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The Global Brain Awakens-2007

Page history last edited by Bob-RJ Burkhart 13 years, 9 months ago

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Toward a Global Brain

In The Global Brain Peter Russell shows that humanity has reached a crossroads in its evolutionary path. The Internet is linking humanity into one, worldwide community - a "global brain". This, combined with a rapidly growing spiritual awakening, is creating a collective consciousness that is humanity's only hope of saving itself from itself. However, Russell warns if we continue on our current path of greed and destruction, humanity will become a planetary cancer.


Global Brain Video

Winner of both the Gold Prize for Education and the Grand Prix at the Swedish Public Relations A/V Festival, 1985.

4 star rating US video rating

See The Video :http://www.peterrussell.com/TV/vidcall/GB.php


The Global Brain Awakens


Also see Wikinomics Global Brain

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The Global Brain

Peter Russell

Chapter 8 — Towards a Global Brain


The Emerging Global Brain

The interlinking of humanity that began with the emergence of language has now progressed to the point where information can be transmitted to anyone, anywhere, at the speed of light. Billions of messages continually shuttling back and forth, in an ever-growing web of communication, linking the billions of minds of humanity together into a single system. Is this Gaia growing herself a nervous system?


The parallels are certainly worthy of consideration. We have already noted that there are, very approximately, the same number of nerve cells in a human brain as there are human minds on the planet. And there are also some interesting similarities between the way the human brain grows and the way in which humanity is evolving.


The embryonic human brain passes through two major phases of development. The first is a massive explosion in the number of nerve cells. Starting eight weeks after conception, the number of neurons explodes, increasing by many millions each hour. 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 now complete. At this stage the fetus has most of the nerve cells it will have for the rest of its life.


The brain then proceeds to the second phase of its development, as billions of isolated nerve cells begin making connections with each other, 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. The growth of the brain after birth consists of the further proliferation of connections. By the time of adulthood many nerve cells are making direct connections with as many as a quarter of a million other cells.



 This awakening is not only apparent to us, it can even be detected millions of miles out in space. Before 1900, any being curious enough to take a "planetary EEG" (i.e., to measure the electromagnetic activity of the planet) would have observed only random, naturally occurring activity, such as that produced by lightning. Today, however, the space around the planet is teeming with millions of different signals, some of them broadcasts to large numbers of people, some of them personal communications, and some of them the chatter of computers exchanging information. As the usable radio bands fill up, we find new ways of cramming information into them, and new spectra of energy, such as light, are being utilized, with the potential of further expanding our communication capacities.


With near-instant linkage of humanity through this communications technology, and the rapid and wholesale dissemination of information, Marshall McLuhan’s vision of the world as a global village is fast becoming a reality. From an isolated cottage in a forest in England, I can dial a number in Fiji, and it takes the same amount of time for my voice to reach down the telephone line to Fiji as it does for my brain to tell my finger to touch the dial. As far as time to communicate is concerned, the planet has shrunk so much that the other cells of the global brain are no further away from our brains than are the extremities of our own bodies.


There are also parallels between the evolution of the global brain and the evolution of mental functions. The first nervous systems made simple connections between different parts of the organism–between sensors and muscles, for example–that allowed basic reflex reactions. In a similar way, the early Internet allowed data transfer from one machine to another, but little more.



The web’s associative memory has been augmented by "search engines", which index and collate information across the net. These are rapidly becoming more sophisticated, prioritising the links returned according to content, popularity, the user’s profile, and other factors. Software agents (small programs that can travel to different nodes of the net, selecting information and sending it back to the user), expert systems, and other emerging technologies will likely lead to a web that does more than just remember. It will be able to form new associations, synthesize information creating new knowledge, and perhaps solve problems presented to it. It will then have become a system that can learn and think for itself.


The changes this will bring will be so great that their full impact may well be beyond our imagination. 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.




The Global Brain

Peter Russell

Book Review



At perhaps the darkest hour of human history, a brilliant vision of humanity's greatest possibility is once again being brought to public attention. Physicist-philosopher Peter Russell has just updated the internationally acclaimed book, The Global Brain Awakens: Our Next Evolutionary Leap..


"The Global Brain Awakens" takes its readers on a rapid ride down the evolutionary life stream from the first light of creation to the dawn of an enlightened age to demonstrate that we are living in the most fortunate of times. "We have reached the apex of our evolutionary journey and are now poised to make the critical shift from personal to global consciousness," Russell exclaims.


When Russell published the first edition of this book as "The Global Brain" in 1983, the Internet was in its infancy. Yet he immediately recognized it as the technology that would connect individual minds around the planet into a single global network through which information could be shared with the speed and efficiency of the human brain. Russell foresaw the entire pace of human existence accelerating as we approached the new millennium, bringing us to a point of unity, and providing a panoramic perspective on the relationship between the state of the planet and our states of mind.

Heralded as "the new Buckminster Fuller", Russell agrees with his esteemed predecessor that nothing short of utopia can now save us from ourselves, but he contends that we are actually in sight of this utopia. By combining spiritual technologies for personal transformation, and communication technologies by which to share profound experiences of self-realization, global illumination has become as real a possibility as mass annihilation.


As a worldwide keynote speaker and seminar leader, Russell addresses audiences in multinational corporations, governments, and school systems on subjects ranging from the future of business, education, leadership, consciousness, and life on this planet to stress reduction and creative problem solving.


His first book, "The TM Technique", was published as the culmination of Russell's doctoral studies at England's Bristol University on the psychology of meditation. It was followed by his translation and reinterpretation (with Alistair Shearer) of "The Upanishads", and "The Brain Book", and "The Creative Manager". The video version of "The Global Brain" won awards in Sweden and has been shown worldwide. In "Waking Up in Time", on which Russell also produced a video, he undertakes a further exploration of the idea of global enlightenment as an instantaneous evolutionary event.

Russell is quick to point out that while a quantum leap in consciousness may be imminent, it is far from inevitable. As he explains in "The Global Brain Awakens": "For the first time in the whole history of evolution, responsibility for the continued unfolding of evolution has been placed upon the evolutionary material itself. We are no longer passive witnesses to the process but can actively shape the future."


Russell argues that all our crises, at their root, are a crisis of consciousness. We have viewed ourselves as separate beings, living disconnected lives in the face of unrelated challenges. The illusion that happiness could be found in the world outside us has led us to tear up the landscape in a mad search for paradise. The result has been that our social structures bear an undeniable resemblance not only to the human brain but also to a cancerous growth in the way that they have devastated the body of the planet.


The ultimate message of "The Global Brain Awakens" is both hopeful and inspiring: Heaven, being a state of mind rather than a piece of real estate, can only be discovered through inner exploration. By our choice to develop our richest resource -- our own selves -- we can finally achieve both personal liberation and global unification. Russell is convinced that the next great frontier awaiting our exploration is not outer space but inner space. He writes:


"Inner evolution is not an aside to the overall process of evolution. Conscious inner evolution is the particular phase of evolution that we, in our corner of the universe, are currently passing through. From this perspective, the movement toward a social superorganism and the mystical urge to know an inner unity are complementary aspects of the same single process, the thrust of evolution toward higher degrees of wholeness."




Comments (1)

Bob-RJ Burkhart said

at 2:16 pm on Aug 18, 2010




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