This week’s book was very fascinating for me because I have wanted to explore the idea of collective consciousness for some time now. Already having a predisposition for the idea, it was not until I read Dossey’s book that I realized just how far reaching this concept can be. For example, dreaming was a topic that did not cross my mind when thinking of collective consciousness. Apparently there are collective dreams in which multiple people experience the same storyline in a dream independently of one another. There was a case in which twins from Japan both had a dream that one sister was killing the other in a hotel with marble pillars. I am unsure if I want to make the leap to a collective consciousness explanation for this phenomenon, but collective dreaming would certainly fit inside this paradigm.
Perhaps more compelling evidence is the idea of knowing when others are looking at you. This has always been something I have noticed both ways. I usually get a feeling when someone is looking at me and it so happens that I look in their direction immediately as if I subconsciously know where to look. The same is true when I observe other people and they look at me like they instinctively know when and where to look. Even more interesting is the study in which participants were being watched from a closed circuit television. The participants could feel the presence of the observers’ eyes even when being watched over a camera. The participants could subjectively feel the presence which was corroborated with their vitals that were being monitored during the study.
I was especially interested in the idea presented in chapter 24 which suggested that the “one mind” was God. This immediately reminded me of a philosophy class I am taking which presented the idea that you can become God. In his book Consolation of Philosophy, Boethius makes the argument that by pursuing happiness in a divine manner will eventually create a divine stake in you. This is not to say that you can become God himself, but rather you can have a stake in his goodness. This idea seemed quite radical to me at the time, but it could possibly connect to the idea of collective consciousness. When I read the chapter about healing in nursing homes and hospitals I made the connection that the love healers are pouring out into their patients could be akin to the love believers express to God when praying for someone. I vaguely remember a study from Psych 401 which affirmed the use of prayer, or at least thoughtful meditation, as a significant healing method. At this point you could go both ways and state that God could or could not be real since all that is required is access to the collective conscious. Yet, what if praying was a deliberately two sided technique used to access the collective consciousness along with connecting believers to their deity? I believe that religion could have a place in collective consciousness which would certainly rock the fundamental assumptions many religions profess today.