Web Spirituality

8 06 2006

The philosophy of the global Web mind and the global brain, one is always dancing around the edges of the notion of spirituality. The notion of a global brain has strong religious overtones. There is something very deeply moving about the idea of an overarching mind that embraces individual human minds, melding them into a greater whole. In fac, when phrased in appropriate ways, the global societal mind begins to sound almost supernatural, like some kind of divine overarching being (p312).

Whatever one's religious or nonreligious proclivities, these spiritual overtones in the concept of the global brain are genuine and important, and should not be mocked or ignored. For, whatever one's opinion of its ultimate meaning, spirituality is a part of the human experience, and will continue to be as we move into a new era of digital being. First of all, where the Web and spirituality are concerned, it is impossible not to mention the work of mid-20th century theologian Teilhard de Chardin. Teilhard's evolutionary, information- theoretic spiritual philosophy has reminded many people of modern communications technology, so much so that some have cited his work as a premonition of the Internet (p 312).

He prophesied that our current phase of being, in which individual humans live independent lives, would eventually be replaced with something else- something more collective and more spiritual; something focused on information and consciousness rather then material being (p 312).

(by Ben Goertzel, 1998)

(Goertzel, B., 1998. World Wide Brain: Self-Organizing Internet Intelligence as the Actualization of the Collective Unconscious. In: J.Gackenbach. ed. Psychology and the Internet: Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, and Transpersonal Implications. London: Academic Press, p312)

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