The group mind is a curious thing - it's what you might call society. I once read an interesting zen book called "from the zen kitchen to enlightenment" by Dogen and Uchiyama - there's an interesting chapter in there which touches on this concept - that is to say, the way we communicate with each through speech and how this creates the illusion of group mentality. Have I lost you already....? I haven't even started yet...
Here's a simpler attempt:
- We talk to each other
- Generally, it is easier to get along so we conform with each other rather than argue
- This creates a group mentality
- It's a helpful contrivance. We get along, we chat.
- Here's what I noticed. I mix in wildly different groups of people and the norms in each group are subtly different - they have different beliefs. These beliefs creep out in the form of micro judgements - little comments or phrases or opinions.
- These micro judgements effect the opinion I have of myself.
- This opinion ranges from awesome to the scum of the earth, quite often as I shift from one group of people to the next
Now I merely notice the shift in my internal dialogue but it's interesting to see how my mind is shaped by the people I'm with and the consensus we create.
Anyway, choose yours friends carefully ...