Coherent and incoherent collective action

When we come together for some common purpose we often arrive in different frames of minds, different ways of seeing reality. If we can’ come into alignment for out time together we’re much more effective in whatever we want to do. To understand the dynamic, think of these different ways of seeing as different imaginations, different ways of approaching reality and being together.

Imagination 1 is ordinary waking consciousness though this can be more or less informed. Imagination 3 is a deep coherence in which participants are spontaneously more interested in what’s emerging in the common space between them than they are in their own private preoccupations. They’ve moved past looking good to the task at hand. This state can be more or less developed but a robust sense of it is widely available. Imagination 2 is the important transition between 1 and 3. The trick is to move together between the three, and to notice where we are.

When we’re in the same imagination together and we know we are, there’s coherence. We’re on the same page. The group effect with its many benefit is noticeable in all three but most apparent in the third. That coherence starts to put our lives into a new light. There is no limit to how deep the coherence can go, only more or less clarity in approaching it.

Without that coherence, you have people in different consciousnesses who don’t understand what’s going on with the others and don’t understand the discord in the room. When some people are in Imagination 1, some are in 2, and some are in 3, you have confusion. It may be well-meaning confusion but it’s confusion nonetheless.

Being in the higher imagination together is an exhilarating and instructive process in which we’re led by a kind of emerging group wisdom, a collective intelligence. The leader’s job is to help hold space for the three different imaginations. A traffic cop. It’s not to be a higher authority in terms of any content. The evolution and growth of the group is driven by participants and by what emerges in the present.

The group that can move between the imaginations together is much more effective. Linking together, getting into resonance with other groups that can move between the imaginations amplifies the effectiveness exponentially.
There’s a much longer version of this that explores the imaginations as as way of thinking about social movement. The challenge is to invite the people to move together between the three imaginations.  You can read it here.

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