Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Collective Consciousness

No matter what political party you align yourself with or even if you abstain from politics altogether, there is a collective consciousness, the shared beliefs and moral attitudes which link our community and unite our society.   There is a combined coherence in the consciousness of any group. 
After the Arizona shootings, I watched and listened.  It took a while for me to still my own thoughts and words.   I had to escape Facebook and its banal droning on with snippets of thought spewing out like water from a faucet.  Words, words and more words, I am even adding to them right now I suppose, but I hope to strike a different tone.
The conversational tone of our society is off the charts.  It is not news that American politics have become so hate filled, but I think it is the collective consciousness that has a lot to do with it.  It is not so much the virulent rhetoric that comes to mind when thinking of our society and how we attack each other over politics, but by far the most disturbing trait is our acceptance of it.  Our collective consciousness has evolved into an egotistical nightmare in which sides are drawn and each army is certain their position is on the morally correct spot.   Arguing politics is one of the most egotistical activities that one can pursue- that absolute feeling of “I’m Right!” is a dangerous place to be.  That’s my ego run rampant.
Listening is an activity seldom practiced.  Listening requires humility – we as a whole are short on that right now.  Listening also requires that you do not try to think up a perfect comeback retort while your opponent is on a talking point.  Actually, listening requires that you not think of the other person as an “opponent” at all.  What if we each thought of the other person as ourselves?  That might serve as a start toward the re-growth of civility again.  What if we listened to try to uncover what the underlying differences in our beliefs are?
I had to get real quiet after this violent incident that was carried out by a mentally ill person.  There will always be mentally ill people that act out.  There will always be terrorists, rebels, anarchists and murderers seeking to serve their own purpose.  We should not as a collectively conscious society unlock all of the doors and invite them in for tea.  Words and actions on all sides of our political debates have consequences.  The current levels of anger, bigotry and yes vitriol are like open gates to the mentally ill and deranged that lie in wait for such opportunities.  We have ratcheted up the level of acceptance to violence and hatred.  After incidents like this we are left with tragedy, confusion and people on the defensive for whatever “Brand” of politics they practice.
What if… as a society we began to boycott ugly politics? What if we shunned those that used the “Brand” of ugly politics as their marketing tool?  What if we no longer accepted this type of political atmosphere, this level of bigotry and hatred?  Do you think we are too far gone for that?  Do you think we are too far gone to listen to the people we think of as different from ourselves and not pass judgment – or is that just too difficult for human beings? 
  •  If you are feeling sad and helpless then you are perhaps not too far gone for discussion and growth.
  •  If you are feeling disgust then you are poised for growth. 
  • If you are silent and thoughtful then you are practicing growth.
  •  If you are on the defensive and pointing fingers then you may be too far gone to ever get the spiritual lesson here or the next time. You are part of the problem.  I understand that, my ego gets the best of me too and sometimes I am so sure that I have all the answers. 

My thoughts today,


  1. What eloquent and thoughtful words you have shared, and what a deep and embracing concept you have described. Thank you, Kim, for listening and then speaking from your heart - not your ego.

    I'm with you... I hope for great changes in our political arena and the way government is held accountable in our country.

  2. Hi Kim,

    Found you via Deb Kennedy. I am assigned to a particular political party (only because I guess I have to be to vote) but in general, I abhor politics and how EVERYTHING anymore is politicized.

    I wish there were a way for us to exist in this world completely devoid of politics. But that would be a dream, I suppose. :)

    Thanks for this post.


  3. Hi Ruth, so nice to meet you. I belong to a party too and I think it is so important to vote but I agree - everything is so politicized.

    Thank you Deb.