The Library of Consciousness

Evolution isn't done yet, it's just getting started.

The universe is aware of itself through all of us. Come get lost in The Library’s virtual aisles to find out more about this astounding revelation.

Life, we have just said, is in some way an extension of matter. With the elements, it retains some of the habits of matter. It can even, we shall see, copy it and mimic it by making itself mechanical.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Cosmic Life

1916

Explore Topics

Overview Effect

3 documents

A cognitive shift in awareness and perspective reported by some space travelers while viewing the Earth, often leading to profound changes in how they understand and relate to the planet and humanity.

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Systems Theory

18 documents

An interdisciplinary field that studies complex systems in nature, society, and science, analyzing the relationships between the parts and how they give rise to the collective behaviors of a system as a whole.

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Entropy and Syntropy

8 documents

The inevitable progression towards randomness and disorganization, and the counteracting emergence of order, complexity, and structured systems from chaotic states.

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Transhumanism

9 documents

Enhancing human capacities through technology to transcend biological constraints and evolve into a superior, post-human state.

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Mindfulness

46 documents

Focusing conscious awareness on the present moment non-judgmentally, observing sensations, thoughts, and feelings as they unfold to gain greater clarity, insight, and self-understanding.

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Artificial Intelligence

15 documents

Engineered non-biological systems which can perform functions and behaviors typically requiring intelligence when performed by humans, such as reasoning, planning, learning, perception, creativity, and problem-solving.

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Neuroscience

7 documents

The scientific study of the nervous system, encompassing its structure, function, development, and the relationship between brain and behavior.

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Global Brain

40 documents

The emergent network of information and communication technologies linking humans and machines into an integrated, collective intelligence.

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Consciousness

38 documents

The subjective experience of internal and external existence as processed by the mind, marked by awareness, perception, reasoning, knowledge, and judgment arising from sensory input and sophisticated brain functions.

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Architecture

4 documents

The art and science of designing and constructing buildings and other physical structures to serve human needs and purposes.

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Ecology

22 documents

The scientific study of the interactions between organisms and their environment.

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Eastern Philosophy

55 documents

Philosophical traditions originating in Asia and the Indian subcontinent, characterized by concepts such as nondualism, enlightenment, karma, and the transitory nature of the world.

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Noösphere

30 documents

The sphere of human thought and collective consciousness that emerges from the interaction of minds on a global scale.

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Ontology

33 documents

The philosophical study of being, existence, and reality.

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Psychedelics

32 documents

Psychoactive substances that profoundly alter perception, mood, cognition, and other mental processes by activating brain receptors and causing changes in cognitive functioning and connectivity.

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Social Science

18 documents

A branch of science devoted to the study of societies and the relationships among individuals within them.

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Mythology

16 documents

The collective narratives, symbols, and beliefs of a culture or civilization, often explaining natural phenomena, origins, and societal values through symbolic storytelling.

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Omega Point

32 documents

A spiritual concept describing the maximum level of complexity and consciousness which the universe is evolving towards.

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Cosmology

25 documents

A field studying the birth, layout, development and potential end states of the physical universe encompassing all matter and energy through scientific models and observation.

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Telepathy

7 documents

Linking multiple minds to share thoughts and subjective states amongst each other, both indirectly through spoken and written language, as well as directly with various sophisticated technologies.

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Accelerating Change

31 documents

The observed exponential nature of the rate of technological and social change over time.

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Technology

42 documents

The practical application of aggregated scientific knowledge and tools by organized human enterprise to leverage control over aspects of reality for solving problems and achieving desired outcomes.

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Abiogenesis

4 documents

The process by which life arose from non-living matter on early Earth, marking the transition from chemistry to biology.

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Astronomy

6 documents

Scientific study of celestial objects, space, and the physical universe as a whole.

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Zen

14 documents

A school of Mahayana Buddhism that aims to awaken enlightenment by directly pointing to the inherent wakefulness of the mind through meditation, practice, and transcendental wisdom passed from master to disciple.

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Superorganism

35 documents

A highly interconnected and organized community of individuals functioning as a single organism.

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Evolution

54 documents

The process through which biological populations undergo transgenerational genetic change over time through mechanisms like natural selection and genetic drift.

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Futurism

25 documents

A philosophy focused on envisioning, articulating, evaluating, and guiding the current epoch towards generating maximal thriving for the whole of humanity and nature across all time horizons.

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Emergence

20 documents

Novel and coherent structures, patterns, and properties arising during the process of self-organization in complex systems.

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Cosmic Consciousness

94 documents

An intuitive sense of the universal order, unity, and connection which arises through elevated spiritual awareness and mystical experience of the cosmic whole.

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Autopoiesis

20 documents

The concept that living systems self-organize by creating their own components and subsystems such that the network of production processes recursively generate the system’s identity.

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Metaphysics

39 documents

A branch of philosophy concerned with the fundamental nature of reality, being, and existence.

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Extended Mind

11 documents

A theory that cognitive processes extend beyond the brain and skull, incorporating external items such as computers to multiply the mind’s abilities.

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Epistemology

6 documents

A branch of philosophy focused on the nature and justification of knowledge, including the study of its scope and validity.

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New Additions

Speculations Concerning the First Ultraintelligent Machine

Irving John Good

Speculations Concerning the First Ultraintelligent Machine

1965

An ultra-intelligent machine is a machine that can far surpass all the intellectual activities of any man however clever. The design of machines is one of these intellectual activities; therefore, an ultra-intelligent machine could design even better machines. To design an ultra-intelligent machine one needs to understand more about the human brain or human thought or both. The physical representation of both meaning and recall, in the human brain, can be to some extent understood in terms of a subassembly theory, this being a modification of Hebb’s cell assembly theory. The subassembly theory sheds light on the physical embodiment of memory and meaning, and there can be little doubt that both needs embodiment in an ultra-intelligent machine. The subassembly theory leads to reasonable and interesting explanations of a variety of psychological effects.

Research Article
2

Why a Science of Mind Implies the Transcendence of Nature

Francisco Varela

Why a Science of Mind Implies the Transcendence of Nature

God and Computers: Minds, Machines, and Metaphysics (Part 5)

1997

Have you ever wondered how your brain creates your conscious experience? Francisco Varela explores the intersection of science and spirituality, offering a fresh perspective on the age-old mind-body problem. Drawing inspiration from Buddhist teachings, he argues that our everyday human experience is the key to unlocking the mysteries of consciousness. Varela proposes a research program called neurophenomenology, which aims to bridge the gap between brain activity and subjective experience. Through engaging examples and insightful explanations, he demonstrates how the exploration of consciousness can lead to both scientific advancements and a deeper understanding of ourselves.

Lecture
01:11:42 9,131 5

How It Is

Viola Cordova

How It Is

The Native American Philosophy of V. F. Cordova

2008

Viola Cordova was the first Native American woman to receive a PhD in philosophy. Even as she became an expert on canonical works of traditional Western philosophy, she devoted herself to defining a Native American philosophy. Although she passed away before she could complete her life’s work, some of her colleagues have organized her pioneering contributions into this provocative book. In three parts, Cordova sets out a complete Native American philosophy. First she explains her own understanding of the nature of reality itself—the origins of the world, the relation of matter and spirit, the nature of time, and the roles of culture and language in understanding all of these. She then turns to our role as residents of the Earth, arguing that we become human as we deepen our relation to our people and to our places, and as we understand the responsibilities that grow from those relationships. In the final section, she calls for a new reverence in a world where there is no distinction between the sacred and the mundane. Cordova clearly contrasts Native American beliefs with the traditions of the Enlightenment and Christianized Europeans (what she calls “Euroman” philosophy). By doing so, she leads her readers into a deeper understanding of both traditions and encourages us to question any view that claims a singular truth. From these essays—which are lucid, insightful, frequently funny, and occasionally angry—we receive a powerful new vision of how we can live with respect, reciprocity, and joy.

Book
2

Ecstasy of Beings

Vilayat Inayat Khan

Ecstasy of Beings

1974

For those intoxicated by life’s seeming meaningfulness, there is only utter shattering of the false self, without compromise. The ego is annihilated in love for the divine beloved, so that one becomes egoless, the beloved all. Ecstasy is the greatest force, breaking the prison of selfhood to merge with the ever-present mystery. In solitude’s wilderness within, one experiences God manifesting through all beings as oneself. Dogma is abandoned for pure knowing—the divine perfection working through human limitation.

Lecture
20:35 1,988 5

In Defence of the Hivemind Society

John Danaher and Stephen Petersen

In Defence of the Hivemind Society

2020

The idea that humans should abandon their individuality and use technology to bind themselves together into hivemind societies seems both farfetched and frightening—something that is redolent of the worst dystopias from science fiction. In this article, we argue that these common reactions to the ideal of a hivemind society are mistaken. The idea that humans could form hiveminds is sufficiently plausible for its axiological consequences to be taken seriously. Furthermore, far from being a dystopian nightmare, the hivemind society could be desirable and could enable a form of sentient flourishing. Consequently, we should not be so quick to deny it. We provide two arguments in support of this claim—the axiological openness argument and the desirability argument—and then defend it against three major objections.

Article
10,737 24

Merging Minds

David Lyreskog

Merging Minds

The Conceptual and Ethical Impacts of Emerging Technologies for Collective Minds

2023

A growing number of technologies are currently being developed to improve and distribute thinking and decision-making. Rapid progress in brain-to-brain interfacing and swarming technologies promises to transform how we think about collective and collaborative cognitive tasks across domains, ranging from research to entertainment, and from therapeutics to military applications. As these tools continue to improve, we are prompted to monitor how they may affect our society on a broader level, but also how they may reshape our fundamental understanding of agency, responsibility, and other key concepts of our moral landscape.

Research Article
9,919 14

Technology as Extension of Human Faculties

Philip Brey

Technology as Extension of Human Faculties

2000

Marshall McLuhan, Ernst Kapp, and David Rothenberg have each written book-length studies developing theories of technology as an extension of bodily and mental faculties: tools act as prosthetics, amplifying the reach of arms or legs; computers extend memory, calculation, and other cognitive capacities. Philip Brey analyzes these extension theories and asks if the metaphor is valid. Do technologies truly stretch out innate human abilities, or is this mere rhetorical flair? Brey investigates whether there is a substantive sense in which gadgets and gizmos can be seen as extensions of natural human organs. As we increasingly integrate tech into our lives, addressing this question becomes pressing: where does the human end and the technical begin? Brey dives into this ambiguous intersection of person and product.

Essay
8,494 9

Manifesto on the Spirit of Planetary Consciousness

Ervin László

Manifesto on the Spirit of Planetary Consciousness

2023

Our future is in our hands. László’s manifesto calls on each of us to embrace creativity, diversity, and responsibility to evolve society toward stability and sustainability. By shifting our individual and collective values to recognize how we all depend on and impact each other, we can build a peaceful world where all people thrive. It starts with transforming our own minds and spirits.

Article
2,310 7

Understanding and Imagination in the Light of Nature

Terence McKenna

Understanding and Imagination in the Light of Nature

1987

The Great Mystery whispers through psychedelics as it unfurls revelations beyond language’s grasp. Here, ego-bound shells crack open as cosmic minds reborn beyond confines of space and time. We thus commune with the endless Imagination—holographic spirit-stuff whereof worlds are wrought. Invariants of the eternal suffuse temporal shadow-play, the mundane ever aflame in subtler dimensions. All form awakens, ascends, drawn unto consummate transcendence as history’s fever dream blossoms into timeless infinitude.

Workshop
03:36:31 23,367 5

Unserious Wisdom

Alan Watts

Unserious Wisdom

(Buddhist Mysticism)

While Pure Land Buddhism promises easy enlightenment through faith in Buddha Amitābha, Alan Watts explains how its eccentric followers, the myōkōnin, found wisdom by goofing off. With playful tales of the monk Ryōkan’s antics, from imitating tigers to forgetting letters mid-juggle, Watts shows how these rascal sages attained childlike wonder by ditching spiritual bootstraps for carefree acceptance of their flawed humanity. For the myōkōnin, the path to Buddhahood involved more fun and games than pious efforts.

Lecture
29:10 3,840 1

World as Lover, World as Self

Joanna Macy

World as Lover, World as Self

1991

This overview of Joanna Macy’s innovative work combines deep ecology, general systems theory, and the Buddha’s teachings on interdependent co-arising. A blueprint for social change, World as Lover, World as Self shows how we can reverse the destructive attitudes that threaten our world.

Book
61,573 8

Theory of Collective Mind

Garriy Shteynberg

Theory of Collective Mind

2023

The human mind harbors wondrous capacities. Beyond understanding individual minds, we can represent unified awareness across souls, feeling strands of consciousness intertwine. As one, we comprehend realities; as one, we hold intentions. Synchronous experiences spin these mental webs, binding our fates and etching shared worlds upon our hearts. Though fragile, such unions nurture cooperation’s tender bloom. Let us marvel at this collective mind—a tapestry of perspectives, stronger than its threads. In this oneness we find hope, for it whispers: even in darkness, we need not walk alone.

Research Article
6,050 9

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