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Structures of Corporate Consciousness

Bernie Neville
Integrative Explorations Journal, 2003


"Julian Jaynes developed the notion that humans have been unconscious for most of their history, and that most of our experience is still unconscious. If this is observable of individual experience, it is even more apparent in collective behavior, in corporations and elsewhere. Kieran Egan writes of somatic understanding, sharing Gebser's view that before ever we 'think' about our experience, we prehend it through our physical, organic sense of the worldx. Collectively, we feel the rhythms of nature "in our bones" and respond to them without reflection. In the same way in our institutional memberships we tune in to the rhythms of a group we belong to. Edward Hall called attention to the evidence of synchrony in cohesive groups. It seems that people quite unconsciously act 'in sync' with others in their group - in gesture, speech rhythms, biological cycles and so on, so that the group as a whole may be performing a dance of which the individuals are unaware. The capacity for synchrony is rooted in the biology of our archaic consciousness. When it is frustrated, as it is by corporate routines or assembly lines that are 'out of sync' with the human rhythms of the group, both satisfaction and productivity are impaired."