My Answer to the question: "Is Noogenesis Progressing?"
> Dear Duen, Finally, the three versions of my article "Is Noogenesis
Progressing ?", made in collaboration with Janice, is on the Web, not
in my Home Page yet, but hosted by Janice's pages. We worked hard, but now
it's fine, and I 'd like to know your opinion, in the English version. The
URL is : http://www.richmond.edu/~jpaulsen/teilhard/isnoogen.html
Aloha ! Maria E-mail : email@example.com
I think you and Janice have written a fine piece on the process of noogenesis
and the creation of the noosphere. It has very much the flavor of Teilhard
de Chardin himself.
Now, with regards to the question "Is noogenesis progressing?"
is the idea of how aware can each of us as individuals be of its progression?
The reason why I ask this question, is that each individual cell in the
human body performs a function, a task, in concert with many other cells,
and the end result is a functioning human being of amazing complexity. But
how much does each cell really understand of the whole process? Each cell
seems to do its duty, each has its role, for example, the muscle cells are
commanded by neurons to contract, and they more or less obey, without really
understanding why they are contracting. Each individual cell does not really
think, in the way you or I do. Yet, the whole system works, because in evolution,
if the muscle cells decided not to contract, and did so instead, of their
own accord, then this kind of system would fail, because perhaps they were
being stimulated to contract so that the entire host, ie the body it lives
within, can find food, or avoid harm. And then the cell, due to its errant
behavior, would subject the whole to suffering, due to the loss of nutrients,
or a loss of a comfortable environment, more subject to greater extremes
of temperature, or more noxious toxins building up in the fluid surrounding
each cell, even perhaps leading to its demise.
Similarly, each of us as human beings individually, is like a cell working
inside a body, except that body is now the world wide mind. Each of us is
not really aware of the entire process. Each of us may have a job to do,
we go to work, work at our computer, doing what has been asked of us, although
many of us have the freedom to do what we think is best. But many just perform
routine duties and that is OK too. So, how can one know that "noogenesis
is progressing?" Well, perhaps I have answered my question, and that
is, we will know when we feel an increase in our individual comfort. We
feel better fed, we feel more security, our environment becomes cleaner
and less polluted, we feel more loved. So we really are more aware, in a
more complex way, of how "noogenesis is progressing." And we are
becoming much more aware, that we as individuals, share collectively, in
maintaining the health of our planet. Someone dumps toxic waste on one side
of the planet no longer can hide this act of hurt from the rest of humanity,
because of the rapid communication that present day communication networks,
including the internet, enable all of us to be immediately informed. Thus,
the party that has wronged us, can be warned not to do it again, or face
the consequences of isolation, a loss in comfort, etc.
With regards to the greater stature of present day youth, you cite this
as perhaps one piece of evidence that "noogenesis is progressing."
I explain this observation to be the result of better nutrition and better
public health systems worldwide. As a consequence, we feel a greater comfort
and joy in living, and then we can conclude that "noogenesis is progressing!"
Similarly, it seems our youth are gaining in IQ. Well, actually, we are
all gaining in IQ and general knowledge. In the past, when we had a question,
we might ask a friend for the answer, or go to the library to do the research.
Finding the answer usually took a great deal of time and effort. Now, all
I have to do is use a search engine on the Internet, and viola! I have the
answer in a few minutes with almost no expenditure of energy. And thus,
I am able to ask more and more questions, and get more and more answers
in shorter periods of time, which causes my level of knowledge to increase
exponetially! Yes, we are all becoming smarter, like it or not. Even for
those who are not as well connected, they too, are becoming smarter, because
presumably we, who are more knowledgeable, are sharing this information
with them. This, after all, is the decent thing to do.
Yet, there are still many troubled areas in the world around us. Hopefully,
the light of noogenesis will erase that darkness in the future. Only time
will tell. It is not a sure thing, because just as those of us who care,
are becoming more knowledgeably and powerful as a result of the Internet,
similarly the opposing forces that increase entropy in the world, are similarly
becoming equally knowledgeable and powerful. If the former succeeds, then
we will have created a blissful condition of a caring world wide mind. But
if the latter succeeds, then it is the end of the world, and we will all
PS: I will let you forward this to the others in our group.
Last updated 10 May 1999
1999 by Duen
Hsi Yen, All rights reserved.
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