What is the Noösphere? Nous (νοῦς), mind. Spharia (σφαῖρα), sphere. Named so by the late controversial Reverend, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, 1922. The Noösphere in its simplest form, can be explained as a sphere of collective consciousness. Just as the biosphere or ecosphere is the summation of all ecosystems on this planet, so too is the Noösphere considered the summation of all thought.

How an individual interprets the concept of collective consciousness can be divided into two distinct groups:

The first, is the (nigh) indisputable reality we see growing around us, where our interests are being monitored and every representation of our thoughts is tirelessly mined. Even now, someone somewhere is interested in your choice to read this text. Your decision, even in a very minute way, has helped shape someone’s interpretation of the Noösphere. While data becomes an ever increasingly valuable commodity, those with the means to sell us anything are tapping into our desires, to make us better consumers (among other things). Memes, trends and humor have long transcended language and culture, in a sense representing a strengthening Noösphere. However, some argue that the Noösphere could be manipulated, or even weaponized. The basis of propaganda to suit a desired means, should a group/individual possess enough influence to change the general consensus of thought. Normality is governed by the majority.

The second interpretation is far more complex and much less popular. It begins with the lectures of Vladimir Vernadsky, and the theory of Noögenesis (term also coined by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin). Noögenesis is the evolution of intelligence far beyond the current human ability. Vernadsky, and others of this school of thought believed the next evolutionary step of the human race was a shared human consciousness. Capable of telepathy and a total union of experience, empathy for all of mankind would ensue. There is also the possibility of a loss of self and the loss of desire for the preservation of self in the development of a collective consciousness. It also presents a possibility for a mind to be preserved in the collective consciousness after the body of the individual dies. Much like a hard-drive being backed up on a cloud service, then that physical hard-drive being destroyed but the data remains.

Some believe even now that the Noösphere exists (and always has) in its fully developed and theorized form. Whereby an individual (of some advanced cerebral/psychic ability) can potentially tap into this network to gain access to the collective pool of thoughts/information. The idea of brain waves and a means by which humans could unionize on a plane beyond the physical is a concept long romanticized throughout the ages. Soul mates, finding an inexplainable rapport with someone. Meeting someone for the first time and feeling as though you’ve known them your whole life. Memories that feel as though they don’t belong to you. The human desire for a sense of connection. To be understood.

You may have been drifting in and out of the Noösphere your entire life, utterly oblivious it was ever there. Those flukes, those coincidences, the times you thought of someone seconds before receiving a text from them. Maybe it’s just a baseless theory. Or maybe you’re tapped into the Noösphere right now, contributing to the collective consciousness encasing this planet.

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