Consciousness Hacking: 2017

The good news is that 2017 is likely to become the year “consciousness hacking” goes viral.  If you haven’t heard the term, don’t sweat – it’s a new name for something that’s as old as the Vedas.  Over the course 2017, I’ll be providing you with consciousness hacking tips.  If you’re looking for one resolution that covers a lot of territory this might be the one for you. 

1) Consciousness hacking is about human and planetary flourishing. It refers to no tech, low tech, and high tech tools for expanding consciousness. Meditation is the oldest form of consciousness hacking. In Western psychology, research in this area is found in the humanistic, transpersonal, and integral schools. Some of the most prominent researchers include Abraham Maslow, Roberto Assagioli, and Ken Wilber.  These individuals were among the first to define human psychology in terms of health and wellbeing, rather than disease or pathology.

2) Although consciousness hacking includes no tech and low tech approaches, the potential of high tech tools is spurring current interest. Consciousness hacking is a way of talking about using technology to serve humanity rather than the other way around. Three pioneers in this area include Tim Berners-Lee (inventor of the World Wide Web) Steward Brand (Whole Earth Catalog and The WELL) and Nicolas Negroponte (MIT Media Lab and One Laptop per Child).  More recently, Mikey Sigel, founded CoHack.Life, a website dedicated to building a community to support consciousness hacking. The site started in December 2013 “with the intention of sparking a community of makers who are focused on exploring and building new technologies for human flourishing.” The community has “grown organically from a few locations, to over 20 communities and 10,000 members worldwide.” 

3) Consciousness hacking is happening now—all around us.

  • If you use Apps that track fitness routines or support daily meditation, you’re already engaging in consciousness hacking.
  • Consciousness is both personal and collective. When you participate in social media campaigns that bring awareness to social or environmental injustices, you are hacking societal consciousness—for the better.  Some collective consciousness hacking terms include digital altruism, Cyberhero archetype, and collaborative heroism.
  • Some of the tools in the consciousness hacking toolbox include applying mindfulness to the use of technology or unplugging altogether—taking a time-out from technology on a daily basis and planning longer retreats like the “Mindful Unplug.”

Why does the consciousness hacking movement matter?

4) We’re still in the early days of scientifically exploring physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and societal flourishing because most research funding goes toward pathology. Some of the earliest research in this area dates back to biofeedback studies and studies of monk’s meditating. To attract funding for new research, we need to stimulate interest in human and societal flourishing.

5) Over a decade ago I wrote, “Advances in technology have caused dramatic changes in the utility of media, endowing it with potentials hitherto unimagined. If consciously guided, it may have the potential of ushering in a quantum leap in consciousness. If left alone, it may speed up the prevailing value system, which Capra (1989) described as based on expansion, competition, domination, and exploitation.”1

2016 may go down in history as the year that sped up the prevailing value system. Which is why what happens in 2017 is more important than ever.

That’s where you come in.

By hacking consciousness, you can improve your life and raise our collective vibration. To encourage you, I’ll be posting a tip each month from a new book I'm writing, The Good Web: Hacking Consciousness in the 21st Century. If you're looking for a New Year's resolution that can help every aspect of your life, this one's for you. 


1. Berners-Lee, Tim (2000). Weaving the Web: The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web. NY: HarperBusiness.

2. Brand, S. (2009). Whole Earth Discipline. NY: Penguin Books.

3. Brand, S. (1999). The Clock of the Long Now: Time and Responsibility. NY: Basic Books.

3. Negroponte, N. (1996). Being Digital. NY: Vintage.  

4. Klisanin, D. (2005). Transpersonal Artistry: Designing Evolutionary Guidance Media, Journal of Transpersonal Psychology.  37(1). 52-77.

5. Klisanin, D. (2010). Exploring the design of conscious media. Futures. 42(10), 1119-1125. doi:10.1016/j.futures.2010.08.012