Supra-individual mind

Every thought thinkable by an individual mind has already been thought. Future thoughts will come from people who know how to think collaboratively beyond their own individual capacity as responsible participants in a supra-individual mind.

This idea should not be mistaken for common “collectivism”. It is the very opposite of the mob mentality, where each individual is reduced to what all human beings have in common, becoming roughly identical, and behaving according to animal tribal instinct. Supra-individual thinking makes use of intellectual differences as well as commonalities. It is also different from hierarchical team thinking, where one mind understands the problem completely and then enlists the help of others to manage and execute. Supra-individual thinking means more than one person is required to participate if an idea is to be fully understood, so no one person has the “vision” in its entirety. Supra-individual thinking is also different from the kind of thinking that comes from (relatively) homogeneous groups, where once an idea is conceived by one member of the group, all are instantly and effortlessly able to grasp the idea, because arriving at the idea was simply a matter of quickness or luck. Supra-individual thinking arrives at agreements, but not agreements where each person holds an identical conception and opinion, but rather where each person holds conceptions and opinions compatible with the others in guiding collaborative action. And finally supra-individual thinking is not a division of labor among experts in different disciplines. The coherence is not mere systematization of separate black-box parts, but organic, conceptual coherence. Supra-individual thinking is unified intuitively and tacit-practically as well as rationally.

In collaborative thought, the group somehow comes to know something coherently, which is only later completely understood by some or all of the group, but in the meantime is effectively applied to real-world problems.

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Supra-individual mind is similar to common sense, in the meaning of “the sense of reality arising from the five senses perceiving together”. It’s the blind men and the elephant story, except with temperamental/psychological differences substituted for circumstantial ones.

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Supra-individual mind is the concrete actualization of pluralism. It begins with tolerance and skepticism, but then moves far beyond them.

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