What is collective consciousness? The term is a fundamental concept that denotes a set of shared beliefs within a social group or society. It even extends to a species of beings such as the entire human collective, or specific animals, plants or the whole plant kingdom. This encompasses ideas, attitudes and knowledge. It’s the key factor to ensure balance and harmony in human society. And in levels of nature that are still, animate, and vegetative.
Combining the two terms collective and consciousness in the simplest way means shared ideas that are identified by an individual within larger groups and structures. It is a means of connecting us in an interdependent world. The collective consciousness enlightens our sense of belonging and identity and our behavior.
Interdependence is core to living life. It is what results in the development and growth of technology, the environment, education, society, culture, and the economy. It targets the clarification of our nature, feelings, and motivations in an ever-changing society. It helps explain how to improve a situation so we can feel content, confident, and safe.
Interdependence makes use of a prism to summarize:
- Causes of the world’s problems – social, economic, and ecological
- Conditions of a perfect world
- Solutions to moving world crisis to world harmony
Founding sociologist Emile Durkheim developed the concept of collective consciousness to explain how individuals are bound together in social groups and societies. He concluded that society exists due to this sense of solidarity that individuals have to each other. This is what enables the formation of community and functional societies.
Fostering the collective consciousness involves building upon traditional and primitive beliefs. This effects an automatic binding of people through their shared practices, beliefs, and values. Religion can play an important role in producing collective consciousness amongst certain affiliations. For others it can be Science.
Collective consciousness influences behaviors and patterns in individuals. We learn to dress, speak, and act in the same way as others in the group or society. Individuals respond in similar and predictable manners due to the presence and influence of the collective consciousness.
The Socialization Process
The goals of socialization are to teach the control of biological impulses in children. And to develop a conscience that fits into normal society. Learning what is valued and important are key factors. And preparation for social roles and how they are performed is vital. Collective consciousness is produced by:
Primary socialization – this takes place from birth through adolescence from family, caregivers, and educators. Goals and results in young children include toilet training and asking permission before taking something they desire.
Education – teaching us socialization guided by teachers, peers, and the community. It is when we learn to obey figures of authority, rules, and laws. This is also when we learn to organize our daily life around work and school schedules.
Social networking – that influences how we dress, shop, and relax.
Travelling – where encountering people with different languages, practices, and values teaches us to familiarize and adapt.
Group socialization – that happens through every stage of life and influences personalities and behavior.
The Need to Realize and Develop
One of the key factors is the collective unconscious. It is when we forget why we are doing things and they become automatic. A behavior from a certain time may no longer be productive or necessary. But these patterns become so deeply ingrained in us that we don’t even realize we have them. There are many ways to discover what is in the shadow of our collective unconscious.
Reading books and seeing videos of others discovering their unconscious is a great way to have these realizations about yourself. But this may not work for everyone and certainly is not so exciting.
One of the most interesting ways to discover your unconscious unproductive behavior is to take part in workshops and experiences that can help you to recognize your shadow. One such place is the Spirit Vine retreat in Brazil. There are workshops that focus specifically on discovering our shadow and going to the source of any learned pattern. You can also learn tools and techniques to transform these patterns.
One of the other important things you can learn is to empathize with others. As these workshops are done in groups, people can learn about themselves by listening to others. We are all mirrors of each other in some way or another.
This retreat provides a clean and harmonious setting enabling personal development. The workshops offer ways to become proactive in spiritual development and integration. Group bonds are essential as a source of support and representation of the world outside.