Digital Era, Nonlinear Science and Spirituality
This article is a more in-depth look at the topics discussed on the homepage
The following essay explores a series of observations and the resulting theories that I have formulated based on recent advances in science and technology and the resulting potential for a shift in human attitudes, actions and longevity. I present these ideas to you with my most humble appreciation for your interest, and my own recognition that the ideas discussed here are a starting point for discussion and further investigation of the underlying concepts presented.
The digital age, nonlinear sciences and spirituality
The digital integration of two fundamental components of the universe - information and energy - has created the digital era, which is now exponentially accelerating the pace of change in society, culture, theoretical science and technology. Every two days, we now create as much information as we created between the dawn of civilization and 2003, according to Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt. The digital age has exponentially improved human observation capabilities on all levels, from the astronomical to the subatomic scale. It has also enabled us to create mathematical theories and tools to further enhance our observation capabilities.
As we obtain more detailed information about the creative nature of the universe, we are beginning to realize that the universe is alive and behaves nonlinearly. The universe and indeed, all living systems carry a universal pattern of organization and behaviors that demonstrate essential principles. When we think, imagine, and act according to those principals, we are in sync with the living universe, which magnifies and reflects back to us the universal potential of human beings, both individually and collectively.
How the universe is alive
The digital age coincides with a range of nonlinear theories: quantum mechanics, gaia, systems, networking, chaos, and fractal theories. All of these enable us to understand the nature of the universe and its nonlinear behaviors. Nonlinear theories such as quantum mechanics and networking theory help us to see that the universe is made of energy that contains information patterns. Energy and information are the essential fabrics of the universe, and both behave in a nonlinear fashion. Their patterns of organization and behaviors are consistent with the nonlinear behaviors of living systems, as explained by systems theory. Therefore, we can conclude that if the fundamental components of the universe are behaving like living systems, then the universe itself is indeed a living system, radically changing our perception of and relationship with the living planet.
Living Universe perception is consistent with gaia theory (which explains that the Earth is a living system), which has been widely accepted among scientists since the 1970s. Spiritual thinkers have used nonlinear conduits such as art (most notably poetry) or mysticism to explain their divine experiences when they are totally selfless and connected with the living universe. The living universe theory, which is consistent with all spiritual traditions, provides a simplified framework to explain their metaphysical and spiritual experiences.
According to systems theory living systems are arranged in nonlinear network patterns. Through these patterns they exhibit self-generating, self-organizing, self-regulated, integrated, intuitive, and holistic behaviors. Nonlinear living networks, by performing far from equilibrium, at the edge of chaos, organize themselves in an emergent structure (represented by fractal geometry), which makes them flexible and universal. These structures are open systems connected to their surrounding environment with feedback loops. The key characteristics of emerging structures are non-equilibrium, nonlinearity, indeterminacy, and high sensitivity to small changes in the environment. According to cognitive theories, living systems are cognitive systems and the interactions of a living system with its environment are cognitive interactions.
System theory tells us that living systems manifest themselves in nonlinear network patterns. Network theory explains how nonlinear networks behave; nonlinear networks are made of combinations of order and randomness. Order brings structural stability and cohesiveness, while randomness provides flexibility, allowing the structure to weather chaos and instability. When a nonlinear network reaches a critical point of instability, a new order spontaneously emerges. In this stage, the elements synchronize in full cooperation, creating a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts. Randomness is also a key player in reducing the degrees of separation among the members of nonlinear networks in such a way that within human social network there is maximum six degrees of separation among human population network. Since nonlinear systems perform far from equilibrium, cause and effect are not proportional: small changes may have dramatic effects because they may be amplified by self-regulating feedback loops. One of the important properties of nonlinear networks is an uneven distribution of order and randomness. The uneven distribution is itself a pattern, called the “power law distribution”. Because of the fractal nature of nonlinear networks -- the Internet, electrical power grids, blood circulation, distribution of the sun’s components (Helium and hydrogen make 97% of sun), wealth, and social power -- they universally demonstrate power law distribution.
Among the nonlinear theories, networking theory is the most accessible and explains the essential properties of nonlinear living networks. Since nonlinear living networks are manifested in fractal geometry, then the properties of nonlinear living networks are scale-free and universal. These properties serve as basic guidelines that help us to align our actions with the living universe. When we are able to sync with the universe, we see our efforts amplified in a powerful way. This is true across all disciplines, from philosophy and spirituality to interpersonal dynamics, management, economics, politics, and mathematics.
Nonlinear sciences and our observations reveal that the universe is made of “cognitive energy”, which is energy that contains a pattern of information, which makes it capable of organizing itself in nonlinear network patterns. Nonlinear networks are capable of performing at the edge of chaos and when they reach their critical point of instability a new order spontaneously emerges. In this stage, the elements synchronize in full cooperation with increased information content and functionality, creating a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts. The solar system is a good example of this phenomenon: the sun, the other planets and their moons, all interact, together creating favorable living conditions on Earth. Living networks work through cooperation and partnership (rather than competition, and domination) with the other members of the network to achieve higher levels of efficiency and creativity. Our bodies are also networks that work in much the same way.
In the following paragraphs, I will explain why human beings, (who are part of the living universe), for the most part do not bring the same attitude of cooperation and partnership to their interactions with the earth, other species, and other members of the human network. The root cause of this is a duality in how our brains process and perceive the world.
As noted brain scientist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylore explains in her book My Stroke of Insight, our right- and left-brain hemispheres process information quite differently. The right side of our brain perceives and processes information in a nonlinear manner, while the left side perceives and processes information in a more orderly, linear way. (Dividing the brain into the right and left sides is not a holistic approach, but the construct simplifies our discussion.) The right brain is observant, nonjudgmental, holistic, feminine and spiritual, while the left brain is analytical, judgmental, reductionist, masculine and materialistic. In the digital age, which is transformational era, a combination of nonlinear theories, cognitive science, neuropsychology, and spiritual teachings allow us to acknowledge both the power and the limitations of the right and left brain’s perceptions and how to holistically integrate them to achieve the ultimate potentials that exist within us.
The parts of the brain circuitry that activate our survival instincts, creates procedural memories and defines our orientations are the same parts that are activated when we are thinking linearly. We can think of these circuitries as hardware. To run on that hardware, we have created a worldview – software, if you will -- that separates subject from object, leading to abstract thinking and ultimately linear perception and thinking. As a result, we now experience ourselves as independent, separated from the living network. We therefore attempt to protect our separated self from the rest of the universe. Linear thinking ends up being self-defensive, self-protecting, self-assertive, short-term oriented, and sensitive to violent events and negative news.
The latest neuroscience research indicates that, as a defense mechanism, our brain shuts off extraneous sensory neurons in order to devote full attention to what is moving or changing. This mechanism, along with the power law distribution principle (it says that just a few elements dominate any event) shaped humanity’s linear thinking in such a way as to focus only on the dominant causes and to ignore the seemingly insignificant web of factors that contribute to any given event. The result is that we overlook the randomness that is a part of the real world and reduce it to orderly and linear events. When we respond to the dominant element and get the desired result, it reinforces our belief in the linear model. This reinforcement leads us to believe that cause and effect are proportional. This worldview leads to expectations that are predicated upon predictability, determinism, and certainty. Certainty provides a deterministic tool to make judgments that lead us to abstract belief systems and values. Since our linear logic is based on the proportionality of cause and effect, the chaos and uncertainty in the natural world highlights the non-proportionality of cause and effect and inconsistency of our linear judgment system, including our values and beliefs. Linear thinking with its defense mechanisms, codes our judgment system with fear, guilt, blame, anger, negativity, violence, hopelessness, and liability management, lowering the quality of information processing in the brain. We implement linear thinking in our daily activities and typically receive expected results. But when we recognize its limitations, we become uneasy. Still, linear perception is not useless. We use it successfully in all of our routine activities. We used it to create the reductionist science that led to the creation of the digital world. It has given us tremendous tools for observation that have led us to nonlinear theories that show us that our universe is alive and helps us to understand how it behaves.
Neuropsychologists call linear thinking the “default state of mind.” It is our brain’s automatic mode. According to the brilliant explanations of health psychologist Kelly McGoinigal in her work “The Neuroscience of Change”, in the default state of mind, we hold a critical opinion about the present. By time traveling in our minds we create an alternative reality, regretting the past and projecting it as a negative liability onto the future. This robs us of being fully aware of and present in the current moment. The default state of mind also creates a self-referential identity, or ego, separate from others, which we feel compelled to defend. To this end, we judge others and wonder what they think about us.
On the other hand, we have another state of mind called “mindfulness.” When we are mindful, we experience events with our senses rather than our judgments. We are fully aware of the present moment. When we meditate or have a spiritual experience and intuit information from the living universe, different brain circuitries activate than when we are in the default state of mind. The regions of the brain that activate when we are mindful or having spiritual experiences are the same areas that we use when we think nonlinearly. That is why most nonlinear theorists have a degree of spiritual awareness. As a matter of fact, spiritual thinkers are already nonlinear thinkers.
When we investigate how nonlinear networks function in the human body, we gain deeper insight into human behaviors. These extend to our social and environmental activities as well. In terms of power, control, and consumption, our body follows the principle of power law distribution. Our brain weighs just 2.5 percent of the weight of our body, but it has complete control over the entire body. It consumes more energy per gram per second to maintain itself than any other organ in our body. The self-assertive behavior that accompanies linear thinking is also seen in the brain’s relationship to other parts of our integrated body. As a result of linear perception, instead of holistic and integrated behavior, our brain orients toward entertainment, habits, and expectation in the interest of short-term, selfish gain. In fact, the greed that marks our society begins with our brains’ linear perception. Due to that worldview, the brain often maintains and entertains itself at the expense of the rest of the body. We sometimes consume more than we need to satisfy our brains’ short-term desires, and we suffer the physical and financial consequences later. Linear perception not only separates us from the living universe, it also separates our brain from the rest of our body’s network. Our brain can be so shortsighted that it does not realize that its own long-term wellbeing -- that of the brain itself -- is connected to the wellbeing of the body’s entire network.
The self-assertive nature of linear thinking shifts the brain’s behavior from partnership with the body’s network toward domination. Instead of cooperating with the body to achieve optimum synergy, it competes to satisfy its short-term desire. Instead of asset management, it employs liability management. In default mode, the brain dominates not just the body network but also exhibits the same tendency toward other members of the web of life, including plants, animals, the Earth itself, and even other humans. We divide these others into genders, races, nations, and different religions. We focus mostly on differences, rather than recognizing the commonality among all beings.
On the other hand, holistic, nonlinear thinking recognizes that even though the brain is the most authoritative and powerful part of the body, it still needs the body’s network. Nonlinear thinking sees that the brain owes its functionality, power, and very existence to the whole network and that truth helps the brain better resist short-term desires and rationalizations. Therefore, if we can shift our perception from linear to nonlinear, we will see a change not only in our relationship with Earth and other species but also among different genders, races, nations, and people with different beliefs. We will be able to meet them as equals, with a holistic, non-dominant, cooperative attitude.
We have designed our social and environmental activities on the basis of a linear perception that reflects self-assertive, short-term oriented and controlling values. We divide the members of the human network into different Individuals, nations, religions and cultures, all of them separated from Gaia, the living planet and the whole of the universe. We do this for individual, short-term gains, while nonlinear perception allows us to live holistically, as a piece of the whole living universe.
The perceptional shift from linear to nonlinear is a move from self-assertive to integrative, from rational to intuitive, from reductionist to holistic. It also shifts our values, from consumption to conservation, from competition to cooperation, from quantity to quality, from domination to partnership, from rigidity to flexibility. It also shifts our state of mind, from negativity, blame, anger, revenge, violence and hopelessness to positivity, forgiveness, tolerance, peace and hope. As we shift from linear to nonlinear thinking we gain a greater ability to intuit as well as to process information analytically. Nonlinear thinking provides a hopeful, creative, peaceful, ecologically harmonic framework to deal with a nonlinear, chaotic, digitally integrated world.
Nonlinear perception is system thinking that observes the universe as an interconnected, dynamic network of relationships and recognizes how the components of a network interact to give rise to process. Since nonlinear theories such as chaos, fractal and networking theories are able to explain how processes evolve and how the relationships among the component are, therefore they provide a universal application to any process or relationship on any scale, which characterizes the simplicity of nonlinear perception. Therefore, whatever applies at a personal level is applicable to human activities at any scale. As we have noticed in our analysis of human anatomy, the brain has the most power to make decisions for the whole body, but it needs to act in a holistic and creative manner to maintain the wellbeing and longevity of the whole body network. Similarly, whoever that has been privileged to have the most power, wealth and knowledge in society has to act with the same creative and holistic values to guarantee the wellbeing and longevity of the whole human network.
When we are being mindful and thinking nonlinearly, we see every being as a part of an interdependent network. We see that a holistic approach that will benefit everyone and is essential to humanity’s long-term survival. This is also true of human beings’ relationship with the planet, other species, and each other. And it applies to humans’ social, economic, and political systems, which are also living systems. To ensure the survival of the planet, we must recognize that we are all interconnected members of the living universe.
Everything in the universe has an inherent tendency to participate in networks and synchronize with others. As Steven Strogatz explains it in his book SYNC, this tendency “pervades nature at every scale from the nucleus to the cosmos. Every night along the tidal rivers of Malaysia, thousands of fireflies congregate in unison, without any leader or cue from the environment. Even our bodies are symphonies of rhythm, kept alive by the relentless, coordinated firing of thousands of pacemaker cells in our hearts.” The universal tendency for synchronization was once observed by Dutch physicist Christiaan Huygens between two pendulum clocks in his bedroom. After mixing up the swings of the pendulums, he found that within a half-hour they always returned to consonance and remained so afterward for as long as he left them alone. So while linear thinking or “default state of mind,” has been our automatic state of mind, our natural tendency is to think holistically and to synchronize with others, exhibiting, mindfulness and nonlinear thinking. We can see evidence of this truth in sports, music and social or cultural events; any instance when we get together as group and focus on the same goal. Our natural tendency for synchronization, when combined with the defensive nature of our linear thinking, makes us extremely vulnerable to any negative or violent event. We have a high tendency to synchronize with violence. It’s no wonder, then, that the less than 5 percent of the human population that chooses to resolve their differences through violence can swing the majority to synchronize with them, dominating political discourse for competition by further violence and destruction rather than cooperation for construction. The result is a lose-lose situation, rather than the win-win that typically comes from living networks. In response to the exponential rate of change and chaos that hallmark the digital era, our default state of mind, with its defense mechanisms, codes our judgment system with fear, guilt, blame, anger, negativity, violence, hopelessness, and liability management, lowering the quality of information processing in the brain. Nonlinear perception welcomes chaos as a necessary ingredient to forge a new order with peace, positivity, hope, asset management and creativity. Worrying about the past or future prevents us from giving full attention to the present, and it hinders our ability to focus our creative brains to manage the challenges of the fast-changing digital world.
The fact that the living universe has designed our brain in such a way that it not only perceives and process information linearly, but also nonlinearly and metaphysically, indicates that there exists a hidden metaphysical power of understanding and practice within us. One of the greatest achievements of the digital age is that through nonlinear sciences we are able to understand the metaphysical behaviors of the living universe and communicate it through linear words. While linear thinking has been the dominant perception for many of the past centuries, and our left brain has been further activated by the way we have designed our tools, instruments, education, and overall social activities, nonlinear thinking is the natural state of our minds. By observing the limitations of this default state of mind, by meditating, and by participating in the nonlinear digital world, we are activating the mindfulness circuits of our brain. The living universe is communicating the benefits of this perception to us through different signals that filter into our subconscious. We are witnessing a new wave of spirituality and nonlinear perception among the human population.
So far we have tried to demonstrate how activity from different parts of the brain could provide different perceptions. We know that our brain developed in three stages. First was the reptilian (the oldest, developed 500 to 250 million years ago) which controls the body's vital functions such as heart rate, breathing, body temperature and balance, our fears and desires originate primarily from this part of the brain. Second to develop was the limbic system, developed 150 million years ago and our emotions, sense of smell and memories primarily originated from this part. Finally, the neocortex developed around 2 to 3 million years ago, and it is responsible for the development of human language, abstract thought, imagination, and self-consciousness. There is no doubt each section has developed through necessity, and the ultimate potential of our brain will be manifested when the whole brain works together as a holistic living network, bringing these various systems into play. Our brain performs amazingly to coordinate all of the networks in our body as a living system, but even though our thoughts originated through the nonlinear function of our brain, the final product is linear thinking that is not in sync with the process and nonlinear nature of our brain. In the following paragraph we will examine how the brain is a self-organizing living system that has the capability to achieve its hidden potentials by synchronizing the brain and our mind as its final product.
Our brain, like any living system, is a cognitive system, which seeks its optimum hidden potential. As a living system our brain is also an open system that self-organizes based on feedback. As we become passionate and nonjudgmental observers of our thoughts, feelings, and actions, we create positive feedback that helps the self-organizing process achieve its universal potentials. The effectiveness of this feedback is directly related to the quality of our observations. Meanwhile the qualities of observations are directly related to the long-term goals and the values that derive from those goals. When we set our goals to achieve the spirit and intelligence of the living universe and start observing our thoughts, words, feelings, and actions with the values of the living system (which we have defined earlier), our observations become nonjudgmental, accepting and passionate toward ours and others thoughts and actions. As we observe our brain function with this quality of feedbacks, which are flexible, adoptable, and, holistic, we allow our brains to start the self-organizing process to achieve its ultimate capability which Rudolph E.Tanzi and Deepak Chopra call the “Super Brain”. In this way, we open ourselves to the network of life, synchronizing with and receiving information intuitively from the living universe. Similarly, on the social scale when we define our long term goals and values to be consistent with behaviors of the living universe and start observing our plans and actions the human living network will start its self-organizing process. Fortunately we are living in a digital world that is behaving nonlinearly; therefore, all that we need to do is participate in it with our renewed perception’s goals and values.
Nonlinear thinking, philosophy and spirituality
Most spiritual beliefs and experiences indicate a higher spirit or intelligence in the universe. Humans have always sought to understand this higher power, intelligence, and spirit. As we discussed earlier, the living universe manifests itself in nonlinear network patterns that are able to self-organize without any central command, creating a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. If we recognize that the universe is alive, it is not too much of a stretch to acknowledge that other species – and even solar systems and galaxies – have valid intelligence and spirit. We can see that all of the spirit and intelligence contained in other humans, beavers, milkweed, dung beetles, Jupiter, and the Milky Way provide a nonlinear network of intelligence and spirit that is greater than a simple tallying of each element’s intelligence and spirit. With such a higher intelligent and sprit, the living universe guides the whole network and has a dynamic relationship with each component. The holistic nature of nonlinear perception does not consider the higher spirit and intelligence of the living universe as a separate entity. Rather, it is a result of and is an inseparable part of the system itself, so creation is a perpetual process of self-creation with no central command.
By acknowledging this higher intelligence and spirit of living universe as guidance, we can restore the hope that has faded in recent centuries due to loss of spirituality, and loss of faith in religious beliefs, and pessimistic predictions of entropy and environmental destruction accelerated by the modern world. We can unify physics and metaphysics in a hopeful and dynamic form. Having faith in the universe and in Earth’s greater intelligence is a hopeful, positive approach to chaotic events in our rapidly changing world.
Nonlinear thinking primarily activates the right side of the brain and provides access to the rich metaphysical and spiritual experiences of our prehistoric ancestors that manifest our ultimate potential as a human god. When our goals and values are consistent with the behavioral patterns of the living universe and by living by those principles, we create a dynamic relationship with the universe based upon its own essential behaviors. We are in tune with the universe. In this way, our will and our destiny become unified with that of the universe. As ancient traditions realized, our imagination, thought, and words are sacred and magical, and the living universe acts as a mirror, reflecting and responding dynamically to them. We can individually or collectively shape the future by focusing on values that are harmonic with the behavior of living systems. Fortunately, the latest research in neuropsychology indicates that when we set our deepest aspirations to be in harmony with the true nature of the living universe, our brain will respond positively and start manifesting it in reality. This phenomenon is consistent with the Vow concept in wisdom traditions.
Nonlinear thinking, with its lack of expectations and nonjudgmental characteristics, demonstrates unconditional love as its ethical value and guiding principle. It is the most reliable benchmark for other ethical values because it satisfies the values of any living system. These include cooperation, and partnership, nonjudgmental, with no expectations. These ethical values are not anthropocentric; they come from observing the behaviors of other living ecosystems. For example, the Earth gives us a smooth ride around the solar system every 365 days, providing us with everything we need. It does this with no expectation regarding how we treat her back. The same is true of the sun and of animals such as dogs. After all most of spiritual, artistic, and near death experiences have indicated that when we are selfless and totally connected with the living universe we feel joy, peace and love. On the other hand, the self-serving, protective nature of our linear perception codes our judgments with blame, guilt and hate. Thinking in terms of blame hinders our ability to forgive, which is an inherent part of unconditional love.
Unconditional love is a most enjoyable human experience and is the pinnacle of the emotional part of the cognition process. After all, most spiritual beliefs hold that the fabric of the universe is made of love and that the primary duty of human beings is to recognize and manifest this concept as the ultimate goal of the spiritual journey. In his great work The Power of Myth, Joseph Campbell has shown that most mythical stories of human beings show that the main purpose of creation is the manifestation of unconditional love. In Christianity, for example, these values found their physical embodiment in Jesus Christ’s experience and his core beliefs.
The mythology of Sufism also states that the creator is love and wants to manifest itself in physical form. The creator made angels, but they could not feel and suffer the pain that accompanies love. So it then chose human beings, which are capable of feeling and suffering pain, to manifest this ultimate goal of creation. This mythological imagination and teaching ultimately embodies itself in a great number of Sufis’ personal life experiences. The values were set down in the poetry of love, inspired by the personal experiences of Rumi, a renowned poet born in 1207, and, a century later, in the work of Hafez, a Persian poet who wrote about love and spirit.
At the beginning of this article I mentioned that the digital age is a transformative era. It is creating exponential changes in all of our activities and belief systems. Now we have two choices. We can participate in this fast-changing world with our rigid, linear perception, with liability management and counterproductive linear responses to the challenges of a nonlinear world, resisting change and emphasizing on our differences with blame, fear and violence. Alternatively, we can participate in the holistic, nonlinear perception of hope, forgiveness, tolerance, acceptance, positivity, creativity, and asset management. We can define our goals to behave like the living universe, with unconditional love, and the values that result from it. In the digital era, because our economic, political and social activities are processed through digital non-linear networks they are themselves becoming emergent, highly interconnected non-linear systems with the capability of self-organization. If we observe these activities, with these non-linear, holistic goals of the living universe in mind, we are then creating a feedback loop that will input our goals into the system, facilitating and accelerating the systems self-organizing processes, and in time changing them into systems that are in harmony with the other living systems of earth and the universe.
As we learn from ancient wisdom, the living universe responds to us, magnifying and reflecting our imaginations, thoughts, words and actions. If we respond to the fast-changing digital world with linear perception, using blame, fear and violence, the universe magnifies it back to us with more chaos, instability, fear, violence and destruction. But if our respond is in harmony with the behavior of the living universe, the universe will magnify that response instead, manifesting our, metaphysical, and creative potential. Our will and destiny will be unified, and our creativity based on unconditional love will create a heaven on Earth.
While the digital age is rapidly shaking our foundations and creating uncertainty and chaos, it is at the same time providing the nonlinear science that enables us to understand the nature of chaotic events. It is helping us to realize that we reside in a living universe, and it is revealing enough guidelines to harmonize our behaviors with its metaphysical yet universal and simple behavioral patterns. As we participate in this nonlinear digital world, we activate the nonlinear parts of our brain to create more neuron connections. At the same time, Earth as a living system is communicating and facilitating this process too. We are witnessing rapid environmental awareness among humans and amazing spiritual personal experiences among neuroscientists, such as Jill Taylors’s My Stroke of Insight or Eben Alexander’s near-death experience.
We may not be able to predict when or how this transformation in our conscious will take place. But nonlinear perception itself could help to hasten this emerging awareness. As networking theory reveals, there are a maximum of six degrees of separation among members of any nonlinear network, including the human network. Randomness is the main factor that lowers the number of degrees of separation. While the digital era is transforming our activities, making them more nonlinear and more subject to chaos and randomness, it is also reducing the number of degrees of separation among members of the human network and its sub networks to weave us more tightly together. At the same time, since there is a dynamic relationship between us and the universe, the living universes provides all kinds of signals through our dreams and in our daily connections to further connect us together.
As we discussed earlier in the analysis of human anatomy, because of the “power law distribution” the brain has the greatest power to make decisions for the whole body, and it needs to act in a holistic, creative manner with asset management to provide wellbeing and longevity to the whole body network. The same is true if we consider human intelligence or cognitive systems as a living network. Whoever has a holistic understanding of the universe has the most responsibility to act creatively. Spiritual thinkers, especially those with a scientific background are closest to the threshold of understanding the emerging nonlinear concept. By paying more attention to the recent developments in nonlinear theories and by considering themselves to be a cognitive living network by sharing their wealth of knowledge and experience, they can publicize the nonlinear perception and its powerful, universal, and harmonic applications among their fan networks and the younger generation. In doing so, they can create hopeful waves of thoughts and actions in line with the behavior of the living universe. The living universe can in turn magnifying these waves and reflect them back to us. In this way, we can pass through this transitional era and emerge with a new consciousness.
The rate of change that is exponentially increasing (which is a key characteristic of the digital era) will bring greater challenges in the next decade than what we have been experiencing in the last decade. These challenges will occur in our globally interconnected nonlinear economy, political systems, science, technology and their environmental impacts. Since, our social and economic activities and their environmental impacts are behaving nonlinearly they therefore are subjected to further instability, progressing toward their critical point of instability. At the critical point of instability a nonlinear system has two choices; complete destruction, or emergence to a new order and functionality where all of the components are synchronized. We can respond to the challenges of the critical point with either linear or non-linear responses. Linear solutions with their self-assertive and short-term oriented nature are going to be counterproductive and will create further chaos. Any solution has to consider the interconnectivity of these challenges and provide a unified and holistic solution that has the capability to deal with the multi-disciplinary challenges. The nonlinear solutions will have the characteristics of holistic creative asset management, and will reflect the behavioral patterns of nonlinear living systems, which are conservation, cooperation and partnership. Nonlinear solutions will have the nonlinear perception’s attitude toward challenges such as nonjudgmental, forgiveness, nonviolence, tolerance, hopefulness, and positivity.
My hope is that those members of the human network who have been fortunate enough to recognize both the challenges and our creative potentials will participate in a creative network to achieve the unified solutions. As we progress towards the critical point of instability, we are in a transformational era, which is like a fork in the road of a non-linear systems existence. One path leads to a higher level of functionality, the other leads to the destruction of the system; by working together we can align our global system on the correct path. The nonlinear solutions that apply on a personal level can be universally applied to any system on any scale including, social, environmental, economic and political systems. If the ideas discussed in this article have engaged your interest I invite you to participate in a discussion of practical non-linear solutions to the shortcomings of these global systems.
A note to the reader: I have shown that the living universe is made of “cognitive energy”: energy that contains a pattern of information that makes it capable of organizing itself in nonlinear network patterns. In the fractal mathematics section, I propose that the fractal dimension of the Golden Ratio could contain a unified spiral pattern of information, which provides a nonlinear self-organizing tendency.