverse are alien and decidedly more on the periphery as compared with the immediacy and familiarity of terrestrial affairs. When one becomes aware of this collective mind operating on Earth, it is unmistakable and the observer harkens immediately back to any mysticism or perhaps Eastern religious notions s/he has picked up in the course of time. One may begin to question it as the memories fade, but one never forgets it and is never quite at peace with the somnambulant state of the planet with regard to these matters. Eventually, Earth will awaken to its potential and to the now hidden truths of existence waiting for us further down the evolutionary chain.
The body of shamanistic knowledge that has been generated through the ages gets dismissed today in our universities and, indeed, by most modern humans in general, as only merely superstition. To dismiss an entire body of such vast knowledge as essentially crazy must be some kind of unthinking blunder. Perhaps it would be fairer and more correct to say that while, yes, there are many demonstrably false (i.e. totally unverifiable by anyone) basic assertions coming out of that record, at the very least let us agree that there is a universe of information there that, probably, even the smartest and most learned of us would stand in awe of if they understood it. There is a wealth of real knowledge there -- in Earth's record. The shamanic traditions have contributed a great deal to the noosphere, and wherever there are shamans working today in remote places around the globe, they are making, at least in some measure, excellent contributions.
While individuality should clearly be prized, too much of it can be a bad thing. Going too far in the direction of valuing the individual can cut off support from social networks or, speaking generally, society as a whole, which can lead to severe loneliness and despair. A balance between individuality and sociality should be considered ideal.
The noosphere is real: it is, fundamentally, a pool of the energy of all citizens of Earth, and it is observable. It is a conscious multiverse of individual minds bound together collectively in a strange but perfectly real organism of neurological space. Our future depends on its unfettered evolution.
All minds are interconnected in a vast multiversal telepathic network. The vast majority of the time, there is no awareness of this reality as it is buried deep in the subconscious. But it is nevertheless there, and factors into our relations with other people and even animals significantly. Incidentally, when one becomes aware of this phenomenon it is a very eye-opening experience.
Only after we have created a sufficiently advanced information network, attained a more evolved consciousness, and saturated the noosphere, will we begin to expand outward from our home planet into the outer reaches of spacetime. The enthusiasm in the second half of the twentieth century for space migration was not poorly founded; it was merely too far in advance of the Earthly reality. No use getting excited about what will be impossible and unnecessary for quite awhile. We will begin to saturate spacetime when we are ready, which is still a few decades off. Until then, there is plenty to focus on right here on Earth.
The two poles of civilization's social configuration are "tribalism" (as Morris Berman called it in Dark Ages America) and extreme individualism, denoted as "secular" by Berman. The former comprises total commitment to the group: the highest possible value is placed on rituals, traditions, ideological (especially fundamentalist religious) tenets and attitudes, "groupthink," exaltation of the "tribe" and its practices and habits; while at the other end the extreme individualists contend that total independence, going it alone, "making something of oneself" and only relying on oneself to effectively participate and achieve success (or try to) in society is the proper arrangement. In other words, in Berman's "tribalism" we have a preponderance of group interconnectedness in all social activities and configurations, and in secular societies and their rugged individualism we see an emphasis on the individual's rights, strengths, and overall preeminence. Going too far in the tribal direction creates a situation in which things are so totally interconnected that one feels one "can't even breathe" and is perhaps subject to a kind of social claustrophobia. Intellectual stagnation and cultural repression are common in such societies. Going too far in the secular direction leads to anomie and alienation and a feeling of emptiness in a society expanding economically and technologically for no other purpose than expansion itself -- in a society where one has very little support and is for the most part palpably lonely. It becomes a society without intrinsic meaning, devoid of any true human connections. Middle-Eastern Islamic society, for example, skews toward the tribal, whereas here in the West, we may be a bit too far on the exclusively secular/individualistic side of things. (I would like to point out that, while some insist this is the major dichotomy for the human race overall, hunter-gatherers and small-scale agriculturalists are exempt from these considerations because they existed on both ends of the spectrum simultaneously: at once the group's interests meant survival, and yet from what has been documented in anthropological studies we find that there was also a fundamental respect for the individual. Furthermore, they are in a basically different category; I only bring it up to ease confusion and overgeneralization).
The emphasis on the sanctity of the world of the individual and his or her rights has gone so far toward the extreme in America that it is in every respect here "every man for himself." In any society with even the slightest regard for community and the well-being of its populace, this is ludicrous. And Americans are even proud of this reality. Self-determination taken so far toward this pole of secularism (versus the other end, which is pure tribalism) is a species of lunacy and a severe disease. And your average American wouldn't have it any other way. He or she would rather accept the alienation, isolation, loneliness, despair, lack of free time, spiritual emptiness, et cetera so prevalent in modern society than find a way out of it because it means he or she can keep pursuing what is considered the loftiest of heights: the American Dream. The American Dream being no more complex, of course, than being ridiculously rich. It might be said by cooler heads that only a seriously deranged person can equate true and lasting happiness and a fulfilling life with having a lot more money than his neighbor.
It occurs to me, and it is quite a phenomenon to behold, that we truly are of one mind as a species if not as a planet. Normally this truth is veiled behind a shroud of functional sleepfulness, but one can awaken this awareness with, say, a little cannabis. What seems to occur is that all minds are in a constant feedback loop of communication with each other, and thoughts that one person has will get reactions from the rest of the group, or vice-versa. It is difficult to describe, and can only really be appreciated when experienced, but upon doing so, one gathers that while in one sense we are all separate, in another, equally valid sense, we are operating in unison as one mind. On what level this feedback occurs -- species-wide, planetary, galactic, or universal -- I do not venture to guess. But the phenomenon is, needless to say, noteworthy and consequential.
The global psyche seems to be more or less in a stable place. Let's hope it remains that way.
I prefer to think of a malleable and free noosphere, without the confines of archetypes.