You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘consciousness’ tag.

We finally got a true spring day today and I sat with my cup of tea outside and it felt great to have the Sun shining on me. Would you be surprised to learn that solar storms can affect your emotional health and consciousness?

Many people feel that the Moon affects them, but a lot of research has pretty much shown that madness during Full Moons, increased suicide rates and other effects are more myth than fact. Still, I have read some of the same claims and research into the Sun’s effect on us.

But there are scientific studies that confirm links between solar activity and our bodies and minds.

When I was working and teaching full-time at New Jersey Institute of Technology, I learned some things about solar flares because the university has the Center for Solar-Terrestrial Research for ground- and space-based solar and terrestrial physics. They particularly have an interest in understanding the effects of the Sun on the geospace environment. That Center operates the Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) and Owens Valley Solar Array (OVSA) in California.

A solar storm or eruption is a massive explosion in the Sun’s atmosphere. It releases a tremendous amount of energy and affects all layers of the solar atmosphere. The numbers are incomprehensible to most of us. Plasma heating to tens of millions of Celsius degrees and accelerating electrons, protons shooting at close to the speed of light are not concepts we can really understand.

Animals and humans have a magnetic field that surrounds them. Earth’s magnetic field protects the planet. Geomagnetic activity seems to have three seasonal peaks and these periods are said to correspond to a higher incidence of anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and other emotional disorders.

The more obvious effects to point at are how electromagnetic activity of the sun affects our electronic devices. Their effects on the human electromagnetic field and the idea that our body can experience various emotions and changes is a newer theory and more controversial.

Here are some of the physiological effects of coronal mass ejections (CMEs)(which are quite brief) are said to have on us: headaches, palpitations, mood swings, fatigue and general malaise. The pineal gland in our brain is also influenced by the electromagnetic activity, which causes a production of excess melatonin, a hormone that can cause drowsiness.

Might CMEs cause physical sensations because of distortions of energy flow inside the body? Hot and cold sensations, sensations of “electricity” and extreme environmental sensitivity have all been “reported” by people.

But our bodies are said to also have an emotional response to these hidden waves of energy. Some of the claims I have read seem rather extreme, pointing to increases in addiction, health problems, depression, unhealthy relationships, repressed emotions and desires.

I have read a number of articles the past week from “Scientific Evidence that Geomagnetic Storms Are Making You Sick“(much of that research coming from Russia) to more New Age pieces that see solar storms as changing human consciousness.

At this point, I would say these connections are somewhere between science and belief, but are interesting enough to continue researching. Will they cause a shift in our consciousness? The Sun has been shining on Earth a long time and I haven’t seen it happen yet.

I haven’t found a good guide to when to expect these solar storms, but I did find lots of suggestions for how to cope with their effects on us, including: ​salt baths, magnesium supplements, ​drink a lot of pure water, ​meditate more or do stillness, relaxation & breathing exercise, ​gentle exercise, and staying away from negative people. I would recommend all but the first two in that list anyway!




Noosphere is a word is derived from the Greek nous “mind” and sphaira “sphere.”  It was introduced by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in 1922 to mean the “sphere of human thought” and it was part of his idea of a cosmogenesis.

The concept was expanded in lectures given by Vladimir Vernadsky at Sorbonne so that the Noosphere was seen as the third in a succession of phases of development of the Earth. Phase one is the geosphere (inanimate matter) followed by the biosphere (biological life).

In this third phase of the noosphere, human thought  fundamentally transforms the biosphere. Teilhard believed that the noosphere would emerges and exist through the interaction of human minds. As mankind creates more complex social networks, the noosphere grows in awareness.

Teilhard de Chardin and Vernadsky and even others before them had no way of knowing that almost a hundred years later there would be social networks connecting human thought in a digital realm called the Internet.

Teilhard’s Law of Complexity/Consciousness attempts to explain evolution in the universe as ever increasing in its integration and unification. This progression would ultimately lead to an Omega Point of thought and consciousness.

There are stories, poetry and philosophy, from Henri Bergson, Teilhard de Chardin, Carl Jung, and others that examine consciousness. But Teilhard’s Noosphere as a layer of intelligence enveloping the earth (which he saw as more spiritual than scientific) has been a starting place for  scientific research.

Remember the 70 “eggs” that generate random numbers and record departures from randomness that are part of the Global Brain?  The Noosphere is part of what is being studied by the Global Consciousness Project. They are looking at patterns that shouldn’t be there, but are there. Not mind over matter, but a connection of mind and matter.

In The Future of Man, Teilhard writes about intellectual and social evolution, the coming of ultra-humanity and the impact of scientific discoveries on traditional religious dogma.

Others continue to think and write about this topic: Manifesto for the Noosphere: The Next Stage in the Evolution of Human Consciousness is one such book. And Neurosphere: The Convergence of Evolution, Group Mind, and the Internet, as noted in its subtitle, is examining technology merging with the human body itself via electronic prosthetics, direct neural implants, and the blurring boundaries between human and machine. What Dulchinos calls the Neurosphere in that book might also be called the Global Brain, or God, Group Mind or the Noosphere.

Watch this news story for a simplified explanation.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, who died in 1955, was a French philosopher and Jesuit priest, but he trained as a paleontologist and geologist. (He took part in the discovery of both Piltdown Man and Peking Man.) His ideas about the Omega Point and the Noosphere were not accepted by the Catholic Church, and it censured several of his books. The book he is probably best known for is The Phenomenon of Man. His idea that just as living organisms sprung from inorganic matter and evolved into ever more complex thinking beings, we humans are evolving toward an “omega point” is one I find hopeful, whether you see it, as Teilhard did, as being as being a convergence with the Divine, or as human progression.

One of our greatest mysteries: How do we know who we are?

Thoughts that make us feel as though we know ourselves are easy to experience. They are also difficult, perhaps impossible, to explain.

Professor du Sautoy goes in search of answers and subjects himself to a series of probing experiments. I found him via this video clip

in which  Marcus Du Sautoy (Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford) participates in brain imaging experiments that attempt to find the neurological basis for decision making.

It’s from a BBC Horizon special, “The Secret You.”

What does he learn?  He learns about the age when our self-awareness emerges and whether other species share this trait. He is given an “out-of-body” experience to try to locate his true self. He does a mind-reading experiment that alters his understanding of who he is.

But the question of free will…  That’s a big one too.

We have free will. We make our own decisions. Right?

Chapter 8 of the series uses neuroscience experimentation and seems to indicate that it could be that a part of the brain (that we are not conscious of) is responsible for decision making.  Then, who is in charge of your decisions  –  you or your brain?  The scan they do of him seems to indicate that the scientists know what he is deciding 6 seconds before he knows his decision.

Well, so much for Descartes.

No more mind over matter or concerns about consciousness and free will – at least in the way that we usually think about those things. It’s all neurons and brain activity.

Want more science?  Here’s a much longer lecture on the “Unconscious determinants of free decisions in the human brain.”

I have always collected too many notes to myself and now, besides my notebooks, journals and scraps of paper, I have electronic notes and bookmarks and reminders. “So little time. So much to do,” says the Nowhere Man in The Beatles Yellow Submarine film. I completely agree.

I read websites like Emergent By Design and find myself making notes on a half dozen ideas that I want to explore or books to read or other sites to check out. That particular site has been posting some ideas on essential skills for survival in this new century and we’re not talking making a fire and finding food.

For example, pattern recognition – the ability to spot existing or emerging patterns. It’s a critical skill in intelligent decision making, required to read and do math and we’re unconscious that we are doing it all day. Recognizing patterns allows us to predict what will happen next pretty accurately.

Maybe that’s what really caught my attention. Being conscious, being aware, being mindful of what I say and do has been a bit of obsession of late for me. I see it emerging in my work more and more often. It certainly shows up in the posts on this blog. I’m not a fan of the unconscious lately.

When I am seeing, hearing, touching, smelling or tasting something my brain is unconsciously sifting and comparing it to things I already know. Even if it is unconscious, I want to make it fit in with the existing architecture of my experiences.

And then there are those novel experiences. the ones that challenge my brain with their newness. Those are the interesting ones. I can either reject them, file them away for further consideration or construct a new model for understanding them. Some people call that “sensemaking.”

That filtering of what to integrate and what to disregard is becoming more important and simultaneously more difficult as the overload to our sense increases.

Some research suggests that over 99% of the processing in the brain happens at a subconscious level, but I’m not convinced that it is supposed to be that high a percentage.

This  mindfulness, or perhaps it is metacognition (thinking about thinking), seems to me to be the big unmastered skill of our age.

Let me start you off on one exploration that might help you build a architecture for your own thoughts. (And I will leave you with a short list of links from my notes of things you might want to explore on your own.)

Environmental scanning is a process of gathering, analyzing, and dispensing information for strategic purposes. It is used in the business world as well as in ecology and technology. But take it a bit further – consider some the work of Ken Wilber, who has a Integral Life Practice.  He has an architecture for his “ways of knowing.” (A simple version of it is in his book The Integral Vision.

My friend Steve has been doing what he calls “Google Meditations” – a kind of computer-mediated free association surf on the Net where he is pulled by some unseen golden thread.

I filter and scan the Net environment using tools like RSS feeds, Google Alerts, trusted aggregator sites, and friends’ feeds.

Maybe you’d say that you don’t want your life to be a scanning process. But it already is. And you’re probably not doing a very good job at it. Most of aren’t doing a good job. And, worst than that, we aren’t even aware that we aren’t doing a good job of it.

Some people take mindfulness to mean meditation and connect it with some system like Zen practice or yoga. That’s a way to start. Staying mindfully focused in the present not only keeps you aware of your thoughts, emotions and actions, but helps you be more aware of those around you.

Further Explorations

  1. Futures Studies
  2. Foresight
  3. Complex Adaptive Systems
  4. Noosphere
  5. Collective Intelligence
  6. Extended Mind
  7. Integral Life Practice: A 21st-Century Blueprint for Physical Health, Emotional Balance, Mental Clarity, and Spiritual Awakening by Ken Wilber

global brainI don’t really feel guilty that I have read Dan Brown’s booksAngels and Demons, The DaVinci Code, and last month, The Lost Symbol. As an English major and teacher for many years, I have read a lot of the books that get shelved in the “Literature” shelves, so some fast fiction reads are completely justified.

I like that Brown touches on a lot of other books and topics that I end up wanting to now more about. In The Lost Symbol,  a book that he mentions is The Intention Experiment: Using Your Thoughts to Change Your Life and the World. That book got a nice sales spike , and brought attention to its author’s work.

Dan Brown writes:

“…human consciousness, as Noetic author Lynne McTaggart described it, was a substance outside the confines of the body. A highly ordered energy capable of changing the physical world. Katherine had been fascinated by McTaggart’s book The Intention Experiment, and her global, Web-based study – – aimed at discovering how human intention could affect the world.”

Some people have compared the intention experiment (and “doing intention”) as a kind of praying without religion.  Lynne McTaggart interviewed many intention masters in her research including Qigong masters, Buddhist monks, master healers – and also scientists.

In simple terms, if a group of people (10, 1000, a million, millions…) direct their intentions towards a single purpose will it have an effect on events? What if the people are disconnected and distant from each other and the event?

I told a friend the theory and he said, “Oh, like the Force in Star Wars movies?”  That makes it seem silly, but it’s not he worst analogy.  A catastrophic event occurs on Earth and millions turn their attention and intentions towards it. Could that be measured?

It seems to me to be related in a way to McKenna’s Time Wave where intention is described (somewhat differently) as novelty.

Is her work real science? I don’t know.  Is The Lost Symbol real literature?

Here’s McTaggart interviewed on quantum physics, consciousness, time and intention, interviewed by Alan Steinfeld.

Even if you are a scientist based at Princeton University, that doesn’t mean you will be taken seriously when you work in these realms. The Global Consciousness Project, also called the EGG Project, is an international, multidisciplinary collaboration of scientists, engineers, artists and others.

On their website,, they describe their work this way:

We collect data continuously from a global network of physical random number generators located in 65 host sites around the world. The archive contains more than 10 years of random data in parallel sequences of synchronized 200-bit trials every second.

Our purpose is to examine subtle correlations that may reflect the presence and activity of consciousness in the world. We predict structure in what should be random data, associated with major global events. When millions of us share intentions and emotions the GCP/EGG network data show meaningful departures from expectation. This is a powerful finding based in solid science.

Subtle but real effects of consciouness are important scientifically, but their real power is more direct. They encourage us to help make essential, healthy changes in the great systems that dominate our world. Large scale group consciousness has effects in the physical world. Knowing this, we can use our full capacities for creative movement toward a conscious future.

Can they track something happening in a global consciousness that coincides with an event – for example, the election of President Obama? They believe they can.

The history of controlled laboratory research on interactions of human consciousness with physical random systems tracks the development of microelectronics and computers. The first large database experiments were conducted by Helmut Schmidt, at Boeing Laboratories, in the late ’60s and early ’70s. The number of experiments and investigators grew over the next decade, and in 1979, Robert Jahn, at Princeton University, established the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) laboratory to focus on an engineering approach to the question whether sensitive electronic devices including random components might be affected by special states of consciousness, including strong emotions and directed intention. The PEAR lab closed in 2007.

Noetic theory or noëtics is a branch of metaphysical philosophy concerned with the study of mind and intuition, and its relationship with the divine intellect.

Can out collective thoughts change what happens in the world?

Visitors to Paradelle

  • 372,125

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,280 other followers

Follow Weekends in Paradelle on


I Recently Tweeted…

Tweets from Poets Online

Recent Photos on Flickr

Other Blog Posts That Caught My Eye

%d bloggers like this: