My buddy Colin forwarded this Wikipedia definition of collective effervescence (and yes, that would be a good name for a band, wouldn’t it??).
He pointed out that there might be a parallel with relationship dynamics–that is, alone we each behave in a certain way, but we we form pair and triad bonds, the relationship has a dynamic of its own that is distinct from the energy and behavior of its individual participants. It’s not exactly the same, especially as collective effervescence tends to relate to more spiritual and religious experiences as well, but the idea of more than one person together creating a collective energy and acting in ways that each individual wouldn’t alone does run parallel.
Can anyone who has studied more sociology and/or religious theory than me elaborate?