Today let’s get a bit out there. Astral. Spiritual. Let’s enter the woo. Let’s leave the world of scientific validity and try to enter the realm of merely philosophising and exploring the realm of possibilities.
Theres a term that gets thrown around a lot in spiritual circles, and that term is the “collective consciousness”.
The idea that we are actually all one giant interconnected mind, a collective spiritual being under the illusion of being separate. That we are all in fact intertwined, not only in the ripple effects of our actions and behaviours, but in the realm of consciousness as well. Our thoughts, our minds, are interconnected and one.
I like this idea. It seems to make sense to me. Here’s why.
For one, let’s look at the nature of how the universe started.
To try and condense a whole lot of history very quickly into layman terms, aaaaaaaalllllll the way back to the beginning of the planet, after the earth was created in the days of the primordial soup, the planet was dominated by single celled organisms. Then one day, when the conditions were ripe, cells suddenly started to split, and we saw the rise of the multi-cellular organism. One cell divided into 2 into 4 and grew exponentially into a form the world had never seen before and thus various species began to emerge out of the previous abyss.
Across all of nature we see this same phenomenon. The Fibonacci sequence for example is found in all sorts of plants and shells and trees and more. Nature seems to have this natural process of exponential growth and expansion. Still originating from the same source, but multiplying away from the root.
I like to look at the collective consciousness in the same way.
I like to imagine that in the beginning there was one giant ass consciousness. Imagine a big ass bubble. Then that consciousness split into 2. Then 4, 8, 16, 32, and so on. And it continues to multiply until today. Exponentially dividing and doubling as humanity and all of it’s lives has grown over time.
This image here helps to visualise –
You see, it’s all the same consciousness, all in the same bubble. There appears to be division, separation in the cells, but they are all still a part of the same larger cell.
This is us. Our minds and individual personalities. We live under the veil of separation and individuality, but we are all actually a part of the same larger organism that is humanity. We are connected in a way that we don’t really understand. Most importantly though – we’re not individuals but rather one larger connected whole.
Many ancient cultures talk about this as well. In Buddhism there is the concept of “no self”. That when you get down to the root of everything there is simply oneness. All is one and one is all. Yin/Yang. You’ll see this in shamanic circles, yoga and kundalini practices, and religious/spiritual experiences of all kinds. It’s a well documented phenomenon.
Let’s be honest too – Scientifically speaking, we still have no idea what the fuck consciousness even is. We have some loose ideas of where the inner voice originates in the mind, but for larger questions like intuition or the nature of what really is the “self”, is still largely not understood. Unfortunately, one can’t really prove or disprove the idea of the collective consciousness. As Jordan Peterson says, “and we don’t really know what to do with that.”
And If that’s the case – if we are all actually connected – then the veil of individuality falls by the wayside. That perhaps, we’re not all that different. We’re all one and that means we’re not actually independent of each other, but instead interdependent.
Which brings us to our next, and more important tangent. Where I really want to take us today… – I like to look at this concept of the collective consciousness and our interdependent nature in the context of how Steven Covey talks about dependence>independence>interdependence.
If you’ve never read the book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, #1 – go read it. Lifetime classic and been a bible of mine for years. #2 – There is a section of the book where he talks about maturity of an individual in the context of dependence>independence>interdependence.
First we have dependence. When we’re born we’re largely dependent on the care of our mothers and fathers. We depend on them to feed us and take care of us because we aren’t self sufficient yet.
Then over time we eventually learn how to handle things on our own. We become independent. We rely on ourselves to get things done rather than depending on others to provide for you. This is the 2nd level of maturity – independence.
Then the final level of maturity – interdependence. The ability to work with other people. The idea that you can’t reach your full potential without the help of other people. That when you work together and combine with others who compliment your skills, you can move faster and farther and accomplish more than you ever dreamed possible. The adage, “if you want to go fast travel alone, if you want to go farther travel with others.”
Going back to this idea of the collective consciousness, I feel that as a global society, as a global collective consciousness, we’re still at the level of independence. We live under the veil of individuality and such we don’t realize the true interdependent potential that lies in front of us as our next level of growth and evolution.
It makes sense too when you think about the timeline of things. In the beginning we were dependent on the environment. If the environment provided food for us, we ate. If not, we starved. We were highly dependent on where we live and the availability of resources nearby.
Then over time, we became more independent. We built communities and cities and created supply chains to be able to take care of ourselves independent of the environment. We became independent and self sustaining.
But within societies there was a suppression of independence. Whether through slavery or racism, through our education and professional systems, we created ideas of who you are and what you can be, and we put people into boxes as we tried to grow society.
Then over the last probably 100 years or so though we’ve seen a resistance to these boxes and predefined limits. We’ve seen the rise of individualism. Groups of people staking a claim to their identity and their ability to be treated as equals. From womens voting rights to the civil rights movement and now BLM, to gay marriage now all the way to the LGBTQ communities, all of these are expressions of people claiming their unique identity, individuality, and independence.
On the whole we’ve also created highly individualized societies. Look at a culture like the United States, its largely dog eat dog. Competitive. I’mma get mine you gotta get yours. Your problems are yours, mine are mine. I gotta pay my bills and take care of myself, you gotta go handle your own responsibilities.
In this context, as a global collective consciousness, we’re still at the level of independence. We haven’t crossed the threshold into a collective interdependent consciousness.
Don’t get me wrong, it took a hell of a lot of interdependent work to get us to where we are today. To have the cities and societies that we do. To have the food and healthcare and education that we do.
But I believe that we’re still largely a collective consciousness we haven’t graduated yet out of independence.
Maybe that’s what all this COVID shit is for. If you look at what has happened, it’s largely separated people. Isolated people. Disconnected each other from the ability to physically connect.
What’s happened as a result of that? While we might be all wrapped up in our individual lives, we now have this common collective enemy of COVID that binds us all together, that forces us to work together collectively and if we can’t – well, it’s just going to continue to get uglier.
Either way, theres a lot of fighting going on. A lot of trying to defend our individuality. Our individual beliefs and opinions of how the world should be and what we need to do to build the future.
We’re stuck in defense mode. We’re stuck in protecting our views of the world.
What we need to do is be open. Ask questions. Understand the other side.
This is a lot of what I have learned from sales as well. I don’t agree or disagree with people on the phone, I just try to understand who they are and what they believe and what they want to accomplish. Im not there to judge or give solutions, I’m there to understand you at an individual level.
Largely my entire technique is ask a question, listen, repeat back to you what you just said to me summarized in my own words, and then get confirmation that I understood correctly. Learned this from Chris Voss, he calls it “mirroring and labeling”.
Super simple. Straightforward.
And what does it do? Builds trust.
When I get your confirmation that I understood you correctly, you feel understood. Listened to. This builds trust. Now that you know I’m listening, you can go deeper. Divulge more information.
Now look at the rhetoric of the world today. It’s a lot of say something>rebuttal. Not much understanding or trust built in there.
I use this as an example of what we need to do in order to become more of an interdependent minded collective consciousness (try to say that five times fast!).
This is an example of what we can do to embrace this mindset. To wake up to the illusion of separation and start treating each other properly.
Another example that jumps to mind right now – ghosting culture. People simply disappear on each other these days. I see it all the time on my calls. Spend 30-45 minutes with someone on the phone and then never hear from them again. See it in relationships too.
Complete lack of consideration and respect for the other individual. People are so absorbed into their own lives, their own worries and challenges that we simply ignore everyone else. And as a society that’s become acceptable and a norm. Another example that we’re stuck in the individual mindset.
Im guilty of this as well, by no means am I an angel here. I’ve built a life around isolation. Live in Brazil far away from my family and friends. I’m not good with maintaining contact with people. Spoke to my mom for the first time in a month yesterday, probably haven’t spoke to my brother in 2-3 months over the phone. I’m equally at fault here in this world of individuality.
I’m trying to wake up to the error of my ways though. Taking conscious steps or at least becoming aware of these aspects so that I can create the desire to change.
And the more I dwell on this topic I can’t help but feel like this is the next level of Mario for the human race. Our level up. Our spiritual graduation and evolution. To lose the veil of separation and realize our interdependent nature, and then harness that to tackle a hell of a lot of larger global issues.
Perhaps as well fuck it, ditch the whole idea of the collective consciousness. Lose the spiritual woo. I’d still say that our next level of human evolution is to learn how to work together at a global level interdependently. It’s something that the human race is really yet to achieve. It’s like there’s all these “countries” with their individual identities, but maybe we need to get past all of that and truly work together to solve global challenges. That we do in fact live on one planet together, whether or not we share one collective consciousness.
Who knows. Maybe this is just a bunch of raving madness from a man who has no idea what he is talking about.
Decide for yourself. Or better yet don’t decide, actively try to not agree or disagree, just let the idea hang there. Just sit with that and munch on it for a bit…..