Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Conscious evolution: in today's terms, literally and figuratively, we should consider: information, network, social connectivity, globality.

One response towards a networked global world is to see a shift from embedded, or mechanical, consciousness towards a self-reflective consciousness as a new basis for social relations. In the words of writer to Duane Elgin:

'A social system is composed of individuals. Thus, the behaviour of our social systems must of necessity mirror and embody the behaviour of the individuals who inhabit those systems... In contrast, the predictable outcome of self-regulating behaviour that flows from self-reflective consciousness seems to be a more gentle touching of people and the environment, coupled with a more self-organising social order at the grassroots level... the growth of social systems complexity is making the Conscious Evolution of consciousness necessary... as a society becomes ever more complex, and demands for self-regulating behaviour grow commensurately, that society must begin to draw out of its citizenry more expanded dimensions of human consciousness if it is to cope with that complexity democratically. In short, the growth of social complexity creates the necessity for an unfolding of human consciousness. This means that in order for a civilisation that is experiencing growing social complexity to continue to allow individuals to be relatively self-regulating, the individuals therein must develop their capacity to be effectively self-regulating at a pace at least equal to that at which the social order is becoming more complex. Self- reflective consciousness moves from the status of a spiritual luxury for the few in a more rudimentary and fragmented social setting to that of a social necessity for the many in a highly complex and enormously enlarged social setting ... Self-reflective consciousness represents both a simple and a complex response to the problems of mounting social complexity.'

Here, we are seeing a call for increased social agency through an increase in social learning due to the increased availability of information. We are being encouraged to become more self reflexive, which in turn implies more individual self-remembering and to be more conscious in our moment-to-moment lives. In this manner, we can be more creative, constructive, and influential both in our own lives and within a more networked, collective life. This is maybe one approach towards what has been referred to as the 'collective social Mind'. It is worth examining the phenomenon of blogging and mobile information users / receivers/ transmitters within this context of a more Conscious and Self- reflective, networked global world. It is the opinion of this writer that we, as individuals, need to become more conscious of our actions and to increase our self-consciousness within a participatory world.