GROUP MIND (aka Collective Consciousness)
The term 'Group Mind' is frequently used to denote the collective consciousness of a specific group of people such as a tribe, village, or town, and which is the accumulation of their essential beliefs. Usually the group mind occurs within a certain location, so the thoughts, fears, hopes, and desires of the inhabitants form a sphere of energy that attaches itself to that area. The group mind influences the residents by disposing them to the nature of the thought form, or mind set. This is the way people share a basic commonality.
The energy of the group mind can attach itself to physical objects such as buildings, statues, rocks, bodies of water, and so forth. It is believed that rock, metal, and water can best conduct and store this type of energy. Also it is thought that in ancient times a group mind would center itself within a ring of standing stones, or menhirs. Some Psychics do not like going among menhirs at night because of their strange powers.
Some para-psychologists believe that the builders of the standing stones may have permeated energy, some powerful enough to knock people down, within them. Some occultists claim to be able to sense or read the group mind, or the thoughts, of the ancient builders through the ability of Psychometry.
One of the major problems with 'defining' Paganism and/or its beliefs and practices is that it is an 'organic' movement, in that it is undergoing constant change and re-evaluation from within, and as such any 'one-size-fits-all' approach to understanding Paganism will be found wanting.
Due to the very 'organic' nature of Paganism, and the many differing Paths and Traditions within it, in many cases no one definition may be universally accepted by all Pagans. Therefore, where such cases of possible conflicting and/or contradictory meanings of certain terms occur I have endevoured to give not only the generally accepted meaning, but also any major 'variations' in belief and/or practice.
Christians who believe this difference in meaning of certain key terms, beliefs and practices to be unique to Paganism need to remember that such conflicts also arise within the Body of Christ - the Church. Take for instance the differing practices amongst Christians concerning Baptism and the different attitudes towards women in the clergy.
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