Last month, I created and moderated a series of IONS webinars on collective consciousness. The social backdrop couldn’t have made it more timely. Still in the midst of a global pandemic, in the United States the triumph of the human spirit demonstrated by entering a new golden age of space exploration stood in harsh contrast to the nearly simultaneous, devastating tragedies on the ground that inspired a newly invigorated, global Black Lives Matter movement — making clear, yet again, that if there is a shared mind of humanity, it’s not united.
Rather than academic discussions, these programs would provide practical inspiration. The first one, Activating Consciousness in the Field: New Possibilities for Our Future, was designed to set the stage by establishing that whether through quantum entanglement, electromagnetic fields or other means, scientific evidence suggested the existence of a shared consciousness, with non-local influences on collective behavior and aspects of physical reality itself. Astrobiologist Dr. Bruce Damer shared his research into the communal origins of life, and encouraged us to see the field of collective consciousness as the most powerful tool humanity has at our disposal to advance our positive evolution through healing beliefs in separation. Dr. Barbara Dossey shared an experiment in collective consciousness she conducted in support of frontline healthcare workers in collaboration with IONS, the Global Consciousness Project and the HeartMath Institute. Finally, IONS Chief Scientist Dr. Dean Radin shared the encouraging results of that experiment, conceptualizing mind and matter as two sides of the same coin. His concluding statement was, “When we come together in collective meditations, does it change the world? The answer so far seems to be yes. Yes, it does.” By the end of this first session, we had established collective consciousness as more than an abstract idea, and something with real utility for humanity.
The second program was curated to take the idea of utility further, and provide each of us with a sense of agency. Cohering a Collective Consciousness started by acknowledging that social scientists and wisdom traditions alike had predicted 2020 would represent a possible inflection point between humanity being driven primarily by a collective unconscious based on separation, and the emergence of a collective consciousness based on unity. Reverend Floyd Thompkins of the Foundation for Justice and Peace, Roger Nelson of the Global Consciousness Project, Rollin McCraty of the Global Coherence Initiative and Marshall Lefferts of the Resonance Science Foundation encouraged us to take that inflection point personally by providing inspiration and avenues for participating in its creation, while sharing scientific support for the timeless wisdom that love is stronger than fear — and that by having the courage to embody love, we imbue the field with the higher spectrum frequencies of consciousness, joining with the innate coherence of nature and elevating the healing (“wholing”) potential of the field for all.
The final program was built to ground this idea in the legacy of our founder, Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell, and his life-altering experience of the Overview Effect, the phenomena experienced by astronauts when they see Earth from space. Edgar’s epiphany was about more than the interconnectedness of all life on Earth — he felt the Oneness of the entire Universe, which he experienced as intelligent, loving and harmonious. He intuited that Agape Love was the organizing principle of the cosmos. Could a critical mass of people having the same experience help create a tipping point in consciousness? Frank White, who literally wrote the book on the Overview Effect, was joined by former NASA astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison, the first woman of color in space and head of 100 Year Starship, and IONS scientist and former Pixar co-founder Loren Carpenter to reflect on the question. Acknowledging that access to space is currently very limited, we shared a preview video of the soon-to-be released IONS Edgar Mitchell Virtual Reality Experience, a simulation of Edgar’s epiphany-inducing journey narrated by Edgar himself, and concluded that the transformational power of awe and love for our world and beyond stimulated by an overview experience in space is also available right here on Earth — by looking up at the stars, looking down at a blade of grass, and looking within oneself.
A shift in collective consciousness is not only possible, but inevitable — if we put our hearts into it.
About the Author
Claudia Welss is Chair of the IONS Board of Directors and Board Science Committee, Executive Producer of the Edgar Mitchell Virtual Reality Experience, on the Steering Committee of HeartMath Institute’s Global Coherence Initiative, and on the board of Space for Humanity.