With all the needless suffering, corruption, and gang activity today, I am reminded of the psychology of human group behavior, and the mechanisms of corruption and institutional control that is so pervasive today. They are similar mechanisms to group drumming and team building, except they are 180 degree polar opposites. In drumming, the energy and intent of the participants is based on a positive mindset of giving, and free will. No one is intimidated to follow the group. In fact, it boost your self esteem and resolve.
In drumming, the group message, or rhythm, often begins with the core leaders, but not always. It’s a dynamic process that welcomes all to initiate, then it spreads throughout the circle, expanding as far as its magic and influence allows.
In circles of corruption, the spread of influence is similar, except that the core leaders ALWAYS set the agenda and rules. And it is sometimes done in a quid pro quo format of favors in return for others cooperation. The agenda and message spreads based on intimidation and calling out favors from participants, opposite to drumming. And in doing so, the group makes unlawful compromises of their free will. It provides an air of momentary brotherhood, for as long as everyone stays signed on, and one step ahead of authorities. It requires that everyone compromise their morals and ethics in order to participate. There can be outer circles too, where participants support the group project, but may not be directly involved.
The behavioral and brain mechanisms at work are usually done FREELY, and also are remarkably similar to we find in a group drum circle. However, the image of corruption and gangs is that they have FREE WILL. When in fact, they don’t.
In life, we are drawn to people and things that serve our needs and which we find interesting. The concept of being drawn to things is rooted in brain science and human behavior. We make decisions about which groups and activities we join. In a drum circle, participants freely come together and support a “core” rhythm and message. In corruption and gang activity, participants gather together for protection. Different choices. At numerous points along the way, participants have the opportunity to affect and influence the group activity or rhythm. The same also holds true for sports play like football, baseball, and basketball. But in corruption and gang activities, a misconception lies in the belief that participants do not have FREE WILL, which is not true. The truth is that FREE WILL comes from your mind out of the bigger understanding of life. And it is also contagious! Yes, there are pressures & influences to act a certain way. But if you are at peace with yourself, and confident of your choices, others will follow you.
The dynamics of group behavior & free will is that it is based on your mindset and moral framework of life. So, when faced with tough choices, you should know automatically what you’ll do, what you’ll play, and what you’ll say. The problem today is that too many people confuse “speaking up” with expressing yourself. You have to speaker with wisdom and authority, connect with your higher power. These practice actually take many years and trial & error. But you have to brave this course to discover your true voice!
Now I’ve seen many a drummer in a drum circle use free will to beat a drum so loudly and out of sync, it destroys the group rhythm. They expressed themselves. But did they “listen?” When unsure, ask, look around, watch others, then act. And never forget the most powerful voice you have is your FREE WILL.
Your actions actually originate from thoughts, or “thought intent,” first. In gymnastics, we used to say the trick happens in your mind before you ever do it. This same principle of thought intent is true for everything you do everyday of your life. You think, then act. Success comes when you learn to think, listen to the right inner voice. And then act on it. The more you apply this methodology, especially the listening part. The more success you’ll have.
In my drumming and drum circle facilitation, as Jack Black did in the movie, “School of Rock,” always watch your student’s eyes. This is the window to their soul, and watching the eyes will tell you if and how you’re connecting. The same holds true during the formative stages of corruption. But, if you are at peace with yourself, you will stand you’re ground and act bravely to protect yourself.
I’d like to share a message I often shared with my son when he was in high school during the 1990s, as for drinking and driving after there had been several horrible auto accidents with teen age drivers:
“Never get in an automobile if you’re not comfortable with the driver. If things go bad, all it takes is one member of a group to speak up in the right way and bring clarity at a time when the group is stirred into a wild & crazy hysteria. It only takes one to change the energy, the rhythm, or one’s awareness within a group. When that time comes, trust your instincts. Don’t be afraid to speak up.”
My son was later voted most changed in high school and accepted a baseball scholarship to Pepperdine University. I often spoke to him on lessons in life thru psychology. In high school, I’m told he regularly received calls from friends facing difficult. I suspect he shared some of the intervention methods that I had shared with him.
Never stop being of sound mind. Always pay attention. Be aware. Call upon your higher self. Such principles are at the core of shamanism and most mind/body & religious practices today.
For more on my work, contact http://www.DolleCommunications.com