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"And the stars are projectors, yeah, projecting our lives down to this planet Earth." - Modest Mouse


6.09.2004

The Noosphere 

CMC Magazine has a fascinating article by Rev. Philip J. Cunningham titled Tielhard de Chardin & the Noosphere. Chardin was a very forward-thinking Jesuit geologist and paleontologist born towards the end of the 19th century. After enduring the horrors of WW1 his ontology evolved into a highyl spiritual conception of the human organism.
In the seeming myriad of entities around us, Teilhard perceives a unity: "My starting point is the fundamental initial fact that each one of us is perforce linked by all the material organic and psychic strands of his being to all that surrounds him." Moreover, that unity reaches back in time and continues into the future: "If we look far enough back in the depths of time, the disordered anthill of living beings suddenly, for an informed observer, arranges itself in long files that make their way by various paths towards greater consciousness."
His personal research led him to develop the concept of the Noosphere - "a human sphere, a sphere of reflection, of conscious invention, of conscious souls" - and the notion that its coevolution with humanity would draw us all towards the inevitability of an Omega Point at the end of time.
"We are faced with a harmonized collectivity of consciousnesses to a sort of superconciousness. The earth not only becoming covered by myriads of grains of thought, but becoming enclosed in a single thinking envelope, a single unanimous reflection." Yet such a unanimity of consciousness implies a condition that humans generally reject, depersonalization. Indeed, the conclusion seems inevitable: "So that at the world's Omega, as at its Alpha, lies the Impersonal." At this point, "Omega," the last letter in the Greek alphabet, simply refers to the final stage of evolution. At the end the noosphere become an "all" that absorbs all.

In refining his description of "Omega" Teilhard seems to agree. "Because it contains and engenders consciousness, space-time is necessarily of a convergent nature [and] must somewhere in the future become involuted to a point which we might call Omega, which fuses and consumes them integrally in itself." Here "Omega" takes on its deeper meaning. Noogenesis, as it evolves, inevitably reaches a single focus.

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