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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.