Towards a New Ecological and Social Sustainability: The Evolution of Planetary Consciousness in the Light of Brain Coherence Research

Lia Da Giau
Tuesday 6 February 2024

Montecucco, Nitamo Federico. World Futures 55, no. 2 (2000): 129–36. https://doi.org/10.1080/02604027.2000.9972774. 

The study presented in this paper starts from the assumption that the state of the global system – which today is one of transformation, crisis and uncertainty – reflects the collective inner state of consciousness of humans. In simpler words, more and more individuals today are experiencing a mental health crisis, and that is connected to how fast the world is changing and how many more global threats are emerging nowadays. Our societies are transforming from the very foundations: people used to interact on a local scale, but today we are transitioning towards a network of global communities. At the same time, the Earth’s ecosystem is also experiencing a period of transition under the effect of human-provoked environmental change. 

In this landscape, the authors explore inner peace and brain coherence as neurophysiological tools that can be used to promote wellbeing on a planetary scale – a dimension of global peace. Peace as wellbeing is an overlooked dimension in peace studies, and this article supports the scientific and academic relevance of researching and practicing inner peace. If the state of the global system reflects people’s collective inner state, then global peace can be seen as a projection of a collective and individual experience of inner peace. As explained in the paper, inner peace can be associated with a specific cognitive state of the brain. When we experience inner peace – in the shape of creativity, self-awareness, states of mindfulness and meditation -nervous impulses reach the brain in a more cohesive way, and information is processed better. When an individual is in this state, they are more inclined to engage in exchange and relationships with others. On an individual/biological scale, brain coherence is expressed through better functioning of mind and body. Self-awareness is reflected on a global scale as a unitary state of consciousness: a society in which everyone understands and embraces the core value of promoting each individual’s wellbeing. In social systems, brain coherence corresponds to moments in which evolutionary or socio-cultural leaps occur – for example, the transition to the Homo sapiens, or the Enlightenment. The authors categorise the various states of brain coherence and corresponding states of social systems. Referring to that, it seems that our global system is in a state of fragmentation, characterised by different layers of social conflict and a collective state of psychological crisis, low awareness, and fragmented knowledge. This makes sense if we think about the socio-cultural and technological evolutions that are changing the world as we know it. 

Before we reach a state of global peace, we need to work on our individual and collective wellbeing by increasing people’s awareness, psychophysical wellbeing and opportunities to network. The theory of collective consciousness explained in this article suggests ways in which we can do so, “creating a scientific basis for feelings of unity, cooperation and relationship between individuals […] [and] groups”.

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