Monday, 1 June 2015

An Individual in the Hive.

I just watched a YouTube video which included a lot of shots of what you might term ‘tribal togetherness’ in one form or another. Most of it took the form of ritual dancing, but the central thread seemed to amount to various expressions of communal veneration. It made me uneasy and I’m struggling to know why it should.

The fact is, one of my favourite suspicions is that all human consciousness is connected – that every individual’s consciousness is actually a fragment of the Universal Consciousness. In that case, I should find the sight of a group of people engaged in communal ritual uplifting, since it can be seen as expressing one of my favourite suspicions. But I don’t. What I see is the hive mentality at work – people acting in unison towards a common end without giving the value and rightness of that end unconditioned and unbiased consideration. And isn’t the hive mentality also the root of white supremacism, unshakeable faith in dogmatic Communism, and the rise of Nazism? It seems to demean the individual, making us all mere workers for a cause dictated by somebody else’s will.

And yet this raises a difficulty of its own, since I also suspect that the cult of the individual is simply an expression of ego, and that ego is the principal barrier to enlightenment. And ego is also the rock on which despots found their unimpeachable status.

So it all comes down to whether individuality is a good thing or not. The answer isn’t as simple as it might seem, and maybe there isn’t an answer. Maybe I’m asking the wrong question.

OK, that wasn’t easy, so I think I’ve earned another scotch and maybe even another piece of toast. And just to engage further with the YouTube theme, I recently left a slightly disparaging comment about Jimmi Hendrix and got hailed on with bananas. Hardly surprising, really. I chose magnanimity and admitted I was out of order, because I was.

This is the first post in June and the Shire is still shivering under polar winds. I was out for a mere fifteen minutes this evening and my fingers were getting numb.

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