In trying to convey what we've experienced within Critical Thinking, we've used the term "collective intelligence" but as Kevin observed at the AA the other day, words divide us because they carry connotations and different meaning to different people. "Collectivism" can imply tyranny of the masses which is not what we mean. Similarly, "intelligence" is a term conveying multiple, sometimes pejorative, meanings.

Which brings us to resonance. In our Critical Thinking session last night, Janos, who often "holds our feet to the fire" in challenging our analysis and process, introduced the idea of Synergetics (synergy within groups thinking together). From this discussion, the term "resonance" was explored.

Now here's the thing. Over the last few days, this idea of resonance has been expressed by different people in different settings, unrelated other than being in conversation or correspondence with Critical Thinking. So for example, in his observations on Critical Thinking's AA presentation, Kevin referred to morphic resonance, a term coined by Rupert Sheldrake; independently the same reference was repeated in Natural Inclusion group email discussion and again last night on more than one occasion. This is resonance in action.

It is as though an unseen force pushed the idea/concept of resonance at us until it began to "resonate". As many will know, when vibrations resonate, they amplify each other, creating super or hyper vibration. And this is what Critical Thinking has experienced on occasions. It would be untrue and misleading to suggest we've achieved true resonance among all people engaged with Critical Thinking. It has been the case, on occasions, where resonance has been widespread for moments in time and that some in the Critical Thinking "community" resonate more frequently than others. This applies not just to the weekly Critical Thinking sessions but to other interactions such as on Twitter or via email.

So to return to our analysis. Pre-literate societies probably enjoyed a high degree of resonance owing to their shared experiences and intuitive connection with nature and the universe (this idea of connection and disconnection from nature and the universe also arose last night in Pete's explanation of the emergence of astrotheology). As civilisations evolved, increasingly we became disconnected from the land and our "resonance" with our environment and each other began to fade.

The industrial revolution removed more and more humans from the land and, in the last hundred years, our connection with the land and the universe has been severed for large numbers of city and town dwellers; consequently we've lost touch with our true nature and each other. Competing ideologies have created dissonance leading to seemingly insurmountable problems in the world.

Undoubtedly, connections recur in spite of our disconnected state and Critical Thinking has been an exploration in reconnecting with each other and our relationship with nature and the universe.

Achieving resonance is a graduated process which arises from shared embrace of a specific idea, symbol or experience; it is like empathy but is far from passive. In our discussion last night, Janos talked of mixed groups and true groups, ie. true groups achieve perfect resonance all the time whereas mixed groups achieve some resonance, some of the time. Critical Thinking is a mixed group, enjoying "mixed" resonance. Janos was explaining a process to achieve true resonance.

In this respect, Critical Thinking and many others are on a journey of discovery involving resonance and the more frequently ideas resonate, the closer we are to true resonance: when our differences in world view become trivial and each is confident that continuing work and discussion will resolve them. Typically, what stands as a barrier to resonance is ideology.

Belief and ego close our minds to the "other's" point of view and we are wont to dismiss their views as wrong or unimportant. If we can jettison those beliefs and suppress our egos sufficiently to engage fully with others and their ideas, we're on the way to true resonance. Unsurprisingly, truth is the foundation of true resonance; nothing less will do. We need to shed ideology to be able to explore and learn the truth.

We convey ideas through words, symbols and experiences (in the arts for example) but as Daily Pickings has highlighted in the past, intuitive assimilation is as much a necessity as rational thought and comes from a feeling of "connectedness" even though we retain our autonomy - we become conscious of our interdependence on each other, nature and the universe.

This is only the beginning of our exploration into resonance which we've touched on superficially before when Jazz Rasool came to talk to us about his resonance engine. Call it serendipity or resonance but Critical Thinking is being led in this direction by forces other than individual will - co-creative resonance or harmony.

And just to remind ourselves of both the context and imperative to follow through with these ideas: we cannot entrust our lives and the world to "clever experts" who've been trained and manipulated to rob us blind.

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