New Civilization News: Collective Meditation to Counter the Collective Ego    
 Collective Meditation to Counter the Collective Ego
24 Jun 2007 @ 07:20, by John Ringland

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Collective Meditation to Counter the Collective Ego

I'll first summarise, in a paragraph, a conceptual lead in to this discussion. Everything can be conceived of as a complex system, cells interact and integrate to create cellular civilisations, these form centralised power structures that call themselves 'I' - this is the ego - it is not the real being but just a thought construct that arises via commonsense realism. Then these egos interact and integrate to create human civilisations, these form centralised power structures that are increasingly coming to think 'I' - this is the collective ego - it is not the real civilisation but just a cultural construct that arises via commonsense realism. Just as commonsense realism and the ego are the ultimate source of all delusion and dysfunction in humans (cellular civilisations) commonsense realism and the collective ego are the ultimate source of all delusion and dysfunction in society and the world at large. Just as meditation can help to overcome commonsense realism and the tyranny of the ego in individual humans (cellular civilisations) resulting in liberation and bliss it can also be adapted to help overcome commonsense realism and the tyranny of the collective ego in human civilisations resulting in liberation and bliss.

This discussion consists of excerpts from my yet to be released e-book "The Gaian-Ego Hypothesis", which follow on conceptually from the preview article The Gaian-Ego Hypothesis and the article Ego and the Denial of Complexity. It is also closely related to Commonsense Realism and the Ego, The Scientific Case Against Materialism, The Mystic Meaning of Original Sin and this comment about thinking outside the box and the ego as the box maker. These all provide conceptual background that will help you understand what this article is about, what meditation is useful for and why macro-meditation is required. I recommend familiarising yourself with those ideas but the first paragraph above gives the gist of them.

In the quotes below I have made a start at adapting the principles of meditation for collective purposes. This is just a start to indicate the general outline of what I feel is required. I strongly urge others to think about this and help to further develop these ideas, in your own way or as an extension of these strategies.

A common problem in the past was our inability to recognise the systemic nature of the problems in society, stemming as they do from collective egos. Countless conspiracy theories would go around, some accurate and some fanciful but none of them really addressing the deeper problem; they merely sought out the 'culprits', but what if there were no true culprits or what if we were all culprits? In a collective ego or regime individuals can come and go just as cells in the body come and go, and the change over of political parties or economic leadership is merely changing moods, but the organisational structure of the system as a whole continues to evolve unabated just as the ego evolves throughout a person’s life whilst the body is continuously changing and replacing cells and moods are constantly changing.

Although the egoic delusion assimilates some parts more than others it is the case that we are all part of the systemic unfolding of these processes. A particular event may have roots going back centuries or thousands of years with its roots lost in the mists of time, searching for culprits in the naive sense would be futile. When a person has a psychotic episode certain groups of cells may be more involved than others but it is the whole person who needs treatment. Treatments sometimes mean the surgical removal of some groups or tight restrictions on their activity but to obsess over "finding the culprits" leads to misunderstanding the true nature of the problem because it is a 'systemic' dysfunction. The real issue isn't finding the culprits and 'punishing' them, but healing the system and regaining vitality and abundance for all...

A Pervasive Systemic Problem

The rise of fascism, militarism and other agitations within our collective consciousness has occurred through obstructed, distorted, apathetic and outright deceitful communication throughout various societies and between societies, leading to the rise of global fascism. Narrow context rationality leads to conflict which is then met by more narrow context rationality compounding the irrationality and spiralling into psychosis and brutal destructive violence. This recent outbreak has its historical origins in Europe but its current epicentre is in America hence the American people are at the centre of the crisis. It is their minds that have been subverted by the corrupt discourse to animate the beast and their system of governance has been coopted by it. But this crisis is not endemic to any particular place or people; it has the potential to destroy or radically transform the entire global civilisation thus it is we free individuals and societies, the people of the world, who through opening communication and growing awareness, can align with the force of reason and justice to create discourses that diminish the rise of fascism, which only flourishes amidst confusion and fear.

We the people of the world can create viable alternatives and a new cultural basis upon which to rebuild civilisation. We must give and receive moral support, sharing our strength and wisdom to nourish our ability to correct the situation and to correct our sources of nourishment. But it is the American people, Europeans, Australians and the people of other Westernised nations who are in most need of moral support in this matter, they are the most deceived and enslaved by the growing global ego, and it is they who are most able to act to influence the course of the crisis because they dwell within the body of the beast. It is their delusion that animates the beast and it is their growing awareness that can heal and pacify it, bringing it back into balance and reducing its aggression and domination of all other nations and peoples. As these various realisations spread the whole world will rally around this new understanding and will unite to provide moral support to the Westernised peoples to assist them to challenge the monstrosity that has arisen in their midst, lest that monstrosity break out and go on a destructive rampage across the globe, which it has already begun to do, but this is only the beginning. Given the depth of vitality that dwells within these nations, if their authoritarian egoic insanity can be overcome and replaced with wisdom they could be shining lights in the world. Rather than exploit others they could help the whole system move toward holistic health.

It's not just the Westernised world, although it is a great danger because of it strength, but that same entrenched egoism and need for fascist control is arising to varying degrees in all nations and organisations throughout the world and must be challenged there as well; all the outbreaks are connected and could merge into a state of global fascism and total chaos wherein there is not a single voice of reason that can be heard. To challenge it effectively we must understand its true nature and know that it is only superficially connected with particular governments, social structures and narrow rationalisations; its deeper nature is systemic and pervasive, stretching far back into our history and deep into our minds. It is not just the governing parties, the military industrial complex, certain corporations and bankers, it is also the opposition parties, the entire media, the entire system of government, the entire corporate structure, the entire economic system, the entire public and private sectors, including all levels of the population, it pervades our schools, churches, shops, our daily activities, our private thoughts and dreams and virtually every aspect of our lives and the life of our communities and it has spread throughout much of the world.

Overcoming the Effects of Commonsense Realism and Fascism Using Cooperative Methods

Uprooting of the tree of fascism and the liberation of the real being thereby freeing it from the tyranny of delusion and connecting it with reality is the real purpose of all true spiritual practices and has been refined over thousands of years into an exact science in yoga. I don't mean the physical postures, which are called yoga in the west but which are only a minute part of yoga. Yoga is the science of union with reality. It is any method that is effective in overcoming egoic delusion and returning to one's natural state of abiding in reality.

Forget everything that you've learnt about spirituality through politicised religion - it is a confused political movement where the truth remains only in its innermost core. Christian mystics such as Meister Eckhart [FR] clearly express the mystic core of Christianity, Sufis such as Rumi [FR] clearly express the mystic core of Islam and mystic rabbi's such as Abraham Heschel [FR] clearly express the mystic core of Judaism but most of what commonly passes for Christianity, Islam and Judaism is political/social engineering of a very egoic nature. They were assimilated into the man machine and were vital components of the machinery in the past but are now just a legacy of past exploitation. Their core is still alive and many penetrate to that core but most just get entangled in the web of deceit that is their outer layer and become deeply confused. True spirituality destroys delusion and brings one into contact with reality. But authoritarian regimes, whether secular or religious, depend on controlling people’s minds by weaving a web of delusions and forming a collective ego. Because of mysticism's tendency to liberate and empower people, it has been suppressed and demonised by authoritarian regimes throughout history.

It is portrayed as naïve superstition that is an ancient childish artefact that we have outgrown via our far more superior knowledge of materialism, which is dignified by the term 'realist'. But upon closer examination it is materialism that is the naïve superstition based on commonsense realist beliefs and lots of woolly headed thinking to fill in the gaps, whereas mysticism is founded upon a deep and solid foundation of direct personal and subjective experience, without the commonsense realist confusion between subjective and objective. It is true rationality that sacrifices all simplistic beliefs about "the world" and enters into the deeper mysteries that operate in that space of ignorance where simplistic dogmas dare not go, but mysticism penetrates the veil of ignorance and sheds light in that space thereby opening our minds to the deeper reality of existence. Since long before our dogmas ever came near to the deeper reality mysticism has known it. It encompasses a profound information system theoretic concept of reality that cannot be understood via materialist perspectives and which the cutting-edge of modern science is only just beginning to comprehend. See this other essay Information Systems Analysis of Mind, Knowledge, 'the World' and Holistic Science for more on this.

The purpose of yoga/meditation/true-spirituality is individual liberation by uprooting the entrenched ego and liberating the body/mind from its tyranny. If we humans seek collective liberation we must devise collective forms of yoga/meditation/true-spirituality to uproot the entrenched collective ego and liberate the society/culture from its tyranny. In conjunction with this we must turn to ourselves and take a long hard look at ourselves. We must be unflinchingly honest with ourselves if we are to be able to effectively organise on a mass scale without destroying ourselves in the process because the delusions that fester within our minds are a memetic contagion that spreads and infests other's minds and sicken the entire system leading it toward psychosis and breakdown. We must be truly skeptical and let go of our cherished false beliefs in order to align with reality. By being real with ourselves we can be real with others and society remains closely aligned with reality. For those who think 'reality' is dull and mundane and their delusions are far more entertaining I can only say that you have no idea what reality is other than how it seems through the fog of delusion and it is the delusion that is dull and mundane, punctuated only by brief glimpses of reality that are the only rays of light and bliss that you have known. If you look with a clear mind and you penetrate the fog and come to dwell in reality you will be surprised by what you find.

The following basic methods help the ego itself to look into the ego and nurture growing self-awareness that leads to deep wisdom and profound connection with reality but they require the cooperation of the ego and can therefore only be used to nurture and maintain systemic health and cannot be used for dissident resistance to a pathological fascist regime; the more 'subversive' methods are discussed shortly. Note that these are just very brief guidelines as a starting point for further discussion and development.

The most common method for overcoming commonsense realism is to practice the process of letting the impressions arise whilst not believing in their separate objective reality, this is meditation, which is simple and sure to succeed in the long term. The collective parallel of this would be for governments and organisations to practice monitoring situations without instantly assuming that, for instance, when they see a threatening nation that it is obviously exactly and only that; but instead to also look into the deeper human side and all the other possible sides. Don't just immediately categorise things based on pre-existing prejudices and then believe in those judgements from then on. They might not be an aggressive enemy but just people who desperately need help or perhaps its blowback from people who are outraged by previous atrocities that the regime denies, even to itself or perhaps its a delusional collective ego and a little diplomatic psychotherapy may be all that it needs. Harassing them will only lead to further blowback and turn them into embittered enemies whereas helping them or facing up to their grievances might turn them into future allies. Willing cooperation is always superior to coerced submission.

Another general approach toward overcoming commonsense realism is jnana yoga (yoga of supreme knowledge) where, with one's whole awareness, not just the intellect, one subtly enquires into the mind, the self and the process of commonsense realism until one 'sees' through it; this can lead to rapid liberation for those who are so inclined to it. A collective parallel would be for a regime to "turn inward" and invest great effort into understanding itself, the society, the culture and the psychology of holistic awareness and to cease investing effort into deceiving itself, dominating the society and culture and developing the psychology of manipulation. This could result in rapid flourishing for a civilisation as it gained true self-awareness and holistic self-command through informed cooperation rather than deceptive manipulation.

Dissident Resistance to a Pathological Regime

The methods just mentioned require the cooperation of the ego or regime so they cannot be used to resist and diminish pathological fascism that is already full blown and seeking only to secure its dominance. Other more subversive methods are required to set up a parallel personality that is gradually energised until its voice of reason begins to overcome the psycho-babble of the collective ego. Its spread will initially be slow because the collective trance will be strong but as it spreads and as the psychotic nature of the regime becomes undeniable it will spread all the more easily, eventually building up into an avalanche of reason and sanity that will sweep the delusional discourse aside. But exactly what tactics are required?

If the regime uses information warfare [FR] and psychological warfare [FR] to generate a delusional discourse the dissidents must use guerrilla versions of these. Whilst the regime has far greater numbers and a far louder voice it relies solely on delusion, denial and fear whereas the guerrillas can use truth, reality and people's innate instinct for reason, justice and survival. In the short term fear is a powerful weapon but in the longer term the guerrilla's weapons are far superior and effective even though their numbers are far fewer and their voice far weaker. What they have to share is something that people want and once they have it they want to share it whereas the regime must deceive people and force things upon them. The regime may have the media and a head start but the guerrilla message will spread of its own accord.

In a pathologically fascist system all group activities must be dispersed, discrete and above all peaceful. Under no circumstances should the fascist regime be given cause to notice them or an excuse to persecute them. They could form an organic structure with local groups, networks of groups, larger scale collectives and so on but it should not be too interconnected and rigid otherwise it is vulnerable to being "mopped up" by use of torture to identify participants and coordinated raids to seize them. The internet is ideal for conducting the discourse so long as people can sufficiently conceal their identities, perhaps using constantly changing identities and connection points or people can conduct it in such a manner that it seems benign on the surface and the real subversive nature is concealed. For example, the alchemists use of chemical analogies to develop their discourse that was being suppressed by Christian authorities. Just a few analogies for the most subversive aspects is enough to conceal things unless the regime is paying close attention. The groups should share information but not know too much about each other, other than what is required to conduct, develop and spread the discourse. It's not about the participant's egos, it doesn't matter who you are it's about what understanding you can share with others and receive from others.

Image of Transformation

The purpose of the groups is essentially to create a shadow society in which to begin a sane and reasoned discourse on the insanity and dysfunction in the larger society. The purpose of this is for diagnosis and strategic planning but it is primarily for the creation of an "image of transformation" that is uniquely suited to the particular population and overall circumstances. An "image of transformation" is essentially a simple and compelling idea that is easily conveyed, easily understood and that makes sense of the whole situation. It is this that is the key weapon. It can spread widely and penetrate the delusional discourse, inoculating people against the propaganda, which then begins to reinforce their newly awakened understanding, once they know how to see through the conditioning. This starts to unravel the distortions in people's minds and weaken the power of the delusional discourse.

The collection of hard evidence and the development of rational arguments is an important parallel activity and will become more important as the operation progresses but whilst ever the delusional discourse is dominant these are essentially powerless to influence the delusional discourse which is already inoculated against rational argument. The impotence of the progressive movement to make serious inroads into the collective psyche despite having clear and damning evidence covering many decades and clear and compelling rational arguments is indicative of the level of inoculation at present; advances have been made but they could be far greater. It is the overall pattern illuminated by the image of transformation that is the most compelling since it influences the mind in subtle ways, wherein before long people's every experience will keep reinforcing the image and breaking down their conditioning. Whereas the individual issues can be swatted aside one at a time using cynical denial tactics. In the face of irrational denial any amount of rational argument and evidence is powerless because people are simply unable to entertain the logic, so whilst the entire discourse is warped and irrational other tactics must be used to operate on the subconscious to bring about gradual awakening.

For example, the image of transformation implicit in this analysis could be stated as: "All complex systems form egos much like your own ego which is just a centralised power structure within your body/mind, and our human power structures are the ego of the planetary system (Gaia). This ego has become unbalanced and thus Gaia is headed for a nervous breakdown unless we bring some sanity into the situation. Imagine what it is like to be a regime using a nation as its body and what it is like to be a cell within your own body where your ego is the regime using the body to pursue it agendas. Then look upon the events in the world and see them from a  fresh perspective thereby gaining a deeper understanding of global events. I urge you to hold this idea in your mind and look through it at the world, it will help you make sense of many things."

Given this simple image and a little imaginative observation many of the events of the world and their wider systemic pattern become understandable. Even without conscious effort to look through it, if the person doesn't immediately reject it or forget it, it will sit in the back of their mind and subtly inform their subconscious as it interprets and constructs the cognitive impression that they assume to be the world, thus their world will subtly change. Certain connections between things will become clearer and certain lies will wield less influence on them and gradually they will come to understand what is happening around them. This subconscious understanding makes the image compelling and likely to spread, leading to deeper understanding as more people input their personal perspectives and experiences into the growing discourse. Different images of transformation can be used in different contexts but the one just mentioned is a general one in my own words that is useful one for the current global situation, but other's should use their own words but try to convey the basic understanding at a level that their audience is able to absorb.

The power of this image is that people can contemplate their own ego/body/mind relationship and start to draw parallels with the regime/society/culture relationship. By looking within and without things rapidly become clear. By imagining things from different systemic perspective, i.e. that of the regime and that of a cell they can break out of the web of conditioning and move toward growing awareness of the overall situation. Once enough people begin to understand what is happening then people will begin to understand in detail what can be done to effectively heal the situation without just aggravating it or engaging in futile struggle.

This insight into the deeper nature of the problem via the image of transformation operates at subconscious levels and subtly restructures the way that people interpret the entire situation. As this "sinks in" people will gradually become more able to approach the rational arguments and evidence. Before long the situation will become obvious and undeniable to all but the most heavily conditioned minds. This marks a "tipping point" or shift in the mood or conscience of the whole society and the regime will begin to face increasing resistance and non-compliance throughout all levels of society and the delusions and other mechanisms that the regime relies on will simply not work anymore. When the people no longer mindlessly obey and the agents of oppression no longer mindlessly enforce the will of the regime, the revolution has been all but won and the regime finds itself robbed of its power base without the need for violent conflict.

Collective Meditation and Dissident Discourse Strategies

The ultimate goal of meditation is to overcome "commonsense realism" or our deepest habit of confusing the subjective objects of sense perception with objective external objects. Upon rational enquiry the assumption is easily seen to be just an assumption. The collective parallel would be to stop taking collective opinions as obvious truths and start challenging them. For example, just because some person or group is labelled by the media/government as a 'terrorist' doesn't mean they actually are and just because the government is portrayed to most as their protector doesn't mean it actually is. When this attitude spreads and become entrenched the regime cannot wield its manipulative lies anymore because people will have enquired their way through them and the lies will only become further proof of the regimes bankruptcy and will give insight into its psyche and strategy. It will become an "emperor with no clothes".

The essence of meditation is to turn the mind on itself with sincere and open awareness and the collective parallel with this would be to turn the culture on itself and to begin a process of sincere and open discourse on the true nature of the culture. True self awareness relies on true skepticism, which is open minded enquiry taking nothing as obvious fact until clear and compelling understanding arises of its own accord. Many people confuse skepticism with cynicism but they are complete opposites, this is an example of an important distinction that has become blurred thereby corrupting the public discourse; it is a major aspect of the web of deceit.

In meditation one should avoid all identification with habitual thoughts, desires and aversions and the collective parallel would be to avoid traditional discourses, propaganda, catch-phrases, cynical denial tactics and all manner of conditioned stimuli that condition our thought processes. One should return to basics and expressing things directly rather than through catch-phrases and propagandist euphemisms even if it is cumbersome at first things can soon be refined and will evolve into a clearer and more effective discourse. But keep it connected with common language so that it doesn't use too much alien jargon that would serve as an impediment against people joining in; it needs to spread. Everyday experience and raw facts are good ways of getting back to basics and the concepts of systems theory also provide an excellent conceptual language with which to get back to basics and overcome commonsense realism and countless other entrenched confusions. Mystic/spiritual analogies are also excellent but for many these have been so demonised and they act as a conditioned stimulus that causes their mind to become totally irrational and unable to take them seriously, so for widespread use it is best to use them cautiously until that conditioning is overcome and mysticism/spirituality are understood as being a holistic science [FR, FR]. Similarly for religious analogies, they have been associated in many people's minds with corrupt political religious dogma which is a conditioned stimulus that closes people's minds to rational thought and often induces them to engage in atrocities [FR, FR], until these conditionings are overcome it is difficult to speak widely and rationally about these things without eliciting either confusion or hostility in many people's minds. In places such as India mystic, spiritual and religious analogies are the most effective ones but in the West and any Christian, Muslim or Jewish societies that are estranged from their mystic core and caught up in politicised dogmatic religion it is best to be careful with this approach.

Undertaking these simple 'spiritual' practices will help unravel the entrenched systemic confusion and allow a coherent discourse to arise, thereby allowing wisdom to flow through the culture rather than self-deceptive propaganda. These 'meditative' practices are simple but they are powerful; they can result in a state described as 'stillness', which is simply an absence of agitated fear mongering, manic distraction seeking and manipulative advertising. This creates a space free of conditioning in which creative genius can arise and inspiration can flow, thereby channelling our hidden potential into the world. When this stillness spreads the culture is thereby returned to the people and wisdom spreads leading to deepening awareness, resulting in true understanding and harmony, which is called 'enlightenment'. When the groups and eventually the entire society is not driven by delusion people may engage coherently with reality and cooperate in very intricately creative and organic ways giving rise to a creative flourishing in which things undreamt of by confused fascist regimes can happen. These are what mystics call ‘miracles’; they are not 'supernatural', they are in fact the natural flowering of a healthy living being such as a person or a society. They only seem 'supernatural' and 'unreal' because our understanding of nature and reality is so limited.

As a form of resistance these practices of awakening cannot be enforced in a fascist mechanistic way; that would be like trying to force oneself and others to meditate, which only leads to resistance and failure. The way is to quietly spread the understanding amongst those that are open and able to understand. Don't get caught up in only fighting the insanity, that is merely acting out a role within the insane drama, and don't get caught up in believing it either (beware it is contagious), but instead work in 'parallel' gradually spreading awareness. If one pushes the message too hard and carelessly it can create strong defensive responses from people who are too conditioned to be open to it, which can result in hostility and a spreading discourse of inoculation against the growing ideas so be careful how you communicate things. Don't come across as pushy or condescending, be humble, helpful and inviting when speaking to a broad audience. As this discourse of holistic reason and awareness spreads it becomes easier to spread. This forms a parallel personality within the society; nurturing the Higher Self of the system rather than the ego of the system. Other forms of cautious active resistance may still be unavoidable at times but these pose a grave threat to the growing discourse so should be avoided if at all possible, the only thing that will have real and lasting influence is the spread of genuine awareness and the shift in the cultural discourse.

If anyone has any further ideas on this subject of collective meditation as an effective discourse strategy to counter the rampant collective egoism and delusion then please share them widely and join with others to develop them and help put them into practice.

Best Wishes :)
John Ringland

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