I’m currently working on a new non-fiction book. Its topic is both highly speculative, and highly ambitious. The current working title will give you a clue about what I mean: Questing for Cosmic Source, with the subtitle, Is There a Cosmic Collective Consciousness?
The following are some of my thoughts explored in this up-coming work of speculative philosophy.
For many years I’ve contemplated this idea of a Cosmic Mind. It was back in the 1980s when I was looking at a National Geographic poster, depicting the Universe as understood at that time. As I explored the imagery scaling upward from our Solar System, through our local area of stars, to where we see the relation of that group of stars to the galactic arm, then to the scale of the galaxy itself, then in relation to the local cluster of galaxies, to their relation to the super cluster of galaxies, then showing that super high scale of the super clusters interconnected by strands of galactic clusters stretching through all of the known Universe, I ultimately found myself visualizing that highest of scales, and ultimately did a series of drawings based on that vision. And it is on that scale that we see a kind of structure that on certain levels resembles the structure of a neural network. It was with that realization that I wondered at the possibility could the entire universe be a massive mind? Of course, I’m not the first or only person to wonder that, and I fully expect to not be the last to do so, either.
In fact if we look way back in time to around 500 BCE or a little thereafter, among the Greek philosophers known now as the Pre-Socratics, we find Anaxagoras of Clazomenae, who had some interesting notions about what he called the “Nous”, the Cosmic Mind, seen as the self-contemplative ordering first principle of the universe. Actually more than just a principle, or a force, this “Nous”, or Cosmic Mind, was the guiding force and the Source of all that is, by initiating the expansive motion of the infinitely compressed continuous plenum, (singularity). Anaxagoras actually had some pretty amazing insights for his time, around 2,500 years ago. Unfortunately, we only have fragments of his written words, and what others said about his ideas. As I have put my analytical skills to the task of studying these fragments, I’ve found myself a bit awed. Let’s just take our first fragment of Anaxagoras, in which he is referring to the condition of the Cosmos, before what we would call the big bang. “All things were together, unlimited in both amount and smallness” (frag. 1), from the fragments of Anaxagoras. Anaxagoras gives us a brilliant description of the pre-bigbang Singularity in this fragment. This appears to have been the starting point for Anaxagoras for his own thought experiment, as he may have postulated something like this, “What if we introduced motion into the Parmenidian continuous plenum? What would result?”
His conclusion was that all of the stuff of this small compressed plenum would expand and separate. It is an extraordinary achievement of mind that Anaxagoras could actually deduce an expansive genesis of the Cosmos that was as close as it was to the actual origin of the Cosmos, as we now understand it ourselves. He had such little data to work with, but if there is such a thing as instinctual genius, then his reasoning mind grasped a model extraordinarily similar to the Inflation expansion of the Universe. So we see that this early philosopher considered the question of Cosmic origin, and with his purely philosophical approach, he deduced a completely non-religious way of looking at a Supreme Being, or Originating Source, the Nous, which gave rise to all that was, all that could be, and all that’s conceivable. It remains Unlimited, Boundless, the Mind of illimitable Force, the Infinite Cosmic Consciousness with no beginning, and no ending. It exists as the Unlimited Initiating Source of all that ever was, all that is, and all that will ever be. This Nous, Cosmic Mind, continues to be and become more as it pours itself into the Cosmo-Genesis throughout the expanding continuum, that knows no end. Motion, expansion, inflation, condensation, separation, complexification, all of these are the initiating thoughts of the Cosmic Mind, driving the evolution of all that is throughout our Cosmic expression, which is but one among the infinite expressions of the Boundless Multiverse.
With accumulative complexification, the Boundless Universal Consciousness finds perpetually increasing ways of expressing subsets of itself separated from the whole, yet still interconnected to the Collective that remains a composite of the Boundless Whole that is the Cosmic Collective Consciousness. Among these expressions, life emerged, and the Cosmic All drove life into ever increasing complexification.
And with this complexification, life evolved. As life evolved, and continued to increase in complexification, an always growing arena of opportunities arose for the Cosmic All to distribute consciousness on many levels and manifested in so many different ways throughout the entire Cosmos, yet always still interconnected to the ever growing collective of all Consciousness. We, humankind, are but one among the myriad expressions of consciousness within this collective.