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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.

The Evolution of Desires – Lesson 2, part 1

I am an egoist

The statement that human nature is egoistic is unlikely to make any headlines. But because we are naturally egoistic, we are all, without exception, prone to misusing what we know. This need not mean that we will use knowledge to commit a crime. It can express itself in very small, seemingly trifle things, like getting promoted at work when we didn’t deserve it, or taking our best friend’s loved one away from them. 

The real news about egoism is not that human nature is egoistic; it is that I am an egoist. The first time we confront our own egoism is quite a sobering experience. And like any sobering, it is a giant headache. 

There is good reason why our will to receive constantly evolves, and we will touch upon it in a little while. But for now, let’s focus on the role of this evolution in how we acquire knowledge. 

Evolution creates evolution

When a new desire appears, it creates new needs. And when we search for ways to satisfy these needs, we develop and improve our minds. In other words, it is the evolution of the will to receive pleasure that creates evolution. 

A look at human history from the perspective of the evolution of desires shows how these growing desires generated every concept, discovery, and invention. Each innovation, in fact, has been a tool that helps us satisfy the mounting needs and demands our desires create. 

Different levels of desire

Unlike the first level of desires, all other levels are uniquely human and stem from being in a human society. The second level is the desire for wealth; the third is the desire for honor, fame and domination, and the fourth level is the desire for knowledge. 

Happiness or unhappiness, and pleasure or suffering depend on how much we satisfy our needs. But satisfaction requires effort. Actually, we are so pleasure-driven that, we cannot perform even the slightest movement without motivation without somehow benefiting oneself. Moreover, when, for example, if we move our hand from the chair to the table it is because we think that by putting our hand on the table we will receive greater pleasure. If we didn’t think so, we would leave our hand on the chair for the rest of our life.

Egoism is a Catch-22

In the previous chapter; we said that egoism is a Catch-22. In other words, the intensity of the pleasure depends on the intensity of the desire. As satiation increases, desire proportionally decreases. Therefore, when the desire is gone, so is the pleasure. It turns out that to enjoy something, we must not only want it, but keep wanting it, or the pleasure will fade away. 

Moreover, the pleasure is not in the desired object; it’s in the one who wants the pleasure. For example: If I’m crazy about tuna, it doesn’t mean that the tuna has any pleasure within it, but that a pleasure in the “form” of tuna exists in me

Tuna

Ask any tuna if it enjoys its own flesh. I doubt it would answer positively. I might tactlessly ask the tuna, “But why aren’t you enjoying it? When I take a bite of you, it tastes so good… And you have tons of tuna! If I were you, I’d be in Heaven.” 

Of course, we all know this is not a realistic dialogue, and not just because tuna don’t speak English. We instinctively feel that tuna fish can’t enjoy their own flesh, while humans can very much enjoy the taste of tuna. 

Desire is a vessel that wants to be filled

Why this human enjoyment of the taste of tuna? Because we have a desire for it. The reason tuna fish can’t enjoy their own flesh is that they have no desire for it. A specific desire to receive pleasure from a specific object could be referred to as a vessel and to the filling of the vessel as pleasure. When you can build a vessel,a you will receive the filling and to stay fulfilled we have to keep growing our desire. 

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

The Engine of Change is Desire – Lesson 1, part 1

Plato

Plato once said, “Necessity is the mother of invention,” and he was right. 

The only way we can learn anything is by first wanting to learn it. It’s a very simple formula: when we want something, we do what it takes to get it. We make the time, muster the energy, and develop the necessary skills. It turns out that the engine of change is desire. 

The way our desires evolve both defines and designs the entire history of humanity. As humankind’s desires developed, they urged people to study their environment so they could fulfill their wishes. Unlike minerals, plants, and animals, people constantly evolve. For every generation, and for each person, desires grow stronger and stronger. 

History

This engine of change—desire—is made of five levels, zero through four. About 5,000 years ago, the will to receive was at level zero. Today, as you might have guessed, we are at level four—the most intense level. But in the early days when the will to receive was at level zero, desires were not strong enough to separate us from nature and from each other. In those days, this oneness with nature was the natural way of life. People didn’t know any other way. They didn’t even know that they could be separated from nature, nor did they want to be. 

In fact, in those days, humanity’s communication with nature and with each other flowed so seamlessly, words were not even necessary; instead, people communicated by thought, much like telepathy. It was a time of unity, and the whole of humanity was like a single nation. 

But while still in Mesopotamia, a change occurred: people’s desires started to grow and they became more egoistic. People began to want to change nature and use it for themselves. Instead of wanting to adapt themselves to nature, they began wanting to change nature to fit theirneeds. They grew detached from nature, separated and alienated from it and from each other. Today, many centuries later, we are discovering that this was not a good idea. It simply doesn’t work. 

Wanting to be in control 

Naturally, as people began to place themselves in opposition to their environment and their societies, they no longer related to others as kin and to Nature as home. Hatred replaced love, and people grew apart and became detached from one another. In consequence, the single nation of the ancient world was divided. It first split into two groups that drifted to the east and to the west. The two groups continued to divide and splinter, eventually forming the multitude of nations we have today. 

Ever since that split—when our desires grew from level zero to level one—we have been confronting nature. Instead of correcting the ever-growing egoism to remain as one with nature, we have built a mechanical, technological shield to protect us from it. The initial reason we developed science and technology was to secure our shielded existence away from nature’s elements. It turns out, however, that whether we are aware of it or not, we are actually trying to control nature and take over the driver’s seat. 

Seeking but not finding

The level of egoism in humanity has kept growing, with each level driving us farther away from nature. The distance is not measured in inches or yards; it’s measured in qualities. Nature’s quality is wholeness, connectedness, and giving, but it is only possible to feel it when we share these qualities. If I am self-centered, there is no way I can connect to anything as whole and altruistic as nature. It would be like trying to see another person when we are standing back to back. 

Because we are standing back to back with nature and because we still want to control it, clearly, the more we try, the more frustrated we become. Certainly, we cannot control something we can’t see or even feel. This desire can never be filled unless we make a U-turn, look in the opposite direction. 

Moving to true health and happiness

Many people are already growing tired of technology’s broken promises of wealth, health, and most important, safe tomorrows. Too few people have attained all these today, and even if they did, they cannot be certain they will still have them tomorrow. But the benefit of this state is that it forces us to reexamine our direction and ask, “Is it possible we’ve been treading the wrong path all along?” 

Particularly today, as we acknowledge the crisis and the impasse we are facing, we can openly admit that the path we’ve chosen is a dead-end street. Instead of compensating for our self-centered oppositeness from nature by choosing technology, we should have changed our egoism to altruism, and consequently to unity with nature.

To realize our oppositeness from nature means that we must acknowledge the split that occurred among us (human beings) five thousand years ago. This is called “the recognition of evil.” It is not easy, but it is the first step to true health and happiness.