fbpx

Strive For Balance

It is only possible to come into a healthy balance, if you strive for a balance between two forces: egoism and altruism. The force that naturally arises in you is your egoism. However you are given the opportunity to balance this negative force with a positive one, so two opposing forces, called the middle line, emerges in between. 

This middle line, which arises in the balance between the right (altruistic) and the left (egoistic) lines, is called human. By having a good command of both egoism and altruism, a person can interact with them correctly, constantly balancing up and down and rising on this balance. The main thing is that he learns to maintain balance. This is spiritual work.

Handling Desires. Lesson 2, part 2

Old methods

Now that we know that desires generate progress, let’s see how we’ve handled them throughout history. For the most part, we’ve had two ways of manipulating desires: 

1. Turning everything into habits, “taming” de- sires, or harnessing them into a daily routine; 

2. Diminishing and suppressing them. 

Most religions use the first option, “tagging” each act with a reward. To motivate us to do what is considered good, our tutors and those around us reward us with positive feedback whenever we do something “right.” As we grow older, the rewards gradually stop, but our actions have become “tagged” in our minds as rewarding. 

Once we are used to something, it becomes second nature to us. And when we act according to our nature, we always feel comfortable with ourselves. The second way to handle our desires—by diminishing them—is primarily used by Eastern teachings. This approach follows a simple rule: Better to not want, than to want and not have, or in the words of Lao-tzu (604 BC – 531 BC), “Manifest plainness; embrace simplicity; reduce selfishness; have few desires” (The Way of Lao-tzu). 

Old methods no longer work

For many years, it seemed that we were getting by with just these two methods. Although we did not get what we wanted—because of the rule that when you have what you want, you no longer want it—the chase itself was gratifying. Whenever a new desire came along, we believed that this one would surely fulfill our wishes. We were hopeful as long as we kept dreaming; and where there is hope, there is life, even without actually fulfilling those dreams. 

But our desires grew. They have become increasingly hard to satisfy with unfulfilled dreams, with an empty Kli, devoid of the filling it was meant to have. And thus, the two ways—taming desires and diminishing them—are facing a major challenge. When we can’t diminish our desires, we have no choice but to look for a way to satisfy them. In that state, we either abandon the old ways, or somehow combine them with a new way of searching. 

A new desire in town 

We have said that there are four degrees to the will to receive: a) physical desires for food, reproduction, and family; b) wealth; c) power and respect, sometimes separated into two distinct groups; and d) the desire for knowledge. The four degrees are divided into two groups: 1) animal desires, the first degree, are shared by all living creatures; and 2) human desires, degrees two, three, and four, which are uniquely human. The latter group is the one that’s brought us to where we are today. 

But today there is a new desire—the fifth degree in the evolution of the will to receive. This new desire is not just another desire; it is the culmination of all the degrees of desires preceding it. It is not only the most powerful desire, but it contains unique features that differentiate it from all other desires. 

When we talk about the heart, we aren’t referring to the physical heart, but to desires of the first four degrees. But the fifth level of desire is essentially different. It wants satisfaction only from spirituality, not from anything physical. This desire is also the root of the spiritual growth one is destined to experience. For this reason, we call this desire the “point in the heart.” 

The wisdom of the hidden

When the “point in the heart” appears, one begins to shift from wanting worldly pleasures—sex, money, power, and knowledge—to wanting spiritual pleasures. Because this is a new kind of pleasure that we’re seeking, we also need a new method to satisfy it. The method to satisfy the new desire is called “the wisdom of love”. 

To understand this new method, let’s look at the difference between the wisdom of love, whose aim is to fulfill the desire for spirituality, and the methods used to fulfill all other desires. With our “ordinary” desires, we can usually define what we want quite easily. If I want to eat, I look for food; if I want respect, I act in a way that I believe will make people respect me. 

But because I don’t quite know what spirituality is, how can I know what to do to attain it? Because in the beginning, we don’t realize that what we really want is to discover. This desire is so utterly different from anything we’ve ever felt before; it is unclear even to us. This is why the method of discovering and satisfying it is also called “The Wisdom of the Hidden.” 

Correction

As long as all we wanted was food, social status, and—at most, knowledge—we didn’t need The Wisdom of the Hidden. We had no use for it, so it remained hid- den. But its concealment does not mean that it was abandoned. Now this level has appeared, and those who recognize it feel the need for the wisdom of love. To receive pleasure, you must have a vessel for it, a well-defined desire for a very specific pleasure. The appearance of a vesselforces our brains to search for a way to fill it with light. 

We have already said that the will to receive is a Catch-22: when I finally receive what I’ve been looking for, I almost immediately stop wanting it. And of course, without wanting it, I cannot enjoy it. The desire for spirituality comes with its own pre- installed, unique mechanism to avoid this catch. This mechanism is called correction. A desire of the fifth level must first be “coated” with this correction before it can be used efficiently and pleasurably. 

In opposition of nature

The will to receive has been the driving force behind every progress and change in the history of humanity. But the desire to receive has always been one to receive pleasure for self- gratification. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to receive pleasure, the intention to enjoy for self-gratification places us in opposition to nature. Therefore, by wanting to receive for ourselves we are separating ourselves from nature. This is our corruption, the reason for every misfortune and discontentment. 

A correction happens not when we stop receiving, but when we change the reason for which we are receiving, our intention. When we receive for ourselves, it is called “egoism.” When we receive in order to unite with nature, it is called “altruism”.

An example

For example, would you enjoy eating the same food every day for months? Probably not. But this is exactly what babies are required to do. They have no choice in the matter. In fact, the only reason they agree to it is because they don’t know anything else. But surely there is only so much pleasure they can derive from eating, other than filling their empty stomachs. Now, think of the baby’s mother. Imagine her face glowing as she is feeding her child. She is in heaven just watching her child eat healthily. The baby may (at most) be content, but the mother is elated. 

Here’s what happens: Both the mother and the child enjoy the child’s desire for food. But while the child’s focus is on its own stomach, the mother’s pleasure is infinitely greater because of her delight in giving to her baby. Her focus is not on herself, but on her child. 

Uniting with nature

It is the same with nature. If we knew what nature wanted of us, and fulfilled it, we would feel the pleasure of giving. Moreover, we would not feel it on the instinctive level that mothers naturally experience with their babies, but on the spiritual level of our bond with nature. 

The correction we need is to place the right intention over our desires. The reward for making a correction and having an intention is the fulfilment of the last, the greatest of all wishes—the desire for spirituality, for being one with nature. When this desire is fulfilled, one knows the system that controls reality, participates in its making, and eventually receives the keys and sits in the driver’s seat. Such a person will no longer experience life and death the way we do, but will effortlessly and joyfully flow through eternity in a never-ending stream of bliss and wholeness. 

The Global Crisis Has a Happy End – part 2

Over the past 5,000 years, each of the two factions   that tore from Mesopotamia evolved into a civilization of many different peoples. Of the two primary groups, one became what we refer to as “Western civilization,” and the other became what we know as “Eastern civilization.” 

This culture clash and the resurfacing of mystical beliefs that were abundant in ancient Mesopotamia mark the beginning of humanity’s reconnection into a new civilization. Today, we are beginning to realize that we are all connected and that we must rebuild the state that existed prior to this shattering. By rebuilding into a united humanity, we will also rebuild our connection with nature. 

EGOISM IS A CATCH-22

Everything that exists is made of a desire for self-fulfillment. However, these desires cannot be fulfilled in their natural form, when they are self-centered. This is because when we satisfy a desire, we cancel it, and if we cancel a desire for something, we can no longer enjoy it. 

For example, think of your favorite food. Now, imagine yourself in a fancy restaurant, comfortably seated at a table as the smiling waiter brings you a covered plate, places it in front of you, and removes the lid. Hmmm… that deliciously familiar scent! Enjoying yourself yet? Your body does; that’s why it releases digestive juices at the mere thought of this dish. 

But the minute you start eating, the pleasure diminishes. The fuller you become, the less pleasure you derive from eating. Finally, when you’ve had your fill, you can no longer enjoy the food, and you stop eating. You don’t stop because you’re full, but because eating is no fun on a full stomach. This is the Catch-22 of egoism—if you have what you want, you no longer want it. 

CRISIS

Therefore, because we cannot live without pleasure, we must go on searching for new and greater pleasures. We do that by developing new desires, which will also remain unfulfilled. It’s a vicious circle. Clearly, the more we want, the emptier we feel. And the emptier we feel, the more frustrated we become. 

And because we are now at the most intense level of desire in our history, we cannot avoid the conclusionthat today we are more dissatisfied than ever before, even though we clearly have more than our fathers and our forefathers had. The contrast between what we have, on the one hand, and our growing dissatisfaction, on the other hand, is the essence of the crisis we are experiencing today. The more egoistic we become, the emptier we feel, and the worse is the crisis. 

THE NECESSITY OF ALTRUISM 

Originally, all people were internally connected. We felt and thought of ourselves as a single human being, and this is exactly how nature treats us. Despite our initial oneness, as our egoism grew we gradually lost the sensation of unity and became increasingly distant from each other. 

Nature’s plan is for our egoism to keep growing until we realize that we have become separated and hateful to one another. The logic be- hind this is that we must first feel as a single entity, and then become separated into egoistic and detached individuals. Only then will we realize that we are completely opposite from nature, and utterly selfish. 

Moreover, this is the only way for us to realize that egoism is negative, unfulfilling, and ultimately hopeless. As we have said, our egoism separates us from each other and from nature. But to change that, we must first realize that this is the case. This will bring us to want to change, and to independently find a way to transform ourselves into altruists, reconnected with all of humanity and with nature. After all, we have already said that desire is the engine of change. 

NO OPTIONS

Actually, altruism is not an option. It just seems as if we can choose whether to be egoistic or altruistic. But if we examine nature, we will find that altruism is the most fundamental law of nature. For example, each cell in the body is inherently egoistic. But to exist, it must relinquish its egoistic tendencies for the sake of the body’s wellbeing. The reward for that cell is that it experiences not only its own existence, but also the life of the whole body. 

We, too, must develop a similar connection with each other. Then, the more successful we become at bonding, the more we will feel an eternal existence instead of our passing physical existence. 

Especially today, altruism has become essential for our survival. It has become evident that we are all connected and dependent on one another. This dependency produces a new and very precise definition of altruism: Any act or intention that comes from a need to connect humanity into a single entity is considered altruistic. Conversely, any act or intention that is not focused on uniting humanity is egoistic. 

CORRECTING EGOISM

It follows that our oppositeness from nature is the source of all the suffering we are seeing in the world. Everything else in nature—minerals, plants, and animals— instinctively follow nature’s altruistic law. Only human behavior is in contrast with the rest of nature.

Moreover, the suffering we see around us is not just our own. All other parts of nature also suffer from our wrongful actions. If every part of nature instinctively follows its law, and if only man does not, then man is the only corrupted element in nature. Simply put, when we correct ourselves from egoism to altruism, everything else will be corrected, as well—ecology, famine, war, and society at large. 

ENHANCED PERCEPTION 

There is a special bonus to altruism. It may seem as if the only change will be putting others before ourselves, but there are actually far greater benefits. When we begin to think of others, we become integrated with them, and they with us. 

Think of it this way: There are about 7.7 billion people in the world today. What if, instead of having two hands, two legs, and one brain to control them, you had 15.2 billion hands, 15.2 billion legs, and 7.7 billion brains to control them? Sounds confusing? Not really, because all those brains would function as a single brain, and the hands would function as a single pair of hands. All of humanity would function as one body whose capabilities are enhanced 7.7 billion times. 

MORE BONUSSES

Wait, we’re not done with the bonuses! In addition to becoming superhuman, anyone who becomes altruistic will also receive the most desirable gift of all: omniscience, or total recall and total knowledge. We begin to know why everything happens, when it should happen, and what to do should we want to make it happen differently. 

When we unite with nature, we will feel as eternal and complete as nature. In that state, even when our bodies die, we will feel that we continue to exist in the eternal nature. Physical life and death will no longer affect us because our previous self-centered perception will have been replaced with a whole, altruistic perception. Our own lives will have become the life of the whole of nature. 

THE TIME IS NOW

As we have seen before, the more we want, the emptier we feel. Therefore, since the end of the 20th century, humanity has been experiencing its worst emptiness ever. The process of acquiring fulfillment will not happen all at once and not simultaneously for everyone. A person must want it to happen. It is a process that evolves out of one’s own volition. 

This begins when a person realizes that his or her egoistic nature is the source of evil. It is a very personal and powerful experience, but it invariably brings one to want to change, to move from egoism to altruism. 

As we have said, nature treats all of us as a single, united created being. We have tried to achieve our goals egoistically, but today we are discovering that our problems will only be solved collectively and altruistically. The more conscious we become of our egoism, the more we will want to change our nature to altruism. 

Read also part one