When creatures began to emit regulatory signals into the environment, awareness had something new to reflect upon. Communications became a control system that forged the evolution of all the forms of life on our planet. The signals between organisms on all levels of being were the elements of a whole new structure of becoming.
Signals between living systems merged together into larger and more complex communications. First they were simply by-products of the beings, later they became deliberate signals, emitted to elicit desired behavior and co-ordinate action between individual beings. Finally, they became words.
Words are more than simple signals. Signals are representatives of individual beings (I Am). Words are also representatives of a group understanding about any object or action (We Are). Signals and words emitted by individual beings are short-lived, forming and reforming each time they were expressed.
About 4500 years ago, writing was invented. This shifted language into a new realm.
Writing was to the communication web what DNA was to the organic web - a means of replicating concepts over long intervals. Written words outlasted the individual beings that created them and, once inscribed, the concepts became nearly immortal.
Written language was the star, the organism, of a new rapidly expanding universe of thought. Writing awoke a new kind of consciousness, a new means of knowing together, that transformed human awareness, enabling it to reflect upon itself so it could understand not only the signals of other humans, but the signals and memories of all living beings.
Writing - and related communications such as art, music and mathematics - accumulated vast libraries, galaxies of information, that controlled the behavior of all humans on the planet and through them, the planetary ecosystems.
The replicating ability of words, graphics and other written communications improved rapidly with printing techniques and exploded when they became encoded in electronic signals. Spoken words propagated over the planet by word of mouth with poor reproductive qualities and limited distribution. Electronic media enables the spread of concepts around the planet at the speed of light. Information has accumulated into an expanding universe of knowledge in global databases.
The Electronic Web of understanding is reaching out to form a control system that enables human awareness to penetrate through its limited interval of awareness and limited perceptual horizons and view all the thread of awareness, from the dawn of the universe through the development of life and being.
The new electronic information system created electronic eyes capable of seeing the residue of the Big Bang from the creation of the universe, and perceive and catalogue millions of galaxies.
It created tunneling electron microscopes able to see atoms and it created atom smashers able to create and measure sub-atomic particles.
It devised systems to view the entire floor of the sea and to observe the entire planet from all angles all at once.
It devised ways to see into the heart of the planet itself, to its very core, inspecting each layer to understand the movements of the planetary crust.
It learned to read the strata laid down by life over the millennia and recall the details of the development of life.
It peered into living beings and saw, in real time and great detail, the shape and size and movement and activity of DNA.
It measured thought as it was formed in the minds of humans and other creatures, scanning with magnetic resonance and thermal probes.
All these sensory abilities have lifted mind above the horizons of its old perceptions and lifted us into a new pattern of being. One able to recognize itself as the thread of awareness developing on a living planet.