Paradigm Shift: The Noösphere
In 1927 the Jesuit scholar Pierre Teilhard de Chardin postulated the existence of a global “mind,” a noösphere, connecting everyone and everything in the world. By 1995, less than 70 years later, we had the Internet. Just 15 years later, there were 500 million active monthly Facebook users and, just seven years later, in 2017 there were about two billion Facebook users, more than a quarter of earth’s population. The paradigm shift that connects everyone on Earth, all the time, everywhere, less than one generation ago a fanciful dream, is now our daily experience.
And what about meditation? In 2016, according to one estimate, 22% of employers offered mindfulness training—a percentage that was expected to double in 2017. Is meditation and mindfulness a new paradigm shift that will allow us to live sustainably on Earth for the long-term? From my own life and career experience, I think it should be, that it must be, but we will have to wait and see if it takes hold.
Paradigm shifts are “kinks” in the fabric of space-time-consciousness that warp the space around them to produce new understandings. In my own meditation practice, there is a well-tested paradigm, around for millennia, which completely changed my approach to life: “As you think, so you become,” a restatement of the ancient teaching: The world is as you see it.
In a paradigm shift, we begin to see the world in an entirely new way. If we think, with de Chardin, “We are spiritual beings immersed in human experience,” we will want to create a human experience that allows ALL people the resources to fully explore their spiritual nature, one that is sustainable for many generations.
As a new paradigm in the design and construction industry, green building took a while to get accepted, but when it did, it revolutionized how buildings were built, both in terms of reducing their environmental impact and making buildings healthier for the people working in them.