Back to the list

Articles

Deepak Chopra: The Mideast Protests, Social Networks And The Global Brain
Written by Deepak Chopra, author of God: A Story of Revelation for www.thedailybeast.com

The future of the Middle East looks like a race between the mullahs and the iPad—and despite recent setbacks, social networks are rewiring our brains to topple traditional barriers.
There’s a fascinating connection between the social network and where the human brain is going. For a long time, neuroscience held a wrong belief—several, actually—about the brain. The number of brain cells we have was seen as a fixed number that declined over time. No one realized that stem cells in the brain can renew lost neurons at any time of life. But the most exciting discovery was that everyday experience rewires the brain.

Even though it looks like a thing, your brain is a process. It is always in a state of dynamic flux. New connections and new cells are being born, and as the rewiring occurs, something astonishing happens. Your personal reality changes. The brain processes reality, and when new pathways are formed, the world becomes different.

We are witnessing a global test of this thesis in the Middle East. The future there seems to be a race between the mullahs and the iPad, between sermons in the mosque and tweets on a smartphone. After the Bush administration’s disastrous invasion of Iraq, the number of cellphones in that country exploded, even amid social collapse. Young people desperate to be part of the wider world started expressing their yearning through social networks. Tweets and texts were critical during the Arab Spring, especially in getting large numbers of protesters to gather in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.


When the moderate, progressive elements in Egypt lost to the Muslim Brotherhood, it seemed like a huge setback for social networks and a massive victory for the mullahs. Yet the long view is far more hopeful. Millions of tweets, texts, emails, and phone calls have one thing in common: they are neural signals in the global brain. A cabdriver talking all day on his cellphone in Manhattan is weaving himself into the society back home, and the more he communicates, the stronger the neural pathway he is creating.

Silent opposition brought down the Berlin Wall because consciousness, although invisible, is incredibly powerful. Social networks have the capacity to swiftly alter the global brain. On the surface, most tweets are small passing events. But stand back a bit, and you see that a new identity is being formed, a global “we” that anyone can participate in. This newly shaped global brain can topple the traditional barriers of religion, tribalism, nationalism, and political oppression.

Before the social network, think of what it took to escape the mindset of a repressed culture. You had to physically move away, plant yourself in a foreign country, and probably continue to fear for your relatives stuck back home. Now, in the darkest hours of Syrian resistance, as in Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt, anyone can send and receive messages from the global brain. As this stream of messages continues, it reshapes the individual brain, too.

What I’m saying isn’t mystical or hypothetical. The destiny of the whole planet depends on reaching beyond the narrow interests of rich nations and multinational corporations. A community of humanity needs to be formed. It’s completely possible for that to happen. In fragile, hopeful ways, it already has.

Write Your Comment

Comments

Global brain, global mind, supra consciousness...we are all in this together: brother/sisterhood. The brain-mind \"co\"nection. If we reflect and act on known and unknown historys of mankind...Many Blessings Deepak,your complex simplicity leads us all, if we will just listen to the light.
casoul - February 18, 2014
Incredible!
Saurabh - November 18, 2012
This is very empowering. I have seen in my own life how different ways of thinking can change the physical world around me.
Valerie Mann - November 10, 2012
Thank You for all wundrfull books and DVD. With all the best wishis for You\nRosemarie Mettel
Rosemarie Mettel - October 26, 2012
I wish everyone would sit down and watch one of your programs or videos or read one of your many books. They will be amazed and inspired with the knowledge and wisdom that you share, plus they will improve their life and live it to their fullest potential. Thank you Dr. Chopra for being so loving and caring to all. <3
The Law of Attraction Directory - October 25, 2012
I saw this for myself while in Egypt, Syria, Jordan, India, Morocco - everywhere I went in the world it seemed that above all else everyone had a cell phone and your right it has made it so easy to connect and have eyes all over the world. We are one world one heart and once people realize that the oppression and suppression of the individual is and never was okay then we will have world peace. The world is watching each country and individual human beings are now joining together and say stop no more.
chenty - October 25, 2012
How I long for a \"one\".
Noel Shepard - October 25, 2012
Love your insights on this transition of Social media as the brain power of the changing world!
neetayacht - October 25, 2012
Products
Books
Events