BTRIPP (btripp) wrote,

The only thing we have to sphere is sphere itself?

One of the fathers of the whole “2012” thing, José Argüelles, has been on my radar for a long time, but I wonder how much he's known by the “general public”. I recently picked up a copy of his Manifesto for the Noosphere: The Next Stage in the Evolution of Human Consciousness which came out in September 2011, six months posthumously (and a year prior to the 12/21/2012 “end date”). I am sure I would have loved this back in the 1980's when his The Mayan Factor and Earth Ascending came out (heck, he was instrumental in popularizing the “Harmonic Convergence” in 1987, which found me down at Tulum in the Yucatan with a merry band of shamans and Zen practitioners) … however, at this point it's almost embarrassing, and one is tempted to feel that it was a blessing for him to die prior to all his predictions falling flat.

It was Argüelles' work that inspired Terrance McKenna to develop his “Timewave Zero” stuff (after coupling the Mayan calendar round to the progressions of the I Ching), which is a very deep rabbit-hole, probably best appreciated by those experimenting with DMT.

This book is not significantly more grounded than that, although it has some very interesting info on calendar systems in general ... albeit with Argüelles blaming the ills of the modern world in no small part to the (admittedly) unnatural restrictions of the Gregorian calendar and our time cycles (the “unconscious timing frequency” of 12:60 versus the “universal synchronization” frequency of 13:20).

So, what is this “Noosphere”? (BTW, it's pronounced pretty close to “Noah's Fear”)
Just as the biosphere is the unified field of life and its support systems … so the noosphere is the unified field of the mind, the psychic reflection of the biosphere.”
and, further …
The conscious activation of the Noosphere is the next stage in the evolution of life on Earth, bringing with it a truly planetary consciousness. This transition to the Noosphere is the most significant change since the appearance of abundant complex life on Earth at the end of the Precambrian period some five hundred million years ago.
Argüelles was obsessed with Pacal Votan, the Mayan ruler whose (now famous) tomb was discovered buried deep within the Pyramid of Inscriptions at Palenque. By his calculations, the tomb was opened (in 1952) exactly 1,260 years (oh, that dang 12:60 ratio) after the burial. I'm not particularly good at “following along” with these sorts of numerical coincidents and so he largely lost me at this point as far as that goes. The book also features diagrams of systems involving the Earth, overlaying “mystical” realities on physical realities and positing assorted levels such as the Noosphere – Circulating Thought Belt, and the Theosphere – Primal Self-Existing God Source … “your mileage may vary” on these sorts of things, but I have a hard time taking them seriously, as they're filled with so much “wishful thinking” elements and so little solid establishing factors.

One thing he discusses here that I found notable, however, was the “Cybersphere” and the “Technosphere”, which reminded me very much with other theories, such as that of “The Singularity” (which I suspect is a lot more reality-based than Argüelles'). It would be ironic if he had gotten that part right (if in dismissing it as a transitory stage).
By the end of 2010, some 5.2 billion mobile phones were in operation. Probably no other technology in human history has attracted the attention of the individual human being, nor transformed so immediately the nature of his/her self-perception. The mobile phone personalizes the present moment into a synchronistic medium of instantaneous ego gratification. … Through this technology and its attendant social networks, each person finds his or her individual world compressed into an electronic instrument the size of the palm of the hand. This is the technological analogy or precursor of the noospheric concept of psychic compression and interiorization. … This new threshold of technological innovations also desensitizes and abstracts the individual from the surrounding world. It is the supreme “subjectivization of consciousness”, where each being becomes surrounded in his/her own electro-ego bubble, virtually unaware of the world around them, much less the plain fact that the biosphere is necessary to sustain them.
He goes on quite a bit on how the Noosphere is an “ego-free state” (full of flowers, rainbows, and unicorn farts … or similar) so the Technosphere/Cybersphere is something to be quickly dashed through.

Interestingly, the Noosphere concept is taken seriously in a number of settings … the Russians, it appear, consider it science and have conferences and institutions devoted to its “study” … apparently based on the writings of Soviet geochemist Vladimir I Vernadsky. The concept (and name) itself comes from Jesuit writer Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, whose works on the subject were suppressed by the Church until after his death in 1955, and was continued by Vernadsky and what Argüelles describes as “little-known” philosophers Edouard Le Roy and Oliver Reiser. Reiser's synthesis of these concepts supposedly even influenced Carl Jung and Buckminster Fuller (although I have a sneaking suspicion that the author was largely “name checking” Fuller to point out that he had had a few phone conversations with the famed thinker), and on to the likes of Lovelock and Sheldrake.

If you're looking for real “woo-woo”, here are how he defines “The Four Types or Stages of Cosmic Civilization”:
           I. Planetary-cosmic – Psycho-technical unification
           II. Helio-cosmic (stellar) - “New Solar Age”
                 {featuring the “Emergence of Homo noosphericus as a biosolar telepathic being (“biosolar” refers to a biological being that is consciously activated by higher solar frequencies).}
           III. Galacto-cosmic – omnigalactic Supermind
           IV. Omnicosmic – metagalactic
Needless to say, the evidence for any of this is slim to delusional, and largely comprised of intricate diagrams whose “proof” appears to be slapping on labels such as “Projecting Lens of the Boundless Universal Self” or “Holographic Perceptions” at various points.

Argüelles also puts a lot of faith into “Synchronized Communities”, where “synchronized telepathic meditations based on the 13-moon calendar and the synchronic codes of the Laws of Time” (coordinated, I'm assuming, by the Western 12:60 clock) are supposed to “manifest a true living harmonic rainbow message” and untie “the six astral knots”.

Now, I'm probably a bit more cynical about this stuff than most would be ... as back in the 80's I was chasing after it, from the aforementioned Harmonic Convergence, to the StarLink event in 1988 (organized by “angel walk-ins”, and held in the Los Angeles Coliseum - which seats over 90k, but drew less than 2,000), and the likewise ill-fated “World Unity Festival” in 1994. The things the author is hitching his wagon to here are in the same vein, based on a few dozen (hundred?) hippie wannabes looking to transform the world with (synchronized) happy thoughts. As noted, it was probably for the best that he died before the (hard-and-fast) timeline for his vision slipped away with nothing of note coming from it.

Anyway, Manifesto for the Noosphere is still in print, and can be had at the on-line big boys for under ten bucks, but I just noticed that a .pdf version of it is available out there as well (from various sources, the reliability of which I can't vouch for). There is a certain type that will love this book (me 25 years ago, for instance), and other types who would throw it across the room after a few pages as “delusional twaddle” … I'll leave it up to your self-analysis where you fall on that spectrum. At least it's out there for free if you do want to check it out.

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Tags: book review
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