Herds of Individuals

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posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 12:26 AM
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Herds of Individuals


1.


Everywhere I’ve been, in every metropolis, town, jungle, mountain and desert I’ve traipsed across, I’ve found that despite every insistence to conform to their cultures, humans are mostly the same at heart, possessing the same ability to forget the synthetic hands that formed them, where they can finally be individuals.

Among my travels, and through a strange desire to observe humanity in all her glory—observations that may have gotten me in trouble if I wasn’t so charming—I’ve noticed that most people seem to be the product of their culture, especially during the times they are fully focused on maintaining their cultural norms and ideals, standing with the crowd, never deviating, letting the stream carry them to God knows where; but get someone alone, herd-less, intimate, face to face, without the shackles of ones traditions and upbringings holding one back from pure individual to individual interaction, humanity is witnessed.

2.


One might see a herd or flock of birds moving in harmonic unison as one being, one mind—a quaint poetic way of looking at things, and one that might only help to disguise the reality of it all—but in truth, most of the herd members are merely following the ass directly in front of them, hoping that it might lead them to whatever glories they are after. And to twist things a little bit more—the animals in front of the herd are more than likely running from the rush behind them, scared of being trampled by what chases at their heals, and completely unaware of the leadership role they have been given. Every stampede is a race to get away from something or to get towards something, with each participant impelled by the cues of others, all while reacting to their base instincts. One needs only look at Black Friday sales to witness this very dichotomy in action where human beings are concerned.

Every bird must land. Every stampede must stop. Rather than forever chase the tail-feathers in front of them and flee from the beak behind them, the birds rest, they feed, they clean each other, become intimate, they return to their families, they play and reaffirm their individuality, their uniqueness, themselves. Some say that we should be somewhere up there in that constant striving to get away and get towards, that we are a collective mind, a stampede seen as one entity, rather than remain grounded in this individuality, which is often seen as merely a search for self-interests. The birds, however, are indifferent either way.

3.


The idea of a collective consciousness is an entirely dehumanizing concept. It presupposes that we are not autonomous, not sovereign, not responsible for our own actions, and that we are guilty by association simply because it is assumed beyond all belief that we are tethered by some non-existent web of whatever. However, this tether belongs only to those who choose to wear it. In order to be a part of the hive mind, one must participate in the hive. One must become a drone in a sense, following not their own will, but the will of something they believe is greater, a particular ideal or other, a fine tether indeed. The difference between a bee and a human, however, is that a human can choose not to react to the cues and instincts of the hive if he employs his thinking faculties. He can simply step aside. He can swim in the opposite direction.

4.


In every culture I’ve found myself within, whenever I was face to face with another human who has momentarily stepped away from their herd to greet me as an individual, their uniqueness and beauty becomes apparent. It is here that they become majestic. They speak and act from a perspective I’ve never witnessed before and will never see again. Although their language and culture is acquired from different places than mine, we nonetheless share the same individuality—only sometimes alike, but always different.

5.


We love our family, our closest friends, our places of rest and play—but then again in order to maintain these pleasures we must take part in the societal rat race. It might be said that we are pack animals conforming to a herd life, wolves in sheep’s clothing, but that we sometimes forget what we are beneath the cotton.




posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 01:20 AM
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A collective consciousness is what we humans should be achieving, it is the next logical step in our evolution, being that we choose our evolutionary path due to our high brain power (which is hugely untapped by the untrained person) and our thumbs.



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 01:33 AM
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reply to post by Aphorism
 


You sir, are a genius.
*Salute*



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 09:14 AM
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Aphorism
The idea of a collective consciousness is an entirely dehumanizing concept.


Naw. It's perfectly natural and part of what we are. If and when we reach 'critical mass', you'll be singing a different tune.


"Another example of collective consciousness at a primitive level comes from the remarkable behavior of a forest slime mold in search of a new feeding area. For most of its life, slime mold exists as a single-cell amoeba; however, when it needs food, it can transform itself into a much larger entity with new capacities. Individual amoebas send out signals to nearby cells until thousands collect together.

Eventually, they reach a critical mass and, without the aid of any apparent leader, organize themselves into an organism that can move across the forest floor. Upon reaching a better feeding area, they release spores from which new individual amoebas are formed. Under conditions of great stress, forest slime molds seem to be able to mobilize a capacity for collective consciousness so as to insure their own survival."


duaneelgin.com...



edit on 25-1-2014 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 09:55 AM
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I think humans have instincts too, but because of our bigger brain, we think we don't. Instincts come into play when we're threatened and need to respond quickly. Instincts come into play in almost every activity. I think you can only really see the "herd" from far away. If you're in the city chatting with others you can't see the herd. You're so much in the herd you're unable to see the herd.

Nationalism wouldn't be so popular if it wasn't an instinct. I believe there's an instinct in people to support their control system - their leader, their chief, their society, etc. People will do this despite corruption.

There're some issues I just won't budge on. Stubborn. It's instinct.

See here:
www.psychologicalscience.o rg - Why Do People Defend Unjust, Inept, and Corrupt Systems?...

Ya I believe we have some self-control and individual power, but I don't give us special traits. I know we have a new brain, but I think we're animals too. I guess nobody ever noticed the bee who flew away and got lost. Or the bee or queen who was killed because it didn't act completely unselfishly. I guess all of that is perfectly explained away by science just like how when a spider does a mating dance and never ever does it for anything else than instinct. It shakes because of instinct. And yet when humans do a mating dance obviously there's this awesome creative power and passion spilling out of them. Everything is perfectly explained.

We want to attach special traits to ourselves. It's instinct. We'll point to various graphs and sources of evidence, but it's all just a fancy show. Look at this and look at that. Aren't we amazing? No sir that's the dopamine talking.

Because I think we're essentially animals doesn't mean I think we should be abused or exploited. Maybe we should rethink our relationship with other animals. When I see an animal I don't see dinner, I see a creature like myself in many ways. I've eaten meat, but I do so disdainfully. Eating meat is so commonplace and most diet experts recommend eating it. It's hard to go against all that because it singles you out and makes you a target. People suddenly don't like you. And they'll say things like "There're lots of starving people in the world. Worrying so much about animals shows you have no love for people. It shows you're prissy." They'll either make you out to be crazy or they'll try to make you feel guilty for being the way you're.
edit on 25-1-2014 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 10:24 AM
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reply to post by Aphorism
 


While I agree with your premise overall, there is one statement I'd like to point out: " The difference between a bee and a human, however, is that a human can choose not to react to the cues and instincts of the hive if he employs his thinking faculties. He can simply step aside. He can swim in the opposite direction." I propose that mental institutions and prisons are full of people who did just that.

Society, in general, is an entity unto itself and does not reward individuality at all. I have worked in both prisons and mental institutions (as a nurse) and had the opportunity to witness how Society responds to adamant adherence to individuality. Group think and conformity are constantly enforced. One is "cured" or "rehabilitated" when conformity is finally achieved.

There are occasions when Society allows a show of rewarding individuality by tolerating "eccentric" behavior. Usually the eccentric must be wealthy or be possessed of a very high IQ. A brilliant inventor can be indulged IF their inventions benefit Society and the eccentricities of the wealthy are also overlooked in favor of their throwing obscene amounts of money at Society (building hospitals, donating art to museums, etc.). Any brilliance or eccentricity exhibited that benefits only the individual is promptly squelched as deviant and in need of conformity compliance.



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 12:58 PM
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reply to post by Aphorism
 



One might see a herd or flock of birds moving in harmonic unison as one being, one mind—a quaint poetic way of looking at things, and one that might only help to disguise the reality of it all—but in truth, most of the herd members are merely following the ass directly in front of them, hoping that it might lead them to whatever glories they are after. And to twist things a little bit more—the animals in front of the herd are more than likely running from the rush behind them, scared of being trampled by what chases at their heals, and completely unaware of the leadership role they have been given.

Incorrect.

Birds have very organized methods of 'flock motion' - and they swap out as leaders.

And in all your worldliness, apparently you haven't spent much time around herd animals. I kept horses for years. There is a leader (usually a female), who serves as the "monitor" - and they are NOT "running from the others" when they are leading their herd to the goal (safety, food, escape from predators, etc). They are paying attention and usually circling back around to 'herd' the stragglers.

I know this from YEARS of experience.

As for collective human conciousness - it doesn't surprise me that you espouse the view you have. The majority of humans are self-centered, which leads to an imbalance in the 'ecosystem' of humanity.....it is when we, all, in unison, think together - that we work best. And I think it was a cheap 'trick' to use "Black Friday" as the example.

Very selective "example" - and I guarantee you that those idiots are far too unintelligent to even understand the concept of proper "collective conscious" as opposed to "mob rule."

You understand neither bird flocks nor herds of horses - And apparently truly little about psychology and sociology. But that doesn't surprise me. "Charming"??? ... hmm, that one wasn't on the list of 'traits' I've mentally compiled based on your ATS character. Just some friendly feedback.


edit on 1/25/14 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 02:08 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


In your haste to point out how much he doesn't know about natural history - you somehow managed to miss this:



In every culture I’ve found myself within, whenever I was face to face with another human who has momentarily stepped away from their herd to greet me as an individual, their uniqueness and beauty becomes apparent. It is here that they become majestic. They speak and act from a perspective I’ve never witnessed before and will never see again. Although their language and culture is acquired from different places than mine, we nonetheless share the same individuality—only sometimes alike, but always different.

We love our family, our closest friends, our places of rest and play—but then again in order to maintain these pleasures we must take part in the societal rat race. It might be said that we are pack animals conforming to a herd life, wolves in sheep’s clothing, but that we sometimes forget what we are beneath the cotton.


Sometimes metaphor isn't exactly scientifically accurate

And it's a good thing too - art is it's own language - I like it just the way it is

:-)



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 02:09 PM
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reply to post by Aphorism
 


S&F Aphorism -

To the majesty in the individual - and the magic of the herd

To quote Willy Wonka: Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it. Thank you.
edit on 1/25/2014 by Spiramirabilis because: duh



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 02:11 PM
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True herd behavior is an understood and rigidly enforced hierarchy. It only looks chaotic because you don't see the social structure from the outside unless you know what you're looking for. Every herd animal has its own way of determining its pecking order and there is method to the madness.

Humans can form herds, too, but a Black Friday crowd is not one of those occasions. A military unit would be a closer approximation. Every individual knows his or her place in the pecking order and who calls the shots. They obey without question and move accordingly, and if the leader down, they know the next person in the chain of command.

Another example of a human herd would be a sports team. Again, they each know their roles and who is supposed to go where at what time and who is in charge and calls the shots letting them know when and where they are supposed to go where they go. A basketball game only looks like chaos; the same with football or soccer. In reality, they are human herds where each individual on the floor should be playing his or her own role and relying on their teammates to carry out theirs under the direction of the coach/captain/QB.

What you see on Black Friday or in stadium crowds is really just a mob. It's a disorganized crowd of random elements that may or may not have a common goal, but is really not working together in any tangible way and may actually be working against itself.



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 02:21 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


Have you ever watched a herd of caribou or impalas or water buffalos being chased by a predator? No, you're talking about your little fenced in world, with your domesticated animals. So I might have to question if you really know what you're talking about.

I'm merely speaking from my own observations. I am not claiming absolute truths here as you do. Take from it what you will.



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 02:26 PM
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reply to post by whitewave
 





While I agree with your premise overall, there is one statement I'd like to point out: " The difference between a bee and a human, however, is that a human can choose not to react to the cues and instincts of the hive if he employs his thinking faculties. He can simply step aside. He can swim in the opposite direction." I propose that mental institutions and prisons are full of people who did just that.

Society, in general, is an entity unto itself and does not reward individuality at all. I have worked in both prisons and mental institutions (as a nurse) and had the opportunity to witness how Society responds to adamant adherence to individuality. Group think and conformity are constantly enforced. One is "cured" or "rehabilitated" when conformity is finally achieved.

There are occasions when Society allows a show of rewarding individuality by tolerating "eccentric" behavior. Usually the eccentric must be wealthy or be possessed of a very high IQ. A brilliant inventor can be indulged IF their inventions benefit Society and the eccentricities of the wealthy are also overlooked in favor of their throwing obscene amounts of money at Society (building hospitals, donating art to museums, etc.). Any brilliance or eccentricity exhibited that benefits only the individual is promptly squelched as deviant and in need of conformity compliance.


I agree with you. If one wants to live in a certain society, one must conform to that society's rules. I was speaking of strictly stampedes, feeding frenzies and the like in my analogy, and I think it also pertains to some human qualities such as mob instinct, riots, etc. where rationality is given up for the instinctual responses to mob movements.

It is true that society fears the individuals who seek a way out of the general herd consensus. Those who go against the grain are at risk in one form or another, either by being ostracized, banished or imprisoned. But I think one can retain his individuality when the eyes of the herd aren't always gazing in his direction.

Thank you for your input.



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 02:26 PM
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reply to post by Spiramirabilis
 



Sometimes metaphor isn't exactly scientifically accurate


Spira, I read his entire OP three times before responding. I didn't "miss anything".

He is equating 'collective consciousness' to 'lemming behavior' or 'mob hysteria' (he calls it 'hive mind') - and they are two distinctly different things.

Yes, each of us is unique. Together....together!!...... is the only way we can fix what's wrong. He calls it "hive mind following behavior" - I call it solidarity;
cooperation toward a common goal based on our recognition of shared "humanness" and that each individual has something to offer the 'collective.

We are a social, tribal specie. There is plenty of room for personal unique innovation within a 'positive collective intent' to improve things.

Further, I don't think he's using his 'imagining' of stampeding animals and bird flocks as a "metaphor." He's using it as an "example", and the 'example' is incorrect.

Yeah, we're all unique - but it takes ALL OF US working together to achieve a goal.









posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 02:31 PM
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reply to post by ketsuko
 





What you see on Black Friday or in stadium crowds is really just a mob. It's a disorganized crowd of random elements that may or may not have a common goal, but is really not working together in any tangible way and may actually be working against itself.


I might have to agree. But a mob is simply a herd in a feeding frenzy or stampede.

Everyone knows the case about the woman (I think) who was stabbed to death in front of a crowd and no one did anything. They were waiting for someone else to act. In that case, the only one who would've acted was the sovereign individual, who acted on his own accord, not relying on the visual cues given off by the other participants.



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 02:32 PM
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reply to post by Aphorism
 



Have you ever watched a herd of caribou or impalas or water buffalos being chased by a predator?

No



YES.

See ketsuko's post above.

They still have a 'leader'. The 'leaders' aren't afraid of being run over by the crowd. The 'birds' use aerodynamics and expense of energy as their guideposts.

NVM - I'm done trying to interact with you.



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 02:32 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 





Further, I don't think he's using his 'imagining' of stampeding animals and bird flocks as a "metaphor." He's using it as an "example", and the 'example' is incorrect.


Obviously it was a metaphor. Humans are not birds, and I don't claim to know how the birds are really operating.



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 02:35 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 





YES.

See ketsuko's post above.

They still have a 'leader'. The 'leaders' aren't afraid of being run over by the crowd. The 'birds' use aerodynamics and expense of energy as their guideposts.


Well then dear leader, maybe it's about time you lead everyone to solidarity?



NVM - I'm done trying to interact with you.


Because you're not trying to interact at all. You're trying to dictate.



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 02:51 PM
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reply to post by Aphorism
 


Watch how these sheep move.



The only reason a herding dog is able to work with them at all is because they do move as a herd and there is a plan to how they move. Understand, too, that domesticated sheep are not the brightest critters out there. However, there is a strategy to how they are moving away from the predator. You can see it here. They are moving together as a clump because there is safety in numbers so long as they cannot be separated.

They are working against the dog as much as the dog is working them.



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 02:53 PM
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reply to post by Aphorism
 


Because you're not trying to interact at all. You're trying to dictate.

Nope.
Wrong again. Trying to point out the flaws in your pseudo-philosophy. Carry on with your "tea beside the fire", oh charming one.



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 02:57 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


Spira, I read his entire OP three times before responding. I didn't "miss anything".

I read your reply 3 times - and I beg to differ

:-)

I just thought what he said was beautiful. Even if I had thought to use different words, or put it a different way - his words describe something I have observed myself many, many times

We are alone and together - individuals that make up a sea

Everyone of us has something meaningful to offer that might otherwise go unrecognized if not for occasionally leaving the herd, then meeting and relating to each other one on one

Seriously - not here to argue - just an observation. But - if you were up for an argument:


Yes, each of us is unique. Together....together!!...... is the only way we can fix what's wrong. He calls it "hive mind following behavior" - I call it solidarity;
cooperation toward a common goal based on our recognition of shared "humanness" and that each individual has something to offer the 'collective.

You're fighting with yourself then - not me or Aphorism. We can say this same thing as many different ways as we want to - won't be saying anything new, or substantially different from what Aphorism just said

This is the thing about humanity - we are both the group and the individual simultaneously. You can't have one without the other

Sometimes we are lemmings, sometimes we are victims of group think, mob behavior and mob rule. Sometimes. Sometimes our behavior is not beautiful or noble and we are all trapped, just trying to get by - as a group of individuals or an individual in a group.

Then sometimes...we are stardust, we are golden, we are billion year old carbon, and we got to get ourselves back to the garden.

Anyway, you might not like his analogy - but his OP simply cannot be scientifically disproved

:-)





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