Like Mind/Group Mind
Article ID: 12466
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Julian [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: January 4th. 2009
Times Viewed: 1,708
The only group mind phenomenon that I have actually experienced in ritual has been the type of group mind found within open circle rituals. There was also a 101 class mind set situation. I also have spoken to many good Witches on the benefits of the group mind. I happen to be an initiation 'wanna be' who is unable to find a compatible coven. They are too far, too eclectic, too well hidden or not interested. So why not give up and remain one of the many happy solitary pagans out there and live happily ever after?
Well, the group mind experience that I do have, in another completely different situation has demonstrated the power of "like mindedness" time and time again. Individual effort, intent, focus, desire, willingness and experience, in this particular context, are useless. What am I talking about? I am talking about addiction.
Alcoholics, drug and food addicts are absolutely unable to quit, change or modify for any length of time on their own resources. Exceptions are rare. I know this from personal experience. I also know this from group experience. But what on earth does this have to do with witchcraft and group mind?
Well, if an analogy between solitary pagans and single-minded addicts has any credence whatsoever, then solitary pagans are out of luck when it comes to making any real magical manifestations with only very rare exceptions. (And, if you think you're one of them, you desperately need a coven) .
Yes, solitude is a good devotional headspace for meditation and thinking. However, like the addict who can't raise enough personal energy to end a destructive addiction, how on earth does a solitary raise enough energy to deflate an ego and manifest will, desire or needs, all of which are somewhat more insidious than the addicts obvious need?
Addicts, regardless of their weakness, seem to admit their addiction honestly only when working with others of similar affliction. A group conscience develops. Left to their own devices, addicts remain in a cycle of addiction, justifying, pretending, minimizing and lying until they die or realize that they must have some help. When encouraged by others with the same problem they tap into strength not ordinarily their own which helps them overcome their addiction on a daily basis.
Similarly, when pagans bless one another with the salutation "In perfect love and trust" and mean it, they tap into a power not ordinarily their own.
We say this very casually as pagans: "In perfect love and trust! Blessed be!" Yet this particular blessing is usually only experienced by people who share deep wounds, deep secrets and deep fears. A genuine group mind forms with people who empathize, sympathize and care for one another beyond the parameter of a mere personality bond.
I find it really difficult to believe that a bunch of well meaning pagans can create any real bond while working only with people whose personalities they like, simply because their egos mesh.
I say this because of two situations in which I sought coven training. One never got back to me after suggesting that I attend one of their open circles. She just left me hanging and never replied to any of my e-mails. WHAT DID I DO WRONG??? That was definitely not the vibe after we departed from a seemingly good first meeting. Mixed signals, mixed motives and mixed intentions are not a good formula for love and trust. Another group that I liked was full. Oh well!
Tight human bonds can hardly ever be formed under the pleasure umbrella. Superficial ones can. Almost any recovered addict will admit that their drinking/drugging friendships were superficial (in most cases) and really had to end when serious recovery began. They were selfish friendships designed to promote selfish pleasure. In recovery, we addicts develop deep meaningful friendships motivated by helping and caring for each other.
Therefore, how on earth can shaky flake pagans who can't tell the truth with a little tact and are too motivated by image, (with names like Fire Breathing Dragon, or, Mystic Magus hmm, ) ever hope to form a "perfect love and trust bond" with others, powerful enough to create desired change?
Most advanced mystics and Witches claim that the spiritual journey involves a confrontation with the ego and the overcoming of ones "hang-ups." Dealing with your stuff can't even begin until the ego is annihilated. (Good-bye Fire Breathing Dragon of Demonia and Mystic Magician of Magnolia) .
Even like-minded pagans can be too busy wasting energy holding up their ego barriers to properly bond with each other sufficiently well enough to affect change. Although there is power in numbers it has to be focused in order to be effective. Love and trust is the bonding agent that harnesses the power of numbers towards a goal.
If people are indifferent, unconnected, unsympathetic or dishonest how can they possibly focus their collective energy towards a desired result? Like any form of anarchy, the scattered energy leaves a smattering of chaos without any constructive result.
So whether it’s within the realm of witchcraft, addiction recovery or collective worship of any kind, going it alone nurtures ego and self-image, which separates people and scatters energy. Where is the perfect love and trust? How is it necessary?
Obviously, there is no personal sacrifice - no giving up of something to another - no exchange. In fact, there is no transaction taking place at all! Isn't a magical working really a transaction of faith, trust and emotion?
When exchanged between people, perfect love and trust becomes more credible then when exchanged only in private with the Gods. Any addict can testify how easy it is to lie to the gods:
"...just get me out of this one, I'll never do it again!"
Then what do we do? We do it again; and again; and again. Can you relate? Haven't you made promises to the divine that you never seem able to keep? Come on now! (If, you did the same to your friends, you wouldn't have any!) How many deals with the divine have you made? "Lord and Lady, if you help me with this, I'll never.... etc. etc."
I dare say, that if you cannot bond closely with other people, you cannot bond closely with the divine. You just end up using divine contact to justify your nonsense. I think we all do it sometimes. A good group will straighten you out. You can help straighten them out too. When you bond well with people openly and honestly, then you can enter divine union with the Lord and Lady - in perfect love and trust.
But then what do I know? I'm just a recovered alcoholic and initiation hopeful on an esoteric journey that has been a little challenging at times. Part of that challenge, I think, is being a single male pagan in search of an appropriate coven. Being a single man is not a helpful state to be in when coven hunting. Having a relationship with someone who is already in a coven is the easier way to go. But is it better?
It seems to me that motives can be somewhat convoluted when coven membership is dictated by a desire to be with someone rather than wanting to be there out of genuine personal (spiritual) interest. Isn't this how many covens acquire their male membership? Through the women in them? I guess it depends on the tradition, the individual members and the intuitive insight of the group.
So how about not immediately rejecting a single guy with the notion that there's "gotta be something wrong with him" if he happens to be unmarried, straight, available and maybe even not all that bad looking. That's the vibe I get. Which means that obviously, I haven't found the right group yet. And, you know what else? I give up. Maybe I'll just wait to see if the right group finds me, somehow?
In the meantime, I'll trudge the solitary path, forever happy, forever powerless and free.
In " perfect love and trust" - Blessed be!
Location: Stratford, Ontario
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