Group Mind

Day 339 Week 50 Q4  Monday, December 5, 2022

As a creative outlier, do you have a tendency to go it alone?  People who have MORE can have more difficulty fitting into groups; they do not tend to be joiners. In fact, it might be easier for them to lead than to join. Or perhaps this is just a projection. In any case, even if you are terrific, you are not more terrific than a group of terrific people. Yes, sometimes you do need to go it alone because you are in a state of discovery or iteration or expression that precedes the ability to collaborate and after creativity does generally require gestation. But even if you are one in a million there are still eight billion of us on the planet which means there are still 8000 people as good as you are, so you are not alone, no matter how exceptional you might think you are or might have been told you are.

This brings up the issue of context. If you are good, bad, great or terrible, it must be compared to some sort of a reference. Compared to what? If you were the most special person amongst your neighbor to the left and your neighbor to the right when you were five years old, and then go to a school where there are forty people in your class, well, that changes things, right?  If a person were the smartest person in their high school and then went to an elite college, they would find out very rapidly they were not as unique or special as they might have thought previously, as in the day before they went.

There is a tendency to be preoccupied with celebrities. This tendency can absurdly deify others in sports, ashrams, music or money. It is sort of absurd to place people in such exhaulted regard as no matter how smart or rich they are, they are fairly useless without leverage, and their team deserves a great deal of credit for whatever that most highly visible figure is thought to be achieving.   

Ken Ketch, one of the wisest people I know, founded an enterprise called Group MInd Express some time ago in Santa Cruz, a beautiful oceanfront town close enough to Silicon Valley to enjoy paradise and earn a living simultaneously. The notion he had was simple and powerful. The group mind is more capable than the individual mind. Let me say that again. No matter how smart or talented you are, collaborating with a group is of great benefit. Even though society has this annoying tendency to deify stars, none of them could accomplish much without a group mind. 

So, seek out and surround yourself with others you can collaborate with and who hopefully have complementary skills, and you will become instantly smarter than you were the day before. 

Consciously cultivate a group mind if you can; it will certainly be smarter than you are.