Sometime when people are talking, pretend you don’t understand the language they are speaking. See how much you can get from the tone of their voice and gestures. Observe the behavior that goes beyond their words. Just feel the energy contained within the interpersonal dynamic.
You can generalize this to large groups. Watching the energetics of a lecturer (that which exudes beyond the words) can be fascinating. Yet, watching the energetics of the audience can be even more fascinating. A group consciousness takes over. This can also be witnessed in a broad range of animal species: dogs running in a pack, newborn pups curling up together, the movement of a flock of birds, etc.
I found the group consciousness to be particularly disturbing when viewing the post-911 television broadcasts of the congressional meetings. A fervor consumed the group, but their attention was on their concepts and notions. The agitated state of their psyches (which is the most important factor) went unnoticed. Making major decisions, such as the declaration of war, while in this kind of state is terribly unwise.
Societies as a whole also embody characteristic group consciousness. It is the mentality or tonal quality of the group consciousness that determines the nature of thoughts and attitudes. However, this goes largely unrecognized. Generally, our attitudes are seen as justifiable by virtue of the thoughts we entertain. Little attention is given to the fact those thoughts are mere expressions of a mentality, an emotional and psychological state that lies deeper than thoughts.
The group mentality in America at this time is very much about being an independent thinker and your own person. What often goes unnoticed is that this is not independent thought, but enslavement to a group consciousness that professes independent thought. In our culture, “independent thinking” is respected, provided it falls within certain narrow parameters, such as social correctness, political correctness, allegiance with one’s sub cultural philosophy (including anti-culture), etc. These allegiances are very easy to see or even feel by visiting any group or fellowship of your choosing: church on Sunday, political rallies, marches for a cause, etc. In other words, it is not really independent thought at all.
It is not as easy to rise above the tonal group consciousness as one may think. It is as all-pervading as rain. The weather affects everyone. Interestingly enough, the independent undercurrent of modern mentality compels us to believe otherwise. We strive to live in denial of the influence group consciousness has upon us in declaration of our own autonomy. The truth is, we are so immersed in it, we cannot see beyond it.
So, how do you free yourself from the clutches of group consciousness? Or, even better, how do you use the dynamic of group consciousness to propel your evolution forward instead of allowing it to enslave you? The answer to that is more elusive than one may think.
Generally, groups assemble in the name of a lofty philosophy—a belief system based upon a set of ideals. Though the intent is most noble, there is an inherent flaw in the process. Once again, emphasis is put upon self-justifying thoughts. The actual tonal quality of the group mentality goes unnoticed. In fact, imbalances or incongruities in that mentality can even be exacerbated in service of the chosen philosophy. Extreme examples of this might include the rageful mentality of the terrorists. They embrace a philosophy which justifies their outlashes, a result of the hateful tonal quality of their group mentality.
I have found it most disheartening to speak with members of spiritual groups from New Age and Eastern disciplines. Their words express the mentality they have mistakenly embraced as evolution. This is not a criticism of those groups, as much as it is a recognition of the state we find our species in. It is very difficult for people who are immersed in, and born of, a particular mentality to see that. In fact, they see their philosophy originated from that mentality as the thing that will emancipate them. This is characteristic of the state of our species at this time. It is what even spiritual leaders do with the greatest teachings of the most enlightened masters. People look to them as gurus and enlightened masters, unable to see they are entrenched by the same dynamic.
Attempts to create an ideal or enlightened society have succumbed to that dynamic throughout history—even societies whose philosophies are based upon love and the teachings of great enlightened masters. The foundation of a society is upside down, lest the tonal quality be addressed and worked with first and foremost. The philosophy is then the secondary manifestation. For evolution to be fostered, it is necessary to live in a group where the tonal quality is the focus. Otherwise, the influence of the group consciousness where you live will color your mentality as surely as you will get wet if you walk outside in the rain. There are plenty of communities out there already who are indoctrinating people into a philosophy that is representative of the group mentality.
The focus, then, is to create a community where the disturbances, imbalances, and impurities in the group mentality are purged from the greater physiology in a completely natural manner. A philosophy can be employed to assist that process, provided that philosophy is held in the context discussed here. If not, then even the greatest teachings of the most enlightened masters in history will be reduced to an abomination of what was originally meant. The trick is to be able to use those philosophies without them using you. Otherwise, the shovels employed to dig for the gold are mistaken for the gold (the wisdom within you).
Good advice is everywhere, but only the wise know when they hear it.
Creating just one such ideal or enlightened community will stand as a model for all of society. Just as the sun radiates its influence to permeate our entire globe, so the influence of this community will radiate a new way of being that will permeate humanity. It will free the individuals to rest into their own true divine nature—a place inside that lies beyond the grasp of notions and philosophies, a place inside that resolves the conflicts of the limitless contradictions and paradoxes that have confounded humanity throughout the ages. It must not be a place that indoctrinates people into an attitude or philosophy. Too many such communities have already come and gone throughout history.
The art of creating such a community is profoundly subtle. Our habit is to cling to notions and adhere to philosophies as the thing that will enlighten us. The finesse required to move humanity beyond that mindset cannot be overstated. However, this is our purpose: to move humanity to that whole new level of evolution.
© Michael Mamas, 3/07