Many people ask me what the must reads are in order to make the first steps in collective intelligence, wisdom and consciousness. As surprising as it may look, this questions opens to many domains that might seem out of scope, for instance the way we feed ourselves. Indeed, isn’t food, like so many other questions, a collective intelligence matter?
Migration towards global collective intelligence is today a journey for pioneers. Tomorrow it will be a mass migration. It’s not yet open to everyone, as we are going to places where society has not settled yet. By “going” I mean live there, find and invent practical and pragmatic ways to build tomorrow’s humanity. It doesn’t dictate a way to think or be, all this will naturally emerge. Global collective intelligence has to be seen just like a new continent, with its landscape and its intrinsic laws. It’s us to decide how we want to live there, our creativity will make the difference.
Some keywords: integral approach (body, mind, spirit), personal development, tuning between being and doing, subjective and objective, holopticism, invisible architectures… to build within practices that require lot of work, attention, patience, within ourselves and with others. It’s an everyday, every hour challenge. It’s as tough as exciting.
Finding our dynamic right placement requires a sharp methodology. It’s part of global CI organizations. They are organic and work on emergence rather than command and control. This is a whole path that requires intensive training with local groups and through learning networks.
As for what you may read, here’s a non-exhaustive list:
Ken Wilber is one of the authors I often recommend:
- Integral vision: is a condensed version of Wilber’s work for the large public. It offers a good overview of the theory as well as the methodology.
- Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: Wilber’s core work. As massive as a stone, a book in which we can finally grasp the scientific depth and the real flesh of this colossal work. A must read if we want to get into serious grounded work.
Collective intelligence requires that we become literate with how consciousness works, and how it has been mapped (which is what Wilber does), be it through old spiritual traditions or recent work. One of these maps is called Spiral Dynamics, an outcome of Clare Graves work. One of his disciples, Don Beck, has written this seminal book about it: “Spiral Dynamics: mastering values, leadership and change“.
As migration towards global CI is pioneering journey, it has its heroes (famous or anonymous, it doesn’t matter). This heroes journey is mostly initiatory and spiritual. No matter the epochs or the quests, we find the same invisible initiatory structures that all mythologies in all civilizations have told. This synthesis, we find it in the extraordinary work of Joseph Campbell. His richest and most famous work is “The Hero with the thousand faces“.
It naturally leads us to the spiritual journey, the one of life, of individual and collective human experience, and the pursuit of happiness. Lot’s of literature and initiatory work have existed for ever. I am mostly interested in contemporary approaches. Indeed they are nourished with traditions and they link Orient and Occident. Orient, as it is Oriental civilizations that pushed inner exploration, the subjectif knowing of the Self, of the Being, of the Universe, to the edge. Brahman, the Ultimate Reality, God, the Universal, are to be explored from inside ourself, in the non-dual experience, by communion, by the direct knowing of the here and now, the Substance, the Essence, beyond words. This approach through direct experience cannot be communicated. Only the paths and practices that lead to this experience can be shared and taught. Occident is the side of humanity that developed the dual knowing of the universe, through the subject-object relationship. We act, we twist an object : I drop a stone and write down its speed and acceleration, I brake a particle in an accelerator and I count the fragments, I mix substances and observe the chemical reactions, I cut a corpse in pieces to see how organs work, I observe stars with a telescope and sink in the infiniteness of the universe, I combine axioms and deduct new theorems… Each time reality principle teaches us something more universal, wider, and questions our current beliefs. The more knowledge expands, the more the universe seems to reveal a truth that is independent from the Being. The biologist is in awe in front of the laws of life, the geneticist faces the genius of the natural engineering, the mathematician is in ecstasy before π or φ, the physicist vibrates in front of c and h (Planck constant).
The spiritual work that connects Orient and Occident can only be contemporary, fed by mystics that were able to inhabit in both cultures. They are not that many.
- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin , an enlightened Jesuit, traveler, scientist paleontologist, was one of the first who formulated the link between the evolution of life and the evolution of consciousness. His masterpiece, The Human Phenomenon, is an absolute piece of poetry, nourished by scientific rigor that authentic mystics have;
- Sri Aurobindo, raised in England, spent the rest of his life in India. In my humble opinion he is the most influent mystic of the 20th century. He was inspired by the Upanishads and a man of modern times. We just begin to understand the magnitude of his phenomenal work. I recommend The Life Divine and The Human Cycle.
As far as food is concerned, that’s a whole topic by itself. I will write more posts on this. Food is a line of personal development in itself. The way we eat shows where we are at in our journey to consciousness, and vice-versa. No discourse will ever tell you what’s the ultimate way to eat well. What’s important is to know the big rules (everyone agrees for instance that too much fat will eventually kill you), to become aware of the cultural biases and invisible architectures that play through food, and to make it a personal journey. Right now I do recommend “The 80/10/10 diet” from Doug Graham. Although this is for moving to law fat raw food, it provides an impressive number of factual data about food, physiology, digestion. Then it’s your choice to decide how you want to deal with it.
I will finish with my modest book that I wrote a few years ago. You can download it. Title is “Collective intelligence: the invisible revolution” (look at the picture in this post on the upper right). I am amazed by the success it had (translations and downloads). Each week I continue to receive mails from different places in the world from people who were moved by it. What amazes me is this book only focuses on the external aspects of collective intelligence, spiritual and subjective phenomenology is left aside (left quadrants of Wilber). What it brings is the foundations of this new discipline, which awakens many fundamental questions that concern us all.
Well, I hope you have something to start with now:)