The Collective Egoic Mind is the greatest barrier to meaningful social change.
Most of us in the social justice arena have not been taught to understand our individual egoic mind, let alone the existence of the Collective Ego.
Those of us committed to spiritual growth all to often ignore social conditions that shape our spiritual journeys.
As you deepen your understanding of the Collective Ego and seek an integrated social and spiritual consciousness, you will be closer to building organizations that are powerful and Soul Focused.
What Is The Collective Ego
We at the Soul Focus Group define the Collective Ego as “the sum total of all of our individual ego’s that fuel the false identities, beliefs, stories and egoic habits that groups hold unconsciously”.
In essence, the Collective Ego is the unconscious shared egoic experience of a group.
When individuals bring their unhealed individual egoic mind to a collective endeavor, they unconsciously collaborate with other unhealed and unconscious individuals to create a toxic Collective Ego.
There is a collective ego dynamic in every fraternity, community group, non-profit organization, church, school, and corporation.
The Collective Ego thrives off of conflict, division and is fueled by fear. The same individual egoic habits we see in ourselves become unconsciously mirrored in the Collective Ego habits of groups.
If we are violent with our own self-talk or behaviors, our collective will be violent. If we seek to control others, the collective is controlling.
As our individual ego diminishes ourselves, the collective diminishes other groups that are different.
Some of the primary Collective Ego manifestations in groups show up as the need to be right, judging others, competing and conflict.
You can judge the degree of ego impact upon a collective by looking at the real-time lives of the members and leaders of the group.
Are the individuals in the collective eating healthy, working out and spending quality time with their children?
Or are they addicted to being in pain, overworking, lashing out at others and always seem to be reacting to what someone else says or does?
Do the leaders seem to always be stuck in conflict with someone, ignoring their true dreams and aspirations and constantly focused on problems?
Or, are the leaders creating and building solutions to problems, living their most amazing lives and have harmonious and respectful relationships with each other?
Does your collective really listen to each other, support each other, truly respect each other, reconcile conflict quickly and manifests the level of impact you seek in your mission?
If not, I suggest the Collective Ego needs to be addressed.
Seeing the Collective Ego is beginning to see beyond the haze and viewing truth.
As our ancient wise ones taught us, ‘As above, so below. As below, so above.” What is going on inside of us within our organizations is reflected acutely in our external reality.
Seeing Collective Ego In Society
The Collective Ego has been the root cause of world war’s, chattel slavery, genocide, and mass incarceration.
Today, we can see the collective ego at play with the “Make America Great” movement facilitated by Donald Trump. Trump has become a master of using fear, xenophobia, and naked appeals to overt racism to activate the Collective Ego of broad segments of his base supporters.
Gustav Lebon taught us that “Whoever can supply the masses with illusions is easily their master”.
Well, if you tweet over and over that immigrants are invading our country and coming to kill, maim, and pillage, then the masses will eventually believe the illusion.
If you, as a leader with the power of the presidency, engage in race-baiting and not so coded appeals to racial violence, then the Collective Ego of your followers will engage in violence and acts of overt racism.
Trump has become a master of pitting people against each other via manipulation of the Collective Ego in a nation founded on racism, patriarchy, violence, and fear to gain and hold power.
Outgrowing The Collective Ego
Of course, it is easy for those of us on the left side of the political spectrum to see Ego in the Trump movement.
Yet the times we are living in call us to develop the courage to see it in the organizations and institutions we hold to be sacred.
It’s a fact that when our organization is thriving in Ego, we ultimately will only produce more pain.
If we are truly serious about creating a new society based in justice and love, we must develop a commitment to outgrowing the Collective Egoic Mind in our organizations.
Here are Six Ego Reduction Agreements that I believe can move us along this path of transformation:
1) COMMIT To Ego Reduction
Every member of your collective must commit to developing an Ego Reduction practice.
With the understanding that Ego lives in the shadows and growth happens in the light, we must develop the courage and vulnerability to honestly access how our Egoic Minds are contributing to the Collective Ego of our organizations.
As I’ve grown in consciousness around my Ego, I have had to reflect on what egoic dynamics I brought to organizations that I was a leader in over my career as an Anti-Racist educator and organizer.
I engaged heavily in group gossip, judging, and being hypercritical of other members.
I contributed to patriarchal and heterosexist behaviors and culture.
I encouraged a culture of numbing out with alcohol and drugs.
My need for external validation led me to harm others emotionally. I was all too often self-righteous and dogmatic which lead me to be defensive and disrespecting the perspective of my comrades.
Instead of seeking to heal conflict, I either fanned the flames of discord and drama or out of my need to please others, I avoided addressing the conflict directly.
I modeled a reactionary spirit driven by anger and fear. Feeling small and insecure, I showed up dishonestly, and as a small version of my true self.
All of these behaviors adversely impacted the potential of the work we were attempting to create.
To outgrow these unconscious behaviors and habits we must first see them. These egoic habits also attracted others, like egoic energies that exasperated the Collective Ego of the group.
I encourage you to lovingly explore how your egoic mind is impacting your collective.
2) Seek HARMONY
Anytime conflict arises, all parties should be brought together to first look at how their egoic mind is contributing to whatever problem is at hand.
Harmony can flourish when we move from pointing outward and instead look within, seeking reconciliation.
3) Stop The NEED TO BE RIGHT
Stop the need to be right in regard to your group’s ideology.
Being right keeps us from growing and creates enemies.
Instead, we ought to develop a group spirit of being truly open to new ideas with a willingness to learn from and honestly value the voice of others.
4) Create An EXPECTATION OF HEALTH
No longer can we sit back and tacitly support our friends or ourselves engaging in behaviors that are self-destructive physically or mentally.
It is time to release the false notion that sacrifice and suffering is somehow righteous and a mark of being “down” for the cause.
5) Begin to CREATE and BUILD solutions
Fighting against systems and staying obsessed with the never-ending analysis of the problem is like serving super food to the Ego.
Instead, we must resist this egoic habit and use our minds to create and build measurable solutions to the social problems we face.
6) Engage in an ONGOING ANALYISIS
Engage in an ongoing analysis of how the Collective Ego is manifesting in your group.
This should never be done to condemn others but to be effective as a group and to grow into being the most powerful and impactful collective possible.
The Antidote To The Collective Egoic Mind
The ultimate antidote to the Collective Egoic Mind is building a Soul Focused Collective.
As our institutions, organizations, and groups begin to outgrow the Collective Ego, we will naturally step into a greater and more beautiful state of our power.
Soul and power will unleash a new level of creativity and resolve that will truly move the needle on justice.