Probing the Great Equalizer - by Don Elefante

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Probing the Great Equalizer - by Don Elefante

Postby SDP on Sat May 09, 2009 8:47 am

“The greatest good for the greatest number.” That maxim plays a major role in shaping the social landscape. First, some group decides what is “good” for us. Then the group employs emotional, cultural, hypnotic, legal, military, economic, or political means to impose its brand of good on others until it starts to “seem right.” I believe that’s the “social consciousness” at work, or at least one leg of it. How many legs are there?

I had been thinking about that question at a spiritual retreat earlier this year when I overheard a conversation addressing how hard it is to pin down the meaning of social consciousness. Aha! I wasn’t the only one wondering about it—and that bothered me. As spiritual adventurers, what might we be missing by not having a way to pin it down? How deeply does the social consciousness embed its hooks into its hosts? What might be the spiritual impacts of overlooking its subtle influences?

So, on the long drive home, I asked myself how I would define social consciousness if I were put on the spot. This is what I got: It is that branch of consciousness that seeks to limit an individual's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to tribal norms and expectations. Tribes can be any size.

That word picture felt right as it arose, but curiosity still got the best of me. When I arrived home, I had to query the Internet to seek an "official" definition for social consciousness. I was surprised to find no obvious authority—unless one treats Wikipedia as an authority. Merriam-Webster and Britannica were silent. Yet, I did find a variety of academic discussions and opinions that didn't help much to remove the term’s fuzzy or abstract quality. But that’s not unusual. Plenty of words and terms in our language get fuzzy or fall apart as soon as you shine some light on them. They need more support to keep them in focus. I think “social consciousness” is one such term. I often wonder how much communication is really taking place when people pull phrases like "social consciousness" from their holsters and turn them loose on each other.

So, I've been casually asking people what they think the social consciousness is. It’s helping me with a personal project. The responses have varied widely, but folks have been conveying this general sense to me: "The social consciousness—I know it when I see it." Well, maybe.

I’m sure of one thing: the effects of the social consciousness on our spiritual awakening are palpable and unmistakable. There's nothing fuzzy about them. And the effects matter much more than defining what is creating them. They reach down to our core. As spiritual beings, we can't just ignore their presence forever because our spiritual freedom is at stake.

I now think that that what we know about the social consciousness rides more on the wings of feeling than on the wings of intellect. That’s easy to see, for example, when the familiar strategy, “we need to do it for our children,” is unleashed. So, if you’re feeling the presence of the social consciousness more than intellectualizing it, how are you feeling it? Does it just amount to a collection of pigeonholed experiences for you, or is it something more that that? What is your picture of it? Do you consciously respond to it, and if so, how?

I think it's safe to say that the social consciousness is both a stabilizing and limiting force that serves its authoring "tribes" in many useful ways. After all, we need it to maintain enough social order to keep the barbarians from breaking down our doors. Not having to worry about physical survival every minute makes room for spiritual thought and practice. But exactly how the limits of social consciousness are applied—or how we respond to those limits as individuals seeking spiritual freedom—now that's something that bears exploring.

For example, some feel the pressures of social consciousness build within them in the form of the internal (or infernal) question, "What will people think?" Others feel that the pressures for social equality promote mediocrity and handcuff individual creativity. This goes against the spiritual grain because equality is not our lot in this universe and never has been. Is it any wonder that the social consciousness is sometimes called the great leveler or great equalizer?

Therefore, I'm launching this topic to put the social consciousness under an SDP-community spotlight. This is a good place to assess it and report how it has been affecting our lives. I'm confident there is spiritual gold to be mined here.

If you want to take part in the mining, here are a few other things you might think about to help get you launched. What have you been learning about the social consciousness that has affected your life? Your level of spiritual freedom? What have been your awakenings? What have you learned about the spiritual give-and-take required for living within various tribes, especially at the same time? And when the social consciousness begs your attention, how do you keep your head in heaven and your feet on the ground? Inquiring minds want to know!

The more we can keep this discussion out of the philosophical or pedantic realms, and instead discuss personal experiences and awakenings, the more valuable it will be for everyone. However, I'm sure there are other, practical observations you might want to share that will also stimulate this discussion.

Do you have anything to report?
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Re: Probing the Great Equalizer - by Don Elefante

Postby Vidyanet on Sat May 09, 2009 8:02 pm

My own experience tells me that solar systems are a form of social consciousness. Where the majority of "bodies" are greatly influenced by a central figure, along with each other.

A school of fish, a herd of cattle and a flock of birds are what experience tells me is social consciousness, too. Usually there is some form of "leader" that everybody else is following, know it (directly) or not.

Social consciousness is what I would describe as individual sympathy for the environment. To the extent surrender is sympathetic to where the majority is mostly going.

One of the popular definitions for social consciousness portrays it as a negative, but I don't believe it has to be this way always. Social consciousness can uplift as well as let down. It can move an individual who is loath to move them self.

There is the idea of "union" in the word "social", I believe. However, for moving bodies the collection of members always seem to be "following the leader". Some leader. Any leader. It doesn't seem to matter so long as something gets the most attention. Something that draws a crowd.

Church was a social consciousness for me, but I have noticed how it has changed over time. New leaders bring new ideas and they appear to influence the majority. Correct interpretations of church dogma seem to act like forms of social conscious, too, in my experience.

In all of the instances where an individual finds them self in the environment of a majority, following one's own direction - regardless the direction of the majority - is evidence for another, stronger majority. Another social consciousness, I suspect. I think it could be an effort to unite with an "inner sense" of community and an "inner sense" of knowing.

Last night I went to sleep and didn't seem to remember a thing. Yet my daily routine was not the same. And my awareness not the same as the day before. Today I encountered people going in a similar direction as my own thoughts were taking me. As if a bunch of cars were entering the same section of freeway and I was merging there too.

Why do I go where I do? and do the things I do? I ask myself now. It seems to me that in many cases I am moved by various degrees of social consciousness. And if there is more than just a physical body sensitive to these things I think that might account for the number of different situations I find myself in.

Adding something to the mix.

Vidyanet
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Probing the Great Equalizer -A.B

Postby Another Birth on Sun May 10, 2009 12:15 pm

Hi

Probing the Great Equalizer ! What a Great Topic for Social Consciousness. Actually, I'm agree with Vidyanet as Whole. In my opinion which arise of my own experiences of life demonstrated me a lot on whether how each of Social Consiousness can hypnotize and mask individual's awarness of nature of self-mission in life due to their thoughts, Skills and point of views which may build a new world of creations. I'm the one who most have studied history since i was a child as an enthusiasm to find how others think .

The reason of following Leaders , Religions with historian Heros , Systems of Beliefs for self-discipline ,collaborating with Groups to blame opponents and support of Political debates aren't new stories. Just take a look to the past ages where now Archeologists can't track down to some eras around 30,000 to 50,000 years before when Humans established Communities of Economicals , Industrials , Socials , Magicals ,Politicals to Expanding their Powers of Sciences and to enforce other Inhabitants through east and west and even Other planets. It is not a Fiction. It is real as Sun rises. People of those ages learnt how the Black Magical Forces could slave others to remain as Labours and Members for them Supporting their Acts to disperse worldwide language and thoughts of initiating in Groups of Knowledges and Magicians. This is why people of developed Countries like U.S and Europe are most interested in Broadcasting news , Advertisements , Heros , Movie stars , Tours of Charities , Convenience Foods and Improvemnts of Life-styles. However , many Eastern Countries except some like Japan and Russia follow another rules and life-styles and this is a main reason that Conflicts of East And west arise again like Past in Somewhere we know as Atlantis Civilization with Rama Empire In India. I don't mean people who reside in west are Magicians and eastern people are Spiritually! No. I Show you a bit of my ideas about These Karmics and reincarnation Indices which Affect nations of worldwide. I think everyone can track down this Fact to find greater Truth.

I mean , Soul as a rod power of IT {God} in universe has been hidden so many times within many layers and this is why we feel today as a depth wish to find a tiny Island in The Occean of Love and Mercy. But while we are walking in Spiritual Odyssey and events related to any Inner Experience we might be upset and disregard Hidden powers of life which sings everyday in Heart beats , Laugh of a Child , A gift from a friend , and even wars and Conflicts between Groups and nations , Disasters of Environments , Flu , AIDS and etc show us who we are in the Game plate of life.
Are we a winner or loser ? who are the most richest Citizens? Who are the most famous folks in London? which religion is the best of my choice? Am I going to accept other beliefs ? Am I right or Wrong? I think Mind never finishes its Questioning and this is a point where most people hesitate in Accepting or not Accepting Beliefs and Social Consciousness. They think they are apartfrom Society and it threats their Activities, so they will hesitate again, Which one is True? Mine or others?

You can see anywhere that people are in Vortex of Tornado of Confusing and they think Motions of life are in the Hands of Successful folks and Heros and soon they will revise and reform their life-styles and Shifting mind to what they are thiking and then Social Conciousness Nourishes their minds and Thoughts and undoubtedly they will become materialised.

Any Place of living is a key that soul speculates itself as a pre- Identified manifestation of Spirit that how to Commence creating a new world. We reside everywhere with every opportunities and Systems of Laws and Beliefs.It doesn't matter how many peoples Success and have better life. It is one part of Spiritual Laws to give Soul many Opportunities to find itself and choose the best ones equal and parallel to One Goal which any Soul desires here and now.


In Spirit,
Another Birth :P
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Re: Probing the Great Equalizer - by Don Elefante

Postby Don Elefante on Fri May 15, 2009 3:08 am

Hi Vidyanet,

You said:

"One of the popular definitions for social consciousness portrays it as a negative, but I don't believe it has to be this way always. Social consciousness can uplift as well as let down. It can move an individual who is loath to move them self."

Can you provide that popular definition? Also, can you give some examples of how the social consciousness has uplifted you?

Don
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Re: Probing the Great Equalizer - by Don Elefante

Postby Don Elefante on Fri May 15, 2009 3:16 am

Hi Another Birth,

You said:

"I think Mind never finishes its Questioning and this is a point where most people hesitate in Accepting or not Accepting Beliefs and Social Consciousness. They think they are apart from Society and it threats their Activities, so they will hesitate again, Which one is True? Mine or others?"

Have you felt yourself being outside the social consciousness at times? What was that like?

If not, have you been personally affected by someone who thought he or she was outside of the social consciousness? If so, how?

Don
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Re: Probing the Great Equalizer - by Don Elefante

Postby Vidyanet on Fri May 15, 2009 8:16 am

Don,

Have you not seen any negative stereotypes attributed to the definition for "social consciousness"? I have. There are many examples. Did you want one because you haven't seen any?

As for an uplifting example of social consciousness I would suggest spiritual gatherings. Also, the community of children, spiritual gatherings in the dream state and inner planes, etc.

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Re: Probing the Great Equalizer - by Don Elefante

Postby Marian on Fri May 15, 2009 8:17 am

Hi Don,

I have logged into this site today after a short break from it. I found to my surprise and delight 3 articles which match my understanding (consciousness) at this time. Is this a form of social consciousness?

Shalom
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Re: Probing the Great Equalizer - by Don Elefante

Postby Marian on Fri May 15, 2009 8:20 am

p.s.

wouldn't upliftment or the opposite depend on the consciousness of the surroundings/people? I don't think that spiritual groups are necessarily uplifting, infact sometimes they can be oppressive. This especially is so if they want individuals to conform to the group (hieracy) game. On the subject of children - having worked with children and young people who are extremely disturbed, I would say that in this situation ones own shadow can be activated and constant awareness is required to ensure one is not pulled down.

Shalom
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Re: Probing the Great Equalizer - by Don Elefante

Postby Vidyanet on Fri May 15, 2009 9:07 am

Marian,

Of course.

My examples were illustrated generalizations only, because I responded with text.

Certainly I did not mean all spiritual gatherings, all groups and children.

I was speaking from experience about particular examples. I didn't take time to illustrate many specific details to communicate more than a generalization.

No spiritual gatherings, community of children, inner and deamstate experiences ever uplift?

There are probably two sides, or "black" and "white", with a lot of things. I was attempting to speak about "both sides" of social consciousness. As I understood it.

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Re: Probing the Great Equalizer - by Don Elefante

Postby Vidyanet on Fri May 15, 2009 9:37 am

Here are two basic links for this thread. One on Social consciousness and another on Collective consciousness.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_consciousness

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collective_consciousness

For social consciousness the first sentence read "Social consciousness is consciousness shared within a society." It didn't (first paragraph) paint that consciousness as "positive" or "negative".

I tend to agree that it is "consciousness shared".

Since consciousness can be "felt" and people sensitive to the vibrations of group thought (animals sensitive, too) I would have to say my own experiences of social consciousness have ranged between uplifting and depressing.

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