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The Power of Collective Wisdom by Sheryl Erickson, Alan Briskin

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sixAn Illusion of Agreement

The stories of Helm and of childbed fever bear witness to the tragic consequences that can emerge from collective folly’s movement toward separation and fragmentation. Tragedy can also ensue from the second movement of collective folly, toward the illusion of agreement and unity. While the emergence of collective wisdom is often signaled by an enveloping silence of deeper knowing and connection, the emergence of collective folly is often signaled by a different kind of silence, an agitated silence where words are suppressed in fear or resignation. Such silences can give the appearance of cohesion but often mask dramatic divisions that permeate the group. When groups act from this false belief in agreement, almost always ...

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