group thinking

Group Thinking Makes Complex Lifeforms Possible

“Each atom is to the yogi a living thing, leading its own independent life. These atoms combine into groups for some end and the group manifests a group intelligence, as long as it remains a group; these groups again combining in turn, and forming bodies of a more complex nature, which serves as a vehicle for for higher forms of consciousness. When death comes to the physical body the cells separate and scatter and that which we call decay sets in. The force which has held the cells together is withdrawn, and it becomes free to go its own way and form new combinations. Some go into the body of the plants in the vivinity, and eventually find themselves again in the body of an animal; others remain in the organism of the plant; others remain in the ground for a time, but the life of the atom means incessant and constsnt change. As a leading writer has said: ‘Deat is but an aspect of life, and the destruction of one material form is but a prelude to the building up of another.’” ~William Walker Atkinson

Living Thing

I’ve discussed this before, but it’s worth repeating for this post. When we say that a life form is living, we know what we mean, yet we cannot locate the life in that being. Life exists in it at the cellular level for sure and probably at the atomic level. I’ve also discussed that we are a hierarchy of life, at least on the physical level. We are not a single living entity but a conglomeration of billions of living beings. And that is true of all complex beings.

Start of Life

On the physical level, we know that single-celled lifeforms came first. At least that is the prevailing theory of science. That theory doesn’t explain how and why non-living atoms came together to form those living beings, but we will accept the theory at this point.

The next level of complexity in life came when some of these single cells began to cling together and form a multi-celled being. That most primitive form of multi-celled life

Sponge near diver

is the sponge still found today in the oceans (and bearing little resemblance to Spongebob Squarepants). In a sponge, there are no specialized cells of any kind. Each cell is the same, like bricks in a brick wall. And yet the spange is able to function as a true multi-celled animal in many ways. It serves as a good example, though, for the point that even in the most complex of beings, each cell is an independent lifeform.

Group Thinking

Each of those cells thinks independently, yet they are also engaging in group thinking an multiple levels, as Atkinson notes in the quote. Group thinking has been given a negative connotation today. That is because many see it as the same thing as herd mentality and crowd mentality, but each of those things is slightly different and the first two have more positive aspects than negative ones.

One of the best examples to illustrate positive group thinking is to watch a large flock of birds in flight. The leader of the flock can make a turn and all the others follow with collisions being very rare. In essence, their tiny bird minds are linked together while in flight so the thoughts of one are the thoughts of all. You might call it flock consciousness.

via GIPHY

While crowd mentality can certainly be a negative thing, the type of group thinking, or group consciousness, Atkinson is talking about is a positive thing. But whether positive or negative, it is a reality. Individual cells of living beings are conscious on the most basic level. When they group together for a specific purpose, they have a group mentality that is generally useful. We would not live long, for example, if each of our blood cells decided on its own what it was going to do. The fact that all red blood cells carry food and oxygen to all cells in the body makes living possible. The fact that all white cells fight disease, among other things, helps us stay alive and healthy. So even though the cells remain separate, they still engage in a primitive group thinking that allows them to function as if they made up an organ of the body.

Group Thinking in Man

In other cases, different cells form organs like the heart, liver, and longs in more complex beings. Each organ has a group mentality that allows it to perform its function. And all the organs and other parts of a complex lifeform like a human engage in group thinking as a total being so when we want to walk forward, we don’t have one leg trying to go forward and the other going in reverse. While it might be argued that the brain is controlling all of this, there is growing evidence that the mind, especially the subconscious mind that handles such thing as walking and breathing, is not completely in the brain but is spread out and may function separate from the body entirely. In other words, the complete consciousness of a person is not just the brain-mind, but also the group thinking of every cell in the body.

Group Thinking of Spirit and Soul

Is group thinking limited to the physical world? Probably not. In fact, most spiritual and mystery schools have taught for ages that a form of group thinking does function in the spiritual realms. The primary goal of spiritual development is to unite the soul with God or the Universal Consciousness. Forst, of course, we have to awaken the soul. Then we can start developing group thinking on the spiritual level as well as the physical. Then one day we may again be a single Consciousness of All mad up of many individual bits of consciousness.

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palace

Palace of the Soul, Ruins in the Mind

“suppose there were a very great palace, and this were deserted, and became full of every evil smell, and of many dead bodies. Well the heart is Christ’s palace. And it is full of uncleanness, and of crowds of many wicked spirits. It must be refounded and rebuilt, and its store-chambers and bedrooms put in order; for their Christ the King, with the angels and holy spirits, come to rest, and to dwell, and to walk in it, and to set his kingdom. I tell you it is like a ship furnished with plenty of tackle, where the captain disposes of all, and sets them their tasks. … The heart has a captain in the mind, the conscience, which is ever judging us. … The heart contains many natural faculties bound up with it, and it is the mind and conscience which chides and guides the heart. …

“From the time that Adam transgressed the commandment, the serpent entered and made himself master of the house, and became like a second soul beside the soul. For the Lord says, Whoso denieth not himself and hateth not his own soul, is not my disciple. … Sin entering into the soul has become like a member of it, and is united with the bodily man, and therefore many unclean thoughts spring up in the heart.” ~St. Macarius the Egyptian

A Ruined Palace

Ruins

Heidelberg Castle

Decades ago, when I was in the Army and stationed in Germany, I visited with friends several ruined castles. It was sad to see these ancient buildings that undoubtedly took much work to build, crumbling and being the homes now of bats, snakes and worms. But there are other castles there, such as the one in Heidelberg, that have been kept up and are still functioning in one way or another. Some have been made into museums. Others are public buildings such as libraries. One of my army friends was married in Heidelberg castle, and I attended a fasching party there. Some smaller towns and cities are making an attempt to restore these old castles and palaces. But no one would hold a wedding or a party in ruins full of snakes, rats, and bugs. The vermin and filth have to be cleaned out first. Continue reading “Palace of the Soul, Ruins in the Mind”

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hierarchy of being

Hierarchy of Being, Simple and Complex

“That which engenders the world of sense cannot itself be a sense world, it must be the Intellect and the Intellectual world; similarly, the prior which engenders the Intellectual Principle and the Intellectual world cannot be either, but must be something of lesser multiplicity. The manifold does not rise from the manifold: the intellectual multiplicity has its source in what is not manifold; by the mere fact of being manifold, the thing is not the first principle: we must look to something earlier.

“All must be grouped under a unity which, as standing outside of all multiplicity and outside of any ordinary simplicity, is the veritable and essential simplex.

“Still, how can a Reason Principle (the Intellectual), characteristically a manifold, a total, derive from what is obviously no Reason Principle?

“But how, failing such origin in the simplex, could we escape (what cannot be accepted) the derivation of a Reason principle from a Reason principle?

“And how does the secondary good (the imaged good) derive from the Good, the Absolute? What does it hold from the Absolute Good to entitle it to the name?” ~Plotinus

Matter and Intellect Hierarchy of Being

Plotinus, while apparently having a significant amount of spiritual knowledge, has difficulty grasping the idea of something greater than intellect. That is not too surprising. So many people today think the same way. Many even think the soul is just a part of the mind or another name for the mind. It isn’t.

Plotinus has the relationship of matter and Intellect (thought) down correctly, but he can’t seem to get beyond that, accept on an abstract level. He doesn’t know that the true hierarchy of complex beings like man is: the physical body, intellect or mind, psychic body, spirit, and soul. Four levels, not two, not three. Four levels of being. Four dimensions of existence.

Hierarchy of Being

While Plotinus has an incomplete hierarchy, he does understand how the hierarchy works. The basic idea is that you can’t create or generate something greater than yourself. You can’t generate something with more knowledge than you have. Therefore, the generated must always be of a lower or equal level in the hierarchy of being. It can never be higher than that which generated it. So the intellect (mind) could not be generated by the physical body. It has to be the other way around. Thought generates matter. Matter cannot generate thought. And the mind had to be generated by something higher.

Plotinus doesn’t say, or even speculate, on what that is. It should be obvious, however, that what is higher than intellect is spirit and soul. So the idea that spirit and soul grew out of the body or the mind is just nonsense. The created has to be of an equal or lower level than the creator. Spirit is definitely a higher level than mind or matter. Matter is temporary, constantly changing, constantly being destroyed and replaced. Spirit is permanent. It doesn’t die, get sick or old, it doesn’t fade away. It can become dormant from lack of use and that is the state it is in when we enter the physical realm. Very few people ever bother to awaken the spirit and soul. The primary reason is simply that they have not been made aware that it is necessary or how to do it.

It is only logical, then, to say that the spirit and soul could only be created by something even higher. That something, that Ultimate Consciousness, is what most of us call God. That universal spiritual consciousness creates all spirits and souls. Individual minds—the intellect of man—is generated from the spirit and soul. The physical body is a generation of mind. Top to bottom. The real hierarchy of being.

Simple to Complex Hierarchy of Being

It is said that evolution goes from the simple to the complex. Simple single-celled life forms evolved into simple multi-celled forms like the sponges, then to forms with complex parts and organs with different functions. So it seems like the hierarchy of being is simple to complex. That is only true when you look only at the physical level. If you include the mental, psychic, and spiritual levels of being, you see that matter has fallen from the spirit level that is much higher than matter. In a way, the spiritual level seems simple, but that is true only if you look just at that one level. It is, in fact, the most complex level of being because all other levels are below it, within it.

History of the Hierarchy of Being

Material science tells us that man is a recent development, evolved from lower beings, most recently apes. But that conclusion is made by ignoring the higher levels, or by believing that mind and spirit were generated by the physical body. As already discussed, that is a false belief. In truth, we existed for a very long time as pure spirits before man became physical. We existed before there even was a physical universe of matter. When everything was spirit, we were. Spirits and souls are ageless, eternal.

The other levels are the result of the Great Fall caused by the fallen angels. Only then did the current hierarchy of being come into existence.

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mind reading

Mind Reading: We all Do It

“The simple forms of telepathic phenomena have received the name ‘Mind Reading’ and by some have been regarded as something not quite within the class of real telepathy. This last impression has been heightened by the fact that there has been offered the public many spectacular exhibitions of pseudo mind-reading, that is to say, imitation or counterfeit mind reading, in which the result has been obtained by trickery, collusion, or clever artifice. But, notwithstanding this fact, genuine mind-reading is actually a phase of true telepathy. …

“I will remind the student that he will learn more by a half-dozen actual experiments at mind-reading than he will by reading a dozen books on the subject. It is very good to read the books in order to get the correct theory fixed in mind, and also in order to learn the best methods as taught by those who have had a wide experience in the subject; but the real ‘how’ of the matter is learned only through actual experimental work.” ~William Walker Atkinson

Psychic and Spiritual

The first thing I want to clear up before getting into the subject of telepathy is the matter of psychic and spiritual matters. They are not the same thing. That needs to be repeated for many. Psychic is not the same as spiritual. If you look at it as climbing up flights of stairs that represent levels of consciousness, psychic activity is one flight above our normal materialistic state, and spiritual is another flight above that. So we do have to climb up to the psychic level before we reach the spiritual. The problem is that many stop at the psychic level and go no further. This is a mistake. That said, let’s get on with exploring Telepathy.

Telepathic Mind Reading

At the time when Mr. Atkinson was writing his books, telepathy was probably defined a little different than today. The simple definition now, according to Merriam-Webster, is: “communication from one mind to another by extrasensory means”. That would clearly include what is often called mind reading. But as Atkinson points out, it only includes real mind-reading, not the many mind-reading stage acts that are done with trickery.

We All Do It

Many people think that telepathy is either a special talent that a small number of people have. Others think it is something that has to be learned and developed like studying most other subjects. While that is true for conscious mind-reading, the truth is most, if not all, of us, do it subconsciously all the time.

I can’t prove that. I haven’t conducted extensive, scientific experiments on it. But I have seen enough evidence of this subconscious mind-reading to accept that it happens all the time. I have written about this before, but let me repeat just one example.

Have you ever been driving down a quiet country road at night and looking ahead, you see something strange just off the road? Perhaps you see a witch standing there. Or maybe a bear. But when you get closer, you laugh when it see that it is just a rock, bush or tree stump. Have you ever had that happen when there is a lot of traffic on the road? I think the answer is no. I certainly haven’t. And the reason for that is this subconscious telepathy that we do all the time without being aware of it. If there is another car a short distance ahead of us, those in that car see the object first. Once they know exactly what it is, their minds broadcast that information. We pick it up and see the correct object right away. We never see the witch or bear because those other minds told us it is just a tree stump or a rock.

If you can except that all of us are communicating telepathically on a subconscious level, it makes it easier to learn to do it consciously and intentionally.

Beyond Human Mind Reading

But if psychic communication is not spiritual, why bother learning it? One reason has already been mentioned. Because the psychic level of consciousness is the first step towards the spiritual. The other, more important reason, is that we use something similar to mind-reading to communicate with spiritual beings: angels and Light Beings. Although telepathy on the physical level is mind-to-mind communication and communicating with spiritual beings is soul-to-soul, I think learning one helps develop the other. Of course, we don’t want to spend to much time and effort on developing psychic abilities such as mind-reading. That is likely to cause us to take root on that level of consciousness (allegorically speaking), and fail to move on to spiritual levels.

Do it Yourself

Mr. Atkinson is correct in saying that we will learn more about mind-reading by practicing it rather than just reading about it. That idea isn’t limited to mind-reading. In fact, it is true of almost everything. It is definitely true of spiritual development. You can read books that teach techniques for spiritual awakening, but you don’t awaken by reading the books. You don’t gain any significant spiritual knowledge by reading books. You have to practice spiritual techniques. You have to practice until you raise your level of consciousness so high that you connect directly with the source of all truth and knowledge. Then you will learn how inadequate any book is at teaching truth and reality.

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