Unlocking Collective Creativity
I sometimes dream of a world where thoughts are not actually contained within our heads. Instead, they exist in the multi-dimensional pool around us and are picked up by our brains as we swim through our day. Some thoughts remain with us for a period of time because we hang onto them, others come and go so fast we are not consciously aware of them. In this world it becomes easy to release identification and attachment to these thoughts because they are not our own. In this world we simply observe whatever passes through our receiver (brain), while honoring and being grateful for the fact that we have such a capacity.
As human beings we are constantly receiving, filtering, and interpreting endless amounts of information. Our brains are incredible pattern machines and they continually put pieces of information and experience together to make full puzzles of understanding. We become conduits for the receiving and synthesis of thoughts and ideas into a clear picture. We become co-creators of our reality as we manifest our dreams into this physical plane. Everything ever created by humans once existed only as a thought.
As we move into the story of the connected self, a self who is part of the whole as much as they are an individual, I see a breakdown of the traditional notion of intellectual property. Is it justified to call an idea, “your” idea? Did “your” idea not come from a synthesis of many other ideas before you? Lately, I have noticed that every single idea I have, someone else is already moving forward with a similar idea – sometimes it is even the exact same! In the old paradigm of a separate self, this discovery would be disheartening – it means more competition, and ultimately, less for me. From our new story it is cause for celebration – it means more people to collaborate and share ideas with, more experience to learn from, and more collective help to manifest dreams. Ernesto Sirolli shares in his TED talk that the only thing the top 100 iconic companies in the world (Google, Yahoo, Ford, etc.) have in common was that all of them were started by more than one person.
An older version of me tried to keep ideas secret. The present version of me practices the sharing of ideas every day. Each time I share an idea, something of value is reflected back to me by the person I share it with. It might be a suggestion to modify, a tip on moving forward, or a connection to someone who might be able to help. Most times the sharing will spark a connection within someone else related to an idea they were working on. This open collaborative practice moves me to a place where I am able to remove my identification with an idea that comes to me. It helps me release my egoic attachment to “my” idea. Voicing an idea allows it to grow and become clearer within my mind. If I find myself wondering what my next step is on a project, it is often presented to me by someone else when I openly share. Learning to navigate this path of direction, inspiration, and collaboration has been a rewarding experience and I encourage others to experiment with it when they are comfortable.
What was once intended to ensure proper remuneration to an inventor, the concept of intellectual property has now become a brake for our collective evolution. The internet has been a major catalyst for the shift to a free and open exchange of ideas and information. As the barriers to this free sharing collapse, we will accelerate and expand our capacity to deal with the many challenges facing us today. Open source collaboration, empowered by the internet, is proving time and time again to be a major change agent on our rapidly evolving planet. As civilization awakens to our collective global opportunity, we begin to realize our ability to overcome the crises is directly related to our ability to work together. It is time to unlock the unlimited creativity residing within the collective consciousness of humanity.