Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Thinking About the Noosphere

What is time? What is the relation between time and human consciousness? Time and spirituality? Time and the next stage of our evolution in the universe? Clearing away the error of time in the human mind, while elucidating the actual nature of time, the Law of Time sheds light on vistas hitherto unseen and unknown, that all humanity might ascend to its next evolutionary stage. As a new knowledge, the Law of Time lays the foundation for the reformulation of the human mind. The Foundation for the Law of Time is primarily a research institute dedicated to the investigation and application of the Law of Time in all of its aspects. Through the Foundation’s research efforts the gift of the Law of Time can be made of service to all humanity.


Sri Aurobindo, The Overmind, Supermind and the Descent of the Supramental

A basic premise of the Noosphere II Project of the Foundation for the Law of Time Research and Development Center is that the noosphere represents a major evolutionary alteration of human consciousness. This is a shift from atomized individual consciousness to the consciousness of a vast single entity, what might be referred to as the collective telepathic field of planet Earth. Given this premise, a fundamental purpose of the Noosphere II Project is to identify the qualities of the new evolutionary consciousness and to identify antecedents for this consciousness in the principles and methods of earlier schools of thought and experimental thinkers. In general, the elaboration of mystical contemplation of every kind, the definitions and explorations of cosmic consciousness, and the techniques of yoga and meditation are all considered as providing clues as to the nature of the forthcoming evolutionary shift, the noosphere.

When we talk about this shift, the advent of the noosphere, Earth’s mental sheathe or envelope, it is often spoken of as something imminent or inevitable due to various factors of Earth’s evolution and biogeochemical mutations. Thus, we speak of this change as the biosphere-noosphere transition. If we read Teilhard de Chardin or Vernadsky, the noosphere appears to be something that is imminent and toward which our biological and terrestrial evolution is inevitably advancing us. But this may not be the only way to think about it. We might also think of the noosphere as an increase in synchronicity, and as a participation in a divine descent. The very emergence of the word “noosphere” into the vocabulary of world thought occurred in a synchronic nexus of events indicating that the planetary moment was ripe for the appearance of a complex new thought form, noosphere. In other words, the noosphere needed to make itself conscious at this time, and, partaking of synchronicity as a fundamental aspect of its nature, it manifest itself in a multiple synchronic manner - a chronotopology - at a given moment. As we shall see, the notion of the noosphere as an aspect of a divine descent of consciousness was part of this chronotopology or nexus of events. This chronotopology occurring in the Gregorian year 1926, includes the following:

First of all, it was in this year, 1926, that a scientist from Marxist Russia, Vladimir Vernadsky, a French Jesuit paleontologist, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and a Parisian philosopher and student of noted thinker, Henri Bergson, Jules le Roi, were brought together in Paris, France, to coin the word “noosphere”. They needed a word to define the next critical phase toward which the evolution of the biosphere was tending, a phase in which the factors of consciousness would predominate over biological factors to create a greater synthesis of life - hence, noosphere, Earth’s mental sheathe.

It was in this very same year that South African statesman and philosopher, Jan Smuts, published his book Holism and Human Evolution, the earliest exposition of the principle of holistic philosophy by which life and evolution are defined in terms of a synthesis of whole systems rather than as an analysis of ever more minute parts. While Smuts’ book does not refer to the noosphere as such, it could be stated that without the principle of holism, it is difficult to think about the noosphere. By its very nature the noosphere is a whole system predicated by the holistic perception and philosophy which further states that evolution moves in the direction of greater, all-encompassing whole systems which of necessity embrace an increasingly greater consciousness as well. As the thinking layer of the planet, the noosphere can only reflect the holistic nature of the planet as a whole system.

Then on November 3, 1926, occurred the death of the French psychomathematician, Charles Henry. Just before he passed away, Henry published a little treatise entitled, “The Post-mortem Survival of consciousness,” anticipating a transcendence of consciousness into a greater whole. Two years before, in 1924. Henry had published the Generalization of the Theory of Radiation, in which he posited the existence of a “psychone,” a “psychic atom” consisting of three mutually coexisting fields. Each of these fields is defined by a resonator: an electromagnetic resonator, a gravitational resonator, and a biopsychic resonator. This is also known as the resonant field model, and is applicable to a description of a planetary system. As such it is not unrelated to the principle of the noosphere, which could be defined as the conscious evolutionary unfolding of the biopsychic resonator. Looking ahead to the future, in his “Post-mortem Survival of Consciousness,” Henry declared, “Death is only a physiochemical change. It is only after death that I shall truly begin to amuse myself.”

It was on November 24, 1926, exactly three weeks after Henry’s higher consciousness transition, that the Indian philosopher and mystic, Sri Aurobindo experienced what is called “The Day of Siddhi” (day of victory): The descent of Krishna, an unprecedented descent of overmental consciousness, into the physical. From that point he retired into a concentrated sadhana - spiritual practice. This event completed a strategic year for the expression of the possibilities of a more expanded evolutionary consciousness for humanity. In fact, we could say that having been theoretically construed and placed into the world consciousness, the noosphere experienced its divine descent and for the first time precipitated itself as “overmental consciousness” into a human form through Sri Aurobindo. All advances in human consciousness must first be manifest in a living human form, else there would be no way really of knowing what is to come. This expresses the principle of the avatar, a descent of a particular principle into human form so it may be exemplified to humanity at large.

It matters not that Aurobindo seems to not have been familiar with the word noosphere. He died, December 5, 1950. At that time Vernadsky’s work, most of it in Russian, had been translated into English but little, and mostly in American scholarly journals, so most likely it would never have found its way to Aurobindo’s retreat on an ashram in South India, At the same time, Teilhard de Chardin’s work was not published until after his death in 1955, so there is no way Aurobindo could have known about the word noosphere. Nonetheless, through the “descent of the overmental” which altered his life irrevocably, and his profuse descriptions of consciousness, most specifically of the Supermind, the role of the Overmind, and the principle of supramental descent, Aurobindo gives us some of the best accounts of the noosphere from the higher point of view of the evolution of consciousness. This is a perspective that few other thinkers have been able to provide systematically.

Unlike Teilhard de Chardin and Vernadsky, who were more concerned with the biological and biogeochemical aspects of our evolution into the noosphere, Aurobindo was a philosopher mystic whose primary interest was in defining the future evolution from the standpoint of a comprehensive system of evolving states of consciousness. Because his focus was on the evolution of the human Mind of Ignorance into the supermental realms, accompanied by a simultaneous descent of the Divine Consciousness, his definitions of the next stages of consciousness are as vivid and descriptive of the actual nature of the noosphere as a state of consciousness as any that exist. For this reason a brief survey of Sri Aurobindo’s thoughts on this issue are most helpful to us at this step of the journey as we approach the noosphere’s imminence.

Whereas Teilhard de Chardin and Vernadsky saw the noosphere - the planetary mind - as an imminent possibility resulting from inevitable tendencies in biological evolution, for Aurobindo the Overmind - his term most closely approximating the notion of the noosphere - is as much a matter of the descent of the Divine as it is a matter of the rising or aspiring upward of the spirit trapped, as it were, in the lowest stages of material involution. But, as is implicit in Vernadsky’s term for the next geological era, the psychozoic - the psychic spiritualization of life - Aurobindo also foresaw a spiritualization and transformation of matter totally inseparable from the liberation of the spirit into Divine Consciousness. Because of his Catholic training, Teilhard de Chardin as well viewed the noosphere in a spiritualized context, but as a more Christlike form of a descent of divine consciousness. The systematic elaboration of the structure of cosmic consciousness as a vast arena in which the evolution of matter itself is considered as an aspect of the involution and evolution of the soul by the medium of Divine Consciousness is characteristic of the thought of Aurobindo, the breadth of which is really not equaled by any other thinker since his passing in 1950.

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