The First Evolutionary Boot Camp

Don't start reading...
…unless you have first read “Evolutionary Boot Camps“, otherwise what you’ll read below will look meaningless to you.

Full Metal Jacket

Now we have a place and a date! I look forward to sharing this great adventure together (yeah, I’ll look exactly like in the picture).


April 11-17, 2016

Attendees will arrive the day before (April 10th) and will leave the day after (April 18th). This leaves a complete 7 days boot camp.


Bali! Near the amazing Bali Barat national park, in a natural and protected part of the island.

The event will take place in a gorgeous mini village offered to us by dear friends who want to support our journey.



House in Bali

Dining room in Bali

Garden view in Bali

Your next steps

diy_books_400x465Reminder: this boot camp works as a DIY. This means I don’t organize it myself, YOU organize it with the rest of the team. My friends offered a place, I will provide the content and offer all my experience, you do the rest. This will contribute to building the group coherence and check everyone’s autonomy. You shouldn’t see it as a ‘yet another personal development’ workshop.


First read and follow the steps explained in “Evolutionary Boot Camps“. It will tell you how to apply and qualify. This includes a one-to-one conversation and official agreement on my end.

Then, and only then, you can officially confirm your participation in this boot camp. Just send me an email or call me.

The boot camp will happen if we have a minimum of 12 confirmed attendees by Feb. 15, 2016. In case we haven’t reached this number, then we will cancel. So, don’t take your plane tickets before, unless you absolutely want to visit Bali no matter what 🙂

The boot camp will not accept more than 25 participants, by order of confirmation.

Enjoy the journey!


Evolve the We, Evolve the I

Please activate English subtitles

I gave this keynote conference October 24th, 2013 in Marseille for the opening of a big convention with 3000 CEOs and senior managers. Twelve minutes (actually, a little more, fourteen), to talk about our inner evolution in a world where everyone talks mostly about technology and external change.

Maybe the next humanity stands one breath away?



How I Became Useless


Does this title look like a failure assessment? Not at all, at least not for me. Some years ago, I made the conscious decision I would become useless.

Completely useless.

By this, I mean unusable. No one, not even myself, can use me as a tool, an instrument, a servant or a master, a groupie or a guru, an employee or a boss. Roles and functions do not apply for a useless person.

As a useless person, I have no world to save, no cause to fight for, no enemy to fight against, no moral obligations, no responsibilities, no duty.

People say we need to “earn a living”. My mom and dad told me that (and they keep telling me). My grand-parents too, a long time ago. So did my school teachers, my barber, the guy at the gas pump and the politician on TV. As far as I know, I earned my life at birth. Why should I earn it again and again? Why should I do specific actions like doing a paid job to buy for myself the right to live? Today, I have no job, no position, no title, no social status. My resumé went to the trash. It feels really really good.

Do you find all this shocking? So why do we have cats and dogs? Why do we feel so touched by kids? Don’t we unconsciously enjoy and project ourselves into their delicious untroubled uselessness?

Uselessness has also freed me from the pervasive unconscious ideologies in which we have to justify our worthiness of living. Don’t we want to make our actions fit into some coherent “reason of living” or “meaning of life”? Don’t we like to claim the serving of a “greater purpose”? Don’t we navigate on these mental oceans where we see ourselves as small parts of a greater whole? We love to see ourselves as parts of greater wholes. It doesn’t matter whether we call them God, the Kosmos, Humanity, the Divine, Mother Earth or the Nation… They all point to a big thing that has its own agenda, its own laws. We don’t have much to say there. No debates, no democracy, big dictatorship. We just have to accept, to surrender (the correct wisdom word). This apparent conflict of interest between the I and the Whole will eventually provoke pain.

Author: Carlos Ruas –

As Aurobindo pointed it, the mental always sees the part in the whole, but it can hardly grasp the whole in the part. When the experience of wholeness, of existing as the entire universe, became my predominant state of consciousness, when both the part and the whole melted together, I became useless. I turned into a human and a God, an entity and an essence, an immanence and a transcendence, a one and a many, temporal and eternal, small and immense, here and everywhere. The last sparks of utilitarianism did not survive that.

As a useless person, I can now live the life of an artist, of a God creator and destroyer of worlds, for the only ecstasy of the play. I can unleash creative actions that have no utilitarian purpose, by the grace of joyful expression. By an act of blissipline, I  become my greatest masterpiece by means of scientific research, writing, music, martial arts, goofiness, sleep, making love, playing Ingress, hugging a tree or enjoying a self-indulgent, delicious indolence.

I can live in the gift economy.

I can live in radical truth.

I can become my nicest and greatest gift.

I can shine in ecstasy, like the Sun and the Moon.



Pioneering Humanity – A Conference in India

During my trip to Auroville, India, December 2014, I gave a conference about collective intelligence and my research work in exploring new ways to exist and evolve consciousness. This conference has different parts, from external objective science to empirical exploration I do at the personal level.

Keywords: #aurobindo, #auroville, #CollectiveIntelligence, #breathing, #conscisouness, #economy, #e-prime, #GiftEconomy, #food, #holomidal, #innovation, #internet, #InvisibleArchitectures, #ontology, #OpenSource, #PyramidalCollectiveIntelligence, #SocialCodes, #soul, #spirituality, #technology, #wealth, #wisdom

Collective Intelligence – a New Research Field

In this first part you will hear the great story about collective intelligence. How did it evolve through the ages, where does it go today? This part focuses on the external objective aspects of my scientific research: facts, data, words.


Evolving the We in the I

The second part of the conference offers a more complex –and deeper– understanding of collective intelligence by addressing how the collective operates in the self, how the “we” plays in the “I”. Hence the fact that we see many collectives that evolve lot’s of external aspects such as technology or governance, but people still carry, like holograms, the social dna of the old society: same social codes, same wealth technology (money), same language, same food, same relationship with the body, same beliefs (doxa), same relationship to time, etc. My research has lead me to explore and deconstruct this social dna and explore new possibilities. I share some examples in the videos below.


Language carries lot’s of archaic forms of consciousness in the way it builds reality in our individual and collective psyche. Unveiling these archaic forms and deciding whether we get rid of them of evolves them helps make important evolutionary steps, individually and collectively. Here I share the example of speaking in e-prime (not using the verb “to be”).


Social Codes

No social code exist randomly. No matter how unconsciously we perpetuate social codes, they all have a function: perpetuate and maintain a given social order. Evolution means we also question the function of each social code, and decide what we want to keep, get rid of, or evolve. In this part of the conference I share how I changed a few social codes, like breathing before speaking, and the consequences it had on me and around me.



Pyramidal collective intelligence has made market economy its core economic engine. Why? Because gift economy didn’t have the capacity to reach large scales due to the exponential complexity it generates. However now holomidal collective intelligence allows the rise of gift economies at large scale, offering amazing competitive advantages compared to market economy. But it takes a quantum leap to understand and trust the process, a question that I share in this part of the conference.


Food, Technology, Body

Food carries lot’s of social beliefs and binding in it. Food and consciousness walk hand in hand. If one asks this double question: “what does good for me and for the world at the same time?”, then no conventional cuisine today offers a satisfying answer. Evolving the self means evolving the way we eat.

Technology also shapes individual and collective consciousness. We have a different world and reality before and after the invention of fire, of the writing, of the printing press, of flight, of computers, of internet. What consciousness do we cultivate in order to have technology serve us rather than the opposite?

Last but not least, the body plays a key role in invisible architectures. Culture determines in a large manner the relationship we have with or body, how we experience it, how we manifest it. Conventional lifestyle in the pyramidal collective intelligence world places the body in a social and cultural mold. How can we free ourselves and get to live fully our bodily experience? Why should we do that? What consequences?



If we had 3 core ideas to keep in mind, I would pick these ones:

  1. become holoptical
  2. transmute old social dna
  3. reclaim your body


Questions & Answers

People in the public asked a series of fascinating questions, as shared on the time line below.

0:00 – What about languages that don’t use the verb “to be”?

2:10 – In the gift economy, don’t people usually give back to you rather than giving back to someone else?

5:15 – Can we consider an intermediary stage between market economy and gift economy that we could call social entrepreneurship?

9:30 – Question from a sports coach: “I follow my heart by teaching what I love and do the best, however it keeps me binded to  a city, a place where I don’t want to live. If I follow and listen to my heart, how should I deal with this?”

15:10 – How does friendship play in linking the I and the We? What role of social environment in this transformation?

20:00 – Do you know good examples of holomidal collective intelligence?

24:40 – Auroville began with very innovative ideas about education. Unexperienced people applied them, and later more and more of the pyramidal world came in, with money, taxes, etc. So, what do you think about education?

29:10 – 2 questions:
1. What sense do you have about our organization in Auroville ? Does it contribute to holomidal collective intelligence?
2. When you work with companies, what agreements do you propose for groups to change in a soft way?

35:20 – You have yourself evolved towards live (raw) food, but before enough people make such a conscious step, they will end up depleting our current natural resources. What do you think about that?

37:15 – You’ve spoken about collective intelligence and shared about things you do at the personal level. How do you do the two things combined together, the personal and the collective?


A big thank you to Bruno and Damien for capturing this conference, and to Joel for the sound engineering.


Interview on Auroville Radio


Jean-François Noubel
Photo by Roland Katz

Auroville Radio interviewed me, December 22nd 2014, during my trip to Auroville near Pondicherry, India. Roland Katz, a wonderful man who knows how to hold space for the expression of the authentic self, and who know how to connect souls, did this interview.

Explored topics: evolution, collective intelligence, language, ontology, spiritual tradition, Auroville, integral wealth, gift economy, martial arts, truth, courage…


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You can also listen the online interview or download it on the Auroville Radio website.







Quantum Vinaigrette

Physics and mysticism work like oil and vinegar, you have to shake them hard together to make a decent vinaigrette. Do we need vinaigrette to season our life? Does quantum physics explain consciousness?

“I wave therefore I am”

Miracle in scientific demonstration

Today’s post-modern Western spiritual language uses a lot of verbiage taken from science, mostly quantum physics: frequencies, vibrations, energy, vacuum, waves, fields, quantum this, quantum that… Since the rise of rationalism, contemporary spirituality, especially in New Age movements, has made many attempts to bridge and reconcile the outer objective reality with the inner subjective world. As quantum physics lays down a non-linear and non-deterministic approach to reality, it didn’t take long for people to decide that the unmanifest and manifest meet at the quantum level by an act of consciousness, particularly as interpretations of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle and Schrödinger’s cat. The infinite potential of consciousness and creativity operate at the level of waves and particles. Movies like “What the bleep do we know?” (2004) made quite a spicy vinaigrette of this notion.

When I find myself in the middle of a QWBC’s (read “quantic wanna be conversations”), I stand aside and observe quietly (turning myself into a discreet wave rather than a punchy particle). In general participants prove they have no idea about what energy, a wave, a frequency, a probability or differential calculus really mean. Many even confuse a sound wave with an electromagnetic wave.  They of speak quantum physics with a Newtonian mind. How could they not? Our common language has built itself on describing separated objects and causal relationships between them. Hence the fact one can access the deep understanding of quantum physics only through mathematical equations, not through everyday language.

Every time new scientific paradigms have appeared in the past, people have twisted them in order to legitimate their current understanding of reality, from politics to spirituality to economics. When Newtonian physics appeared, many thought we could explain the whole universe through deterministic equations. If we could predict where a planet would appear next year, and at what speed an apple would hit the floor depending on which branch it falls from, didn’t it prove our capacity to forecast everything in a deterministic universe? Yet, people didn’t have access to the infinitely small (inert and living) that has quite different behaviors. They didn’t know Newtonian physics only applies to big, dead, inert objects. Determinism became a model for industrial society. When Darwin’s theories entered the main stream, natural selection turned into a motto in economics, claiming the natural domination of the fittest and that markets follow natural laws.

Eating KryptoniteA few years ago I came across an ad from a 1917 newspaper. It promoted “pills of radioactivity” that could heal almost every forms of disease, from diarrhea to gout to malaria to whitlow. The article described radioactivity not as a physical phenomenon but as a thing you can eat, just like mashed potatoes or broccoli. Matter, time and energy had just unveiled some of their most intimate secrets. Well, not for everyone yet… 🙂

As you can see, history has shown how ideologies tried to legitimate themselves with the current scientific models, since the Renaissance. This same pattern applied to spirituality.

Scientific versus creationist methodI don’t claim that science cannot ground or correlate our spiritual experience. Actually it does, and this should even remain one of its main objectives. However correlating and proving mean two different things. We lose science, rationality and spiritual insight each time we select some external objective phenomenology to prove the meaning of our inner subjective experience. We start with the conclusion –our experience– then we pick the relevant scientific material and discard the irrelevant one, to make our point. This cartoon on the right says more than a thousand words. Many contemporary spiritual movements do exactly the same as creationists (yet another spiritual movement), in their own way.

“Does Quantum Physics Prove God?”

So let’s go deeper now. Here comes an interview of Ken Wilber from Corey deVos: Does Quantum Physics Prove God?


I really enjoy this interview. Ken nails down the flaws of today’s spirituality pseudo-scientific verbiage. He brings up 3 core arguments:


None of the original founders of quantum physics –all pure mystics!– claimed that individual consciousness has control over the duality wave/particle. They just talked about probabilities, waves, collapse… Actually their mysticism came from the abyssal untouchable nature of the reality they could sense under the veil of their equations. Science describes the manifest and tries to predict it, it leaves us in awe of that which produces the manifested reality (the field of meta-physics). Mystical experience infuses us not because of a solved mystery, but because of an unsolved one. We face the Great Mystery not because of the finite maps that science provides, but because of the uncharted territories and dimensions that our mind can sense without the capacity to embrace them. Only a wider consciousness can, beyond the mental. We then have to enter in meditative techniques.

2. Claiming that quantum vacuum equals spirit and gives rise to the manifest world through intention creates a duality. We fall back into phenomenology, with objects and causal relationships between them. Spirit becomes a “doer” doing something, in a dual world. It contradicts the very essence, suchness, is-ness of spirit. I like Wilber’s metaphor when he says wetness of the ocean has nothing to do with waves. Wetness exists everywhere, indifferent to the manifest, to waves, to storms, to streams. Spirit remains neutral with matter, energy, waves, states, collapses and so on.

3. Understanding quantum physics doesn’t make you an enlightened person. Physics offers an “it” – 3rd person – dual approach to reality whereas mystical experience flows in the “I”, the subjective non-dual self. Indeed, the “I” and the “it” can mutually inspire each other: I can have a mystical experience contemplating Schrödinger’s equations, and I can have a mathematical illumination during meditation. However science in general, and quantum mechanics in particular, because of their very duality, cannot offer the proof of consciousness, no more than a wave can explain wetness.

Last but not least, if spiritual experience needed physics as an explanation, then we would have to trash our spiritual practices each time a new scientific paradigm emerges. Spiritual experience does not, and cannot depend on our temporary maps of external reality. Spiritual experience needs its own ontology, its own phenomenology for the “I” inner world. Indeed spirituality takes most of its words from the manifested world in a metaphorical way. It involves the use of scientific words. Things start to get bad, really bad, when people confuse the metaphor with an explanation.

Let me offer an example here. Does saying “I have pins and needles in my legs” mean that I literally have pins and needles in my legs? Do I provide a scientific explanation?  Of course not. I just expressed an experience with a metaphor that speaks to all of us. But when we use expressions such as superposed states of consciousness, wavesvibrational levelenergies… which make sense metaphorically, many people don’t hear them or speak them metaphorically. In their own way, they literally mean we have pins and needles in our legs 🙂


So, anything special about quantum physics?

Schrödinger's CatOf course.

First, quantum physics releases us both from our familiar 4-dimensional universe of time and space, and from the trap of viewing the world as a collection of objects. It reveals a whole pluridimensional non-causal universe that quivers beyond the veil of reality built by our senses and mind. Every spiritual tradition has acknowledged the deeper infinite reality that pulses behind the veil.  I don’t know any serious meditation practitioner that has not had this direct experience himself/herself. The Allegory of the Cave says it precisely.

Second, quantum physics reveals the connectedness, the unity, the non-local property of the universe (quantum entanglement and quantum non-locality). This means that every single object, wave, phenomenon, has a connection with every other object, wave, and phenomenon. Everything has an influence on everything, regardless the distance. Nothing happens in isolation and separate from all else. However this doesn’t imply that phenomena happen exclusively through causal relationships, which leads to the third point.

Third, quantum physics transcends (and includes) causality. Its phenomenology does not describe a deterministic, linear reality that appears to us as its surface. Causality still happens in the material world, but something more complex, multidimensional, non-causal, happens behind the scene. A big challenge arises here: human language has built its structure on depicting a dual world composed of objects and causal interactions between them. Yet it doesn’t have the capacity to describe and put in the social field a non-linear, non-causal, multi-leveled, ever transforming flow of reality. Words freeze objects, just like a picture. Today, only complex equations can describe the deepest levels of reality, it takes quite some metaphors to give a taste of this via conventional language. Most of the time, conventional language describes quantum physics in a causal way. Back to the veil.

These three points about quantum physics depict an objective reality that meditation naturally reaches subjectively, beyond the mental and its language limitations.

Let’s just not forget something: consciousness does not exist as a product of quantum physics. Quantum physics exists as a product of consciousness, both in the form of mathematical equations and in the form of conventional language. Our expressions (written, spoken, symbolic, artistic…) come from our experiences, just like the map comes from the territory it represents. As far as I know we have never seen a map create the field.

The Power of Mind over Matter

Do we need quantum physics to prove that mind can control matter? Up to you to say…

In this video, I will show you how, by using the power of my mind, I can move a squash from one place to another (I love playing squash). Yes, I can move and influence matter, and you can too! It involves Newtonian physics, relativity, quantum physics, biology, chemistry, Darwinian evolution, genetics, thermodynamics, information and complexity theories, pataphysics, and many other “things” that will exist in the future. I swear that I used no tricks and that you see an unedited raw image. I can repeat this experience in any lab in the world, under full scientific scrutiny.

Yes, we kind of forget this very simple fact that our mind and will (or whatever you want to call it) move and influence matter all the time. Every single moment, I can enter in this ecstatic state feeling the aliveness of my body, I can enjoy my “matter in motion” device, I can play my musical instrument, I can move and assemble my Legos with the creative impulse of my soul.

Why not just enjoy this very radical power every single moment of our existence? Do you remember how amazing it felt when you landed in this plane of reality? Did you need quantum vinaigrette?

Some interesting links:





One Breath Away from Evolving?

The I in the Mirror

Climate change breakthrough technology

We speak a lot about human evolution on the technical plane, shaped by a materialistic vision of reality. There comes one of the signatures of pyramidal collective intelligence in which we see and understand the world only through mental dualism.

Although most prospective analysis look relevant, they leave aside the inner evolution of the being that happens in parallel with the external evolution of the world. Did humankind invent fire that changed humankind, or did humankind invent humankind that invented fire? Same question with the writing, the printing press, flight, computers and the Internet. We cannot separate the inner subjective evolution with the outer objective evolution. Which one starts first? We get into the usual chicken and egg question. The subjective being that initiates and the objective being that creates mutually invent themselves in a set of self-reflecting miroirs.

Invisible architectures: where social DNA hides

Nevertheless, pyramidal collective intelligence invests massive amounts of money in technical evolution and everything that can materialize in a product or a service to sell.

Social DNA barcodingBy doing so, it leaves aside the inner evolution of the being. This evolution doesn’t necessarily need years of personal development. Sometimes we just have to change a little bit of code in the invisible architectures that shape us individually through the play of the collective. Invisible architectures apply to most of what defines our behavior: the way we see the world, the way we think or we make decisions. Ontology (the way we build reality through language), money, the doxa (belief system built on obscurantist assumptions), our social construct of time, food, social codes, each of them operate like invisible architectural spaces inside which we swim, like fishes in their bowl. Change one rule in any of these structures, and the whole consciousness can either regress or evolve. It works exactly like changing a gene in a physical body.

Social genetics has become one of my most important discoveries in collective intelligence. I will write, publish and communicate a lot on this theme in the future.

Evolve the We, Evolve the I

In front of 2,800 corporate leaders (Marseille, France, Oct. 2013), I tried to share this idea of evolution through the leverage of invisible architectures, through one example: breathing. I also wrote about this theme in the article United Air Ways. What would happen if, rather than interrupting each other and leaving no space for silence during our conversations, we decide to make a long deep breath before speaking? As you will see, we only change one social code (gene), and from there everything can change radically.

What impact did this talk have? Quite hard to say. My message has probably reached some people at a deeper level. I received a warm feedback, but it doesn’t say anything about how deeply it infuses. I could have shared a softer message, a little less evolutionary. Here I made this choice I make every time: speaking to large audiences doesn’t mean I will dull my talk so it can pass the filters of conventional thinking and receive an applause from everyone. Yes, part can land in everyone’s ear. For the deeper part, more essential, only people who want to overcome doxa, habits, and see through the veil, have a welcoming energy and can contemplate the content more deeply. In think than less than 1% do that.

In Written Words…

Here comes the transcript.

Caveman writing

Voice off: “As one leading the Collective Intelligence Research Institute, Jean-François Noubel can sense it, it is yet a weak signal that forecasts more radical transformations, and each of them begin with a deep personal work.

I have 12 minutes… 12 minutes to share my passion for evolution, for evolution of life, for evolution of consciousness, with the lenses of a new discipline, a new research discipline called collective intelligence. Collective intelligence tries to understand why, how, when we put a certain number of beings together, human beings, plants, animals, ecosystems, something happens, more or less effectively. Sometimes, a whole emerges, like a body, then something magical happens. Magical for the participants of course, magical also because a whole emerges, congruent, with a self-awareness, capable of evolving, moving… Here I mean anything like an enterprise that works well, or this band that we just saw singing, or a large company.
So I have 12 minutes to talk about this passion, at two levels, because on the one hand we have the technology, everything we can see, the objective external side, and on another hand we have a much more difficult aspect, much more invisible, I mean what will change inside of us.
In order to give us an idea about what will shift inside of us, I propose we do a small exercise together. Let me show you first…[deep and long breath]

A long breath.

Why don’t we try together? Ready? Let’s go!

[long collective breath]

Once more…

[long collective breath]

So, what connection? What connection with the evolution of our species?

I should first come back to collective intelligence, and to a travel back in time. We will speak about different forms of collective intelligence through evolution, and I will begin with this one, here, a school of fish… I could have shown an ant colony, or a flock of birds, or one of these big herds of buffalos. This form of collective intelligence, likely the first one that appeared on Earth, we call it “swarm collective intelligence”. One of its main traits, as you can see: the big numbers. Also at the individual level, the individual, in this configuration, doesn’t have a great margin of freedom. The fish follows the school, same thing in a big herd.

So here comes a question: in humanity, do we know it? Does this form of collective intelligence exist in humankind?
Well, not inherently but… sometimes. In a street protest or a big event. Here we have an extraordinary view of New York Marathon. But we know it too –maybe you experienced it no later than this morning– lot’s of people experience it everyday, like this. Indeed, when we drive our car, we don’t have a huge degree of freedom, however at the collective level, something incredible happens: a city fills up and empties every day! Imagine if a team had to plan that! Same with the ant colony.

So, this form of collective intelligence, has amazing capacities as a whole, but it also has limitations. Sometimes it can jam, entire herds can fall off the cliff, etc, etc.

Humans come from another place. They come from here: original collective intelligence. Precisely we call it this way, a tiny number of individuals. At some point it works in the opposite way compared to swarm collective intelligence because here we have a small number of individuals, but every individual has a strong individuation. Humans mostly exist in this configuration, the one we just saw on stage before my talk, wonderful! Let’s take a look at this jazz band. I love this picture because it shows how each and every musician lives his individuation. He knows his art, his instrument, and then he fully meets the others through himself.

It happens at two levels: horizontally, he perceives well what every other musician does, and vertically, he has a knowing of the whole, he can feel it, he can update himself because of it.

Indeed, this has a name: holopticism. I won’t say much about it now, only that it has a name.

The strength of this structure, in collective intelligence, we all know it. Super agile, learning, always adapting, it reconfigures, just take a look at a sports team that adapts itself to the unknown all the time.

But it also has its own limitations, two limitations : number, and distance. Of course, players need to play in a sensorial space where they can perceive each other, and see what everyone does.

So for humanity that has known this for a very long time, with villages, tribes, a crisis happened, a major systemic crisis, a global one at this time. Yes, when agriculture appeared, and when cities started to emerge, with the labor specialization, an explosion of complexity happened, and some sort of quantum leap needed to happen. Here humanity invented an incredible technology: the writing, that allowed to escape from oral proximity, from oral tradition, to evolve towards big civilizations. Egyptian civilization, Mesopotamian, Chinese, Mayan, etc. Each time, we see this same structure constituted with casts. A living God at the top, and below the high priesthood and nobility. Below, the artisans, the merchants, and below again we find farmers and herders. And at the very bottom, a mass, open to ruthless exploitation, slaves, villains, Untouchables, etc.

Of course it has evolved. Nowadays we wouldn’t represent it this way: a large company works with a board of directors. So we see small groups of original collective intelligence. Then they organize themselves in pyramid, with departments, services, etc. And who has never experienced the silos effect in large companies?

Speaking of strength and weaknesses, the great strength of pyramidal collective intelligence, comes from its capacity to put together thousands and even millions of people.

In the music realm, we see this great strength in a symphonic orchestra. A couple of days ago, when I prepared my slides, my son told me: “Dad, I can draw what you can’t find on the Net” I wanted to see a chief orchestra, he did this. So thanks to him, thanks to Estéban. He really understood the concept.

The strengths and weaknesses of this pyramidal collective intelligence, we hit them hard today, I think this image shows it well, the one of the Titanic or a big liner. The strength, we can also find it in the image… Here we have an extraordinary technology, that drives and transports people, a great number of people from one corner of the planet to the other. At the same time, an error in the command, or a criminal intent, and it can turn into a catastrophe.

It shows that pyramidal collective intelligence has a very very low resilience. If something does wrong in the head, everything can collapse.

It has a poor adaptability too. It knows very well how to develop processes, repeat them, repeat them in advance, but if later some change occurs, it doesn’t operate well.

We find ourselves confronted to a shift, a necessity, facing a wall of complexity that obliges us to reinvent ourselves. So what happens?

Well, we enter, fully, inside a new form of collective intelligence that we call holomidal. Holomidal, from “holos” — holistic, Here, you see this picture of the Internet that I like very much, a little old already, how servers connect with one another. It emerges. No one organizes it top down. It emerges and it self-organizes. We find this structure in a forest too, under our feet, the rhizome. Same thing, same structure. In our brain too. And now, as you know, we have social networks everywhere.

All the social fabric self-organizes itself and we find again the advantages of pyramidal collective intelligence –involving many people– however coming with the resilience and self-organizing capacity of original collective intelligence. It adapts itself, it learns fairly well, it reconfigures all the time, it organizes itself into semantic tribes, etc, etc.

So, knowing that, we can easily get, hence our coming together to look at it, that a dramatic transition has begun. From now on I could talk about what will happen, 3D printers for instance. A great deal of industrial production, centralized, pyramidal, will become completely distributed. I could also talk about the end of money and the rise of post-monetary society, because if we want to transition from an competition-based economy to a mutualistic economy, then we can’t use anymore this old technology called money. We will have much more powerful tools!

But for now, I would like to talk about the inner aspect of the self. The most difficult thing that I feel passionate about, that makes me wonder almost 24/7… How will a human being experience existence inside himself in the coming years?

To address this question, let’s take an example: social codes. More precisely, I will put my focus on social codes we use for conversation. When we speak, when we have, a conversation around the table, or a political debate, what happens? First thing we notice, people speak right after another, very very quick. No space for silence, and no space for breathing time. Furthermore, we interrupt one another. Believe it or not, I see it in most cultures. Not all of them, but globally people interrupt one another. It means, if I interrupt someone, that what I want to say has more importance than what the person in front of me has to say.

Now let’s imagine, let’s place ourselves in a new situation, we change the following social code: we don’t take the floor anymore unless we have done a long breath before. Imagine inside yourself, if you began to do that, the consequences that it would have for the collective, if a collective starts doing that, at your work, in your family, and if you begin to do this as a practice. Imagine the consequences that this sole change of social code can have, a long breath before speaking.

When I give seminars, and I ask the participants what benefits we would have if we breath? Everyone knows! It allows an inner connection with ourself, it brings peace, if gives perspective, it opens to the feeling of our emotions, our body, it offers an inner reconnection. It allows to feel the other, to sense the group, and the emotions that want to rise. It also invites inspiration. Breathing means expiring and therefore ‘inspiring’.

However we don’t do it. Why don’t we do it? Why? Because of a signature behind all this speed during the flow of words we have in conversations. The mental comes into the play. Pyramidal collective intelligence, the world of pyramidal collective intelligence invented, developed, over-developed the mental, the conceptual view. The mental operates very fast. It runs very very fast. It speaks very fast, and it knows very well how to maintain its own paradigm. Escaping a paradigm requires we deactivate the mental. This breathing can become a full meditation.

I have trained lot’s of people to breathing techniques, not just individuals, but collectives too, including companies. Everyone of them, without exception, told me: “it changed our vision of the world“, “it changed my relationship with myself, my relationship with others“, “we don’t make the same decisions together“, “we don’t see the world the same way“, “our whole company, our whole strategy have changed“.

Notice I don’t speak about millions of $ to invest in R&D. I just talk about breathing.

This breathing brings us to this question of personal change, and how we perceive ourselves from the inside, how it will evolve, with, now, an essential question, indeed, about the perception of ourselves.

So let’s imagine ourselves in the dark, inside a forest, and I will finish on that. I turn my flashlight on, And now I begin to scan my environment with it, Here I see a tree, there I see a rock… By directing the beam in different directions I can now decide where to make my next steps. Doing so, I build a kind of reality of proximity.

The mental operates exactly like this. A beam that sees parts and connects them with one another, and thanks to this, I can walk. It works not so bad… Now if I turn my flashlight off, and I decide allow the night light to infuse me, light from the stars, from the moon, then something else happens. First I accustom myself. I lose the precise details of my immediate environment while a much vaster reality begins to open itself to me.

All the people who open themselves this way will have their own words to express this. I like to use the word “transrational”. Transrational happens when we go beyond the rational. Indeed, we still have the rational at our disposal, I can still turn my flashlight on again, always. And at any time I can turn if off too, and open myself to a vaster reality.

This vaster reality can also come from changing some social codes. Back to social codes, and back to the breathing we did together at the start. So, as I said, evolution will not occur only by means of 3D printers or the Internet… yes, quite interesting, go and see, you will learn tons of things, at the same time I invite you to think about what will change inside you, through social codes, ontology, language structure, through our postures, our relationship to our body…

In the end, who knows if the next humanity doesn’t stand just one breath away.

Thank you!


The Great Sense

SatpremHere comes below a crucial text from Satprem that a friend of mine from Auroville gave me while I spend a whole month there. I can’t resist to share this text in which I see so much force and visionary power. It resonates with the words I share during my conferences on the evolution of our species. The difference? He wrote it in 1969.




The Great Sense

This is the time of the Great Sense.

We look to the right or to the left, we build theories, reform our Churches, invent super-machines and we go out in the streets to break the Machine that stifles us – we struggle in the small sense. When the terrestrial ship is sinking, does it matter whether the passengers drown to the right or left, under a flag black or red, or one of celestial blue? Our Churches have already sunk: they are reforming their own dust. Our patriotisms are crushing us, our machines are crushing us, our schools are crushing us, and we build more machines to break out of the Machine. We go to the moon, but we do not know our own heart or our terrestrial destiny. And we want to improve what is – but the time for improvements is past: can one improve rot? – This is the time for SOMETHING ELSE, which is not the same thing with improvements.

But how shall we proceed?

They preach violence to us, or non-violence. But these are two faces of the same Falsehood, the yes and the no of the same impotence: the little saints have gone bankrupt with the rest, and others want to seize power – what power? That of the statesmen? Are we going to fight over the prison keys? Or to build another prison? Or do we really want to get out of it? Power does not spring from the barrel of a gun, neither does freedom flow from the belly of the dead – for thirty million years now we have been building on corpses, on wars, on revolutions. And the drama is enacted over and over again. Perhaps the time has come to build on something else and find the key to true Power?

So let us look at the great Sense.

Here is what the Great Sense tells us:

It tells us that we were born so many million years ago – a molecule, a gene, a bit of quivering bit of plasma – and we have produced a dinosaur, a crab, an ape. Had our eyes stopped half-way along the road, we could have said with good reason (!), that the Baboon was the summit of the creation, and nothing better could be done, except perhaps to improve our simian capacities and create a United Kingdom of Apes… And we may be committing the same error today in our jungle of concrete. We have invented enormous means at the service of microscopic consciousnesses, splendid devices at the service of mediocrity, and still more devices to be cured of the Device. But is man truly the goal of all these millions of years of striving? – The secondary school for all and the washing machine?

The Great Sense, the True Sense, tells us that man is not the end. It is not the triumph of man that we want, not an improved version of the intelligent dwarf – it is another man on the earth, another race in our midst.

‘Man is a transitional being’ Sri Aurobindo said. We are right in the middle of this transition, it is bursting forth on every side: in Biafra, in Israel , in China , on the Boul’Mich. Man is uncomfortable in his skin.

And the Great Sense, the True Sense, tells us that the only thing we can do is to set to work to prepare that other being and collaborate in our own evolution instead of going round in circles in the old dead-end humanhood and grabbing false powers to rule over a false life.

But where is the lever of this Transmutation?
It is within.

There is a Consciousness within, there is a Power within, the very power that strained and strove in the dinosaur, in the crab, in the ape, in man – it strives still, presses farther on, clothes itself in a more and more perfected form as its instrument grows, and creates its own form. If we grasp the lever of that Power, it will create its own form, for it is itself the lever of the Transmutation. Instead of letting evolution unfold through millennia of fruitless, painful attempts and useless deaths and fake revolutions that revolutionize nothing, we can shorten the time, we can make a concentrated evolution – we can be the conscious creators of the New Being.

In truth, it is the time of the Great Adventure. The world is closed, there are no more adventures to be had outside: only robots go to the moon and our frontiers are guarded everywhere – in Rome or in Rangoon , the same functionaries of the great Machine are watching us, punching our cards, checking our faces and searching our pockets – there is no more adventure outside! The Adventure is within – Freedom is within, Space is within, and the transformation of our world by the power of the Spirit. Because, in truth, that Power was always there, supreme, all-powerful, prodding evolution on: it was the hidden Spirit growing to become the Spirit manifest upon earth, and if we have trust, if we want that supreme Power, if we have the courage to descend into our hearts, everything is possible, because God is in us.

Sri Aurobindo: “The earliest preoccupation of man in his awakened thoughts…”

Sri AurobindoThe earliest preoccupation of man in his awakened thoughts and, as it seems, his inevitable and ultimate preoccupation,—for it survives the longest periods of scepticism and returns after every banishment,—is also the highest which his thought can envisage. It manifests itself in the divination of Godhead, the impulse towards perfection, the search after pure Truth and unmixed Bliss, the sense of a secret immortality. The ancient dawns of human knowledge have left us their witness to this constant aspiration; today we see a humanity satiated but not satisfied by victorious analysis of the externalities of Nature preparing to return to its primeval longings. The earliest formula of Wisdom promises to be its last, — God, Light, Freedom, Immortality.

Sri Aurobindo – “The Life Divine” (1939)

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