Due to overcrowded hives, each spring tens of millions of honeybees must find a new location to build a home, a decision that is based on the collective “hive mind.” As the hive splits in two, the mother queen and approximately half the worker bees leave the parental nest to establish a new colony, while a newly reared daughter queen and the remaining worker bees stay behind to look after the old colony. When half the bees leave the hive, the swarm is born—a function that not only solves the apparent space problem within the hive, but it is also an important aspect of their survival and reproductive instinct.
Each hive is comprised of thousands of bees working together with immaculate cooperation in order to build and sustain a colony. Foraging for food, tending to young larvae, and building honeycombs are but a few of the jobs that exist within each hive. Another important job is the work of the scout bees, which in order to find a proper new home, are dispersed in different directions over a 5-kilometer radius.
Upon returning from their mission, scout bees perform a “waggle” dance to communicate information to the swarm about the new locations they’ve found. The scouts then make their case using their symbolic language to disseminate information to the whole as to why their location is the best, a process that allows for the decision to be made by the collective, rather than any one individual.
In the event of two or more optimal locations, because the swarm only has one queen bee, the collective must agree on a single nest site. The waggle dance, the emission of high-pitched sounds, and other inhibitory signals help break the deadlocks, thus as soon as one site gains even the slightest edge over the other, the majority of bees move to the side with the most agreement. This allows the bees to choose a site more quickly through a collective decision in which every bee makes a contribution.
All throughout nature, we find examples of the collective mind perpetuating, informing, cooperating, and improving the success of species. This is, after all, why birds flock and fish school—they are working together as one mind to make better decisions. This allows them to crowdsource information so that they may react and behave in similar, as well as optimal ways.
There’s power in numbers.
Crowdsourcing Human Intelligence
At this moment in human history, as the relevance of antiquated institutions, religions, governments, financial systems, and ideas that no longer serve the collective seems to be falling apart, our success as human beings is going to require us to organize and take care of ourselves—to take care of each other. This begs the questions: Could the aforementioned simple yet profound amplification of the collective intelligence be key to human’s success? Could we work together to make better use of the knowledge, wisdom, and intuition that already exists in the collective in order to create a better world?
Some of the latest research suggests that the reality we experience is determined by a collective network of observers. This has been proven time and again by studies where a collective group of people put their attention on a future outcome. Without knowing anything about the subject matter, with a certain degree of accuracy the average of the collective predicts the right answer. Whether it’s predicting the winner of a horse race or a soccer match, for some apparent reason, the average collective choice seems to know the right answers.
We’ve witnessed this in our own studies at our Week Long Advanced Retreats where our student body has caused sophisticated random event generators (in this case, a computer algorithm that behaves like a coin toss, where the outcomes are programed to produce ‘heads’ 50% of the time and ‘tails’ 50% of the time) to be altered so that the results appear less random and more intentional. This is what a collective network of observers can do when they synchronize their hearts and brains into coherence.
With that said, what could we accomplish if we brought together supercoherent collectives of people—all in the name of pooling together our wisdom, knowledge, and insights towards global challenges? What solutions could this collective community come up with that the ruling faction cannot? After all, the power is in the people, not the faction. The power is in the collective functioning as one heart and one mind for the betterment and evolution of mankind. It is a new emergent consciousness.
This is why no species in nature endures and thrives in competition or war—only in cooperation.