We humans navigate our way through life in individual bodily casings, each apparently sealed tight against external influences; our minds, feelings and thoughts are completely our own, totally unaffected and inaccessible to others outside our impenetrable physical forms.

Or are they?

As a new age concept, the Global Consciousness is old news, but science likes to find evidence over faith; intriguingly, some credible data now supports the notion that our minds are all connected via a global, and potentially universal, consciousness.

Researchers from the Global Consciousness Project (GCP), which got its start at Princeton University in 1998 and now operates as an international collaboration, claim that they have obtained solid evidence that a type of transpersonal mentality occurs when a group of people share a common experience.

The research used a global network of devices that utilised quantum tunneling, and these were able to detect coherent signals amidst random background noise. Though incredibly faint and unpredictable, the signals were deemed to be statistically significant; they tended to manifest at times when large proportions of the global population were likely to be focused on the same information, such as widely celebrated religious festivals, or major disasters.

The detection system comprised a large number of random number generators (RNGs) based on quantum tunneling, of which up to 70 were active at any one time. The RNGs emitted a continuous stream of random and unpredictable data in the form of ones and zeroes, though as the laws of probability typically unfold, this averaged out at approximately 50-50 for each. But when the world united in thought, such as after the "9/11" World Trade Center attacks, it appeared cause a correlation in the output of each RNG devices.

"What we can interpret from our experiments is that we really are interconnected," says Roger Nelson, GCP’s Director. "Human beings are simply not isolated islands of consciousness."

Though the RNG results were by no means predictable, the correlative effect was observed often enough to provide convincing statistical data when compared with the normal odds for that type of event. All efforts to invalidate the data or the conclusions have so far failed, and the evidence is gathering momentum. In the latter part of 1998, the odds against chance began to exceed one in 20, considered to be an acceptable level in many disciplines, but in the wake of additional studies, this level of certainty began to escalate until by the year 2000, the odds against chance exceeded one in 1,000; and in 2006, they broke through the one in a million level; they’re now more than one in a trillion with no upper limit in sight.These astounding results far exceed the bar set for statistical significance in most leading scientific fields, such as medicine and weather forecasting.

But what are the effects when this global consciousness activates?

The evidence has suggested that our thoughts or brainwaves are more than merely intentions with or without energetic consequences, like an electrical circuit; they are also waves of information, enabling an exchange of data between minds regardless of distance. This explains why people can more easily complete newspaper crossword puzzles the day after publication, when many others have already solved the clues.

There is an interesting phenomenon that is already recognised by science, known as “the multiples effect”. This is the term used when different people in a variety of unrelated and distant locations come up with an idea or invention at the same time. Some examples of this are the Theory of Evolution, put forward not just by Darwin but also by Alfred Russell Wallace, and Calculus, put forward by both Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz.

Another intriguing fact that appears to illustrate the multiples effect is pyramid construction across the world. At a time when global travel and communication was very limited, how did pyramids with the exact same design come to be built by three different ancient civilisations in Mexico, Indonesia and Egypt on three different continents?

"We can conclude," says Nelson, "that there really are effects of consciousness in the world, unexpected correlations in our network of random devices. Something is going on, and the most likely conclusion is that there is an interconnection of consciousness at deeply hidden levels between people and among people across the globe."

This is not the first time that science has pursued such an esoteric concept; a very early student of global awareness was Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, 1881-1955, the French philosopher, Jesuit priest, paleontologist and geologist. Teilhard overhauled and refined an idea originally mooted by Vladimir Vernadsky. Vernadsky put forward the concept of noosphere (the ultimate sphere of consciousness) and conceived the idea of the Omega Point, the level of maximum complexity, coherence and consciousness that would be the end point of evolution. Running further with Vernadsky’s theory, Teilhard claimed that, as technology evolved and the propulation grew, the earth as a whole would eventually become conscious, and the awareness of each individual being would be enhanced.

Nelson speculates that the GCP may be detecting the first glimmers of such an eventuality.

"What we see in the global consciousness correlations may be some very faint version of Teilhard’s noosphere," he says. It may take 10,000 years to materialize, he cautions. But we might enjoy the flickers along the way.

Once again, science seems to "discover" a truth that has in fact been recognised for centuries; but perhaps it goes even further than that. Could this fact form the basis of all religions?

That when enough people come together in prayer and focus on an intention, they can truly affect the outcome of events? From the Bible, the verse Matthew 18:20 springs to mind to corroborate this:
"For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst."

Has science inadvertently stumbled on our innate ability to access the divine?

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