One of the most important issues of human existence is freedom. Where do our desires come from, what forces drive us, how do we define our goals, aspirations? Are these truly our own, or do we receive them from somewhere?
What Everybody Ought to Know About What Drives Them
We develop through drives that arise from within. Each moment, at each stage, a new desire evolves within each of us, and we follow that desire. We want to eat, drink, perhaps look at something interesting, and sleep, while most of us must work for a living.
We constantly develop under the influence of forces. For example, there is a force that pushes from behind, compellingly, such as to work or run some errands. Nothing comes easily for us; pleasures don’t come to us and satisfy us as we want.
Where do our desires come from? Some of them come from our own physiology, from our body’s needs to provide itself with food, rest, and fill the in-between with something interesting.
We divide our desires into food, sex, and family—basics without which we, as members of the animal kingdom, would not exist. Additionally, we need things that pertain to the human species, such as money, respect, power, knowledge, culture, education, religion, and many others that we develop, and that are as important to us as food, sex, and family.
We are, however, often willing to sacrifice much of our desire for food, sex, and family in favor of more education, culture, and science. There are people who are willing to make great sacrifices to obtain money, respect, or power.
The desires for food, sex, family, money, respect, power, and knowledge exist in all of us in different measures, and each of us tries to realize them as best as possible. The extent to which one is willing to pursue certain desires, and the way one pursues them, depend on the environment and on one’s education.
If You Don’t Learn Now How Your Freedom of Choice Is Affected, You’ll Hate Yourself Later
If we place a child in a certain environment, such as one that appreciates science, while the child is still “a blank slate,” he or she will learn from the environment about the importance of science and how respectable it is to do well in it. While every person has some degree of desire for science, the environment can encourage that particular tendency. That is, the environment can change the balance within an individual’s tendencies and develop some more than others.
A child’s development comes via its environment, and the parents’ abilities to develop the child eventually determine the direction of his or her development, encouraging certain tendencies more than others, and even suppressing some desires. Thus, as we grow, our free choice becomes limited, designed by the environment into which we were born and raised as children.
As to the question, “To what extent do we have free choice?” We do have a small amount of free choice, but in the end, even the little we have comes from the environment. We’re affected by trends or friends who “happen” to be around us, instilling all kinds of values and preferences in us.
Are You Ready to Learn How Past Generations Influence Who You Are Today?
Children are grasping new technologies much faster than we adults. It’s as if they were born with preexisting preparations, scrutinies, and qualities that enable them to perceive the world and succeed in modern life. It’s as if this newer generation were born prepared to look at everything according to its inner nature.
From all the above, we can conclude that within us are “recollections,” information genes that evolve from generation to generation. We call them “incarnations.” This is not mysticism. Rather, it’s a description of a state in which we are all interconnected, as we are now discovering.
As there are physical force fields, such as electromagnetic fields or gravitational force fields, there is an all-embracing field of thought, a desire that connects us all beyond time and distance, and we are in that field. This is how we convey to one another the information we acquire from generation to generation. Our bodies, which are in this field, absorb the information, making the next generation prepared for life in the new state, the new era.
Our entire development is through the environment. Were it not for the environment, we wouldn’t be developing, despite our recollections from previous lives.
To Be a Complete Person You Must Read This
Because we’re all dependent on the environment, this is the first thing we should notice in education— the environment as a cause in one’s development, since the whole of one’s future depends on it. Therefore, we should carefully examine and think about where we go, with which friends, in what circles we spend our time, and to whom we “give ourselves up.”
Therefore, we need to teach people about all kinds of circles, different environments in one’s surroundings, and the extent to which one depends on them and can manage his or her life through them. They should be set up offering such variety that anyone will be able to fit into one environment or another, according to individual tendencies and character. This way, a person will be able to develop in the best way to become a complete human being.
If we examine even more deeply, we will see that there are internal conditions within us, genes with which we were born, and various tendencies acquired through the first years of our lives when we are close to our mothers, and later on from the environment. This is why we need to have kindergartens, after-school classes for young children, and schools and after-school classes for older children. This ensures that each child truly has a choice of classes and social environments by which to realize his or her potential in every respect.
A person also needs to have a family, raise children, to know how to relate to one’s spouse and one’s friends correctly, and how to handle oneself at work and in society as a whole. We must give people examples that will show them the right way to behave, using the right environment.
Two elements lead and direct us each moment in life: our natural tendencies and the main cause—the environment and its effects on those natural tendencies. Everything depends on the extent to which we are taught how to choose environments that will lead us toward more developed states in which we will acquire more confidence and comfort, and achieve the best possible level of existence. If we affect society favorably, that attitude ultimately reflects on us and creates a favorable environment around us. This is how we continually develop ourselves.
Do You Recognize How Much Your Future Depends on Your Social Environment?
The question of whether or not we have any free choice in our actions is a very important one. Indeed, we see that we don’t really have such freedom. Thus far, we’ve been developing through our drives—the genes we were born with—and through the external environment—parents, kindergarten, school. As grownups, we choose how we will change, but the realization of the change will always take place through the environment, through a more or less selective choice of being under this or that environment. So we do have free choice, but it is actualized only through the environment.
There is an even more important conclusion concerning the new generation or the new era we are in. We are tightly connected and interdependent around the world. Thus, people all over the world determine each other’s futures. The environment has become uniform.
And because we are connected, we needn’t simply place ourselves within this or that society, or this or that circle. Rather, we need to set up a general, global, Integral Education for everyone. If we are all tied together, we need education and environment as factors that will affect the same values in all of us, so we may understand one another. While we do need to maintain personal freedom, in the end we are so interdependent that we need to understand and to feel one another, to be closer to each other.
We must first teach ourselves and others that in the end, our futures depend entirely on our environments.
Written by Michael Laitman
Michael Laitman is a global thinker dedicated to generating a transformational shift in society through a new global education, which he views as the key to solving the most pressing issues of our time. He is the Founder of the ARI Institute, Professor of Ontology & Theory of Knowledge, PhD in Philosophy, MS in Medical Cybernetics. You can find him on Google+, YouTube and Twitter