Group, individual, and hive minds

Friday. September 28, 2018

3:10 a.m. Two questions left, and then we are current, as far as I can see. I don’t think I overlooked anyone.]

Bill Ebeltoft question:

[I understand, I think, that everything is consciousness and part of the same thing in the larger reality. My question concerns the organization of animal consciousness. From my understanding and experience, the shamanic view of what they refer to as “power animals” is that they are the non-3D essence of the particular manifestation of animal the power animal represents. I.e., when you contact “Wolf” you are dealing with the non-3D essence of all wolves. So, are the 3-D manifestations of animals comprised of multiple “threads” as humans are or are they more like a singular being, or is it more complicated than that. From previous conversations, I suspect that is the case. I do understand that at some non-3-D level we (humans, non-humans, animals, vegetables, minerals) are all connected, as we are the same thing. ]

A little more complicated, both in the case of animals and of that particular animal that is human. But, let’s say, it boils down, always, to: You aren’t as individual as you think you are. Compound beings are – compound, not unitary. It is one more case of “Which you?”

I get the idea. It isn’t anything you haven’t said before, I think, only this is a new context.

The answer involves more than one thing, because the question does, implicitly. We are talking about mind, and spirit is mind.

I’m lousing it up, aren’t I? I’ll recalibrate without orders. J


That happens, sometimes, when I get a complex idea and want to express it in one gestalt rather than sequentially. The result is always going to be over-simplified, superficial, jumbled.

It is, unless you happen to stumble upon a clarifying image or metaphor. But “sequential” is more useful, even if slower, as more can follow the process.

And often enough we wind up with an image anyway, like the time you struggled for most of a session before coming up with the water/ice-cube analogy. Okay, so, let’s go about it slowly.

Several concepts coalesce to explain the answer to the question. Temporary joint mind. Compound being. What might be called a hive mind, and the localized individual mind.

All 3D beings that are the result of sexual reproduction may be considered to be compound beings. That is, they are of shared heredity. [Meaning, I think, not so much shared with others as shared from others. But this distinction comes to me only as I type this up.] It is true that ultimately “we are all one,” but on a practical day-by-day level, a fish is not a stone is not a tree, and neither is any one person or animal the same as just any other.

Difficult to find a way to express what you are meaning. We are individual for all practical purposes, as the litter of wolves, say, are all individuals. Yet we are all part of one another in that we have all these unseen tendrils connecting one to the other, in all directions, back and forth across time and space (“other lives”) in more ways than we know.

And which aspect of you surfaces at any given time – the individual or the group – depends upon many things. This was one of psychology’s rediscoveries, notably Carl Jung’s school of thought.

So I as individual am sometimes particularly conscious, sometimes, shall we call it, group conscious.

Jung considered group identification to be a lower form of awareness – as, for instance, a mob’s psychology – but perhaps we are better off merely understanding, at least for the moment, rather than judging.

When someone is aware of its uniqueness, the particularity of its situation may be said to be in the ascendant. You, Frank, are aware of the Frank-ness of you, of the elements that make you different from your fellows. When you are not particularly aware of this particularity, you take for granted your place as one human among many.

I still don’t think the underlying idea has been expressed clearly.

You as human are compound not merely in the fact that you are the unique result of untold numbers of sexual pairings over the generations – that is, the repeated sequential graftings of one line onto another physically, which necessarily associates previously separate soul lines, producing something new each time. You are compound, also, in that you are partly

Lost it.

You are compound in function, as are all compound beings, even flowers. (Anything, as we say, that is the result of this uniting of different lines of development.) You function as an individual; you function as one localized part of an extended 3D awareness; you function as a part of an extended non-3D awareness. It may be easier for you to see the first and third elements than the second, but it is the second that we concern ourselves with at the moment.

You don’t necessarily notice which aspect of life you are expressing and experiencing at any given moment, and you don’t necessarily stay in either mode for very long at a time, nor by will rather than by circumstance.

I have always had a difficult time dealing with group-think – sheep-think, I sometimes call it.

Yes, but you also participate in it more than you realize, by definition, because when you are in group-think you are by definition unaware of being there. or, let’s say for accuracy’s sake, one rarely is aware of being in the group rather than individual state.

I had the impression that many people, maybe most, spend much of their time in group consciousness only.

This confuses a concept with a specific manifestation of it. Living is one thing. Having opinions, and instinctively reacting similarly, is another thing, if not two other things.

So, a lynch mob, or a political rally, or a group of fans at a sports event or a rock concert, represent a temporary joint mind of a particularly strong focus. It is pointed but transient. A few hours on, it will have dissolved, even if the opinions or the esthetics continue to bind them.

But the army-ness of an army, the career-likeness of a given trade, the shared day-to-day reality of a given way of life, will persist through the greater part of a lifetime, sometimes in the foreground but mostly in the unnoticed background that is a life.

And the very specific mind of a lone wolf, or an outcast, or a prophet (whether through artistry or vision), or the very practical skill of shamanic training, is a third state of being.

Even the lone wolf will have moments of shared beingness. Even the representative of a collective way of seeing things will have its own individual way of seeing things, as well. Even the members of a mob of one sort or another will be prone to be reminded of their own individuality.

What this clumsy exposition amounts to is this: Compound beings – vegetable, animal, and human – are both individual and social, or say both individual and group. Insects represent a place on the polarity more oriented toward a whole rather than individual. A hive may be regarded as an individual in itself, with the component bees or termites (or ants, to extend the analogy) being the equivalent of cells in the body. Mammals are farther toward the cooperating-individual stage, in that there is no equivalent of a hive among, say, cows in a herd, or sheep in a fold. Fish in a school are somewhere between insects and mammals.

But humans are neither flesh nor fish nor fowl, so to speak. The human mind with its ability to represent abstract ideas about itself differs in kind from other animals at its individual extreme, but remains animal nonetheless. Cultivate your individuality all you like, you are still one cell in the body of all-humans, so to speak. Go along with the crowd however much you are inclined to drift; you are nonetheless more individual than a fish, or certainly than an insect.

We hope this serves.

I think so. I guess we’ll see. That leaves us one for next time. Our thanks as always.


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