How to Navigate Today’s Biggest Crisis
We are in an unprecedented situation. For the first time in history we are experiencing a comprehensive crisis engulfing every realm of life. Many experts in various fields maintain that the root of the crisis is faulty connections among us.
Unlike before, changing a social or economic paradigm will not resolve the crisis all by itself, nor will developing new technologies. Such moves, which always helped us move forward previously, will not help in the current crisis. Today, we understand that even with a technological breakthrough that enables us to develop and produce whatever we want, we will not resolve the crisis, as this is not the heart of the problem.
Instead, we need to examine the direction toward which our desires develop. We naturally follow our desires. It is like a couple who cannot get along and want to divorce. Even the best material conditions will not change how they feel about one another. However, if they loved each other and wanted to be together, they’d be content with a single room. Put differently, today’s reality demands that we mend our connections first, before we mend anything else.
Ever Wonder Why Hippies Came to Be?
We’ve been evolving through our desires from generation to generation. In the early days of humanity, our desires were quite basic: food, reproduction, and family. Our lives focused around those issues. As technology evolved, we began to take interest in other engagements. We learned to manufacture and sell, to buy products that others produce, and we’ve developed industry, commerce, and science. The human race began to produce surpluses, causing people to gradually disconnect from the soil as a source of livelihood.
We continued to develop, became politically organized in countries, established industry, and discovered lands. Humankind evolved by constantly wanting more. In the 20th century, we even began to reach outer space. We dug deeper into the ground and the sea, reaching as high, as far, and as deep as we could.
But then a standstill occurred, as it sometimes happens when we feel that nothing we do interests us, and we just want to leave it all and give up.
In the 1960s a new generation arose. This generation despised everything and began to feel that all these previous engagements were pointless. They were called “flower children” or “hippies.” Commentators thought that they were only tired, as it wasn’t long after WWII, and the Vietnam War had just begun. Or they thought that perhaps people were simply bored, that they “had it too good,” and that was why they rebelled.
Yet, those were not the reasons. A more developed desire arose in those youths. They didn’t want to settle for having a better life; they wanted to know what life was for. They resented being reared to fit into their expected “roles” in society and protested against being turned into “robots” so that someone else would gain riches or political power at their expense.
Do You Know What Life Is Really For?
Our desires are evolving still. Today, matters have come to such a state that there are general despondence and depression. But beyond the despair, we can see that there is a certain direction to Nature’s evolution: More and more people are beginning to ponder life’s purpose. They cannot settle for just living, partly because life is becoming increasingly difficult and partly because the evolution of desires prompts their urge to know what life is for.
Today, many people receive little pleasure from life and even less hope. Instead, the prevailing mood is one of, “What can you do? Such is life.” Despite the fact that we are living in a generation that really does have everything, more and more people are falling prey to depression.
Yet, what is it that we lack? We can learn any trade we want; we can be artists; we can become musicians; we can have countless hobbies; and we can travel the world. And still, the desire evolving within us doesn’t seem to lead us anywhere.
Thus, we’ve now come into a deadlock from which we can escape only if we apply the right response—finding the meaning of life, and finding it precisely in the connections between us. This is hardly the answer we would expect, but the crises around us and the rejection of everything we have in life clearly show that our problems all stem from one source: a lack of positive, solid connections among us.
People are now regarding each other as means of profit, ignoring the human being in front of them, and considering only the possible gain or loss connected to that “object.” In the financial system, in commerce, and in industry, we keep running up against hurdles because people are considering only their own gain instead of the benefit of all parties involved.
Warning: Do You Realize What You Being Connected With Others Means for You?
We can see that if we stay on our current track, we will not be able to solve our problems. The mistrust and lack of goodwill between us are at the core of every crisis. We’ve always thought that we should think technically—calculate profits, raw materials, and products. We didn’t care about the people behind those calculations.
But now this attitude isn’t working. We are discovering that we need to instill warmth, care, and trust into our relations, or everything will collapse.
Therefore, beyond the “dry” calculations, we have to add a favorable attitude—put some efforts into our relationships, learn to make concessions, and put a little bit of our “selves” into our ties. Without such a change of attitude we won’t be able to keep functioning because our desire, the thing that makes us act, wants to be fulfilled and satisfied.
In other words, from the family’s daily life, through the healthcare system, through education, culture, and to economy, trade, and security, it all comes down to the fact that we have lost contact with each other. We are not taught how to create and cultivate connections with others.
In the past, such connections among people were more natural, but today we perceive that connection as a commitment we’d rather avoid. Even when someone treats us well, we feel that this attitude is burdening us. And yet, without love for one another we will simply not be able to live.
It is not a coincidence that the crisis we are now experiencing is encompassing all realms of life. For years, we didn’t mind giving up our emotions. But now we cannot ignore the situation because we’re at the end of our rope. If we step back from the financial aspect and look back into our hearts, we will see that if we don’t restore trust, we will not continue to exist.
Our society is growing more closed, tighter, and more linked. This is a natural process of development. We can observe it, criticize it, scrutinize it, but it’s nonetheless a fact, and you can’t argue with reality. Whether we want it or not, it’s an inherent process within Nature that simply must take shape.
How Connection Can Save Humanity
Therefore, we have no choice but to build ourselves as a society in which people are more connected, warmer toward each other, and treat each other with consideration. It’s even written in many ancient sources that we humans must eventually come to love one another.
People who live close to Nature also testify to it. They feel the love that exists in Nature, which runs through the whole of Nature, and they feel Nature’s “care” for everything in it.
Can it be that the long process that humanity has been through was intended to develop in us a recognition of the necessity of love between us, so we would open up to love and embrace it? After all, love cannot be forced.
Love is a very special feeling, superior to all other human emotions. We can develop relative trust, which we maintain as long as we need each other. But should a third party come along and offer one of us a better deal or promise greater pleasure, we would lose the trust and mutual support between us. Thus, we are as important to each other as what we might obtain through one another.
We are now in a very special situation. Evolution has brought us to clearly feel that we are dependent on one another and need good connections between us. We need to actually love each other, or we won’t have the required trust between us to establish a good life.
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