Enlightenment as an Exponential Technology
We are in the midst of a profound material and spiritual transformation. Materially, powerful technologies that are expanding exponentially can bring abundance to the planet. Spiritually, there is an awakening of human consciousness.
The implication of exponential growth can be understood from the story of the king who asked the inventor of chess what reward he wanted. The inventor said that all he wanted was one grain of wheat to be placed on the first chessboard square, two on the second, four on the third, and so on, doubling the number of grains on each subsequent square. The king was surprised at the modest request, 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 … grains of wheat seemed like nothing. However, math reveals a payment was eighteen quintillion … 18,446,744,073,709,551,615 grains.
Early stages of exponential growth show minuscule results. Yet, once in full swing, the impact of exponential growth is almost unfathomable to the linear-thinking human mind. The expansion of computing power, presented in 1965 and known as Moore’s Law, is the most well-known example of an exponential technology. Roughly it states that the processing power for computers doubles every two years. Apple’s 2014 iPhone 6 is 1 million times more powerful than an IBM computer from 1975 — which took up an entire room. The Texas Instruments processor that powers the navigation system in a car from Ford is nearly 1.8 million times more powerful than the Launch Vehicle Digital Computer that helped astronauts navigate their way to the moon in 1969.
Key technologies that are expanding exponentially include quantum computing, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, additive manufacturing (3D Printing), and synthetic biology.
Rather than trying to explain more. I invite you to check out these two short videos which give a flavor of the profound implications of these exponential technologies for the planet and for the entrepreneurs who will deliver the fruits of this knowledge.
The Expansion of Human Consciousness
In 1975 Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, acknowledging that it is always darkest before dawn, declared the Dawn of the Age of Enlightenment, a time where peace and fulfillment will permeate humankind. He announced it publicly on television in this short clip.
On January 12, 1975, Maharishi formally inaugurated the Dawn in his address aboard the Flagship Gotthard on Lake Lucerne in Switzerland. In it Maharishi states that a relatively few people need to be enlightened to create an exponentially positive effect on the planet.
Today we are declaring in all confidence, on the basis of the subjective experience of about one million people in the world, and on the basis of objective verification from the different sciences, from all the hundreds of experiments performed in the fields of physiology, psychology, sociology, and ecology, that all the various aspects of life are enriched and developed through the practice of Transcendental Meditation.
‘When the body becomes better, the mind becomes better, the behavior becomes better. With this orderly brain, a few people—one percent, half a percent—moving around in the city can improve the trends of life. It requires only a few people, just a few people! What do those few people have to do? Fifteen minutes morning and evening less gossip and close the eyes; fathom the depth of unboundedness deep within one’s own consciousness. Realize that fullness of life, that wholeness of life, that level of enlightenment which is kindled within, deep within everyone’s heart. Unfold that, experience that, and that is enough to make the whole day more orderly—life in orderliness; life in accordance with all the laws of nature. . . .
‘We are inaugurating the Age of Enlightenment today on the basis of the inevitability that the world will become better, because of one beautiful thing that we have found: the nature of life is to grow. Ninety-nine people can violate their own nature to grow and maybe weave around non-growth. One man, having a desire to evolve, having a desire to progress, having a desire to grow, by nature, he’ll take up Transcendental Meditation. On that basis, he will start producing a harmonious influence around him. Without knowing how he does it, without knowing the mechanic of how the radiations go from a more orderly mind to influence the less orderly minds around him, without knowing it, invariably he’ll be producing a harmonious influence in the whole society. Then the whole society will find a trend in the direction of evolution.
‘What is necessary is just a small area in the whole room to become lighted and the whole room becomes lighted. What is a bulb? It is a very small filament. How much is that in relation to the whole volume of the room? It’s a very insignificant area. Yet it becomes lighted and the whole room becomes lighted. One simple, single individual brain becoming a little bit more orderly—how much more orderly could one become in fifteen minutes, with all the chaos and disorderliness of the whole day?—but that little orderliness increasing in the mind of an individual is good enough to radiate its influence. One small filament becoming lit is enough to light the whole room.
‘Like that, one person, one slightly enlightened person, is good enough for the whole society. It’s a blessing for the whole society. And it’s this strength that makes us today inaugurate this Age of Enlightenment.’
Enlightenment as an Exponential Technology
Like the first grains on the chessboard, few were enlightened in 1975. Enlightenment seemed reserved for outliers — monks in the Himalayas and founders of the great religions. With T.M., the promise was that anyone could become enlightened. Maharishi told us that the normal human experience is to know and identify with our true eternal and unbounded nature.
Fast forward to December 2015. Subject descriptions of enlightenment — witnessing and identifying with vast inner silence rather than the mind or body — correlate with brain wave patterns as demonstrated at Maharishi University of Management labs. Long time TM meditator, Rick Archer of Buddha at the Gas Pump (the title refers to enlightened people being part of everyday society), interviews awakening individuals from TM and other traditions. Some of the interviewees just “woke up” spontaneously without a spiritual background or practice.
I believe we should look at the effect of human awakening as another exponential technology that is profoundly changing human existence.
Furthermore, the expansion of consciousness is the necessary ground for the powerful, material exponential technologies. An enlightened society making use of exponential technologies will naturally ensure that the outer world reflects inner peace and abundance.