The Global Brain

Peter Russell

Book Review

At perhaps the darkest hour of human history, a brilliant vision of humanity's greatest possibility is once again being brought to public attention. Physicist-philosopher Peter Russell has just updated the internationally acclaimed book, The Global Brain Awakens: Our Next Evolutionary Leap..

"The Global Brain Awakens" takes its readers on a rapid ride down the evolutionary life stream from the first light of creation to the dawn of an enlightened age to demonstrate that we are living in the most fortunate of times. "We have reached the apex of our evolutionary journey and are now poised to make the critical shift from personal to global consciousness," Russell exclaims.

When Russell published the first edition of this book as "The Global Brain" in 1983, the Internet was in its infancy. Yet he immediately recognized it as the technology that would connect individual minds around the planet into a single global network through which information could be shared with the speed and efficiency of the human brain. Russell foresaw the entire pace of human existence accelerating as we approached the new millennium, bringing us to a point of unity, and providing a panoramic perspective on the relationship between the state of the planet and our states of mind.

Heralded as "the new Buckminster Fuller", Russell agrees with his esteemed predecessor that nothing short of utopia can now save us from ourselves, but he contends that we are actually in sight of this utopia. By combining spiritual technologies for personal transformation, and communication technologies by which to share profound experiences of self-realization, global illumination has become as real a possibility as mass annihilation.

As a worldwide keynote speaker and seminar leader, Russell addresses audiences in multinational corporations, governments, and school systems on subjects ranging from the future of business, education, leadership, consciousness, and life on this planet to stress reduction and creative problem solving.

His first book, " The TM Technique", was published as the culmination of Russell's doctoral studies at England's Bristol University on the psychology of meditation. It was followed by his translation and reinterpretation (with Alistair Shearer) of "The Upanishads", and " The Brain Book", and " The Creative Manager". The video version of " The Global Brain" won awards in Sweden and has been shown worldwide. In " Waking Up in Time", on which Russell also produced a video, he undertakes a further exploration of the idea of global enlightenment as an instantaneous evolutionary event.

Russell is quick to point out that while a quantum leap in consciousness may be imminent, it is far from inevitable. As he explains in "The Global Brain Awakens": "For the first time in the whole history of evolution, responsibility for the continued unfolding of evolution has been placed upon the evolutionary material itself. We are no longer passive witnesses to the process but can actively shape the future."

Russell argues that all our crises, at their root, are a crisis of consciousness. We have viewed ourselves as separate beings, living disconnected lives in the face of unrelated challenges. The illusion that happiness could be found in the world outside us has led us to tear up the landscape in a mad search for paradise. The result has been that our social structures bear an undeniable resemblance not only to the human brain but also to a cancerous growth in the way that they have devastated the body of the planet.

The ultimate message of "The Global Brain Awakens" is both hopeful and inspiring: Heaven, being a state of mind rather than a piece of real estate, can only be discovered through inner exploration. By our choice to develop our richest resource -- our own selves -- we can finally achieve both personal liberation and global unification. Russell is convinced that the next great frontier awaiting our exploration is not outer space but inner space. He writes:

"Inner evolution is not an aside to the overall process of evolution. Conscious inner evolution is the particular phase of evolution that we, in our corner of the universe, are currently passing through. From this perspective, the movement toward a social superorganism and the mystical urge to know an inner unity are complementary aspects of the same single process, the thrust of evolution toward higher degrees of wholeness."

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