Consciousness – Single or collective? 2

Consciousness Single or collective?

Mans conscious mind is under siege today. It’s not the new world order, or raising one’s consciousness or vibrations, it is far more fundamental and of far greater importance than any such discussion. The question is this. Is each living man or woman an individual living being, or an individualised expression of a unified consciousness that reportedly embraces or unites all of us at our very core?

Articles regularly come my way that implore Man’s need of a new understanding, to grasp a new map of reality so to speak, one upholding a truth greater than anything previously offered or accepted. These writings purport that our material reality is interconnected at the core, specifically that all living beings are inherently part of a collective field of consciousness which resonates between us. It is argued that Mankind should evolve toward greater collaboration, cooperation, coherence and cohesion. These, it is said, will contribute to a thriving and sustainable future, thereby ridding division, conflict, competition or fear, all of which thrive today.

Few if any will disagree that goal but two burning questions arise. Does knowing what we all want for our future automatically guarantee that we know how it can be achieved? Because we all share one ideal does it follow that we are all one consciousness?

No, it does not! Knowing the ‘what’ of something does not itself satisfy knowing the ‘how’ of it. Pundits of this new reality fail to explore or explain this matter.

So often they pose that because each person determines his or her conduct within the broader context of humanity and human life, it follows that ‘consciousness’ is determined by our consensual goals or desires. ‘Consciousness’ is not what one individual wants, or to do they conclude, rather it expresses what many people want, or to do.

Their argument subverts individual consciousness and replaces it with what they call ‘collective consciousness,’ or ‘unity consciousness,’ which they say is most needed now.

Does it ever occur to the proponents of this ‘collective ideal’ that although one’s own conscious goals and ambitions may correspond with billions of others, that it is uniquely one’s own, and is not open to usurpation or collectivisation in any form therefore? 

Your goals, your desires, your ambitions, your ardent fervour and passion for life’s joys are the (individual) product of your consciousness. They are not consciousness itself!

Consciousness is a process. It is not a product. It is a mental processing faculty within your singular being, exactly as your lungs and heart are your very own life processing faculties. There is no such thing as a collective (or unity) consciousness any more than exists a collective stomach, kidney or amygdala. You are uniquely you, individual in every respect.

You may share the aspirations of a billion others but your individual consciousness, your individual mental process is what chooses your path, goals and aspirations, not theirs.

Please understand this vital importance. The notion that a collective consciousness supplants individual consciousness, ultimately sacrifices (individual) free will to a collective will. The ‘collective’ becomes the arbiter of your life. Sacrifice your life to consensus proclamations, to a ‘unity consciousness,’ and you lose. 

The first question re-emerges. Who does your thinking? Is it you, or a unified million others?

Let’s look at some of the most influential figures in history for the source of this so-called new reality.

Plato (c.429–c.347 bc), Greek philosopher, and a long string of political disciples even to this day, argue that although likeness (meaning equality) was indeed a fact, people ought to be taught otherwise in order to accept the different benefits and burdens arising from different positions in a politically organised society.

Rousseau (1712–78), French philosopher and writer, born in Switzerland, believed that civilisation warps the fundamental goodness of human nature, and that although human freedom is a fact of nature, people should be taught to believe that it is dangerous; whereby they ought to sacrifice their individual nature to the artificial condition of citizenship. According to Rousseau, natural persons should become artificial persons, i.e. citizens — wittingly or unwittingly, — willingly or by legal compulsion. Many socialists agree.

Marx, Karl (1818–83), German political philosopher and economist, endorsed a universal socialism, asserting that only the human species can be free; no individual human being can be. Individual freedom is an illusion, he claimed. Marx called those who identify themselves with humanity as a whole to be universal individuals. These species-beings, he argued, who know themselves to be identical with the human race are true communists, representing the superior evolution of mankind. Moreover they should not be dissuaded by illusions of morality and justice among those still mired in the false consciousness of their particular individuality.

Dewey, John (1859–1952), American philosopher and father of pragmatism and modern liberalism, explains the collectivist notion as …

Society in its unified and structural character is the fact of the case; the non-social individual is an abstraction arrived at by imagining what man would be if all his human qualities were taken away. Society, as a real whole, is the normal order, and the mass as an aggregate of isolated units is the fiction. [Emphasis mine.]

Todays politicians and power-seekers are empowered by this centuries-long chain of ideological collectivism. They have little need to debunk individualism, along with Natural Law and justice, because given the above rhetoric, no such things exist. One wonders whether proponents of this new unified reality have any inkling that it is not new, moreover is a major contributor to division, conflict, and fear from which they seek to escape? 

It is all too easy to agree that we are a human family, uniquely diverse yet unified in nature, thence to agree belonging to a cosmic oneness that seeks expression within a material reality. It is quite the opposite to fully understand that no family can exist without individuals, and that their spiritual and physical uniqueness constitute and compose that family.

Man is thereby challenged.

  • Which comes first, family, or members of a family?
  • Which comes first, your individual thought and chosen action, or their consensus agreement?
  • Which comes first, your conscious deliberations respecting your life, or theirs?
  • To whom does your life belong; to you or to them?
  • Is each living man or woman a separate individual living being in conscious control of his/her own life, or the product of a unified consciousness that presides or prevails?
  • Should words be used to advise and inform, or to contrive and misinform?

That is todays challenge — make no mistake. Historical ideologies advocating oneness have run their course and failed abysmally on every count. All are bankrupt! No excuses remain!

Most assuredly we should all contribute to a thriving, sustainable future, in total contrast to division, conflict, competition or fear, all of which thrive today. The solution, I offer, is not Man’s sublimation to a collective, rather to accept that his or her individual contribution to the aggregation of all other contributions is of vital importance. It may only be one dot, but dots join to form the full picture.

You, the individual singular being that is you, makes many dots every day. Your uniqueness and individuality, your singular effort contributes to other’s own conscious awareness of the big picture. Each of your dots help others to understand. Their understanding is not collective however, it is their own individual grasp of your own unique understanding.

Millions, indeed billions may understand your (dot) contribution but for each one of them, it is your singular understanding that they each grasp and hold. Your singular conscious understanding is what they singularly receive; whereby their own understanding follows.

You are so special in Creator’s eyes that you must in all respects always be uniquely you.

Common understanding is not a unified consciousness, and never can it be? Consciousness is individual in origin and individual in reception. Consciousness is the process of discovery, learning and decision making, understanding is the product

© Ken Bartle 2016