Are You Fulfilling All of Your Desires?
After centuries of scientific development, we are discovering that there are fundamental laws in our world that affect us and the quality of our lives. Our work in this world is to evolve and discover those natural laws in the world around us.
Man is not an animal who acts by instincts, guided only by its natural drives, dictating its behavior from within. Unlike animals, man has freedom of choice in his actions. But that freedom sometimes yields undesirable results. Humans sometimes harm themselves, while animals do not. They eat one another, but only to sustain themselves, not because they have an ego or are inclined to harm or dominate others.
In other words, humans have a “surplus desire” that is not subject to Nature’s absolute laws. Our desires go beyond eating, reproducing, and building a nest or a den. We also want to travel, to see the world, to develop science, knowledge, culture, education, and whatever else makes life enjoyable.
For some reason, humans conduct their lives in a worse way than do animals. Humans are constantly suffering, stressed, competing, and “consuming” themselves. When we look at others, we envy and hate them, yet we demand respect from them. Throughout history, we’ve never known how to use our superior human traits. Instead of establishing happy, good lives, we’ve come to a place of depression and hopelessness.
Why Are Good Social Environments So Hard to Find?
There is an actual inversion in society’s attitude toward us. As long as we’re juvenile, Nature and the social environment are considerate and kind. But as soon as we grow older, their attitudes toward us change and become seemingly inconsiderate, while we would prefer to continue being treated like children and not committed to growth. We would like to be excused and treated as nicely as before, but circumstances have changed.
The change in attitude toward us on the part of Nature is extreme. Among animals, the parents guard their young until they are on their feet and can move and get to know their surroundings. Within a few months or up to two years, depending on the species, the young are set free and must provide for their own food and safety, raise their own young, or become part of the pack.
It would seem that it needn’t be that way for us because our society is one of intelligent, knowledgeable, and understanding people. We use intelligence to change the world, making it better and more comfortable. So why can’t we make a better world for adults?
Indeed, if we would relate to the social environment properly, building together a wholesome society, we would live as before we were born—when we were protected in the womb—and as we do after birth in the “incubators” of family, kindergarten, and school. Why can’t we relate to each other in this way and continue in a favorable manner?
If we examine history, we will see that previous generations lived in clans, like villages, where everyone cared for everyone else. The men would all hunt together to get food for the clan, and the women would all stay home, prepare the food, and tend to the children. Everybody cared for each other’s children.
Here’s What Happens When Your Ego Continues Growing
What happened is that our egos grew, and as a result, we’ve drifted apart from one another. We began to look at each other not as brothers, but as competitors, assessing who was worth more and who was worth less. Now we want to dominate others, “buy” them as employees or slaves. We even want to steal what’s theirs because we no longer have anything in common with them, such as keeping a household together.
Our egos began to separate us and detach us from that primitive society, that primordial commune, and spoiled things for us.
The problem is that the growing ego is the one prompting us to obtain knowledge and discover new things. The thrust of the growing ego to develop us and the desire to receive more and more are all good. But if that desire had evolved toward obtaining good things not only for ourselves, but also for our environment, it would have been better.
But is that possible? History proves it’s not. Thus far as we’ve been developing, our egos have grown into a mountain of hatred, envy, lust, pursuit of honors, and a desire to dominate everyone. We have everything, yet because of our ill attitudes toward each other, we cannot establish good laws; we are unhappy, unwell, and insecure. Because of the competition among us, we are destroying Nature and ecology, since we’re using our egos to harm others.
Nature, which develops us through its laws and through the environment, treats us in two ways: On the one hand, it intensifies our egos; on the other hand, it shows us how the growing ego within us constantly separates us and positions us against one another.
But what can I do if I have two opposite forces within me? On the one hand, there is an inclination within me that causes me to feel satisfaction when I benefit myself at the expense of others. On the other hand, in that same inclination, I feel no satisfaction because when I use it, the result is that everything—society, science, education, culture, and personal life—is ruined by that same power of development; namely, the ego. The question is, “Can we change how we use our egos?”
Do You Know How to Use Your Ego Properly?
If we can’t find within us the power to restrain the ego, we must find in Nature a force that will allow us to use it in a positive manner. It doesn’t mean that we should stop being egoists, because precisely through this motivation, we’ve obtained many things beyond food, clothing, housing, and health.
If the ego has brought us to such excellence in our technological development, we must learn to use it for the best, to harness it, and steer it away from hating others and instead, toward loving them. Thus, we will maintain our standard of living and will continue to develop in every realm of life in this world: family, children’s education, culture, health, and everything else.
If we only knew how to use our egoistic nature in favor of the environment and society, we would develop ourselves and our surroundings, and we would do it in a good and favorable manner.
Long ago, people considered everyone as one entity because the ego still wasn’t fully developed. But, can people today progress with their ego so that looking “above” it, they regard everyone as related, as family?
What is the “cure” by which we can mend our relations and our attitudes toward the environment and toward humanity? If we find the cure, there is no doubt we will be able to continue thriving despite the crisis that is seemingly arresting our development.
Therefore, we need to consider where we can derive the strength to use our nature in a positive, rather than a negative, manner. If we invert our attitudes and think of the well-being of others and the environment—as we think of our own children—then instinctively, the world would be filled with love.
Now You Can Get the Respect and Love You’ve Always Craved
Nature teaches us that the only way we can influence people is through the environment, precisely because of our egoistic desire to rule over the environment. In other words, beyond being alive, people depend on the environment, wanting to rule over it and use it for their own benefit, “bending” it so it is under their rule. If we position a person in an environment that presents the opposite—expecting a person to be kind and considerate; otherwise, rejecting that person—then the person will have to invert his original tendencies toward envy, lust, honor, and power to that of following society’s demand to favor others.
Gradually, because we depend on society, that person will understand that the desire to be in favor of self to the detriment of society must be inverted to be in favor of society. Thus, there is only one way to induce change: If we show people an environment that will educate them toward new values, we will have no problem.
We’re not pointing a finger at people, demanding them to change. What we can do is reach every person indirectly through the environment and affect him or her in such a way that everything is received—all that is needed, without making any effort. That person will grow as if in a greenhouse, with the right temperature and moisture, in ideal conditions, and by playing and acting; that person will grow into the mold of the new society and will be happy, just as children learn by playing and thus become more understanding grownups.
If we’re smart, we won’t have to think of how each of us should change. Instead, we will create a “theatre,” a game of life that is fun to play. We will spend the free time the ego has made available for us on building a good, proper environment for us. All we need to know is: how to wisely use that free time; the laws we are learning about; and how to bring ourselves into the proper form.
Build a Social Environment You Can Be Proud Of
We didn’t do this previously before because we didn’t know about it. We thought our egos were helping us develop, and we didn’t regard it as bad. We felt our egos as pushing us ahead, building ourselves as families, societies, and countries. But, we didn’t feel or understand how removed from one another we’d become.
Only in recent years have we begun to realize how desperate we are. Only by building a new environment can we influence ourselves to create “new humans” in an incubator-like environment, or greenhouse. Like a sculptor, this environment will mold us into new beings.
For that to happen, we will use the power that exists in society, in the environment, in humanity, toward a positive direction. Anyone who begins to bond with others will feel that he or she is together with everyone in heart and soul, as one mind, and seemingly as one body. It will be so strong that we will perceive those thoughts and desires roaming in the world, and each of us will seemingly include the whole of humanity within us.
Then we will see how evolution and Nature’s impact on us have brought us to a wondrous state where each of us feels the self as the whole. We will come to a state where a person exits the sensation of this brief, limited life and begins to feel the integral world through the whole of humanity. In this way, we will actualize the primary force of life. The ego, which separates us and elevates us above the animate level, will then raise us to the human level.
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