A community psychology is nothing but a group or crowd psychology.
Any community or a group or crowd has members or individuals. Each member of the community possesses unique beliefs, attitudes, intentions, motivations and behaviors that cannot be compared with other members. Each member is conditioned to the above qualities. Most of them are difficult to change. The community members work to accomplish a common purpose. They act like orchestra players who know how to play together. Members of the community collectively become a key-learning unit – with a belief that many minds is more intelligent than one mind.
An innovative coordinated action makes it even easier to build a community. How can you build a community that has members possess all above unique qualities that vary anywhere from 1 to 10 scale where 10 is the best? Even a slight variation in the level number would change a complete dynamics of building a community. Each member has his or her own assumptions, expectations, aspirations, imaginations, ideas and thoughts.
Even after so much variation in individual member’s belief, attitude, intention, motivation and behavior, communities such as the Maya, Viking, Indus were successfully built in the human history and have all survived for many hundred or thousand years. What made those community members in the past to work together for a common purpose? A simple answer is a “thought” for the survival – it’s a right thought or mind-set by all for their survival made the community members to work together for a common purpose. Then what is a “thought” and how it works? A thought is a representation of an individual’s mind-set. There is always incoherence in an individual’s thought.
Every member possesses two thoughts – one to differentiate and second to associate with a community. Their collective self would offer a balance between two thoughts. All members of the community have ability to bring the cohesiveness to their collective thoughts if they suspend their “culturally developed assumptions” and observe collective thoughts as a single thought to build a community.
Unless the consciousness level of all members involved in building a community is brought to the same level, a new community can never be built. An individual member’s “assumption” is an obstacle to building an ideal community since it is culturally motivated as well as it is a supposition, hypothesis, postulation, statement and point of view. One cannot build a strong and powerful community on the basis of assumptions. Characters such as attraction, solidarity and morale can bring the cohesion to a community. Community cohesion is a result of the willingness of individual members to stick together for a common purpose. Without cohesiveness, a community cannot exist.
It’s the power of dialogues between members help in building a strong and very powerful community. What is a dialogue? According to David Bohm, an American theoretical physicist defined it as a process where by a group becomes open to a flow of a larger intelligence. You must note that any dialogue is not the discussion. In discussion, members share their views as well as they defend their views. In a dialogue, members suspend assumptions and listen deep into their own voices and share that voice with others without defending their views. In dialogues there is free and creative explorations of complex issues. In dialogues perception and action cannot be separated.
Every member pays ‘attention’ to their thoughts and uses their deep ‘intentions’ to transform thoughts into collective thoughts. These collective thoughts act as one single mind of all participating members and it becomes dialogues between members of the community. Such dialogues build healthy community where ideas, thoughts and imaginations are freely shared to produce unimaginable results!