General Description and Proposal
Someday after mastering winds, waves, tides and gravity, we shall harness the energies of love, and then, for the second time in the history of the world, man will discover fire.
Teilhard de Chardin
It is one of humanity's most enduring spiritual traditions: the idea that all life or all consciousness is interconnected. Human groups, whether ethnic, religious, or racial; as various as the Iroquois, the Sufis, and Western European Freemasons, all incorporate it into their belief structures. References to it can be found in ancient documents of the classical world, both East and West. It is a very compelling idea, spanning both millennia and the vast complexity of human cultures. Yet, as compelling as the concept is emotionally, only in recent decades has any objective evidence emerged that such a construct might be valid. Even this work, in fields as various as physics, parapsychology, and biology, has provided only suggestions, largely because the research was not conceived in global terms but, instead, focused on more limited vistas. Indeed, much of the relevant research has regarded only individual performances in experiments on anomalies such as telepathy, mind/matter interactions, and distant healing. Somewhat broader vistas are opened in studies of group resonance and morphogenetic fields.
Until very recently, taking the kind
of global real-time measurements necessary to evaluate objectively what Jung called the
Collective Unconsciousness, and Teilhard de Chardin described as the Noosphere
-- a sheath of intelligence for the Earth -- was not a real possibility. Two events,
however, have changed this picture. The first is the development of a reliable measurement
technology using Random Event Generators (REGs) linked to computers, together with soft-
and hardware necessary to do very large and complex multivariate analyses on desktop
machines. The second is the rise of the Internet, itself a kind of global consciousness
network, albeit one linked very much to the physical world of electronics. For the first
time, the objective measurement infrastructure necessary to undertake an evaluation of
consciousness on a global scale is broadly accessible. This proposal describes such an
effort, the Global Consciousness Project (GCP).