A group cannot free itself from the prevailing culture,
so members cannot be independently-minded.
Ultimately, we have to drop everything.
An individual may ask, “Am I deluded?”
A group will not ask, “Are we deluded?”
A delusion is a belief that is held by a person or persons with a strong conviction, despite superior evidence to the contrary.
If others are not deluded then, by deduction, they must dwell in truth and reality. If this is the case, then they do not need our compassion, and we should be devoted to them. But how do we know if they are deluded or not? How do I know if I am deluded or not?
Have I just gone out of my mind? 😀 Of course I am deluded! But I’m aware of this… 😀 I am ‘out of my mind’ when I recognise that I am deluded. Therein lies liberation.
If we are dependent, then we lack independence. If we are independent, then we are free from outside control; we are not subject to another’s authority; we do not depend on something else for strength or effectiveness; we are free-standing and liberated. As a result of this, we are constantly aware of the need to question, and thus avoid making the assumptions of a group.
Being independent, we are no longer bound by mental phenomena, so independence is liberation.
Why do we cling to group spirit?
Only you can answer that question.
“Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative viewpoints by actively suppressing dissenting viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences.”
“What is Groupthink?
Groupthink, a term coined by social psychologist Irving Janis (1972), occurs when a group makes faulty decisions because group pressures lead to a deterioration of “mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment”. Groups affected by groupthink ignore alternatives and tend to take irrational actions that dehumanize other groups. A group is especially vulnerable to groupthink when its members are similar in background, when the group is insulated from outside opinions, and when there are no clear rules for decision making.
“Symptoms of Groupthink
Irving Janis has documented eight symptoms of groupthink:
“Illusion of invulnerability – Creates excessive optimism that encourages taking extreme risks.
Collective rationalization – Members discount warnings and do not reconsider their assumptions.
Belief in inherent morality – Members believe in the rightness of their cause and therefore ignore the ethical or moral consequences of their decisions.
Stereotyped views of out-groups – Negative views of “enemy” make effective responses to conflict seem unnecessary.
Direct pressure on dissenters – Members are under pressure not to express arguments against any of the group’s views.
Self-censorship – Doubts and deviations from the perceived group consensus are not expressed.
Illusion of unanimity – The majority view and judgments are assumed to be unanimous.
Self-appointed ‘mindguards’ – Members protect the group and the leader from information that is problematic or contradictory to the group’s cohesiveness, view, and/or decisions.”