The Noosphere is an image that describes the consciousness of people who are aware --at the highest possible level-- of the sense of life and existence, and of their vocation and active role within this process. An essential characteristic of this Noosphere is that de people who are part of it communicate with each other --by several means, but nowadays mostly by Internet--, thus enhancing each other's consciousness about this fundamental information, and strengthening their sense of responsability and active involvement in the global evolutionary process.
The notion "Noosphere Society" includes all people on earth that are wholly conscious of the meaning of cosmic evolution, and aware of the personal implications of this reality, this evolutionary vocation. Those people spontaneously interact with each other, widening this circle and bringing people with the same vision in contact with each other. They communicate spontaneously, on a local, direct physical basis, but most probably primarily by Internet. Their meetings and contacts can be organized, but due to their sense of a "maximal" responsability, an essential aspect of the universal constructive attitude, they most probably elaborate such a synergy without official structures. So, probably, it's better to speak about a Network than about a Society, because the latter implies specific structures.
Some characteristics of the Noosphere (Society)
When we brainstorm about the characteristics of such a Noosphere Society, it seems likely and plausible that such a Society should feature some typical characteristics, including:
1. The number of people participating in this Noosphere is unlimited. Each person whose consciousness comprises the most essential data of actual science and prescientific intuitions about the "deeper" values of existence, and who feels inclined to take into account more than his/her personal benefits, becomes de facto a real or virtual member of this Noosphere.
2. The Society includes those people who study, communicate and behave explicitly as conscious members of the Noosphere. They know each others' e-mail addresses, and share their insights and experiences in conducting themselves, their micro-environment and the globe in general towards more integration, resulting in creativity, constructivity, beauty and happiness. The Noosphere Society is an open group without recognizable limits. Whoever becomes more aware of the deeper sense of existence, and becomes more disposed to enrich his/her motivations with the fate of the others, grows towards a high level of noospheric involvement. Whoever prefers to be content with his/her actual welfare and well-being, and not to disturb it with guilty feelings, unrealistic dreams and risky projects ("Live and let live"), rapidly quits this Society.
3. Perhaps this kind of Society already exists somewhere in the world, perhaps on several places. Perhaps some "predecessors" (see below) are quickly evolving into a mature Noosphere Society. If we become aware of the existence of such a Society, everything should be put into action to merge with such a group. The Net will be the most useful tool to realize such a merger. It is unthinkable that there ever should be more than one Noosphere, because integration and intensive communication are its most important features.
4. A real Noosphere Society doesn't have any hierarchy nor a government or a kind of leadership. At this level of consciousness, and with the existing possibilities for global and instantaneous communication, we don't need representatives nor people taking decisions for others. This prevents at the same time that ideas and initiatives from non-officials make officials feel frustrated, because they considered those domains as their prerogative.
The "predecessors" of the Noosphere Society
Every period of history, and every region of the world has had thinkers and organizers taking into account more than their immediate or local needs. But due to insufficient scientific knowledge and technological devices, slow or restricted communication possibilities, they lacked the global view and feeling of global responsability many of us have nowadays.
These are perhaps the oldest predecessors of the Noosphere Society. In elaborating a global view on reality they compensated their enormous lack of scientific knowledge by often very sensible intuition. Ethics were often much demanding, but nearly always limited to a list of prohibitions. Rarely "do your best to create happiness and beauty around you", or "make efforts to stimulate progress and evolution" were among those Commandments.
Even when at the moment of its creation the conceptual frame of a certain religion was relatively adapted to the prevalent state of science and society, in nearly all cases an inflexibility of concepts and structures developed rather quickly, making it difficult to keep pace with more progressive scientific and social concepts. Therefore, the replacement of one religion by another was often ineluctable. But the rate of scientific, technological and social progress becomes so fast (and continues to accelerate towards a kind of singularity), that time seems to be too short for the development of a new, complete religious frame and structure. Thus a generalized secularization tends to become the rule in regions with advanced technological and social progress.
On the active side, most religions limit their activities to promoting or defending the progress of their religion. Only during some medieval centuries, Muslim and Christian religious leaders were concerned with the progress of science and technology. Social and material progress most often is seen as mere preliminary to religious conversion. Some religions (from the 18th century "Reductions" in Paraguay by the Jesuits, to the theocratic regimes in some Buddhistic and Islamic nations) try to install an integrist political regime conductes by religious authorities. Although eventually there should no be a distinction between moral and political organization, the inflexibility of religious concepts and structures is incompatible with the impressive scientific and social progress during recent centuries.
The most progressive forms of religion -as far as I know-, that try to keep up with science and social progress, are the Baha'i and the modern Pantheist Movement.
As it should be unwise to consider religious myths as scientific contributions, it is equally unwise to reject religious hypotheses only on the ground that there is no scientific ground to prove them. An intuitive hypothesis can be very plausible if it is derived from observations that perhaps are not measurable but all the same real, e.g. the noosphere hypothesis. But every hypothesis, religious or Newtonian, keeps its hypothetical nature and can be reviewed if new evidence becomes available.
2. Political movements
Political movements were rare before the age of press. In comparison with religious bodies, they are characterized by a rather meagre conceptual base (most often some sensible social themes), but with a detailed social and economical programme. They aim explicitly at the change of social and political structures, whereas religious movements generally try to restore and to consolidate traditions.
Political movements undeniably changed the world, although their success paradoxically was most often dependent of the presence of an opponent. Capitalism was saved by socialism, and socialism was only successful in capitalist countries. Purely socialist countries provoked an economical and social disaster.
As political parties developed their own interests and privileges they tried to defend, and as the problems of the modern society tend to become global, national political parties lost their importance, converged to very similar programmes, and local politics only were a replica of the politics of more progressive neighbours.
3. Pressure Groups
With modern communication, especially television, the second part of the 20th Century saw the emergence of non-governmental pressure groups, including Amnesty International, Women's Lib, Greenpeace, Gaia and the like, promoting social justice and ecological concerns, that sensibly changed the world in a few years' time. But not unlike socialism they only really succeeded in capitalistic and democratic societies. In regions where their active presence should be highly desirable, as the Third World and many rightist or leftist Islamic dictatures, they are only too absent.
Also journalism can be of a decisive impact. The end of wars in Viet-Nam and Libanon, and the abolition of Apartheid are good illustrations of its possible influence.
Perhaps the most impressive predecessor of the Noosphere is Freemasonry: a world wide movement of men and women trying to become more conscious of the fundamentals of existence and cosmos, and to experience a reinforcement for their personal growth. The fraternal intercourse functions as an inspiring model for a better world, and as a personal support in wearisome times.
The social involvement is rather individual than collective. Although many masons actively participated in the social and political reforms of the19th Century, there were never coordinated actions. One should rather say that many were mason thanks to their active nature, than that they were socially active because they were mason.
The original forces of masonry tend to become their limitations, and one observes an important decline in membership in the second part of the 20th Century (up to 50% in 20 years' time). The beautiful and appealing rituals that were a vivid alternative to Christian liturgy --symbolism without magic or sacraments--, tend to become rigid and soulless, because they emanate too often an outrun view of life and cosmos.
When respect for traditions becomes rather clinging to superficial forms and installed structures than consciousness of eternal values, adaptation to advancing scientific and social concepts becomes nearly impossible. Therefore such adaptations, accepted smoothly by non-masonic social organizations either don't occur in masonry, or conduct to schisms. In the most masonic parts of Europe there are at least three masonic factions, not to speak about the female and the mixed confederacies, each arisen by a schism. Neither faction recognises the other, although tolerance is claimed to be the common supreme masonic ideal.
5. Groups with religious or philosophical spirituality
Every group regularly meeting on spiritual grounds, for meditation, pratising rituals and/or collective reflection upon deeper concepts and values of human and interhuman functioning, can be considered as an equivalent or a predecessor of Noosphere Societies. The common motivation can be religion, or yoga and/or oriental philosophy.
This kind of groups also include psychotherapy and self-help groups, on condition that deeper human values (e.g. working through pain, suffering and death) are dealt with.
6. Partial organizations
There exist of course more and more organizations, devoted to elaborating a world integration, or at least studying how this integration process could or should occur. Most of those organizations are scientific, academic or political. Some are sponsored by universities or faculties, others by international organizations including the United Nations of UNESCO. One of the most remarkable is the Union of International Associations, founded in 1910 with roots as early as 1895, still existing and hosting an impressive website.
We call them "partial" for 2 reasons: (1) their aim is mostly only one of the 3 dimensions described as fundamental for a noospheric society, and (2) their activities are generally restricted to a certain degree by their limited purpose or historical background (e.g. scientific research, offering a bibliography).
We define "spirituality" as a form of consciousness that surpasses purely theoretical knowledge.
In another web page the characteristics of a comprehensive form of spirituality are depicted:
1. an integrative, unimpaired form of spirituality consists of three dimensions, each addressing one of the faculties of mind:
thinking, feeling and doing
2. each dimension ought to include the best of what modern insights and technologies can contribute.
Concretizing those principles we could fancy a society, including:
- awareness and active study of advanced theories about the evolution, the noosphere, fundamental characteristics of human
(psychological) and universal functioning, with useful applications for daily life
- reflecting on possibilities and ethical implications of scientific and technological advance in many domains
- reflecting on modern hypotheses concerning the meaning of life, life after death, a divine Being
- becoming progressively more aware of the deeper and universal meaning of ancestral symbols and idioms, the symbolism of
- the awareness that in this evolvtionary process, errors, conflicts and pain are rather the results of the temporary
imperfectness of the evolving systems, and no proof of bad intentions.
- developing a sense of responsability for the whole.
- the awareness of participation into the technological, social, relational an spiritual evoltion towards a better life and world
- sharing the emotions of significant others, especially when these emotions result from a constructive attempt to produce more happiness
- creating and experiencing all kinds of beauty of nature and artefacts
- being active in the advancement of science, technology, psychology, art, medicine, education etc.
- experience the sense and crucial moments of life and existence through active participation in symbolic rituals
- becoming aware of the deep value of fraternality and existential communication by applying fraternity and universal solidarity within small, significant groups ouside the traditional family and friendship.
How should a Noosphere Society function?
In its ideal form, a Noosphere Society should consist of local groups, able to meet once or several times a month. Nevertheless the frequency of meetings can be lower than with traditional groups, because Internet (surfing and chatting) can contribute a great deal, that previously had to be realized by physical meetings.
Of course Internet can't replace the whole bunch of activities, especially neither the "feeling" nor the "doing", because this kind of activities presupposes direct human interaction, preferably in group.
This website could be just another link for actual Noospherians to contact each other.