What the FTX Fiasco Can Teach Us About Consciousness

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Working in tech and having a lot of founder friends means that there has been an echo chamber of what happened with the company FTX in my world. 

Whether it’s the group chats, twitter, or email newsletters I subscribe to, it seems like all everyone can talk about is the drama of the company, scandalous founder, and crypto industry at large.

I found myself thinking less about what transpired and more about how this was a mirror to society’s state of consciousness and the interest groups I find myself in.

Understanding Collective Consciousness

Everything has a level of consciousness including people, companies, countries, ethnic groups and organizations. You can think about the collective consciousness of a group being expressed as the different attitudes, thoughts, feelings, situations, actions and relationships they exhibit.

To better understand this idea I recommend reading about Spiral Dynamics, Ken Wilber’s Spectrum of Consciousness, or The Map of Consciousness

Group consciousness is as an expression of the collective psyche of the people that comprise a particular group. It’s kind of like sum of the parts. Like in the case of any individual, the consciousness of a group is influenced by the current conditions and historical narratives. 

For example, the consciousness of a place like Germany is highly industrious and reason oriented, but might contain lots of masked guilt or shame because of what transpired in World War 2. Consciously or unconsciously, this impacts the paradigm of how many Germans view and engage the world today.

A fundamental component of understanding one’s level of consciousness is the perception of the “self” or “I” within the context of reality. A very unconscious society would predominantly view others as separate. Common behaviors would be expressions of egoic desires like self preservation which manifest as greed, striving, and narcissism. A very enlightened society would view things as unified. Unconditional love and harmony would be automatic in accordance with the recognition of the its true nature.

I want to be clear that the different levels of consciousness do not imply that one is better than the other. They are simply different expressions of what is and where nature is on its evolutionary timeline. 

Back to the FTX Story

The media and the collective response to it is a great indication of how conscious our society is.

The ego loves self enhancement. It has all kinds of tricks and strategies that it uses to make one’s self feel better.

One of the main strategies it uses is to gossip about and degrade other people. In doing this, the ego gets a temporary “bump” in feeling good about itself which thwarts any sense of feeling worthless or threatened. 

Well at least I’m not as bad off as that guy! And hey, if we both talk shit about this person, that means we’re all not as bad off!”

This dynamic does not mean that we cannot report and seek to understand facts. The truth is that this guy defrauded a lot of people of money through nefarious business practices. 

But when we look at the level of interest, engagement, and frankly excitement around the FTX story unfolding, we can recognize it for what it is. Strategies people are unconsciously using to preserve the “little self.”

I’m not perfect. I have certainly stepped out of presence and found myself caught up in the vitriol of gossip over the past year. But each time this happens, you have an opportunity to watch the behavior and come back to the stillness.

“Oh, look at that little ego who loves putting others down to be okay.”

What if we read about this and just fucking moved on. I guess I can empathize with those that lost their shirts. But even in these instances there is also a very clear opportunity to be conscious of how we respond. We can surrender to what is or resist and perpetuate the cycle of trying fight against reality.

And each time we step back into the awareness, the ego and energy fueling it gets weaker and weaker. And we get closer to fully and permanently embodying our natural state of unconditional love which represents riches that no amount of money could ever buy.

So that’s the job. 

To look at events like this as opportunities to make us more aware.

To see these moments as wonderful chances to uplift ourselves, so that we can uplift the collective groups we occupy. To be lights in the world!

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