Pierre Teillhard De Chardin - the noosphere


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Something copied from another site, just in case it's of interest:

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According to Teillhard, there exists, beyond the laws of physics, another fundamental principle of organization of the universe, another dimension: the infinitely complex.

Starting from the simplest to the most complex, all matter can be put in allignement along an axis, from the most elementary particle to the most complex organism.

In this progression towards an ever increasing complexity, of which the human being is the highest grade, evolution is not linear but proceeds by a series of quantitative then qualitative leaps.

When a level of complexity reaches its point of maximum complexity, it jumps to a new different level and organization of its wholeness.
The more matter becomes complex, the more it approaches to awareness.

The propellent force of this evolution comes from the cosmic and all-encompassing physical-moral force of Love.
With the human being, Love begins to actualize in tangible form its potential.

Yet the human being is only one of the stages: the unification of humanity on a world scale coincides with the emergence of noosphere, the world of thought, the global consciousness.
This process is inevitable: should it not happen, humanity would dissolve.

There is no doubt though:
"Willingly or unwillingly, all our directions and needs converge to the same place".

We all converge to the final goal, everything is directed towards the Omega point, humanity's natural point of convergence, of access, through the second coming of Christ in glory, to the creative unification of the world in God.
Julian May plays on Jungian archetypes, mythological concepts, and Teilhardian cosmology in her related fantasy novel sequences, the Saga of Pliocene Exile and the Galactic Milieu Trilogy. For someone versed in any of these subjects, the subtexts of what she does with the concepts are fascinating.
I’ve always enjoyed the idea of the noosphere. Hey, what do you expect? I’m an SF writer! Parallel universes are my thing! I, too, like May’s use of the noosphere. Anderson and [ahem] Keith/Douglas use the ideas of the noumen, which is similar. [If a phenomenon is something external to us, a noumenon is internal. However, just because it’s noumenal doesn’t mean it’s not real!]

The dimensional hierarchy’s simplest expression seems to reside within the mathematical notion that you MUST have one dimension more in order to express the number of dimensions you’re working with. In other words, you need a line of points in order to define one point. You need to drag a 1-D line sideways through a second dimension to create a plane. You drag the 2-D plane through a third dimension to create a solid. Drag a 3-D cube through as fourth dimension to create a tessarect . . . and so on, literally forever, since you need higher and higher numbers of dimensions in greater and greater orders of complexity in order to express reality.

Wicca and some other Pagan traditions borrow from the idea of the noosphere when they speak of the Astral—a kind of alternate, parallel universe where our thoughts and imaginings take on form. This is literally, to draw from the article, a “world of thought.” Magic and spellcrafting are understood as efforts to build a desired outcome, event, or object as a controlled visualization which takes on reality within the Astral. With sufficient energy/belief/what-have-you, it eventually manifests on this plane. Most inner voyaging—shamanistic journeying, meditative pathworking, even, arguably, lucid dreaming are understood as accessing the Astral/noosphere through the unconscious-mind.

Modern magical thought expresses a similar idea with the concept of “matapatterns.” Essentially, if we think of thinking, feeling, and memory as associations of data, which produce patterns. A number of overlaying patterns produce a metapattern. We can be understood as highly complex metapatterns made up of all of our past and current thoughts, sensory impressions, and memories, metapatterns that change as we assimilate and process more and more data. Many cultures and traditions accept the idea of a sudden and discontinuous leap to a new and higher level of complexity—calling it enlightenment, revelation, or the Great Ah-ha.

However, De Chardin takes a bit of a leap of faith, I think, both with the assumption that Humankind is the highest evolutionary expression of this process [no biologist would agree with this, and few students of the occult!], and with the statement that love somehow guides and directs this process. I’m all for love, but it’s always risky to mix mysticism with scientific statements. As for awareness arising from complexity, most Pagans view awareness as a scalar quantity, not an absolute; there is an almost infinite gradation of awareness present throughout nature. [NOW who’s getting mystical?] Some Pagans of my acquaintance believe awareness resides in animals, in trees, even in rocks, an extension of the panenthiest principle that sees God in everything.

Thanks for posting the excerpt, Foundationist!
Intuition, someone said, is reasoning with the subconscious.

The noumenon, from a Platonic or other Idealistic viewpoint, even more real than the phenomenal world.

Some strange phenomena over the last 40 years have convinced me that there are forces pervading the Universe that we haven't the slightest handle on from a scientific viewpoint: a deja vu experience in the summer of 1971 that lasted 90 minutes, on my first visit to the home of people who became good friends; finding myself repeatedly inserted into situations, "by sheer chance," where I re-encountered the girl/woman who became my wife; sitting down to chat for the firt time with the young man who became my son, and roughly a half hour into the conversation, realizing that we "clicked" like we'd known each other all our lives; meeting, over the Internet, the sister I never had, who is no blood relation but whose thoughts and motivations are mine to about 20 nines (and who posts here and who introduced me to whkeith, another old friend I've never met!).