With technology as our catalyst, we are being catapulted into the future. We hear terms like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data on a consistent basis. Whether you are a proponent or opponent of these technologies, one thing is for certain, they have already taken off and do not show any signs of slowing down. From the beginning of ‘time,’ we have been a tool making, tool using society. Technology is our tool that we will use to reconnect to collective consciousness.
We are undergoing an intense, exponential revolution in collective human consciousness via technology. As it turns out, we are not the rational, thought-oriented people our egos love to identify with, we are feeling machines that think. Brain imaging in Neuroscience has illuminated the varying processes that go into thinking.
Genes and Memes
Our bodies are biological machines that are shaped by genes and memes. Genes are efficient copy machines that control the production of characteristics that allow an organism to adapt and survive. Memes are symbols that carry the smallest amount of information that convey and propagate an idea. They are vehicles of information transmission. Put simply, genes copy biology and memes copy information.
Every second of every minute, our brains attach emotions to every experience. These emotions are categorized and stored in order to help us make our next decision. If that decision is similar to a previous one, we know from our emotional experiences what to do next. At one point in time, we were purely emotional beings. Science has proven to us that decision making is not logical via thinking, it is emotional.
Oftentimes, our brains prioritize negative emotions first because they were essential to human survival. We experience these negative emotions in our everyday lives when we have anxieties about the future or depression about the past.
Thousands of years ago, our brains would catalogue negative emotions to survive in nature. Embedded in our central nervous systems, negative emotions are like threat detectors that tell us to either fight or flight. We come to realize everything that happens is a result of what happened before.
The ego is an identity of our own construction, an identity which is false and fosters fear. Our sense of self is labeled as “I”. We are taught from a very early age to identify with our sense of self, the “I” component. As we age, we continue to bolster our sense of self through work, life, and everything in between.
We identify our sense of self through culture, background, idealism, materialism, and anything else we can label, categorize, and appeals to our emotions.
The Ego is subjective and shrouded in mystery. Every person’s emotional experiences are unique. We desperately hang onto the idea of a central “me,” or a controller, who sits inside our minds and has our thoughts, views the images, and experiences them. In theory, this is too simplistic. The central “me” relies on the assumption that “I” have it, and that there is a me.
However, our brains are interdependent collections of emotions derived from experiences that construct models of the world that our “selves” navigate through; our true selves are fluid and impermanent. Actions exist, and so do consequences, but the person who acts does not exist.
Technology is Bridging Genes and Memes towards Collective Consciousness
Consciousness can be defined as being awake, alert, and processing information. Are you conscious now? Our first instinct is to identify external stimuli through our senses and then arrive at the conclusion that we are indeed conscious. When our brains began to prioritize thinking instead of feeling, our ability to access collective consciousness was lost.
The Ego became our ruler by shackling us to past experiences that shape future ones.
Ok.. so where does technology fit into all of this? Let’s take cell phones as a simple example, if we can even call them cell phones anymore. The first ‘smart’ phone was invented by IBM approximately 15 years before Apple’s iPhone. But it wasn’t until 2007, when the iPhone was debuted and took the market by storm. They sold like hot cakes. Currently, there are 2.6 Billion smartphone users in the world, and by 2020 it is expected to reach over 6.1 Billion users.
In a mere 2 years, we are essentially doubling the amount of users connected to the internet. And with ventures like Project Loon, everyone in the world will have access to WiFi, even in the most remote places. This is powerful. People will have access to the world’s information at their finger tips.
When we use our phones, we transfer memes via social media and other various forms of communication like soon-to-be virtual reality (VR) applications. We already store most data and information in the cloud, and is what artificial intelligence robots, like Sophia (meaning wisdom,) rely upon. We already share knowledge, thoughts, and actions through technology. We will soon incorporate technology into our brains and bodies.
Using brain-computer interface (BCI) and artificial intelligence (AI), we will transcend geographical boundaries, political, and religious ideologies that keep us divided. Theorists, like Ray Kurzweil, estimate that we will experience human to cloud connection within the next 15 years. Once we connect the neocortex (which is the most recently evolved part of the cortex that involves higher order thinking) we will exponentially expand our memory and cognitive function.
More intriguing, is that once we are connected to the cloud, we will have the ability to connect our brain functions to anyone and anything connected to the Internet of Things (IoT). If we are able to share brain functions, then we will be able to understand one another from a universal, emotionally experienced level. Once we forego the ego, we will be massively interconnected which will lead us back to a collective consciousness, that we once experienced as purely emotional beings. We will become a multi-planetary species. We will no longer be influenced by history, we will write our own.
“The spread of civilization may be likened to a fire; first, a feeble spark, next a flickering flame, then a mighty blaze, ever increasing in speed and power.” – Nikola Tesla