The concept of ‘a collective consciousness’ often fills my thoughts as I watch Miro naturally learn new things each day. This is the power of unschooling. But I ponder where the knowledge itself comes from as I am not his teacher. Miro does just fine guiding his own experiences and taking from the world what he needs to ‘learn’.
Learning: Is all there is to know, out there in the ‘collective consciousness’ just waiting to be uncovered, beheld or tapped into?
As a young adult I pondered these ideas, much inspired by philosophy and defining my own beliefs. I took a philosophy class when I was 16 which turned my paradigm of understanding the world on its heels. The idea of learning, knowing, knowledge fascinated me as I began to question all concepts surrounding epistemology.
“Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance.”
But could that be right?
I had my own image, my own story which felt right.
I imagined a cloud-like field encapsulating the earth that contained all knowledge, all there is to know, inspiration and creativity. I imagined having the ability to access all knowledge of the world by sending up ‘a line’ to the cloud field and grabbing the info that happened to be floating by. I imagined these bursts as special thoughts, ideas, inspiration, the stuff that powered inventions, art and music, just floating around up there, just waiting to be plucked by the next person, the one who had tuned into that special channel. And, I had also imagined once that idea was snatched up by a person, it was his, and his alone to express. The idea of this cloud field of inspiration, ideas, creativity, is indeed part of what I consider as the collective consciousness.
There comes a time when the mind takes a higher plane of knowledge, but can never prove how it got there.
Today, my understanding of the collective consciousness remains, but I have modified this understanding just a bit since my adolescence. There are two main differences in my current understanding of the collective field of consciousness. First, is the idea that the ‘field’ (cloud of inspiration) is accessible by all, not just one. And second, once many tap into the field focusing on the same need, desire, or burst of inspiration, there is an upload and download process that simultaneously occurs. In other words, when many people access and focus on a single idea, problem or solution, the collective consciousness becomes stronger and the signal expands with more information.
So, focusing, is learning, and tapping into the source field as part of the collective consciousness, participating in both upload and download which causes simultaneous expansions gives us the real opportunity to be a part of the world.
But why now? Why am I focusing on the collective consciousness as a form of learning? Why are we looking outside the possibilities of our own learning? Why are we questioning how it relates to the world?
And our conversation went something like this:
Miro: How did they know how to make that loom? Was the loom invented in Peru then?
Me: I don’t know. But those looms look pretty sophisticated. I recall seeing similar looms used by the Native Americans as well.
Miro: But I’m sure the early people of Peru didn’t communicate with the American Indians. What about the people in Ancient China, or Europe? Did they use looms too?
Me: Perhaps it was something they all picked up as part of the collective consciousness.
I personally don’t know the timeline of the invention of the loom, but I’m pretty certain, those technology and others simultaneously popped up around the globe. Years ago, I remember reading an article by Malcom Gladwell in the New Yorker (I think), where he talks about the concept of many technologies discoveries, inventions, ideas, creations in both science & philosophy being invented at the same time. Could he be referring to the part of the human experience, called the collective consciousness too?
I wonder if the foundation of unschooling / natural learning is simply empowering those to tap back into this thing we call the power of the collective consciousness… Is this indeed the true paradigm of learning?
Read more on the collective consciousness, here’s a great article: What is the origin of inspiration and invention?