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"I've taken some stick for passages in Altered Carbon which people complained had sickened them, but then violence should be sickening."
- Richard Morgan

Overmind  
  A consciousness that supersedes the minds of many individuals.  

I wouldn't be surprised if this term derived from Theosophical or other mystical literature of the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. However, as far as I know, this is the earliest use of this term in science fiction.

Captain Rowan laughed. “No? Then tell me: What if the hand of a person begins suddenly to write words at a rate ten to twenty times faster than normal, in a handwriting other than his own, upon wise and lofty subjects not heard of before; sometimes even in a language of which the owner of the hand is ignorant — tell me, what guides that hand?”

“There is usually fraud back of this automatic writing, deceit of some sort,” replied Parsons. “In the few eases where it seems to be genuine, it is due, doubtless, to the subconscious mind of man.”

“But if the person doing the automatic writing has no knowledge, either conscious or subconscious, of Latin or Greek, or even of Sanskrit (for I assure you whole reams have been written in Sanskrit), and the writing should be in any one of those languages—what then ?"

Parsons shrugged his shoulders. “Still there is no valid reason for assuming an overmind or director as does Larkin.” He turned to me. “Undoubtedly there are some mysterious things in connection with psychic phenomena which are baffling, but to use those mysterious things as a base from which to launch into wild and irrational speculations is not scientific.

From The Chemical Brain, by Francis Flagg.
Published by Weird Tales in 1929
Additional resources -

Another early use of this expression can be found in James Schmitz' 1949 novel Agent of Vega:

The Departmental Lab’s theory was that under the stress of a psychic attack which was about to overwhelm the individual telepath, a kind of racial Overmind took over automatically and conducted its member-mind’s escape from the emergency...

Many science fiction readers would associate this term with Arthur C. Clarke's 1952 novel Childhood's End, which went so far as to capitalize and deify it:

There lay the Overmind, whatever it might be, bearing the same relation to man as man bore to the amoeba. Potentially infinite, beyond mortality...

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  More Ideas and Technology from The Chemical Brain
  More Ideas and Technology by Francis Flagg
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