We are so used to thinking of our consciousness as just our own and as being an individual consciousness. But this is not exactly true. More generally true is that mind is group-mind, and consciousness is group-consciousness. So that each of us, in consciousness, is part of a larger group consciousness. The group consciousness is less personalized, or we might say less involved with personal kinds of things and particular issues peculiar to a certain place and time. Rather, the group consciousness, or group mind, is composed of the more general shared thoughts and feelings.
There is some degree of individuality in mind and consciousness, but it is less than commonly believed. It is true that we each may have particular and unique experiences at any one moment, including particular thoughts about particular things in our particular life, and specific issues that we need attention on, but these are merely the occasions when details prevail. Most of the time people think about the same generally stuff as do many other people. Most of the time our consciousness and mind is generally similar to many others. Those others are the others involved in our similar group mind.
Reflect for a moment or two on this. Reflect in your mind about what is this mind. Am I really all alone in this mind, or is my mind part of a larger group-mind? Could there be others who share in this similar mind? There will be particular pointy edges in this mind that are distinctly my own, but most of our mind consciousness and content is generally shared with others.
Now the question might be asked, "shared with whom?" This could make a difference. From a wisdom standpoint, one would prefer sharing mind with the wise, but regrettably this is rare. Most people share mind with most others. That is, the average person, even if somewhat educated and intelligent, is in a shared group mind with the average masses. So when we speak here about shared mind, it is not necessarily favorable to be in a larger group. The minds of higher wisdom are in a shared group, but the numbers of its members is small.
In the particular state of consciousness that one is in right now, one is immediately connected and in touch with everyone else who are also in this particular state. This is true of ordinary states, as well as higher levels of consciousness. Ordinary consciousness is involved in thoughts, ideas, emotions, and desires that are common to many others in humanity. That is, depending on whatever kind of thought or emotion one is involved in at the present time, there are others in humanity who are also involved in the same as well, even at this present moment.
Thus, everyone is involved in some kind of a group-consciousness, or shared consciousness, which might also be called shared thought or shared emotion. And this is all going on without any notice by ordinary mind; for it is like the fish not noticing the water he is in. Yet this can be noticed. For the most part, though, this greater undercurrent of shared or group mind is a sub-conscious phenomena.
So generally speaking, people are not as personally unique in their thoughts and emotions, as they might tend to think they are. Each person will have uniquely specific local environments of objects and people around them, of which their attention will be on. But even though each person will have specifically unique content in their experience, there will also be a general kind of thought or emotion in which they are sharing with many others in the world. And this is empirically real, for it is a real frequency or wavelength in the shared ‘mind of humanity’.
Everyone is involved in a group mind, in some way or another, but this is not usually noticed. Most people are in the group mind of their culture or of their clique of friends. But there are multiple levels of group mind, which we range from small-minded to larger-minded, provincial to universal, or trivial to wise. The evolutionary path of consciousness is to ever-expand and become more integrally wise. And at each step higher and wider, the journeyer spends time on a higher mental level with others who are already there. At whatever level we reach, we will find others already there; maybe not find them physically but at least mentally, so it is possible to meet with some of the Great Ones, as sometimes respectfully called.
This phenomena of group-consciousness, or group-mind, is also happening at the higher levels of mind, as well. In other words, it is possible to be involved with a higher group consciousness, which will involve a more expansive mind and love; rather than remain in a lower group consciousness - which is usually more separative and selfish in its character (and remember that selfishness is just another group-shared kind of mind/emotion).
In our possible upliftment of consciousness, we are in and with a Greater Group, and to some extent we are dependent on help from this higher group. 'Higher consciousness' is the more enlightened and being-expansive Group consciousness that is spiritually enfolding us and in which we could raise our self into. The higher the consciousness, the more eternal is its content and the wider is its view.
At any stage of higher self-consciousness or spiritual consciousness there is always Group consciousness. In other words, there are always others involved. Higher consciousness is never alone. For as our consciousness expands along this spiritual journey, our mind will actually be more inclusive. And if we hope to come into a higher consciousness or higher mind, we will need to surrender our attachment to this personal individualistic mind and also refrain from allowing our mind to be so wrapped up in every little petty issue of life.
The higher that one ascends within the Vast Universal Consciousness/Mind, the more it will be an inclusiveness enfolding everyone. Yet paradoxically, the more one ascends into higher levels of inclusive Love consciousness, the fewer souls are to found there, because each step into greater inclusive Love-wisdom is an advancement into a level of realization where fewer have reached. In the new wave of human/planetary evolution each step of expanded consciousness brings one closer to the front of the wave, where there will be less of others in this frontier group, yet the group will be more evolutionarily influential nonetheless. For in the mental plane, the quantity of others is not the crucial factor, but instead it is quality, the spiritual purposefulness and the soul power of its members that matters. Thus, for each step forward, one’s consciousness is in rapport and synch with less individuals, but those with a greater power of purpose and intelligence. Then, at whatever level one is now in, the mental power of these ideas and visions will depend on the whole group mind at that level, as everyone at each level forms a synergy which effects the rest of humanity.
We can still speak of individual consciousness in a meaningful way, in that I am a locality of consciousness, or that consciousness is located here. This is the individualized, localized meaning of consciousness. But consciousness is really an inclusive phenomena, and any ‘single’ mind is always in and with a group mind. Once we realize this, then we can intentionally and knowingly be in connection with our Group, or at least be in conscious connection with those who share the same Ideals, those who are our spiritual brothers and sisters.
Those who share in our Group Mind-Consciousness will often share similar thoughtforms and emotions. Now remember that we want the highest thoughtforms and emotions. So don’t get dragged down into a lower group of thoughtforms. The higher levels of Mind have the highest kinds of thoughtforms and emotions. So it's better to reach into the higher thoughtforms, ideas and motivations; rather than be dragged down by the lower thoughtform groups. The higher one ascends in Universal Consciousness, the more one realizes these higher thoughtforms and emotions. These are already there, as it were; just as greater groups of souls are already in the higher planes before we ever reach there.
Thus, a goal would be to rise upward in consciousness into higher group mind, higher thoughtforms, and higher emotions. Higher emotions are those feelings closer to love, generosity, peace, joy, spiritual aspiration, and other divine qualities. Higher thoughtforms have greater love, intelligence and beauty. Higher thoughtforms are creative patterns for a more loving and integrated world. Higher thoughtforms bring about world transformations, because they have a creative patterning power. These include new ideals, new insights, realizations, and new paradigm models for understanding.
Once we join into a higher group consciousness we are joining in a more enlightened group of souls – souls with greater degrees of consciousness, wisdom and love. What we first have to understand is that each person, our own self too, is already in a group consciousness. Each of us is already part of a group thinking, group emotion, group consciousness; yet we are most usually unconsciousness of this. So, when we consciously and intentionally 'look up', and, we can then communicate with a larger sphere of consciousness. We then can enter into a higher, more expansive, spiritually deep group consciousness and eventually become part of this higher group consciousness.
We are moving on from the group-consciousness we are now in – to a more expansive-minded and less-limited group mind. The members of this 'higher' group may be smaller in number, compared to the larger numbers in the 'lower' groups, but a higher group consciousness is larger in mental scope and inclusiveness. It is a larger sphere of consciousness, and potentially a larger sphere of world influence.
The higher the Group, the more it is aligned and attuned with the Divine Mind, Will and Wisdom of God – the One Who is the Source of our being and in Whom we are. From a higher/larger level of spiritual perspective, God is who we are; even though from a lower perspective, God seems to be just a [philosophical] concept or else [religiously] beyond us. The Divine Mind, or Mind of God, is the goal of the mystical path – to be immersed in this Divine Mind and cognizant in it and understanding in it.
This is the true enlightenment, which is never absolute, but rather is relative in degree. The Way, the esoteric ladder, is from the 'normal' limited focused mind to the expanded, unboundaried, Universal Mind. And in here one can know the essential Principles and Laws, the great Purposes and Intentions, the Unconditional Love and Spiritual Healing, and the higher Will to live by.
Perhaps this a lot to expect or hope for; but at least consider this as possible. Believing in the possible opens a door to possibility. Open to this and set your intention towards this, then again open to this. For this is all possible, and it is the esoteric and mystical Way. So, gradually we can come more and more into the Divine Mind, which is the One Mind we are all in anyways - though most usually unrealized.
So one purpose of the Hierarchy is a vertical ladder up towards the ultimate and complete Mind of God. And each level ascended up the Hierarchy brings one into a higher level group. Each higher level group has a larger realized consciousness of love and wisdom, a larger view of the whole spiritual and material reality, a clearer realization of the Divine Purpose, and a more complete realization and experience of God. Read and ponder again on what has been said in the previous paragraphs.
It can be very helpful to connect with those who are already in a higher state of mind/emotion and consciousness, then participate in that Group, or at that level. But first we need to consciously connect with others who share in our present level of consciousness. This can be done in a meditative state. Then, once we are in mode of group-consciousness, we can rise up in meditation, as it were, to meet others who are at a higher level or higher group.
A first step is to be in conscious connection with others [who are now conscious in the level one is]. This is done as a meditation practice. First one needs to come into a degree of stability in the consciousness state, rather than continuously fluctuate between the automatic and consciousness states. But once stable enough, it is possible to then enter into a recognition of being in the same essential Mind as everyone else (everyone who is actually conscious, that is).
One other term for this is Group Consciousness. The basic understanding in this is that we are now in a group communication, because we have entered into this consciousness-mind, and other conscious minds are also here because there is really only One Consciousness. This itself is only understood when in this higher state. So in this state there is an inner communication with others, an inner rapport and sense of being in the same Mind. Also in this state will come important insights and world solutions.
An important aspect to this is sacrificial humility. This has two parts, humility and sacrifice. Humility is needed, realizing that I am not the only important person involved in this process of world spiritualization. I am just one among many others, and many others are far beyond me in their abilities and in their efforts. Sacrifice is needed, realizing that I need to sacrifice my ego-pride, in order to truly enter into this group consciousness, this unity of mind and purpose.
Also realize that you are joining a Group that is already existing. Each of us is somewhat unique and so will contribute some sort of unique creativity to the group understanding, but realize that there is already a Group, a collective of minds, all with a good degree of unity in purpose and in understanding of important hopes for the world. This Group is the higher mind of humanity. It is not all of humanity, because all of humanity is not consciously in the higher mind. But there are already many people in this conscious Group of humanity, who then form the higher mind of humanity and help guide humanity in its next steps. This is mostly accomplished on the mental plane.
For example, higher ideas and evolutionary visions are given power by all those who meditate consciously on that level. Then these higher ideas and visions slowly seep into the minds of everyone. In effect, a smaller group of people in the world help influence the larger majority by their evolutionary ideas and visions, and this is accomplished mostly in the mental plane. Though it certainly helps even more if these ideas and visions become grounded into the physical world through art, writing, and other media, then finally becoming a part of the next world culture. All great evolutionary changes in the world, or in any single culture, begin from great ideas and visions, of which a small creative group bring forth into the world from their meditations and quests for truth. It all begins with ideas and visions, then involves discussions and plans, then finally actions and manifestation.
To be a part of this greater Group, this Group Mind, one needs humility and sacrifice of self-pride. Because one cannot enter if one is thinking of oneself as better than everyone else, or as superior, or as the great lone prophet of truth. Each must realize that great wisdom and great wisdom teachers have already been around, way before your own self came on the scene. You are not the lone discoverer of wisdom. Many preceded you, and they still are here in the mental plane and in the plane of soul being.
So be humbly open to learning from the perennial wisdom, as it has come forth in each period of time and uniquely in different places and cultures. Be open to the wisdom that is already present, already present in the greater Mind – the Mind in which our mind is within. This is the Group-Wisdom Mind, composed of all those wisdom teachers of the past and all of the great wisdom ideas and visions. So this is something very great to be part of and involved with.
This is the attitude of humility. Individuality is wonderful. Free creativity is wonderful. But being humbly part of a greater group is also very wonderful, and to realize that this greater Group Mind is nourishing us with creative ideas and visions. Most of our ideas and visions are not just our own. Rather, we received them from the group collective mind. Some may be our own unique contribution to it all, but most of our great ideas are really given to us, either from others in the world or from inside the collective mind. We are sharing similar ideas and visions, from our collective group mind, more so than usually realized.
So to summarize one idea in all of this, there can be a stage in our meditation practice when we consciously and understandingly participate in the greater Group Mind, the collective wisdom mind, whereby we receive the ideas and visions there and also add in our own unique contributions. In effect, we join in on the evolutionary wave and become conscious participants in it.
We find ourselves as both an individual and as part of a larger humanity. It is good to be a free individual -- free to think for oneself and to be creative in our own chosen way. Yet, on the other hand, one does not want to be isolated-separated from the rest of humanity or world. So there is a balance needed, between individualized thought and being part of a more collective world of thought. Then also, as we consider the importance of not just being an isolated heart and mind, but instead being part of a larger collective heart and mind, we must also consider the importance of personal freedom and of not getting completely caught up in collective thoughtforms.
So on one hand, there is an importance in being in sympathy and in harmony with humanity around us; yet on the other hand, is the importance of being free from collective mind-sets in order to bring forth new creative thinking and action. Both directions have value, so both need to be balanced. This is also true in regards to the natural world. It is good to be in harmony with the natural world, but it is also good to have some transcendence from the natural world in order to be creative in new and evolutionary ways. This is a large and difficult subject to fully explain, but the simplest explanation is balance between 'going with the flow' and having a new creativity, or a balance between social unity and individual originality.
The individual is meant to be an original synthesis of its wider environment. The individual is meant to synthesize, to bring together in a new and meaningful way, the best of its world. This is done to the best that any individual is capable. So the way is to synthesize what we admire or what we find as best in others or in the natural environment. This the path of synthesis. constructing a new unity from the best of the world.
Part of the work in this is to transcend or free ourselves from the world, though the final goal is not to completely disconnect ourselves from the world. We are freeing ourselves, but in order to come back with new inspired creativity in relationship with the world. One way to free ourselves is to close our outward eyes, as it were, and enter into the private room of our own mind-heart. Note that mind and heart can be distinguished, but certainly they are intimately related, and so here they need to be included together as oneself. We enter the room of our own self, our mind-heart, and we learn to be comfortable in this inner personal room. This is the room for our own thinking and feeling, and it does not have to follow the thinking and feeling of the world around us, though neither does it have to be different. The point is that it can be different. It can be free. So one enters this room, which feels private and free. But is this room completely different from other rooms of the world? Maybe some, but probably not too much different. What is found in the room is consciousness, thought, and feeling. Other rooms are essentially the same, though somewhat different in specific content.
Now while in this room of ours we might explore its contents, making personal discovery. But we can also explore further reaches of the room, its undiscovered places. And as we discover more of the room, the room seems to expand. It is as though there is a light giving light to some amount of the room, and yet we feel or sense that the room is actually larger than what is presently lighted. We might realize that only a portion of the whole room is known, for we only see what is lighted, and so the lighted portion that we know is like a containment. This containment of what we know is what we call our known self. Yet there is more to explore. There are no real walls in the room; rather, there is only a limitation of the light, or limitation of seeing the whole room. As the light of consciousness expands in the room, the apparent walls of the room seem to expand. The room seems to get larger and larger. But all that is happening is ever-greater light and exploration of the vast, room. In fact, there will never be an end to this. Walls will never be found. There are only apparent walls, which are merely the limitation of lighting up the room. And the Zen teacher may ask, “Is there even a room if there are no actual walls?” The path of exploration here is from personal self to Universal-Transpersonal Self. So as we explore more of our own inner room, and dispel the apparent walls with light (or awakening), we are actually exploring more of the World-Soul and ultimately of the One Spirit-Self, and this becomes more and more of a Transpersonal exploration. We begin from a limited view of self, then gradually enter into a more expanded view of the Whole One Self. And all along the way of the personal self opening to the Transpersonal, there can be a process of synthesizing the Transpersonal into the personal.
The journey of exploration begins when one leaves the outer world, disassociating from its influences, and entering into one’s own private room. This room, my room, is free and safe from the world and others. Here in the space of my room there is freedom to self-reflect, to listen to my feelings, to gather all of myself together, and to know myself. This is my room, the inner space of myself. And it is wonderful to have such a room to rest in, to reflect in, and to creatively synthesize all of the thoughts and feelings related to the world around me.
Then from here one can enter into a further phase, which is expansionary exploration. This is a phase of exploring the as-yet unknown reaches of inner being. This is when the inner space expands, and so does the self. At some point in this phase, “my room” becomes “Our Room.” This is when the personal view transforms into the transpersonal view. There is no “my” anymore; but rather “our.” It is our shared room, it is our shared self. Finally, it is realized that this is “The Room”, “The Self,” “The Only One.” But let us not neglect this important realization of our self, because this especially includes others and intimately relates us to others. This feeling-sense of relationship and togetherness is profoundly important, and it balances the often sense of aloneness of individuality.
It seems that in humanity there are a vast plurality of different private rooms. This is true, yet the rooms are not strictly separate or distinct from one another. In fact, it is quite impossible for anyone (any one room) to be completely separate or completely different from others. The reason for this is simple: every “private” room comes out of other rooms that were already here. Every room of mind is developed (from its conception) out of what precedes it, its parental or cultural heritage. It is a derivative of rooms a priori to its conception. Every emergent human mind must inevitably use systems of language, logic, conceptual schemes, and world-views, as acquired by its social-cultural ancestry. All minds build from and upon given structures. There are no starting points from scratch. So our own private room was, at least in its beginning, derived from (or built within) an ancestry.
Thus, we find ourselves now, as free thinking adults, in a room
that is really within some greater room, and this being within an
even greater room. Ultimately every mind, every room, is derived from
what precedes it, or where it came from. Everything must come out of
something. So every single room is within a larger group room, and
ultimately every room is within One Great Room – the original
Room from which all else came to be. Everything is derived from the
One, and thus within the One. So one could realize that one is
already in the One Mind of God; yet realistically, our individual
awareness (or light) within this Room is limited, and this is what
makes individual rooms within the One Room. This is what gives the
sense of separation from the Whole, the limitation of our own room.
But in fact, there are no walls dividing our own room from the One
Room of God. Its just a limitation of inner awakening and