Like all profound experiences of the human soul, even that of group consciousness tends to go unnoticed, an experience even more indiscernible as it is pervasive. It’s useless therefore to attempt to define it, but rather try to write around it, to indicate it, to recognize it.
Group consciousness is that common feeling which makes us recognize men, is the root of a common ancestral identity, the implicit backdrop on which we ignore all the differences that exist among men, differences which can be very obvious but also fleeting and superficial.
The consciousness is a web, or a social fabric, where each person represents a point of it: like brain neurons, acquiring their function only by virtue of the synapses that connect them.
As well, life itself is a network, nowadays a network of planetary dimension: everything is interconnected and mutually codependent: in all fields of human civilization, in addition to the many nature kingdoms, of course. No man is an island. No kingdom of Nature is an island. No living being is an island.
It is useless to list examples, because there are so many. Except perhaps for that of electricity because this form of life/energy, which supports everyday human activity, in each step of life, is absolutely collective and not divisible. So can we personalize electricity? Is it not then the perfect example of perfectly shared life/energy, undivided and therefore common?
Even apart from technology, the simple air that man breaths, and has always breathed since humans first appeared on the earth, is this not our common life fuel shared and exchanged between each of us? Animal and plant included? Independently of gender, race and value?
How is it that the most vital, precious, and indeed indispensable thing that exists, such as the air, is not privatized, but can only be shared? How is it that there is no individual air but only group air?
For consciousness it is the same thing, the only difference is that the web and social fabric are more hidden than that of life and also more complex. Because while life unifies, or is homologous, consciousness instead specifies, or diversifies, into two different and complementary forms of communion.
Group consciousness is like the consciousness of the heart, which is there but it is not seen! The heart that does nothing visible and tangible… apart from maintain in life our organism! That is, it exists.
Similarly, on the psychic level group consciousness is the consciousness of being and not of doing. It is consciousness of the presence and value of all that as singular individuals belongs to us, it composes and constitutes all of us, all our parts, light and shadow, it is the consciousness of this common, internal and external in co-membership.
Within us: group consciousness is to feel whole, at peace with ourselves, fully be in ourselves, in total membership with ourselves. It’s about the whole being; it is to be what we are. Which is of course an extraordinary point of arrival.
Externally in relation to others: it is the recognition of an intrinsic common codependence that feeds on the autonomy of each, and translates into a magical enhancement of synergy of unpredictable proportions and future development.
This group consciousness is a reality already and always in place, but also an incomplete reality and therefore still growing. A process where each individual and the whole of humanity, in this historical period, have a chance and perhaps the task of confronting and growing.
That is a big challenge, but also a great opportunity to gather.
from an italian article written by Vittorio Viglienghi