CIRIP is a research center without walls.
Papers on the Internet:
Idealist Philosophy: What is Real ?
With sections on collective conscious experience and collective consciousnes
by Axel Randrup
Conscious Experience, Existence and Behaviour
With news about collective consciousness in the introduction.
by Axel Randrup
Papers in professional journals:
Collective and Egoless Consciousness: Significance
for Philosophy of Science and the Mind- Body Problem
by Axel Randrup
The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies,
Vol. 18 (No.2) pp. 133-137, 1999.
Abstract. Collective consciousness and egoless consciousness can be regarded
as realistic alternatives or complements to individual consciousness. This contention is supported by evidence from the literature
(psychological, philosophical, anthropological, spiritual, Buddhist) and by personal observations and interpretations. It
contradicts the idea that a philosophy which regards reality as consisting only of conscious experiences must inevitably lead
to solipsism (only my private, individual experiences exist).
In a previous paper
(Randrup 1997) the author proposed a skepticist-idealist philosophy, claiming that reality consists entirely of conscious
experiences. This proposal is seen as a more consistent and unified alternative to materialism. Science is regarded as a catalog
of intersubjective, conscious experiences ("observations") recognized as scientific and structured by means of concepts and
theories (also regarded as conscious experiences). Materialism is seen as possible and useful within a certain (large) domain,
but inconsistent beyond that domain. This view is supported by examples of contradictions and problems met in materialist
science (in cognitive neurophysiology, the evolutionary study of cognition, statistics, physics, second order cybernetics)
and by the felt reality of intense nature experiences. Philosophies of this type (idealism, phenomenalism, skepticism) have
been known in the West in modern times since the work of the philosophers Berkeley and Hume in the the 18th century and have
often been met with the objection that they entail solipsism. I will argue that solipsism (individualism) is only one possible
frame of reference for consciousness. Collective consciousness and egoless consciousness are seen as viable alternatives or
In various non-Western cultures, such as African, Aboriginal Australian,
American Indian, East Asian, and "preconquest" cultures, views and attitudes are encountered which emphasize the collective
and relational features of human beings and their minds at least as much as the individual features; indeed it seems that
modern Western individualism is an exceptional or unique phenomenon among the world's cultures, past and present.
Although individuality is so prominent in Western cultures and daily life, there are features of collectivity. "Objective"
science seems to be an important example of this. In order to be recognized as scientific, an observation has to be confirmed
by several scientists - become intersubjective. An intersubjective observation is often conceived as the same observation
or experience distributed over different individual minds or consciousnesses and then unified by means of an "objective" materialist
concept. It can, however, also be conceived (and experienced) to be unified from the beginning as one observation constituting
a part of a collective consciousness.
The collective part of their consciousness will
be associated with the brains of all the persons involved and not only with one brain (brains are here seen as heuristic structures
in the scientific catalog mentioned in the introduction).
Collective Consciousness Across Time
by Axel Randrup
Anthropology of Consciousness, vol.13 (1): 27-41, 2002.
The notion of
collective conscious experience is here seen as an alternative or complement to the more familiar notion of individual conscious
experience. Much evidence supports the concept of collective experience in the present. But what about time? Can a conscious
experience which, when regarded as individual, is referred to the past be considered a collective experience extended in both
past and present ? My answer is yes, and this answer is supported by evidence about conceptions of time and conscious experience
in various cultures, including Western culture and science, and by evidence about the psychological Now. Egoless conscious
experience is an alternative to both individual and collective experience; it is often connected with experience of timelessness,
and is then unrestricted by time.
Key words: Conscious experience, collective and egoless, time.
Approached by the Transpersonal Notion of Collective Conscious Experience
by Axel Randrup
Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 23, 32 - 45, 2004
The discussion of animal mind in this paper is based on
an idealist philosophy contending that only conscious experience is real, and on the transpersonal notion of collective conscious
experience. The latter has earlier been explained by me as experience referred to a group of humans as the subject, the We.
Here it is contended that also a group of humans and animals can be seen as the subject of collective conscious experiences.
I argue that the notion of collective conscious experience provides a possibility for studying the problems of animal mind
and the related human problem of "other minds" in a more detailed and rational way.
Key words: Collective consciouness,
animals, evolution, idealist philosophy, ethics.
From the section Conscious Experience with a Group of Humans as the Subject
Sometimes two or more persons have the same experience. If, for instance two persons read a meter with digital display,
it is assumed in scientific work, that they read exactly the same value, 7.6 for example. This is at least tacitly assumed
in mainstream science....Based on the assumption of the individuality of human consciousness it is supposed that the same
experience is repeated in different individual minds or consciousnesses.....
I think, however,that when we deal with the
same observation made by a group of persons, it is equally possible to regard this as one collective experience with the whole
group as the subject, the We. Logically both conceptions are equally possible.
intersubjective observations, concepts, and theories exist in science, we may envisage that scientists, particularly people
within one discipline, have a significant part of their consciousness in common, a collective consciousness.
psychoanalyst Jung has written comprehensively about the collective unconscious. This might be regarded as something different
from collective *conscious* experience, but the Jungian analyst Bernstein (1992) writes:....the collective unconscious which
clearly implies a collective conscious." And Bernstein (2000) has reported examples of directly felt collective conscious
In various foreign cultures transpersonal (collective and relational) features
of humans and their minds are emphasized as least as much as individual features. I think this yields significant evidence
and shall relate a few examples of this evidence.
I have had some contact with Japanese psychiatry and shall quote psychiatrist
Okuyama (1993) who has practiced both in Japan and in the United States:
"The self cannot be considered separate from
the relationship field nor having as clear a boundary, as Western people imagine.... one of the conditions to be an adult
is the ability to feel somebody else's or the group's feelings."
And the Japanese philosopher Watsuji (1996) writes: "My
being conscious of you is intetwined with your being conscious of me....in the relation of
Being-between the consciousness
of the participants are mutually permeated through one another's."
These views are difficult or rather impossible to understand
on the background of a strictly individual concept of conscious experience. If on the other hand transpersonal, collective
consciousness is conceived as described above, this will open opportunities for understanding these foreign views and thus
be helpful in cross-cultural studies.
Experiences with the Internet have given rise to
new thoughts about interaction and collectivity also in the West.....Suler (1999) who created the word "cyberpsychology"
has published comprehensive studies of experiences in connection with use of the Internet. Among other results he reports:
As they read on their screen the e-mail, newsgroup, or chat message written by an internet comrade, some people feel
as if their mind is merged or blended with that of the other.
From the section Conscious Experience with a Group of Humans and Animals as the Subject
If I am in my sitting room with a dog and hear a noise outside, the dog will also react. I think, that in this case some
part of my sensory experience and the alerting effect felt can be associated wth the dog too without entering any logical
contradiction or observational impossibility.
Meet the Reaearcher: Axel A. Randrup, Roskilde, Denmark.
A biography dealing mostly with the research of Axel Randrup
on collective conscious experience, idealist philosophy, and spirituality.
The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology 35 (1)
Idealist philosophy, collective consciousness, Psychiatry.