Throughout the process, you would see bandmates pick up and play with songs like they’re toys to be shared. George started toying with Ringo’s song mere moments after hearing it, John & Paul sang songs the other had written, and the group took in song ideas and feedback from Billy Preston and other non-Beatles in the room. The whole time, there was no permission sought or granted. There was an unstated understanding that nobody really owns music.

You also see this lack of ownership elsewhere, like in how they’d occasionally play someone else’s instrument when they weren’t around. They even brought in songs from other bands, mixing melodies with their own songs or simply playing them out to explore them. No input was unwelcome, and no inspiration was off-limits. - Lessons on Creativity from The Beatles

What does it mean to commit? Or devote yourself to a cause, and could you do that for a group of people?

I have been extremely fascinated with understanding the complexities and beauty of human devotion.

This journey began with me understanding collective consciousness.

Collective consciousness - the set of shared beliefs, ideas, and moral attitudes which operate as a unifying force within society. Generally, it does not refer to a specifically moral conscience but to a shared understanding of social norms.

This collective awareness makes us aware of one another as humans, not just people. It's like an unconscious social protocol but for humans. 

But what is the spark? Is it when pain approaches empathy? 

Yes, it starts with the conversion of the heart. Some people can wait their whole lives without experiencing a need to contribute. But this conversion happens only for those willing to let it happen. 

Dimensions of Devotion

The psychological dimensions of devotion, especially when bypassing analytical thought and tapping into emotions, can be elaborated upon using Carl Jung's theories. Jung believed that certain symbols and themes are universal across cultures and are ingrained in the collective unconscious, influencing individual behavior and societal norms.

My current reading, "Therapy of Desire," is about the hierarchies of human desire built around our internal philosophies. This text delves into the philosophical and religious traditions that challenge the notion of ethical truth independent of human needs and desires. I am still working my way through it. 

We get a similar picture by a different route in the Augustinian version of Christian ethics. God has set up certain ethical standards; it is our job to do what God wants. But we may or may not be endowed with the capability of seeing, or wanting, what God wants. Truth and God's grace are out there; but the ability to see ethical truth or to reach for grace is not something we can control. There is, therefore, no reliable method by which we can construct an ethical norm from the scrutiny of our deepest needs and responses and desires. For it may perfectly well turn out that a truly good life is so far removed from our present condition and insights that it will indeed strike us as repugnant, or boring, or too impoverished to make life worth living. Here we find ourselves in a far more helpless position than in the scientific, or even the original Platonist, picture. For it is not terribly clear how we can inquire further, or do anything about our cognitive predicament. But the central structural idea remains: the idea of the radical independence of true good from human need and desire. For both Platonists and these Christians, digging more deeply into ourselves is not the right way to proceed in ethical inquiry. For the possibility must always be left open that everything we are and want and believe is totally in error. This is a powerful picture of ethical inquiry and ethical truth, one that has deep roots in our philosophical and religious traditions. It was known already to the Hellenistic thinkers, through their contact with Platonism. And it is a picture that they want to subvert, with the help of the medical analogy. Consider now a medical inquiry conducted on the rim of the heavens by pure souls, without any knowledge of the feelings, needs, pleasures, and pains of actual living creatures. (Or, if they have such knowledge, they are determined not to be constrained by it.) Think of these heavenly doctors trying to come up with an account of health and the healthy life, independently of any experience they may have of the desires and ways of life of the creatures they are going to treat. They do concede that to apply these norms to a group of patients, they will need to know something about their current state. For they cannot treat a disease without recognizing its symptoms and measuring these against their paradigm account of health. What they deny, however, is that the norm of health itself derives in any way from the condition, or the wishes, of the patient. It is "out there" to be discovered and then applied to their case.

When you find it, do you lose yourself in it? When you feel it, does it remind you of something?

I see this unfolding in Austin, shifting from traditional community structures to knowledge-based collectives fostering individual growth and transformation.

This exploration into the nature of devotion and collective consciousness is more than an intellectual pursuit. It's about understanding the core of human connection and our capacity to transform ourselves and the world around us. It's a journey towards understanding the deeper, often unspoken, dynamics that drive our commitments and shape our collective destiny. It’s about more than just people. It’s about being human.

Collective Consciousness, Katerina-Oriana, 2021, acrylic with textures