Presencing Collective Intelligence

This article was first published on

Here is the transcript from the workshop ‘Presencing Collective Intelligence’ that I facilitated as part of the New Frontiers Conference held in Trentham, Wellington, New Zealand / Aotearoa on March 12, 2019.

Participant number : 15. Duration : 55 minutes.  Facilitator : Kāren Hunter

Purpose : To presence Collective Intelligence here today.

Culture : Curiosity, Respect for Difference, Love, Embodied Receptivity, Listening, Clear Communication, Equity

After aligning on the workshop Purpose and collectively creating our Culture we did a few warm-ups and sat together in a circle for the Presencing of Collective Intelligence. These are the [unedited] words that were spoken ;

Were the emotions I felt when I connected with my neighbours my own emotions? Their emotions? Or was it a blend?

I feel they’re a little bit of you, and you’re little bit of them, as we are all a little bit of each other. So it’s a blend in a sense… but it’s also an essence.

I think everyone is you… whatever you see in someone else is just little parts of yourself. Whatever you see in someone else are just parts of yourself. So if you see something you don’t like about someone else, generally it’s a part of yourself that you don’t like about yourself, or if you see something that you really respect and admire, you have that in you as well.

This kind of exercise cultivates a much deeper connection that we can sometimes put in words in terms of how we relate to a person. When we see the person… how they are in that moment… it’s basically… I think, it brings so much more that whatever you can communicate verbally and just if we can do that with more people around us it can create this sense of empathy and understanding. It’s beautiful. 

One model of social psychology is that we are the sum total of our communications with others, so we not only bring each other but we bring the sum total of all the communications we’ve had with everyone and the earth to this point in time. So there is an interesting aspect to Collective Intelligence in that it’s not just about the physical bodies that are in this room.

I feel a deep calm in this space.

I feel as though this whole event is a sort of tuning fork for Collective Intelligence and intention.

I was thinking that what we are doing is kind of ‘meta’. Collective intelligence about Collective Intelligence so it’s… a little challenging.

I share something of that, which is that I feel as though my intelligence wants to work on a ‘thing’.

That’s exactly the same feeling as what I have… that we are lacking a topic.

I came in a bit late and might have missed it but what is Collective Intelligence?

We create something that is more that we could individually do, even if you put all of us together. Like, I’ve had an experience with Collective Flow recently, where a bunch of people with a shared vision, how quickly things just materialised, our groups wisdom all aligned and magic happened. … But it takes a shared vision, it takes like… one mind, one heart, collected/collective and then magic happens.

So maybe here it would be that we each put what we hear when Collective Intelligence is put to us, our own definition, we put them all in the middle, and that’s an example of Collective Intelligence. So for me Collective Intelligence is where I put in my definition but then it sits alongside everybody else’s as well and so it’s not just one voice or one experience, which is interesting, because that goes back to what we were just talking about earlier, before some other people joined about we are the sum of everybody that has ever communicated with us. Or the experience I have with someone else will be a little bit of them but it will also be a little bit of me projecting on to them a part of myself as well

If we are the sum of every connection we have ever had then I would posit that there is no individual intelligence, that there is only Collective Intelligence, and in the words of Beatrice Bruteau the Christian theologian “ We are connected to the intelligence and narratives of our conviction theory.” That there isn’t actually an individual intelligence per se.

What about the intelligence that’s contained within the experience of embodiment? If it’s a collective pull, we are at least individuated or articulated by our embodied state…I was musing on… I have this feeling of… us being connected and being aspects of a whole, and I also have the experience of being embodied which is that I have this individuated experience which is represented by my body, and all of the intelligence that comes inside my body. So I feel an individual experience within the collective pack.

I’m fascinated by these bodies that we all have. These bodies come from one cell, every single cell in your body shared the same core, the same origin, and the same DNA. And yet when they develop, brain cells become brain cells, nail cells become nail cells, hair cells become hair cells… they choose such a different part. But because they all play their part in perfect harmony, the whole works… in perfect harmony. And why can’t we, as humans, do the same thing as our cells?

Together as one …

Together… It’s all about planning our purpose, our role you know? Culture dictates that it’s more glorious to be one cell versus another cell and therefore so we all chase our own dreams. But as a whole we don’t function then we all need to find our space.

I worry sometimes about the Collective ‘Unintelligence’ and the ‘unintellegent’ stories and narrative that form a false intelligence or culture, and how to bring more of the real, and the deep Collective Intelligence that exists in everyone. What xxxxx said brought up something really strong in me about conditioning that has created that individual, dualistic, collective, deconstruction which is, like with the cells, as you were speaking… our cells are perfect when they’re formed. Cancer is a cell that has found itself different or feels unloved and then often, if we have that cell, we’ll reject it and try to kill it which makes it feel more unloved and it tries to attack every cell around it. And I find the same with humans. And where we’re at in our lack of Collective Intelligence, acceptance that sometimes there’s a human intelligence that’s like a cancer cell and it feels not part of the group so then it tries to damage things around it which creates chaos. So Collective Intelligence is crucial to rediscover, and make the healthy cells the priority, so we can all be a functioning body that is whole and healthy. 

…Which comes from the heart, and comes from the breath, connected to the mental. When we do something that’s not who we are, many times it comes from the mental state without the heart, and without the embodied receptivity of who I am. And who I am is unique into this group, and as a group we have a collective that we are moving forward. In our unique way we have a unique voice to achieve that purpose. 

How I perceive the Collective Intelligence is; we are all each others shape, form, or something that is at the origin not shaped. And it is just embodied in the physical molecular world, and each time there are different levels and when we are all together we are forming an entity, that’s this group. And this group has got loads of properties. And when we’re presencing that group we are connecting with all of the different properties which we have all brought up, into putting on the table. So, we can be aware of only our own one or we can be aware of everything around us as defined by the culture that we defined at the start of the session.

Our Closing words: Being, Presence, Heart, Head, Gut, Curious, Hello, Parts and Wholes, Peaceful, Friends, Mindful, Gratitude, Joy, 

We are not only the sum of our experiences but the sum of all the people behind us, all our ancestors.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.