Take a peek into a chapter from the new book, Connected: The Emergence of Global Consciousness, written by IONS Fellow, Dr. Roger Nelson. In this book, Roger tells the story of the Global Consciousness Project (GCP), a unique 20-year scientific collaboration of researchers recording the effects of mass consciousness in response to major global events.
Chapter 24: Implications of the Evidence
A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it. Max Planck
It’s Such a Small Effect
What would be the value of showing that there is a tiny effect of mind on matter, so small we can’t ordinarily see or use it, and so elusive that most scientists can’t believe there is good evidence for it? What would be the value of a subtle interconnection of minds, so delicate that we seldom can be sure we actually touch each other?
It isn’t for making money, but for understanding better who we are, and how we belong to the world. Most of us who look seriously at our situation as we move into the next few decades think we are plunging into deep and dangerous waters. There are many voices saying we need to change our way of being to include more compassion and respect for each other and for our environment. Our only home is beautiful, but threatened by forces we can control only if we understand our role and our capacities.
This book describes a unique research project which reveals an extraordinary dimension of human existence. The basis is scientific, but the implications touch upon the realm of poetry and mysticism, where we allow ourselves to believe in deep interconnections. Ancient wisdom traditions all speak in one voice about unity, and poets in every language say that two who love become one. Science, while it is one of the most remarkable tools we have for looking at the complex world around us, has almost nothing to say about the most important qualities in our lives. Love, compassion, the creative impulse – these are not explained in textbooks.
But it is time, and as a bit of old wisdom says: Time is of the essence. It is all we have in the world. Timing isn’t everything, it is the only thing.
I think we can take some encouragement from the work of the GCP. It is a unique scientific project which has, for more than 17 years, been gathering data that seem to show a great earth mind just born, or just awakening. Though that may be hyperbolic, it is symbolic of our need for more wisdom about living together on this beautiful planet and keeping it safe from our own tragic tendencies. There are many threads now being woven into a guide for recognition of the problems we have created, and many efforts aimed toward constructive measures to solve them. The presence of a true global consciousness in our midst and literally in ourselves may be the metaphor we need to encourage our best efforts to create a richer and more beautiful picture of the future of the earth.
The Global Consciousness Project, beginning with the sources and inspirations which brought people from richly varied backgrounds together, ultimately created a scientific instrument to illuminate our most subtle social imperatives. We became an international collaboration joining many others including the readers of this book, who are not satisfied with the accumulation of stuff. We are asking what is our purpose as humans, and what shall we do with our intelligence and will? Poets and storytellers of all cultures speak of a unity out of which we come and to which we always belong. Personal experiences of interconnection, such as falling in love or losing ourselves in the beauty of a sunset, remind us all that we are not alone, imprisoned in our skin and skulls. As conscious beings, we love the state of sharing directly with each other, becoming one in our feeling and perceptions, and magically creating something new and lovely. Now, just at a time in history when it appears to be essential for us to work together, we see evidence of a shared consciousness beginning to appear on our planet.
Roger Nelson, PhD, runs the Global Consciousness Project (GCP), an international collaboration studying mass consciousness. He conducted psi research at the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) laboratory from 1980 to 2002 and, while at Princeton, created the GCP in 1997. Interests in psychology, physics, philosophy, and the arts facilitate his research at the edges of what we know. His focus is the subtle interconnections that define an emerging humanity. See him speak at the upcoming IONS Conference, July 18 – 21, 2019 in Santa Clara, CA.