Collective thinking – David Bohm

Here is a small piece of background to dialogue, by David Bohm.

“Now, you could say that our ordinary thought in society is incoherent—it is going in all sorts of directions, with thoughts conflicting and cancelling each other out. But if people were to think together in a coherent way, as in a dialogue situation, it would have tremendous power. Then we might have such a coherent movement of communication, coherent not only at the level we recognize, but at the tacit level—at the level for which we have only a vague feeling. That would be even more important.

“Tacit” means that which is unspoken, which cannot be described—like the tacit knowledge required to ride a bicycle. It is the actual knowledge, and it may be coherent or not. Thinking is actually a subtle tacit process. We do almost everything by this sort of tacit knowledge. Thought is emerging from the tacit ground, and any fundamental change in thought will come from the tacit ground. So if we are communicating at the tacit level, then maybe thought is changing.

The tacit process is common—it is shared. The sharing is not merely the explicit communication and the body language. There is also a deeper tacit process which is common. The whole human race knew this for a million years, but now we have lost it, because our societies got too big. We have to get started again, because it has become urgent that we communicate, to share our consciousness. We must be able to think together, in order to do intelligently whatever is necessary. The point is that this notion of dialogue and common consciousness suggests that there is some way out of our collective difficulties. If we can all suspend carrying out our impulses, suspend our assumptions and look at them, then we are all in the same state of consciousness. In dialogue the whole structure of defensiveness and opinions and division can collapse; and suddenly the feeling can change to one of fellowship and friendship, participation and sharing. We are then partaking of the common consciousness.” — David Bohm

From http://dbohm.com/the-together-first-project.html

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