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THE OPEN MIND INSTITUTE © 2019 

ABN 30 504 693 782 

Crisis In Consciousness – What’s Really Going On?

June 28, 2019

There are many levels of consciousness ranging from the subconsciousness to Christ consciousness [1]. At a rudimentary level, to be ‘conscious’ is to have a level of awareness about what’s going on. While many claim to be aware of what’s going on in the world, or even in their immediate environment, how many of us can claim to be conscious about what’s happening in our brain, especially when it’s processing information or a challenge?

 

How often do you pay attention to, or control your inner narrative? How often do you observe the position your inner voice takes on an issue and ask: where is this coming from? In this article, I will suggest that with the influx of technology, our ability to control our thoughts has become diluted or compromised; with this vulnerability leaving us susceptible to targeted information, driven by tech giants (and their affiliates), to the detriment of our collective consciousness.

 

Collective consciousness can be measured in terms of the position a population takes in regards to a certain topic or issue. It can also include the awareness that arises within an individual, that they are a part of that collective conscious, recognising that when consolidated, creates momentum toward a particular purpose or objective. For an analogous visual, think of cells within your body that mobilise toward a certain objective, for instance when adrenaline is activated by the central nervous system and rushes in the same direction to provide a burst of energy.

 

Let's look at the situation in Hong Kong as an example to demonstrate how collective consciousness is created. In the event you’re not aware of what’s going on; there’ve been mass protests across Hong Kong for months on end that started because the Government was seeking to pass an extradition bill that would allow local authorities to detain and send people from Hong Kong to mainland China where the Communist party controls the Courts. Locals feared that if this bill was passed into law, authorities could use it to target vulnerable people or political enemies and that the “one country, two systems” policy would be compromised. Despite this bill not passing into law, there have been ongoing mass protests across Hong Kong that have crippled the city.

 

The Chinese Government initially attempted to sensor these protests from its citizens, however as numbers grew and the world started to take notice, they have gone on the offensive by mobilising troops, using social media to express their opposing views, maintaining that foreign interference is to blame and have even called on celebrities like Jackie Chan to proclaim that ‘One China’ is the only solution to peace and prosperity.

 

What we have here is a collective population divided by experiences, emotion and their interpretation of events. On one hand, the people of Hong Kong have accumulated experiences that have resulted in a great deal of speculation when it comes to trusting the Chinese Government to provide them with the same level of freedom they’ve become accustomed to. On the other hand, the Chinese Government, take the view that Hong Kong is a part of China and its people should share the same values and national pride in “one China”.

 

A collective conscious is therefore created by individuals who share similar experiences, interpretation of events and emotions that can be activated in regards to a particular concern or issue. With the activation of emotion arises the potential physical manifestation and mobilisation of collective action. This substantiates that a collective conscious can be a potent and powerful force, with the level of that power determined by the population volume and intensity level of the experiences/ emotions involved.

 

So, the greater the experiences/ emotions and population involved, the greater the collective conscious, with a global collective conscious only coming about with the understanding that as individuals, we operate from a subconscious program (comprising of unique experiences, our view of the world, beliefs & concept of self-identity). From this understanding a global collective consciousness can be activated toward an objective truth, as illustrated in the diagram: The ‘objective truth’ being that the world is a mosaic of subconscious programs – we share the same range of emotions and ability to exercise an objective truth in order to conciliate differences and mobile in the interest of collective preservation and purpose. 

 

Arriving at this destination however is marred by insurmountable obstacles as demonstrated by history – as a species we’ve never experienced the power of a global collective conscious. Our collective conscious has always been fragmented, never global. One of the most serious obstacles however is the effect of the digital age on human consciousness.

 

 

Various intensities of the digital age permeate the human psyche. These intensities range from the irresolute effect of radiation emitted from our devices on the brain, to the psychological effects arising from digital conditioning. This ‘conditioning’ involves the instant pleasure or gratification that digital stimulation provides to the reward centres of the brain; arising from the sense of fulfilment people receive from how many ‘likes’ they receive after a social media post, or similar online behaviour attracting the recognition of others.

 

Research has shown that our digital conditioning has also diluted our attention span and workplace productivity. The average office attention span is only 40 seconds before we’re distracted[2] and checking our devices or alternate digital platforms that have nothing to do with the task at hand!

 

There are also other serious cognitive and behavioural side effects that are becoming more evident such as the decline in communication and interpersonal skills and increase in mental health concerns, now at epidemic levels.

 

Beyond these side effects, perhaps the most deleterious and less known is the influence of tech giants like Google and Facebook to stage-manage the data economy. Their harvesting of personal data is sold to 3rd parties, who in turn create psychological profiles and identify patterns of individual online behaviour, only to exploit them by manipulating information and targeting users, for the benefit of their clients – whose intention is to exert influence, or rather divide, the collective conscious toward their political motives. Let’s look at an example:

 

Perhaps the most serious data breach of all time (that has come to light) is the Cambridge Analytica (CA) and Facebook scandal that broke out in 2018. This saw 87 million Facebook users have their personal information and data unscrupulously used to influence world affairs.

 

CA was a political consulting firm that paid for personal data from Facebook and exploited it by using targeted political advertising on behalf of its clients during international elections. It claimed to have over 240 million American psychological profiles, comprising of up to 5000 data points on each voter[3] and together with its parent company, SCL Elections, was involved in 44 US political races in 2014 alone, in addition to the Trump election where susceptible voters were identified and targeted with pro Trump and anti Clinton ads.

 

This successful surreptitious process was also carried out by CA during the pro-Brexit campaign and in over 100 elections in 30 countries across the world, where unprecedented results were secured for its corrupt clients.[4]

 

 

This scandalous digital process being executed to alter human behaviour for the benefit of a morally bankrupt minority has ramifications beyond comprehension. Firstly, this is the end of democracy, as we know it! We are seeing the course of history written by parties who pay millions of dollars to tech consulting firms to arrange for and secure their power. The consequences that flow from this point alone are themselves incomprehensible but evident by just switching on the news.

 

Secondly, we have no privacy and our daily use of digital technology (from our on-line movements, to what we purchased at the supermarket and what time we filled our car with petrol) is relentlessly being tracked, harvested and manipulated to obliterate individual autonomy and influence collective behaviour.

 

Finally, it is the dissemination of this untenable information that proliferates our digital conditioning and brings us to a crisis in collective consciousness. This manufacturing of political results leads to lengthy periods of unsustainable jurisdictional division and disdain. Continuing on this path will see us headed toward an inevitable dystopian global manufactured society unless we become conscious to what’s really going on and change our behaviour to breakdown this contemporary digital stronghold.

 

I’m not saying we can reverse or avert technology (or even should) but rather work toward finding equilibrium where we identify healthy parameters for usage, data collection, AI, privacy and the implementation of concrete measures to reveal and reprimand adverse organisations and platforms.  Investment in the education of fundamental human skills like emotional/ social intelligence and critical thinking[5] has to also take place on a global scale to arm individuals with the tools to identify sources, critically think for themselves and positively shift their cognitive behavioural patterns.

 

To quote the late John Lennon, some might say that I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one who believes that a global collective consciousness is possible. With such measures in place we can actually start using technology to help bring a global collective conscious about by embracing things like ‘transformative technology’[6], which is technology created for the sole purpose of advancing our mental and physical wellbeing.

 

 

The alternative is to continue being obedient consumers conditioned by dystopian digital agendas. Sometimes it takes a crisis to become conscious of what’s really going on and to bring about change. Well the crisis is here and the time to change is now!

 

 

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[1] https://www.yogapedia.com/definition/5806/christ-consciousness

[2] Research conducted by Professor Gloria Mark of Irvine Computer Sciences at the                   University of California: https://www.ics.uci.edu/~gmark/chi08-mark.pdf

[3] https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-46822439

[4] CA has subsequently been investigated, sued and placed into liquidation because of     

    this scandal; however there are other firms just like it operating in identical ways to

    influence political agendas that divide our collective conscious and create a world to their

    liking: https://qz.com/1239762/cambridge-analytica-scandal-all-the-countries-where-scl- 

    elections-claims-to-have-worked/

[5] As demonstrated in The Future of Jobs Report, 2018 - WEF - World Economic Forum.

[6] https://www.transformativetech.org/

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