We would be mistaken in regarding the totality of human brains as forming no more than an added sum. There is something more: these united brains build up a sort of dome, from which each brain can see, with the assistance of the others, what would escape it if it had to rely solely on its own field of vision. The view so obtained goes beyond anything the individual can compass, nor can he exhaust it.

from The Place of Technology in a General Biology of Mankind (1947)

Portrait of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Philosopher and Jesuit Priest
May 1, 1881 – April 10, 1955

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was a French idealist philosopher and Jesuit priest who trained as a paleontologist and geologist. His early years were spent as a professor of geology at the Catholic Institute in Paris. After serving in the French army during World War I, de Chardin spent many years in China, India and Java studying evolution and the development of the human species, took part in the discovery of Peking Man, and became director of the National Geologic Survey of China and director of the National Research Center of France.

He conceived the vitalist idea of the Omega Point (a maximum level of complexity and consciousness towards which he believed the universe was evolving) and developed Vladimir Vernadsky's concept of the noösphere.

Although many of Teilhard's writings were censored by the Catholic Church during his lifetime because of his views on original sin, Teilhard has been posthumously praised by Pope Benedict XVI and other eminent Catholic figures, and his theological teachings were cited by Pope Francis in the 2015 encyclical, Laudato si'. The response to his writings by evolutionary biologists has been, with some exceptions, decidedly negative.

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A Great Event Foreshadowed

The Planetization of Mankind

Teilhard explores the rise of the masses and the socialization of humanity. He predicts a future Earth where human consciousness evolves to its peak, achieving a maximum of complexity and unity through a process of “planetization,” and argues that collective unity is not a threat but a path to personalization and humanization. As we head towards an interconnected world, he challenges us to embrace a sense of evolution and celebrate our shared destiny. Originally written in Peking during Christmas 1945, later published in the August–September 1946 edition of Cahiers du Monde Nouveau with the title La planétisation humaine.

A Note on Progress

Written in Paris and published posthumously in The Future of Man.

Cover image for Building The Earth

Building The Earth

A visionary and hopeful book on humanity’s future relationship to the planet from which it arose, Teilhard outlines a new psychological state of awareness in which individual humans unite into planetary Personhood. Paragraphs are arranged in verse and interspersed with delicate graphic illustrations.

Cosmic Life

Teilhard de Chardin seeks to harmonize his ardent faith with a boundless love for the cosmos. He finds solace in the belief that the incarnation unites all. Thus, surrendering oneself to the cosmic forces and gently guiding them towards good enables all beings to participate in softly unfolding a new era of harmony. Cosmic Life was the first of Teilhard’s extant writings in his characteristic style. Knowing what risks he was exposed to at the warfront, he wrote it as his intellectual testament, and it contains in embryo all that was later to be developed in his thought; the “fire in his vision” which he tried to communicate.

Fossil Man

Reflections on a Recent Book

This essay by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin discusses the evolution of views on the antiquity of man over the last century. It highlights Marcellin Boule’s book, Les Hommes Fossiles, which presents the author’s research on human origins, particularly Neanderthal man. The essay explores the complexity and antiquity of human evolution and emphasizes the need for reconciling scientific findings with religious beliefs. It suggests that humanity’s material origins can be understood as a prolonged effort of the Earth as a whole, and it calls for embracing all rays of light from science and faith to find a unified understanding of human origins.

From the Pre-Human to the Ultra-Human

The Phases of a Living Planet

Teilhard de Chardin paints a grand vision of cosmic evolution, tracing life’s emergence from primordial proteins to the noösphere’s explosion of human thought. Rather than see humanity fading into senescence, he prophesies our passage to unimaginable trans-humanity. It’s a soaring perspective on mankind’s journey toward an ultimate destiny we can scarce conceive, leaving readers with an expanded sense of human possibility. First published in Almanach des Sciences, 1951, then in The Future of Mankind.

How May We Conceive And Hope That Human Unanimization Will Be Realized On Earth?

Written in Paris and published posthumously in The Future of Man.

Life and the Planets

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin explores the concept of complexification in the universe, focusing on the ever-increasing combination of smaller elements into larger structures, and then extrapolates this behavior to humanity’s current situation. What if the human species is an intermediary evolutionary stage, and what would the next rung on the ladder look like? Teilhard suggests that it will involve the merging-together of all humanity into a divine, planetized consciousness. Originally delivered as a lecture at the French Embassy in Peking (Beijing), China, later published in Études and The Future of Man.

On the Nature of the Phenomenon of Human Society, and its Hidden Relationship with Gravity

We stand at the dawn of a new era for humanity. As Teilhard de Chardin observed, cosmic forces are propelling our social evolution. Though born of gravitational forces, our consciousness now rises with its own creative power to bring forth previously unimagined realms of thought and social organization. Our future lies in our hands.

On The Probable Existence Ahead Of Us Of An ‘Ultra-Human’

An originally unpublished essay, written in Paris, in which Teilhard talks about a vast realm of the Ultra-Human which lies ahead of us: a realm in which we shall not be able to survive, or super-live, except by developing and embracing on earth, to the utmost extent, all the powers of common vision and unanimazation that are available to us. Eventually published in The Future of Man.

Reflection of Energy

Teilhard de Chardin sees human reflection as an evolutionary force escaping entropy’s grasp. Emerging from life’s intrinsic complexity, reflection leads mankind on an irreversible journey of deepening interiority. Through convergence and collective self-reflection, we approach a sacred point of supreme arrangement and unity. Teilhard argues that to fully encompass life’s mystery in science, the reflection of energy must join conservation and dissipation as key principles. Understanding reflection’s role illuminates both human destiny and the cosmos’ underlying divinity.

Reflection on the Compression of Mankind

Cover image for Survival

Survival

Teilhard de Chardin’s book, The Phenomenon of Man, reinterpreted in a visual format to illustrate the complex topics covered therein.

The Analysis of Life

Life’s essence transcends scientific scrutiny. Though such examination reduces life to physical mechanisms, synthesis reveals the boundless consciousness and freedom underlying all existence. As Teilhard de Chardin contemplated, life organizes chance through each being’s innate creativity. From this vision, we can glimpse life’s mystical emergence.

The Atomism of Spirit

With keen cosmological insight, Teilhard de Chardin argues that human plurality mirrors the multiplicity of atoms and stars. Just as matter progresses in complexity from subatomic particles to living cells, so consciousness evolves through increasing unification, culminating in the “Omega point”—supreme consciousness and union. Written in Beijing and published in Activation of Energy.

The Convergence of the Universe

In examining cosmic drift, Teilhard illuminates humankind’s role in the universe’s inexorable convergence. We stand at an evolutionary precipice, our dawning self-reflection nurturing new heights of consciousness. To embrace this transformation, we must unite, reassess our core values, and pursue collective actualization. Teilhard’s vision beckons us to become active participants in cosmogenesis, threads consciously weaving the tapestry of existence. His ideas challenge us to forge an enlightened path, infinite possibilities awaiting our cosmic citizenship. Originally written in Cape Town and published posthumously in Activation of Energy.

The End of the Species

Written in New York and published a year later in Psyché.

The Essence of the Democratic Idea

“A biological approach to the problem.” Written in response to a questionnaire from UNESCO and later published in The Future of Man.

The Formation of the Noösphere

The noösphere is the sum-total of mental activity which emerges out of a complex biosphere, and in this essay Teilhard describes how our planet is growing its very own mind. Published in Revue des Questions Scientifiques (Louvain) and later The Future of Man.

The Grand Option

Published in Cahiers Du Monde Nouveau in 1945.

The Human Rebound of Evolution and its Consequences

This essay, published in Revue des Questions Scientifiques in 1948 and reprinted in The Future of Man, follows Teilhard’s train of thought on the aftermath of a potential fusing-together of humanity.

Cover image for The Phenomenon of Man

The Phenomenon of Man

Visionary theologian and evolutionary theorist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin applied his whole life, his tremendous intellect, and his great spiritual faith to building a philosophy that would reconcile religion with the scientific theory of evolution. In this timeless book (whose original French title better translates to ‘The Human Phenomenon’), Teilhard argues that just as living organisms sprung from inorganic matter and evolved into ever more complex thinking beings, humans are evolving toward an "omega point"—defined by Teilhard as a convergence with the Divine.

The Phyletic Structure of the Human Group

In this heady yet lyrical scientific treatise, Teilhard de Chardin delves into the arc of human evolution. He traces humankind’s progression from primordial divergence to modern convergence, arguing we now stand at an equator where further global compression will compel our species to attain unimaginable new heights of consciousness. This cerebral work eloquently explores our place in the cosmos and destiny as thinking beings. Though penned in 1951, Teilhard’s insights into humanity’s collective journey still ring true.

The Place of Technology in a General Biology of Mankind

Teilhard argues that biology and technology are the same thing: technology is simply advanced biology which has reached a minimum threshold of self-awareness, allowing it to harvest and sheperd energy from its environment and utilize it to intelligently organize matter for further evolutionary development. Written after an address given in Paris at the Salle d’horticulture (National Society of Horticulture).

The Position of Man in Nature and the Significance of Human Socialization

Is there in the universe a main axis of evolution? Pierre Teilhard de Chardin argues for the centrality and progressive direction of life, human thought, and social bonds in cosmic unfolding. His four propositions lead to the bold claim that Christianity drives humanity’s spiritual ascent, culminating in a transcendent fulfillment.

The Psychological Conditions of the Unification of Man

The Stuff of the Universe

Gazing upon the island of Saint Helena during his voyage from New York City to the Cape Peninsula, Teilhard de Chardin articulates his vision of human evolution culminating in cosmic unity with the Christ—the ultimate center of consciousness and complexity in the universe.

The Transformation and Continuation in Man of the Mechanism of Evolution

How does humanity fit into evolution’s arc? Teilhard de Chardin argues that humanity represents not an endpoint, but an intensification of evolution’s complexity and consciousness. As technology and social bonds grow, he sees not disaster but hope—perhaps mankind is evolving toward an “ultra-hominization,” a perfected global mind.

What Exactly is the Human Body?

Teilhard muses on the perplexities of defining the human body. He finds the common notions inadequate and proposes a new perspective—that each person’s body encompasses not just their cells but the entire universe they influence and are influenced by. Though complex, his ideas offer an intriguing new angle on embodiment.

What is Life?

Teilhard says life is not an anomaly, but a universal cosmic force that builds up complexity. He sees it complementing entropy, and the riddle to be solved lies in how they ultimately balance out.

Mentioned in 40 documents

Paolo Soleri

Arcology

Visionary architect Paolo Soleri challenges us to think of cities as biological entities with his concept of the arcology—a massive, self-sustaining, urban “organism of a thousand minds” designed to exist in harmony with nature. He proposes that the purpose of life is aesthetogenesis: the universe progressively complexifying itself into compassionate, beautiful structures. Soleri showcases 30 potential arcologies through incredibly detailed diagrams, explaining how each integrates itself economically and ecologically into the world and fulfills his aesthetogenic criteria. The scope of his vision ranges from cities designed to span canyons or float on the oceans to cube-shaped metropolises suspended on pillars, and even a space habitat. While comprehensive, Soleri's focus lies primarily on realizing arcologies that meet humanity's moral imperative for sustainable urban living.

Alan Watts

Beyond Theology

Alan Watts examines the theme that our normal sense of the person as a lonely island of consciousness is a dramatic illusion based on theological imagery. In a global context, the meaning of this imagery inevitably changes, yet without losing its unique values.

Alan Watts

Cloud-Hidden, Whereabouts Unknown

Over the course of nineteen essays, Alan Watts ruminates on the philosophy of nature, ecology, aesthetics, religion, and metaphysics. Assembled in the form of a mountain journal, written during a retreat in the foothills of Mount Tamalpais in California, Cloud-Hidden, Whereabouts Unknown is Watts’ meditation on the art of feeling out and following the watercourse way of nature, known in Chinese as the Tao. Embracing a form of contemplative meditation that allows us to stop analyzing our experiences and start living into them, the book explores themes such as the natural world, established religion, race relations, karma and reincarnation, astrology and tantric yoga, the nature of ecstasy, and much more.

Barbara Marx Hubbard

Conscious Evolution

Barbara explored the ideas of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and the possibilty of humanity gradually giving birth to a new planetary-scale consciousness, which she called Homo universalis.

Paolo Soleri and Lissa McCullough

Conversations with Paolo Soleri

Paolo Soleri's architectural-philosophical thinking sets forth fundamental reformulations to address the globalizing world's most urgent environmental, urban infrastructural, and socio-ethical problems. In this book, Soleri's most recent ideas are distilled into an accessible overview for the general reader. Soleri proposes to transform our societal systems while raising sights to a radically long-term and humanistic perspective. Among the interrelated concepts outlined here are Soleri's highly original ideas of orchid and forest, the city as hyper-organism, the urban effect, and the love project. These inspiring ideas are acutely timely in light of current environmental trends: responding to global climate change, radically reducing oil dependence, embracing frugality and reduced consumption, while simultaneously confronting issues of suburban sprawl, urban renewal, smart land use, and wise food production.

Alan Watts

Cosmic Network

Alan takes us from the very small to the very large, explaining the interrelatedness of all things in the universe as a vast network which weaves us into a united yet unnamable divinity.

Alan Watts

Ecological Awareness

When Alan Watts talked about the ‘mystical experience’ among scientific circles, he preferred to call it ‘ecological awareness’—referring to a state of mind in which a person ceases to feel separate from the environment in which he or she exists.

Erich Jantsch and Conrad Hal Waddington

Evolution and Consciousness

Evolution and Consciousness is one of the first, still rare, truly transdisciplinary books: it deals with a totality, not a sector of it. Therefore, it defies any disciplinary labeling. It is a scientific book, yet also deals with topics until now reserved for books of mysticism and poetry. It bridges the gap between science and other forms of knowledge. It deals not just with scientific questions, but with existential questions which concern all mankind, such as the meaning of life and the evolutionary significance of human design and action. It challenges the whole dominant Western world view: process thinking instead of structural thinking, dynamic instead of static, evolution instead of permanency.

Francis Heylighen and David Sloan Wilson

Glimpsing the Global Brain

Complex systems theorist Heylighen and evolutionary biologist Wilson discuss a possible phase transition of humanity in which the members of our species become neurons in a planetary brain, utilizing the Internet as a shared exocortex.

Terence McKenna

Hallucinogens: Before and After Psychology

What mushrooms uncover is the slumbering Lógos, the primordial inner voice, psychedelics' telepathic tidings heralding our exile's end. Visionary technologies shall synergize humanity's dreams, fusing inner and outer worlds, truth and imagination reconciled. To break ancestral chains, we must meet the paradoxical with minds ablaze, escaping platitudes’ prisons through ecstasy’s portals, whereby we’re transfigured, phoenix-like, rising renewed from the ashes of history—life’s fiery genius unbound.

Terence McKenna

In the Valley of Novelty

Journeying through multiple dimensions of psychedelic consciousness, Terence McKenna's visionary weekend workshop invites us on an entheogenic voyage to the frontiers of the mind and its imminent conquering of matter. Blending scientific insights with shamanic wisdom, McKenna argues that natural plant medicines like psilocybin and DMT provide portals into mystical realms and alien dimensions, catalyzing revelations about nature, reality, and the human psyche. He urges us to courageously explore these consciousness-expanding substances, seeking the gratuitous beauty and truths they unveil. For McKenna, the psychedelic experience holds secrets to our world and ourselves—if only we dare lift the veil.

Terence McKenna

Lógos Meets Eros

Speaking at the Wetlands Preserve club, Terence McKenna glimpses both peril and promise as civilization hurtles toward an uncertain future. Technology untethers tradition, psychedelics unleash inspiration from narrow cultural confines, boundaries dissolve, categories collide, contradictions mount. What strange attractor lures us through this unfolding existential adventure? In McKenna’s view, dystopia or utopia will emerge based on one driving factor—our collective capacity for creativity, courage, and compassion as we navigate the quantum unknown. With open minds and loving hearts, a brighter tomorrow awaits.

Terence McKenna

Man Thinks God Knows, God Knows Man Thinks

What if language could be seen instead of heard? McKenna fancies a linguistic lark where lexicon becomes a dance of light. Words incarnate as rainbow octopi, their very skin shimmering significance. In the verbosity vortex we spin, until, lo, meaning and matter tango into one, with word becoming flesh and flesh becoming word in the ultimate semantic samba.

Gregory Stock

Metaman

In this visionary book, Gregory Stock gives us a new way of understanding our world and our future. He develops the provocative thesis that human society has become an immense living being: a global superorganism in which we humans, knitted together by our modern technology and communication, are like the cells in an animal's body. Drawing on impressive research, Stock shows this newly formed superorganism to be more than metaphor: it is an actual living creature, which he has named Metaman, meaning beyond and transcending humans.

Francis Heylighen and Shima Beigi

Mind Outside Brain

We approach the problem of the extended mind from a radically non-dualist perspective. The separation between mind and matter is an artefact of the outdated mechanistic worldview, which leaves no room for mental phenomena such as agency, intentionality, or feeling. We propose to replace it by an action ontology, which conceives mind and matter as aspects of the same network of processes. By adopting the intentional stance, we interpret the catalysts of elementary reactions as agents exhibiting desires, intentions, and sensations. Autopoietic networks of reactions constitute more complex super-agents, which moreover exhibit memory, deliberation and sense-making. In the specific case of social networks, individual agents coordinate their actions via the propagation of challenges. The distributed cognition that emerges from this interaction cannot be situated in any individual brain. This non-dualist, holistic view extends and operationalises process metaphysics and Eastern philosophies. It is supported by both mindfulness experiences and mathematical models of action, self-organisation, and cognition.

Gregory Bateson

Mind and Nature

Renowned for his contributions to anthropology, biology, and the social sciences, Bateson asserts that man must think as Nature does to live in harmony on the earth and, citing examples from the natural world, he maintains that biological evolution is a mental process.

Donald Dulchinos

Neurosphere

According to Donald Dulchinos, the real action on the Internet isn’t in the realm of commerce. It is, plain and simple, in the realm of religion. But not exactly that old-time religion. This book is about the spiritual impact of our increasing ability to communicate quickly and with enhanced evolution. It's about our search for meaning, our hunger for a glimpse at humanity's future development in whichâ€"frighteningly or excitingly,"the trend is clearly toward increasing integration of telecommunications and information technology with the body itself. Electronic prosthetics, direct neural implants, and the brain's control of electronic and mechanical limbs move the boundary that used to exist between human and machine to some undefined frontier inside our bodies, our brains, and, perhaps, our minds.

Shima Beigi and Francis Heylighen

Noospheric consciousness

The world-wide web has been conceptualized as a global brain for humanity due to its neural network-like organization. To determine whether this global brain could exhibit features associated with consciousness, we review three neuroscientific theories of consciousness: information integration, adaptive resonance and global workspace. These theories propose that conscious states are characterized by a globally circulating, resonant pattern of activity that is sufficiently coherent to be examined and reflected upon. We then propose a correspondence between this notion and Teilhard de Chardin’s concept of the noosphere as a forum for collective thinking, and explore some implications of this self-organizing dynamics for the evolution of shared, global understanding.

Terence McKenna

Permitting Smart People to Hope

Delivered at Esalen in California, McKenna traipses through a mélange of scientific and technological folderol—the detection of the top quark, swift progress on sequencing the human genome, newfangled theories about the origin of the moon, quantum bafflements like non-locality, the proliferation of the interwebs and information technology, speculations on the nature of time from that Prigogine fellow, and sundry other bamboozlements. He elucidates how these breakthroughs in diverse fields might converge to profoundly transform human civilization, culture, and consciousness in the imminent future.

Alan Watts

Power of Space

Weaving connections between Eastern thought and modern science, Alan Watts explores the wonder of space. For him, space is no mere emptiness but a cosmic tapestry integral to existence. He draws parallels between space and the Buddhist void, seeing both as the interwoven ground of being that allows consciousness to emerge.

Alan Watts

Reality, Art, and Illusion

Join Alan as he expresses the meaning of life through the Hindu-Buddhist idea of reality as a divine game of hide-and-seek. "Life is not ultimately serious," Watts argues. By embracing the fluidity of identity and recognizing our interconnectedness, we can creatively engage with existence as impermanent, unified, and filled with playful potential. Accessible yet philosophically rich, these decades-old lectures offer timeless insights on the nature of reality.

Ludwig von Bertalanffy

Robots, Men, and Minds

Based on lectures delivered as The Inaugural Lectures in The Heinz Werner Lecture Series at Clark University (Worcester, Mass.) in January 1966, the book introduces new conceptions of humans and their world. After discussing the advantages and drawbacks of humanity's propensity for the symbolic construction of reality, it focuses on the systems approach to an understanding of the species. The author warns against the common error of identifying cybernetics with general systems theory. No matter how complex the cybernetic system, it "can always be resolved into feedback circuits" and thought of in terms of "linear causality." The regulative behavior of general systems is determined by goal-directed, dynamic interaction between many forces and variables in an open system. Bertalanffy points out that "no comprehensive theory of systems exists today." As a model, however, the approach has many advantages, such as obviating the need for the "ghost in the machine" and suggesting some solutions to the mind-body problem.

Terence McKenna

Shamanism, Alchemy, and the Millennium

A whimsical reflection on humanity's journey toward ever-greater connectedness, from the cosmic singularity to the noosphere's fanciful manifestations. Could the shamanic alchemist's mythic intuition, the goddess's wisdom, and capitalism's impatient urge together guide us to the stars and back to Eden? An optimistic revelry.

Hans Moravec

Simulation, Consciousness, Existence

Like organisms evolved in gentle tide pools, who migrate to freezing oceans or steaming jungles by developing metabolisms, mechanisms, and behaviors workable in those harsher and vaster environments, our descendants, able to change their representations at will, may develop means to venture far from the comfortable realms we consider reality into arbitrarily strange worlds. Their techniques will be as meaningless to us as bicycles are to fish, but perhaps we can stretch our common-sense-hobbled imaginations enough to peer a short distance into this odd territory.

Kevin Kelly

Technium Unbound

What comes after the Internet? What is bigger than the web? What will produce more wealth than all the startups to date? The answer is a planetary superorganism comprised of 4 billion mobile phones, 80 quintillion transistor chips, a million miles of fiber optic cables, and 6 billion human minds all wired together. The whole thing acts like a single organism, with its own behavior and character—but at a scale we have little experience with. This is more than just a metaphor. Kevin Kelly takes the idea of a global superorganism seriously by describing what we know about it so far, how it is growing, where its boundaries are, and what it will mean for us as individuals and collectively.

Vladimir Vernadsky

The Biosphere and the Noösphere

A general intellectual outlook of one of the most remarkable scientific leaders of the early twentieth century, focusing on a predicted historical and planetary phase transition in which humanity becomes a united force. Published in American Scientist Vol. 33, No. 1.

Alan Watts

The Book

At the root of human conflict is our fundamental misunderstanding of who we are. The illusion that we are isolated beings, unconnected to the rest of the universe, has led us to view the “outside” world with hostility, and has fueled our misuse of technology and our violent and hostile subjugation of the natural world. In The Book, philosopher Alan Watts provides us with a much-needed answer to the problem of personal identity, distilling and adapting the ancient Hindu philosophy of Vedanta to help us understand that the self is in fact the root and ground of the universe. In this mind-opening and revelatory work, Watts has crafted a primer on what it means to be human—and a manual of initiation into the central mystery of existence.

Paolo Soleri

The Bridge Between Matter And Spirit is Matter Becoming Spirit

This volume brings together the essays of Paolo Soleri in which he sets forth his philosophy of arcology (architecture ecology) and pleads for a new stage in the evolution of human society—a move toward compactness, or miniaturization, of our cities. To do so we must build solids rather than veneers; we must flee from a “flat” cityscape that debilitates and suppresses the individual. Arcologies, three dimensional macrostructures, are for populations of thousands or of millions.

Terence McKenna, Ralph Abraham and Rupert Sheldrake

The Future of Humanity

McKenna, Abraham, and biologist Rupert Sheldrake contemplate humanity's bumpy ride towards transcendence. McKenna unveils his theory of an impending "eschaton" when history will culminate in a boundary-erasing recovery of unity, fulfilling religious anticipation. However, approaching this "zero point" will be increasingly chaotic. Abraham and Sheldrake greet McKenna's vision with skepticism tinged with hope. Probing global crises, the trio spiritedly grapple with miraculous visions for transforming society, from psychedelic revival to empowering women. Their speculative voyage reveals turbulence ahead, yet yields glimmers of our journey's destination.

Francis Heylighen

The Global Brain as a New Utopia

The global brain can be conceived most fundamentally as a higher level of evolution, the way humans form a higher level of organization that evolved out of the animals. Although the analogy between an organism and a society can be applied even to primitive societies, it becomes clearly more applicable as technology develops. As transport and communication become more efficient, different parts of global society become more interdependent. At the same time, the variety of ideas, specializations, and subcultures increases. This simultaneous integration and differentiation creates an increasingly coherent system, functioning at a much higher level of complexity.

Francis Heylighen

The Global Superorganism

The organismic view of society is updated by incorporating concepts from cybernetics, evolutionary theory, and complex adaptive systems. Global society can be seen as an autopoietic network of self-producing components, and therefore as a living system or “superorganism”.

Frank Tipler

The Omega Point as Eschaton

Frank Tipler presents an outline of the Omega Point theory, which is a model for an omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, evolving, personal God who is both transcendent to spacetime and immanent in it, and who exists necessarily. The model is a falsifiable physical theory, deriving its key concepts not from any religious tradition but from modern physical cosmology and computer science; from scientific materialism rather than revelation. Four testable predictions of the model are given. The theory assumes that thinking is a purely physical process of the brain, and that personality dies with the brain. Nevertheless, he shows that the Omega Point theory suggests a future universal resurrection of the dead very similar to the one predicted in the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition. The notions of “grace” and the “beatific vision” appear naturally in the model.

Paolo Soleri

The Omega Seed

The Ωmega Seed brings together Paolo Soleri’s writings on eschatology, that branch of theology concerned with the final events in the history of the world or of mankind. Soleri believes that the simulation of the divine will provide man with a blueprint for creation not only of our physical environment but also of a new stage in the evolution of mankind. His work is against the things of a materialistic society, toward a redesigning of the urban civilization of Earth.

Terence McKenna

The Plot Thickens, the Stakes Rise

Alan Watts

The Psychedelic Experience

Alan says psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin can provide religious insight, but should be used with spiritual discipline to integrate the mystical experience into everyday life. He critiques psychiatry’s lack of metaphysical grounding and calls for medical and religious professionals to work together on psychedelics. Watts emphasizes psychedelics’ potential as a bridge between mystical and ordinary consciousness, while warning against spiritual inflation or romanticizing substances. Overall he presents a balanced perspective, exploring psychedelics as tools for self-knowledge that require wisdom in application.

Alan Watts

The Psychedelic Explosion

Alan talks about the upcoming revolution in which Western society will have to come to grips with the existence of the psychedelic/mystical experience, and how to integrate it into our culture in a productive, fulfilling, and responsible manner. Included are personal recollections of DMT and LSD trips experienced by Watts himself, why the utilization of psychedelic drugs should be seen as a tool, his vision of a psychedelic campus for guided mystical experiences, and why prohibition is doomed to failure.

Lancelot Law Whyte

The Universe of Experience

Modern experience forces philosophy and social thought to confront the basic problems of value. Is this life worth caring about? How can we find a way between the deceit of fanatical belief and despair? In the view of Lancelot Law Whyte, the essential challenge to mankind today is an underlying nihilism promoting violence and frustrating sane policies on major social issues. Avoiding the seductive trap of utopianism, Whyte approaches this challenge by defining the terms of a potentially worldwide consensus of heart, mind, and will.

Barbara Marx Hubbard

The Vision of a Better World

Two visionaries, Tom Munnecke and Barbara Marx Hubbard, engage in an uplifting dialogue exploring the emergence of human creativity and consciousness. They trace inspirations from mentors like Jonas Salk, who recognized futuristic possibilities in Hubbard, and Buckminster Fuller, who affirmed humanity's potential. Together they shine light on the crisis of our times as the birth pangs of a new civilization, calling us to connect with the creativity arising globally. Their exchange weaves threads of hope and positivity, envisioning a future where all people actualize their gifts in service of our world.

Terence McKenna and Ralph Abraham

The World Wide Web and the Millennium

Seldom do we have an opportunity to test the accuracy of oracular predictions, but this fascinating conversation between two great thinkers has already proven to be right on target. Speculations include the future evolutionary development of the Internet, whether it is an embryonic intelligence, whether it will merge our minds into a planetary consciousness, or whether it is an alien brain waiting for humanity to cross an evolutionary threshold. Let the bard and the chaos theorist weave an exquisite cybernetic fantasy for you in this evening seminar.

David Sloan Wilson

This View of Life

It is widely understood that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution completely revolutionized the study of biology. Yet, according to David Sloan Wilson, the Darwinian revolution won’t be truly complete until it is applied more broadly—to everything associated with the words “human,” “culture,” and “policy.” In a series of engaging and insightful examples—from the breeding of hens to the timing of cataract surgeries to the organization of an automobile plant—Wilson shows how an evolutionary worldview provides a practical tool kit for understanding not only genetic evolution but also the fast-paced changes that are having an impact on our world and ourselves. What emerges is an incredibly empowering argument: If we can become wise managers of evolutionary processes, we can solve the problems of our age at all scales—from the efficacy of our groups to our well-being as individuals to our stewardship of the planet Earth.