Today is the tenth anniversary of the launch of Facebook by Mark Zuckerberg. I am not a regular Facebook user. I have a Teilhard de Chardin fan page and for my other identity I mostly use it to see the pictures that my wife posts of our children and follow the activities of friends. However, I am amazed at how ubiquitous it is. I was reading a post on Jericho Tree this morning on this phenomenon and some stats are interesting:
By the end of 2013, Facebook was being used by 1.23 billion users worldwide, adding 170 million in just one year.
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“What Facebook is doing with a site used by 1 billion people a day is an order of magnitude greater than anything – it’s a remarkable feat of engineering,” he said, pointing to the fact that London is still the only English-speaking city in Facebook’s top 10. “It’s not just about the US anymore – tech is now a global phenomenon.
Over 60 years ago, Teilhard de Chardin predicted that the next stage of human evolution would be a widespread convergence of human consciousness in what he called the Noosphere. As Teilhard de Chardin wrote on January 18, 1950:
“Essentially, in the twofold irresistible embrace of a planet that is visibly shrinking, and Thought that is more and more rapidly coiling in upon itself, the dust of human units finds itself subjected to a tremendous pressure of coalescence, far stronger than the individual or national repulsions that so alarm us. But despite the closing of this vise nothing seems finally capable of guiding us into the natural sphere of our interhuman affinities except the emergence of a powerful field of internal attraction, in which we shall find ourselves caught from within. The rebirth of the Sense of Species, rendered virtually inevitable by the phase of compressive and totalizing socialization which we have now entered, affords a first indication of the existence of such a field of unanimization and a clue to its nature.”
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. The Future of Man (Kindle Locations 4429-4434).
The rapid development of technology (including sites such as Facebook) are starting to break down the tribal barriers that have existed for over 200,000 years and we are currently experiencing the beginning stages of the Noosphere as predicted by Teilhard de Chardin.
“…the emergence of a powerful field of internal attraction, in which we shall find ourselves caught from within.”. That has certainly been the case with the internet in general. To think that Teilhard had that vision so many years before the technology was even in place! I learn to much from the contacts I have made and I’m able to be part of a community that would not even exist were it not for the internet – the noosphere. The potential for good is astounding but, as with everything, we need to make certain that we mitigate the potential for evil as well – that is our responsibility.
Lynda, you are so right that the internet is a powerful medium that can be used for both good and evil. I am currently re-reading Julian May’s series “The Galactic Milieu” (based on Teilhard’s Divine Milieu) which is a science fiction novel where the Noosphere comes into being with a type of collective consciousness. However, in May’s novels like any evolutionary leaps there is some pain along the way, not the least of which is due to humanity’s misuse of free will.
What a visionary!
Yes he is 🙂
Those who study the past (Teilhard was a palaeontologist) are in a better position to predict the future! I am very proud of this page for doing its part in promoting Teilhard’s vision.
Badir, thank you for your kind comments and for all of the work that you did on putting Teilhard’s writings on archive.org. That is a key component to spreading Teilhard’s message and building the Noosphere :-).
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin foresaw and accurately described the emergence of a shift of consciousness. I recall reading his books – several of them and finding that once I’d figured out just what mostly he was saying that, intuitively and intellectually, I agreed. He’s not always easy to understand. I was a fairly simple man – still prefer this – although the philosophy, science, and psychology, biology, physics and so on that is necessary to follow this evolution (nnosphere) is outrageous. I like to simplify it when I can.
I know I’ve been tapping into it for a few years – online, blogging in my home, in safety and even away from the nonsensical component of the interchanges. I stay clear of facebook and twitter and so on for good reason – I can find out what I need from the chatter there without even having to ever use those services.
However, I want to point out that I’d be a VERY Rare individual – indeed – I think – if I wouldn’t need any social media. This evolution that Teilhard predicted is social. It makes true the fundamental hierarchy of needs (we might use Maslow’s definition for now).
In Teilhard’s view, the shift emerges as the interaction increases – more and more human’s sharing their views (minds) and thus a shift is emerging – has been – because of the increasing intensity of this.
It is a stage of evolutionary development that is dominated by awareness of higher consciousness, by insertion of quality (higher purposed) thought into interpersonal relationships – increasingly – and certainly with emotional investment and emotional satisfaction.
It’s to become higher than what marriage is for most people these days and its probably also replacing much therapy and its healthier than most relationships – simply really because now we get what always we wanted – to have meaningful relationships and emotional support while experiencing higher spiritual progress, feeling better, and doing so for the masses of us without having to know anything about how it works, what it is, nor why it’s necessary.
That brings me back to what I said before – it almost absolutely requires active participating because there is more and more and more to get. It evolves in layers – layer upon layer upon layer are not put on but removed.
Its an awakening alright.
Thanks for your fine work.
Thank you so much for your outstanding and detailed response. You are correct in Teilhard’s view of the evolution of the Noosphere. There is an intensification of communication that brings about an enhanced interpersonal consciousness. The internet and its “flattening” of the world by allowing for instantaneous sharing of ideas is a significant factor in this evolution.
However, for all of the benefits of the internet and social media, there is still a qualitative difference between interaction online and in-person. We are and will continue to be for the indefinite future material beings. Exchanging messages online does not substitute for being able to look someone in the eye and see expressions and emotions, much less a friendly smile or a warm hug. There is a healthy balance and I know from my personal experience that I sometimes spend too much time “connected” even for worthwhile items such as work or discussing whether I am spending too much time online :-).
Thank you again for stopping by and for your outstanding blog.
.. and roll on the Omega point!