At the end of his feature on the Mystery of Collective Intelligence, in the May-July 2004 issue of â€œWhat Is Enlightenment?â€ magazine, Craig Hamilton asked: â€œWhat would it take for us to remove any barriers to the emergence of collective consciousness, not just as an occasional peak experience but as a permanent ongoing capacity?â€
That question comes on the last of 24 pages filled with stories of small groups experiencing spontaneous irruptions of collective consciousnessâ€”described in very evocative images by their participantsâ€”and interviews with pioneers of the collective intelligence and wisdom movement. It is breathtaking survey and vista of this rapidly emerging field, that I recommend to all readers of this blog to visit.
The rest of this blog entry is a modest contribution to the efforts of addressing the question raised by Craig Hamilton.
Given humankindâ€™s towering challenges, on one hand, and the increasing ease and naturalness with which collective wisdom appears in various groups, on the other hand, asking the â€œWhat would it take…â€ question is more timely than ever. Finding the answer is getting more and more both urgent and possible. Interesting times, indeed! May it be that the answer is in the question itself? I mean, in the passionate intensity of, and the sustained attention to, holding it by all those who share an interest in it.
What Hamilton seems to ask really is how can the magic but fleeting moments of touching and being touched by the group soul, become seeds for the emergence of a higher collective intelligence.
CI is a term that I use in the following sense: Collective intelligence is the capacity of communities and organisations to evolve towards higher Consciousness, Compassion, and Competence in absorbing complexity, through collaboration and innovation.
How to stabilize the momentary, fleeting states of CI, how to use them for helping us move to a new stage in the evolution of CI? As Ken Wilber says, “States are temporary, stages are permanent. States are free, stages are earned.â€ So,what will it take to â€œearnâ€ the new stage of CI? Thereâ€™s only one thing that we can be certain about: the answer to that question wonâ€™t be discovered by isolated, individual efforts; it can be demonstrated only by communities of people with a shared passion for both reaching the new stage, and the journey leading to it.
If you are one of them, please say so and help turning this blog into a gathering ground for a learning expedition into the emergent, new stage of CI.