The universe is aware of itself through all of us. Come get lost in The Library’s virtual aisles to find out more about this astounding revelation.

The emergence of wholes from parts exudes an aroma of mystery, of elusive but profound truths.

The emergence of wholes from parts exudes an aroma of mystery, of elusive but profound truths.

New Additions

How I Made Friends With Reality

Emily Levine

How I Made Friends With Reality

2018

With her signature wit and wisdom, Emily Levine meets her ultimate challenge as a comedian/philosopher: she makes dying funny. In this personal talk, she takes us on her journey to make friends with reality—and peace with death. Life is an enormous gift, Levine says: You enrich it as best you can, and then you give it back.

Workshop
Added 4 days ago
1

Thusness

Alan Watts

Thusness

Seminar
Added 6 weeks ago
02:48:48 22,232 17

Clarity of Mind

Alan Watts

Clarity of Mind

1973

Delivered at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Lecture
Added 7 weeks ago
44:08 4,304 10

Connections, Episode 2: Death in the Morning

James Burke

Connections, Episode 2: Death in the Morning

1978

How did a test of gold's purity revolutionize the world 2500 years ago and lead to the atomic bomb? Standardizing precious metal in coins stimulated trade from Greece to Persia, causing the construction of a huge commercial center and library at Alexandria. This wealth of nautical knowledge aided navigators 14 centuries later. Mariners discovered that the compass's magnetized needle did not point directly north. Investigations into the nature of magnetism led to the discovery of electricity, radar and to the atomic bomb.

Television Episode
Added 7 weeks ago
49:21 7,004

Connections, Episode 1: The Trigger Effect

James Burke

Connections, Episode 1: The Trigger Effect

1978

Both the beginning and the end of the story are here. The end is our present dependence on complex technological networks illustrated by the NYC power blackouts. Life came almost to a standstill: support systems are taken for granted failed. How did we become so helpless? The technology originated with the plow and agriculture. Each invention demands its own follow-up: once started, it is hard to stop. This segment ends in Kuwait, where society has leaped from ancient Egypt to the technology of today in 30 years.

Television Episode
Added 8 weeks ago
49:30 6,064 4

Acceleration of Knowledge

Robert Anton Wilson

Acceleration of Knowledge

1986

Lecture
Added 11 weeks ago
01:16:16 12,881 5

Plan, Plant, Planet

Terence McKenna

Plan, Plant, Planet

1989

McKenna urges us to look at plants more deeply and find within their biological organization a model for sustainable modern civilization. Published in Whole Earth Review, issue 64.

Article
Added 15 weeks ago
3,540 5

The Global Brain

Peter Russell

The Global Brain

1983

Peter Russell's award-winning video explores the idea that the Earth is an integrated, self-regulating living organism, and asks what function humanity might have for this planetary being. It suggests that we stand on the threshold of a major leap in evolution, as significant as the emergence of life itself, and the essence of this leap is inner spiritual evolution. Moreover, Russell maintains that it is only through such a shift in consciousness that we will be able to manage successfully the global crises now facing us.

Video
Added 15 weeks ago
35:14 4,121 11

Glimpsing the Global Brain

Francis Heylighen & David Sloan Wilson

Glimpsing the Global Brain

2021

Complex systems theorist Heylighen and evolutionary biologist Wilson discuss a possible phase transition of humanity in which the members of our species become neurons in a planetary brain.

Discussion
Added 15 weeks ago
01:19:03 10,973 14

Future of Art

Terence McKenna

Future of Art

1998

Workshop
Added 18 weeks ago
01:25:20 9,328 10

The World-Wide Web as a Super-Brain: From Metaphor to Model

Francis Heylighen & Johan Bollen

The World-Wide Web as a Super-Brain: From Metaphor to Model

1996

If society is viewed as a super-organism, communication networks play the role of its brain. This metaphor is developed into a model for the design of a more intelligent global network. The World Wide Web, through its distributed hypermedia architecture, functions as an “associative memory”, which may “learn” by the strengthening of frequently used links. Software agents, exploring the Web through spreading activation, function as problem-solving “thoughts”. Users are integrated into this “super-brain” through direct machine interfaces and the reciprocal exchange of knowledge between individual and Web. (Published in Cybernetics and Systems ’96, p. 917–922.)

Article
Added 18 weeks ago
5,170 10

On Second-Order Observation and Genuine Pretending: Coming to Terms with Society

Hans-Georg Moeller

On Second-Order Observation and Genuine Pretending: Coming to Terms with Society

2017

This paper discusses the meaning of the concept of ‘second-order observation’ used by Niklas Luhmann (1927–1998). Luhmann identifies second-order observation as a defining characteristic of modern world society. According to Luhmann, all social systems construct a social reality on the basis of the observation of observations. Rating agencies in the economy or the peer-review process in the academic system are examples of social mechanisms manifesting second-order observation. Social media also represent organized second-order observation. The paper suggests that in a society based on second-order observation, ‘genuine pretending’ is an adequate mode of existence. This notion is derived from the Daoist text Zhuangzi. It indicates a disassociation from social roles which allows their performers to exercise these roles with ease and, at the same time, maintain a state of sanity. (Published in Thesis Eleven 2017, Vol. 143(I) 28–43.)

Article
Added 18 weeks ago
7,144 6

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