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Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Collective Consciousness, a movement, a solution

As humanity toils with significant survival challenges - rising sea levels, extreme weather, diminished fresh water, excessive toxins and pollution, and more, ancient wisdom emerges from within the chaos with a message: collective consciousness is a solution. Working together in a holographic manner where ALL benefit is a must to ensure survival.

ALL is defined as the entire spectrum of living species and ecosystems as well as inanimate earth resources. Within humanity, ALL refers to the various societal structures and ensuring that the worker population is treated with dignity, respect, and cared for with the necessities of food, shelter, and clothing.

In 1893 collective consciousness was introduced as a concept by French sociologist Émile Durkheim in his The Division of Labour in Society paper. According to Nicki Lisa Cole, Ph.D. in her 2019 Collective Consciousness Definition essay for ThoughtCo., collective consciousness (sometimes collective conscience or conscious) is a fundamental sociological concept that refers to the set of shared beliefs, ideas, attitudes, and knowledge that are common to a social group or society.

Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung expanded on Durkheim's concepts in his 1916 essay, "The Structure of the Unconscious." Jung provided a distinction between the personal unconscious -  a reservoir of each individual's memories and experiences, and the collective unconscious - a more profound layer teeming with archetypes.*

The Meridian University July 2023 Understanding the Mystery of Collective Consciousness article gives a deeper dive into Durkheim's, Jung's, and Sigmund Freud's exploration of collective consciousness and collective unconsciousness.

For purposes of this article, collective consciousness is defined as an open-hearted approach to resolve challenges and create scenarios where ALL concerned are honored, treated with respect and of equal importance, and benefit from outcomes. The consciousness may encase the Earth in its entirety or a community working together on creative solutions. Additionally, the consciousness may be a family unit, organization, or company.

As previously stated, ALL is defined as the entire spectrum of living species and ecosystems as well as inanimate earth resources. ALL is the common ground in collective consciousness, no matter the extent of the consciousness definition.

The following sections give examples of how the ancient wisdom of collective consciousness is implemented within modern-day organizations.

* direct quote from The Meridian University article.

WE Consciousness
In 2012, Elemental Impact (Ei) introduced the WE Consciousness as a higher octave of the then tagline Sustainability in ACTION. When the "I" is replaced with "WE," the impact of our actions extends to the entire community and beyond; collective action accomplishes more profound results than singular effort. By working together, synergies are unlocked, unnecessary boundaries, including competitive barriers, disintegrate, and creative energies catapult possibilities into grounded realities.

The following initiatives showcase how the WE Consciousness naturally integrates within Ei's important work.

Zero Waste is a Team Sport
The 2012 Regeneration in ACTION (RiA) article, Zero Waste is a Team Sport, further defines the WE Consciousness within the context of implementing effective zero waste practices. The article details the three initial shifts necessary for zero waste to replace landfill waste:

  • First, the "pay and forget" era is over; the consumer must take responsibility for the by-products generated from their activities and ensure materials are reused or recycled.
  • Second, waste management is replaced by materials / by-products management. In nature there is no "waste"; it is time to emulate nature's perpetual life cycle systems.
  • Third, the "I" focus is replaced with the "WE" focus. When ALL work together, seemingly miraculous results are common.
One of the Zero Waste Zones taglines was Collaboration is Key for Success.

Food & Beverage Packaging Value Chain Meeting
Each December from 2011 through 2014, Ei orchestrated an empowering meeting of executives from the trade associations and non-profits representing the entire food and beverage packaging value chain. For the final three years, Global Green USA graciously hosted the gathering at their Washington D.C. offices.

Group photo at final
F&B Packaging meeting
The National Restaurant Association (NRA) represented the purchasers of the packaging while the Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI) membership consisted of the packaging manufacturers. The U.S. Composting Council members provided a sustainable solution for used product disposition. Additionally, GreenBlue's Sustainable Packaging Coalition, Institute for Local Self Reliance, Green Seal, BPI Compostable Packaging Certification, Keep America Beautiful, and Global Green participated in the annual meeting.

In early 2011, Ei Founder & CEO Holly Elmore attended the annual FPI conference as a speaker. With sustainable packaging emerging as an industry sector, Holly witnessed competition within the sector leaders when there were ample synergies. Thus, Holly orchestrated the inaugural Food & Beverage Packaging Value Chain Meeting in partnership with the NRA; the intention was to introduce the various industry leaders and support synergistic joint projects and endeavors.

At the 2014 meeting nearly every project presentation was a collaboration among the attendees. Thus, the Food & Beverage Packaging Value Chain Meeting mission was accomplished! It was heartwarming to announce that the 2014 meeting was the final gathering.

The RiA article, Sustainable F&B Packaging: moving from an emerging to a maturing industry, chronicles the final 2014 meeting and exemplifies the established collective consciousness.

Nature Prevails
Tree grows as one with a 
Havana, Cuba building
Photo credit: Holly Elmore Images
When Ei announced that the Era of Recycling Refinement was Mission Accomplished in June 2017 and entered the Era of Regeneration, Nature Prevails emerged as the predominant platform. The Nature Prevails tagline is The Earth will heal and renew herself, when she chooses.

From Ei's perspective, the Earth is perfectly fine within the calamitous scenarios caused by humans. When enough is enough, the Earth will simply rid herself of these pesky humans who wreak havoc on Nature's perfected systems; healing of the environment and renewal of life forms will follow.

Principles of Nature
With a commitment to align projects with Nature, Ei defined The Principles of Nature (PON) with three broad categories:
  • Diversity
  • Dynamic Balance & Nutrition Systems
  • Necessity of Cover & Ability to Roam
Though they define natural systems, the PON also apply to human communities and cultures. For example, roadways, airports, and broadband communication align with the Ability to Roam; agriculture, the hospitality industry, and food-security challenges align with Nutrition Systems: social inequities, environmental justice, and severe poverty align with Dynamic Balance; affordable housing, homeless individuals, and urban neighborhoods align with the Necessity of Cover.

A gentleman sleeps on a
sidewalk in Austin, TX
Photo credit: Holly Elmore Images
Societal hierarchies within bee and ant colonies, wolf packs, elephant herds, bird flocks, and other eusocial colonies demonstrate that the community is only as strong as the weakest link; as long as they perform their designated tasks within these eusocial colonies, the workers are treated fairly and with respect. When it maintains dynamic balance within their population and the other PON align, the community thrives.

Since recorded history, humans often developed out-of-balance dynamics within their culture where worker populations were disrespected and frequently abused. The current scenarios of extreme poverty, severe homelessness, and food scarcity prevalent across the globe impact many urban environments; the challenging scenarios reflect the unbalanced societal hierarchies established within cultural and government norms.

Insects are the base of the predator-prey hierarchy, integral to the natural ecosystem foundation, and essential to supporting the Earth’s life web. Many insects, such as dragonflies and mosquitoes, live their juvenile or larva stage under water and their adult lives on land supporting plants and soil systems; aquatic larva is similar to a butterfly's caterpillar stage.

Honey bee on a
 butterfly pea blossom
Photo credit: Holly Elmore Images
Insects are food for fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds. In addition to recycling soil-system nutrients and pollinating plants, insects play an essential role in the decomposition portion of nature’s circular-life cycle. Insects provide a plethora of environmental services that often go unnoticed until the services cease.

In essence, water, soil, and insects are the foundation for life on Earth and must be addressed as a trilogy. The RiA article, Nature Prevails: it is time to emulate Nature's perfected systems, establishes the trilogy.

In human societies, indigenous races and worker populations are comparative to the insects' role in nature's perfected cycles. Indigenous races carry the wisdom of their ancestors when humans lived in balance with Nature, respecting the resources generously provided by the Earth; the worker population provides the necessary labor for the overall population to thrive within the balance of basic essentials: food, shelter, and clothing.

The WE Consciousness is integrated within the Nature Prevails platform as initiatives strive to restore balance and health to entire ecosystems, including manmade systems.

Crew Consciousness
In 2015 Ei Advisor Tim Rumage, planetary ethicist and the Professor of Environmental Studies at Ringling School of Art and Design, along with David Houle co-authored This Spaceship Earth. The book's premise compares the Earth to a spaceship where there are finite resources necessary for survival. To replenish resources for survival, humans must understand there is no waste, only the segue into the resource's next valuable use.

This Spaceship Earth introduces crew consciousness:

The critical difference between the spacecraft of the space programs and science fiction and Spaceship Earth is simply that: we live on a spaceship that must resupply itself from itself. This is why we need to recognize that we are crew not passengers.

When humans shift from the unaware passenger mentality to crew consciousness, the current wasteful-use-of-resources and polluting-the-planet practices will evolve into solutions for replenishing finite resources and cleansing the environment.

In alignment with the Nature Prevails premise, Tim emphasizes "We are not trying to save the earth - we are not trying to save the planet. We are trying to save ourselves from ourselves"

The popularity of the book spawned the launch of This Spaceship Earth, Inc. (TSE) a global environmental non-profit with Origina, the global leader in IBM software maintenance, as the lead corporate supporter.

Inspired by a "I did not know," common response to his presentations, Tim along with David and Bob Leonard published a free e-book, Now that You Know, that updates on the Earth's status, how we arrived at the current crisis point, and what we can do about it.

With a goal of one billion crew members, the TSE site boasts over 140,000 crew members from across the globe. On the Acting as Crew page, TSE provides the following guidelines on how to live within crew consciousness:

  • We all need to lessen our carbon footprint. Greenhouse gas emissions are a primary cause of Climate Change.
  • We all need to consume less stuff.  Mindless consumption puts stress on TSE.
  • We need to move from a Growth Economy to a Spaceship Economy. Be mindful of what you buy, how it’s produced, and any waste that will remain after the product is used.
  • Lower your entire footprint on TSE. Less is more.

Additionally, TSE details specific individual-action points within the following categories: transportation, food & diet, shopping, reduce plastics, home, and politics and activism.

A quote from Marshall McLuhan succinctly states TSE's message: 


I AM Humanity
On Saturday, October 28, 2023 I AM Humanity orchestrated the first annual Humanity Day Event. While the global event was virtual, a well-attended, in-person event was hosted in Sarasota, FL at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota. 

Humanity Day panel
Photo credit: Holly Elmore Images
At the in-person event, Ei Advisor Mary Ann Bowie was the master of ceremonies while Ei Advisor Charles Reith served as a panelist during the impressive program. I AM Humanity Board member Susan Hoskins interviewed Holly and Tim as part of the virtual event's presentations.

As detailed on the I AM Humanity website:


I AM HUMANITY - is a catalyst and a clearing house; creating the language for a cultural conversation which causes a tipping point, a societal shift, shifting a global conversation from “me” to “we”.

WE ARE I AM HUMANITY - A clearing house and catalyst for the flourishing of humanity and our common home.


  • We reach 4 billion people.
  • We provide branding, “The Green Treatment”, that promotes and nourishes the flourishing of humanity.
  • We spotlight organizations, non-profits, volunteers, celebrities, foundations, and youth who are engaged in programs, activities and events that are expanding the flourishing of humanity.
  • We provide speaking engagements that share and educate about the flourishing of humanity, and what’s available when you declare “I AM HUMANITY”.
  • We have ambassadors and representation in every state, in every country, who highlight local groups and events, such that those groups are aligned under the umbrella of I AM HUMANITY as PARTNERS FOR HUMANITY. 

From the health of an individual to the vibrancy of humanity.
From the individual's education to the consciousness of humanity.
From the success of one to the success of all.

The movement to promote and embrace Collective Consciousness by diverse organizations and communities provides hope for viable solutions within humanity's challenging scenario.


Tax-deductible donations in any amount are greatly appreciated to support Ei's important work. 


About Elemental Impact:
Elemental Impact (Ei) is a 501(c)3 non-profit founded in 2010 as the home to the Zero Waste Zones, the forerunner in the nation for the commercial collection of food waste for compost. In June 2017, Ei announced the Era of Recycling Refinement was Mission Accomplished and entered the Era of Regeneration. Current focus areas include Nature PrevailsSoil Health | Regenerative Agriculture, and Water Use | Toxicity.

The Regeneration in ACTION Magazine articles, From Organic Certification to Regenerative Agriculture to Rewilding Landscapes: an evolution towards soil integrity and SOIL & WATER: the foundation of life, published to explain and substantiate the importance of Ei’s rewilding urban landscapes work within the Nature Prevails focus area.

The Holly Elmore Images Rewilding Urban Landscapes-album folder documents two active pilots: the Native-Plant Landscape Pilot and the Backyard Permaculture-Oriented Pilot.

To work with industry leaders to create best regenerative operating practices where the entire value-chain benefits, including corporate bottom lines, communities, and the environment. Through education and collaboration, establish best practices as standard practices.

Ei’s tagline – Regeneration in ACTION – is the foundation for Ei endeavors.

The following mantra is at the core of Ei work:

Ei is a creator, an incubator.
Ei determines what could be done that is not being done and gets it done.
Ei brings the possible out of impossible.
Ei identifies pioneers and creates heroes.

For additional information, contact Holly Elmore at 404-510-9336 |

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