For a person in the 21st century society, work is the center of life.
Society is what created that situation – so much so that even our free time, as far as vacations and social activities are concerned, are often initiated and managed by our workplaces.
In the past, people didn’t feel they were enslaved by their jobs. They felt much freer compared to our “modern-day slavery.” Today the bulk of our time is spent at work, getting to it and returning from it. Work has become our primary activity, and one that takes over our lives.
For this reason, a great concern for many of us is whether or not we will be fired, and if so, whether we will be able to find another job.
Today, our focus is almost entirely on our jobs. We’re afraid of retirement, afraid that we won’t know what to do with all that free time. We have no idea what it means to be free, nor have we any real desire to be so.
Now You Can Understand the Workaholic Crisis and Reach Balance
Over the last several decades, our approach to our lives has become such that we cannot see ourselves as free. “Free” should mean that we limit the time dedicated to work to three hours a day, during which we engage in what is necessary to maintain our society. In this way, we can provide for our society’s needs after we have provided for our own. The rest of the time should be used for enjoying other things.
And yet, we cannot perceive this as possible. We think that if we don’t work, we’ll have nothing to do, yet nothing could be farther from the truth.
This mindset of work, work, work does not favor us as human beings. We are ruining and depleting Earth’s resources, and we are immersed in this pattern much the way children become immersed in their games until an adult comes and pulls them away from it, saying, “Enough, you need to move on to other activities.”
Alas, we cannot stop playing; we are addicted. The world and public opinion have “hooked” us on this game. This is creating a crisis in every realm of our personal and social lives.
Nature demands that we be in “equivalence of form,” meaning “in balance.” As Nature is circular, a complete and harmonious system in all its actions, so should human society be built—circular and synchronized in all its parts.
Humanity’s drives have become opposite to those of Nature, and we now sense that contrast as a crisis. This is the essence of the problem. The solution is simple: we need to balance ourselves with Nature, align ourselves with it.
What Everyone Ought to Know about the Workaholic Crisis
Today, we’re at the threshold of a revolution. The gap between the environment we have created and Nature’s imperatives is taking its toll. Nature is pushing us to reach the next stage of our evolution as humans, to come to view life from a different perspective.
The reality in which work takes over most of our time is about to change. When that happens, people will not sit idly by, but will begin searching for another meaning to life. This is when we will truly learn what it means to “be human.” This is a radical change that implies reorganization of the entire human society. This change is mandatory; we will have to go through this process due to pressures from within and without, or through awareness and initiative to immediately begin paving the way toward our new destination.
Work will become nothing more than a necessary tool for our survival, and our perception of the growing unemployment will change. Our free time will be channeled toward the primary purpose of our lives—to answer the question, “Why are we here in this life?” This question will arise in the majority of humanity, and will become the issue that directs our lives and all of our engagements.
Our goal now is to set up the infrastructure for an alternative environment that offers another avenue by which we will conduct our relationships.
To adapt to this future image, we need to imagine it and plan how we will shift from the current image into the projected one. We need to change from within, which is no simple task. It will entail revolutionizing our perceptions, sensations, and approaches to reality—a redesign of all our thought patterns. Even the structure of society will change accordingly, and of course, the education system will evolve into a radically different one.
There is no greater revolution than this one.
Why Integral Education Is the Key to Exit the Workaholic Crisis
In the coming years, unemployment will spread throughout the world. The unemployed will know that chances of finding a job are slim, and detachment from the job market will lead to frustration and disillusionment with life.
Still the future unemployed individual will not be considered an outcast, but will make a decent salary and will be rewarded for study time, to which he or she will dedicate the bulk of the time. This will assure the person’s future contribution and investment in the development of human society.
Accordingly free time will become the most qualitative, where the unemployed will learn the real “humanities”—that is, what it means to be a human being. Along with the new studies, a person immediately begins to ascend in his awareness, in the general perception.
With the help of integral study materials, we will understand our situation, the state of the world, and the reasons for everything that is happening. Without that knowledge it is impossible to reach the human level. The difference between a human being and any other animal is that man has consciousness: we understand and consciously and willingly partake of life.
In short, in the new world, people who think only of themselves will not be able to cope. We have to consider the well-being of the entire community. This is Nature’s Law, which is manifesting itself to us these days. Society must cultivate mutual concern wherein each person cares for everyone else as if they were parts of a single body, reciprocating with one another.
In the global division of resources, man’s economic participation in society will take place only according to society’s essential needs.
The world must be built from non-egoistic systems, and all the systems in the state must aim toward that goal—toward a single plan based on integrality and “mutual guarantee,” which are necessary for today’s society. If we refrain from doing so we will all fall prey to opportunism and destruction, and to an even greater contrast with Nature.
“Integral education” deals with the structure of the new society and the new world from three aspects: the world, which is Nature; humanity within Nature; and the human being as part of humanity. Integral education also explains how we’ve arrived at the current state through the evolution of the ego, and how we should proceed henceforth toward a new common goal and common future.
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