It’s More Rewarding to Work Together

Multiple psychological and sociological studies have reported that it is more rewarding to work in a group than alone. So, why don’t we cooperate all the time?

We all have strong desires to receive, it’s the driving force behind most of what we do (What’s in it for me?, How can I work this out to my advantage?) even the most altruistic individuals still do much of what they do because they get something (maybe it’s only that warm fuzzy feeling) from it.

If that’s the case why don’t we do more collaborating? What is it about us that makes us choose to do things on our own even when we know we work better together?  Why are competitive and individualistic behaviour’s promoted?

The reason is because our ego’s stimulate our desire to have more, but not just for more, but to have more than others.  We want to be more unique and superior than others so we try to do things on our own. Working with others would provide our own evidence that it is better to work together than alone.  This then provides our egos with the proof that working together is not better because others will then get the same as we do, and this does not fulfill our egoistic desire to be unique or superior.

“The base nature of each and every person is to exploit the lives of all other people in the world for his own benefit. All that we give to another is only out of necessity; and even then there is exploitation of others within it, but it is done cunningly, so that our neighbour will not notice it and concede willingly.”       Baal HaSulam

How can we merely dismiss others, the help they offer or likewise how is it that they are able to dismiss us and our offers.  Going it alone seems to stem back to what is called the school of hard knox.  Whereas working with others makes it easier for all and provides many more benefits than doing things on our own.

When we work with others we give of ourselves to them (bestowal) and they do so in kind.  This helping of one another, bestowing your energies and life force to them or to a common goal is what is considered to be walking the ‘path of of light.’ The term, “light,” refers to the sensation of delight that the desire to receive (which is our essence) experiences when it is filled.

We receive when we bestow.  This may seem simplistic, but if we follow our egoistic paths it quickly becomes impossible to relate positively to any person, except out of necessity.  differencess

Based on the book, Self Interest vs. Altruism in the Global Era: How Society Can Turn Self Interests into Mutual Benefit by Dr. Michael Laitman.

Freedom is an Illusion

Freedom is an illusion propagated by the ego’s of others. In life we get trapped in  illusions, beliefs, desires, attachments, obsessions and addictions each of which is our own ego trying to assert control. desire-defnThe trappings of our life become the idols we serve and to which we submit. Once we become their captives, it is very difficult to return to the essence of bestowal provided for us upon our entrance to this world.

Our essence is not our own, it is but a part of the greater whole, our piece was provided so we may find our way back.  The path of which is guided by the light, it lies before us whether acknowledged or not.  With free will we are provided the ability to see, understand, and make some choices, though not for our sake but for the sake of the world.  We travel through life on a path guided by our essence and directed by the light.

When we come to this world we are rich with the light and love, but we become poor as we embrace our ego’s fantasies and illusions which squeezes the light and love to a single point within our hearts, point-heartbut it does not abandon us.  In spite of all, the point remains, reminding us of that which is to come.  When the path again directs our point in the heart searches and reaches out for others to join with and grow.  Our only responsibility is to listen, and follow.

All along the way darkness counsels fear, fear of the unknown an unseen.  We are pushed by our ego’s, the negative traits and tendencies of our humanity.  But there is nothing to fear, for everything is known and laid clear in the light.  As we embrace the light the darkness disappears and makes way for our redemption, as we come to realize that redemption is possible our bond with the light increases and darkness is further pushed aside.

Thus our consciousness is redeemed, it cannot be different for we come into the light but cannot recognize it without having experienced the dark.  Once revealed we are able to find and travel the path we must take.
man

 

Learning to Unite

growLife is not a solo affair.  It’s a constant collaboration. At home, work, during our hobbies and social affairs.  We crave the company of others.  It can be one or it can be many but the feeling is the same, when others are around we feel more…  What?  Happy, at ease, comfortable, adventurous, the list goes on and on.  Those feelings are not just part of you and me they are a part of everything.

Life starts and goes on, from the moment we are born until the time we are no longer a part of this reality, we search for others.  We feel the need to surround ourselves with those who care about us and support us.  For the lucky ones, they find those others at an early time in their lives.  The not so lucky spend enormous amounts of time and energy looking for those who can provide to us what it is we need.

branchesThese feelings are not just within humans. They are built into the very fabric of our universe.  in all the vast distances of space, everything is looking for a connection to something else.  The sub-atomic level of our existence is made up of protons and electrons which bind themselves together thus creating a purpose for themselves in the creation of the elements.  Those elements then look to bind with others of there kind and with other elements to make up everything we feel, see and think is our life and world.  It’s a built in component of our entire existence.
Yet… those same feelings of wanting to be with others, live intricately alongside feelings of wanting to be special and different, the squeaky wheel, the standout.  The one others look to when they… feel the need to be with others.  How is it that we can have these opposing urges within us sometimes at the seemingly same time?  Electrons trying to pull others in while at the same time trying to push others away.  Life is certainly complex.

The intrinsic processes of wanting for ourselves (ego), and wanting for others (altruism) are fundamental to our well being.  They are the Yin and Yan of all life.  Ego is our drive forward our desire to have, to standout, to receive.  Altruism is bestowal of giving, our conscience if you will.  They are the fundamental laws of all existence.  When in balance they work flawlessly with each other, if no balance occurs we have interminable problems.  It matters not whether we are speaking on a emotional level or any other.  There reciprocal relationship is what makes everything what it is.

We cannot be islands unto ourselves, our networks, and groups, make the difference between success and failure. maintainThis is true whether you hope to succeed at a personal, business or spiritual level.  We must challenge ourselves get to know others, share your thoughts, feelings, appreciations your likes and dislikes.  It is only through these types of discourse can we fully learn to bestow on others what is they need.  Through that bestowal we will provide what society, nature and ourselves what is required.

Connectionz Are What Matterz!

Benefiting from Interdependence and Connection

connectedness

 

So often, that it’s difficult to understand how it could be, we hear about groups and individuals within them who care nothing about anything but themselves.  Their egos have virtually taken them over.  The day-to-day life around them is dominated by how can they get others to buy their product(s), use their service(s), how can they can get something out of every situation.  With the obvious end result being they have little regard for whether or not people want or need those items.  Their will to receive (their ego) is so great that their entire existence literally revolves around those egoistic desires.

What can we do to shift this trend?  With our lives being so irreversibly interdependent and interconnected.  It is very easy to look at the current events of any given area of the world and see how the events happening there influence events of our own or other locations.  Our day-to day existence depends on how we interact.

I’m sure you’ve heard of ‘Six Degrees of Separation’ it was first postulated publicly in the 1950’s and later a movie and a play by the same name were made ‘Six Degrees of Separation’.  Basically, everyone is six or fewer steps away, via introduction, from any other person in the world.  We can create a chain of ‘a friend of a friend’ statements that can be used to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps.

I myself find this easy to believe, if you use or are a fan of many of the social networks available on the Internet as I do, I’m sure you will find the same. One of those networks has me connected directly to 136 people and their first, second and third level connections give me access to in excess of 6.7 million others.

Our technological advances especially within the areas of communications and travel allow us to be larger than ourselves, we span greater distances faster and more then at any time in the past.  Our modern world is virtually shrinking each day due to our ever-increasing connectedness.  Despite the sometimes-great physical distances.

Mathematician Manfred Kochen extrapolated the empirical results in a manuscript entitled ‘Contacts and Influences’ in 1973 concluding at that time it was practically certain that in a U.S.A sized population base and structure “any two individuals can contact one another by using at most two intermediaries”.

If we are to actually make this a world that we can all live together on, our day-to-day lives need to be making a similar movement towards a similar goal.  We can accomplish this greater connectedness through bestowal.  Helping someone or something when the help is needed with no thought of compensation or return.

Each time we receive a chance to relate with or to others with greater concern for them than for ourselves we are bestowing our self to them.  A connection is made between souls.  The ending result of bestowal is reception.  We receive a feeling of belonging, although it is a fleeting feeling and does not last long.  Be we can get it back as often as we like by creating bestowal again.

As we move towards this life of bestowal and reception we begin to move internally and externally closer to those we bestow upon.  This then moves us toward the reality of our existence that we are in fact the highest level of life on this planet, and we do not need to take anything for by bestowing we receive everything.

Humanity has little experience operating this way.  We are used to defining ourselves as individuals or members of factions of society, from family to nation-state, the current situations around the world necessitate that we expand our view.  We must become aware of the truth of our interconnectedness if we are to survive and flourish.

Everyone Can Become Altruists

kidssWisdom and contemporary science dictate, we need to shift to an altruistic, bestowing way of life in order to rise above our problems.

 

 

 

 

 All of Nature, Humanity Included, Need Bestowal to Achieve Balance

We need not look very far to find ways to implement the principles of bestowal to life. Many contemporary scientific studies have confirmed the benefits, and advantages of bestowal in today’s interdependent human network. The reason why the researchers of those studies did not discover the implications of the integral human network—that we “infect” each other psychologically almost as we do physically—is very simple: they were not looking for such implications.

Similarly, there are many ways to observe the effects of the law of bestowal, if we only look for them as we analyze existing data.  The Social Interdependence Theory, by Johnson and Johnson, is one way of observing its effect on systems, but there are many other ways to observe it.  Professor Ervin Laszlo, philosopher of science and system theorist, states that no system can persist without its parts yielding to the interests of the system.  These thoughts are backed up by evolutionary biologist, Elisabet Sahtouris, and primatologist, Jane Goodall, along with many others.  In fact, any physician, network scientist, or biologist knows that to keep a system in balance, or “homeostasis,” the interests of the system must override those of its parts.  Each field of science refers to this principle by a different name, we call this “the law of bestowal.”  Essentially they are all the same, however, with the different names merely pointing to different manifestations of the same natural law.

A Lazy Man’s Guide to Why Humanity Needs Mutual Responsibility

On the negative side, the effects of not following the law of bestowal are evident. The growing alienation in society and the escalating isolationism on an international level, as demonstrated by publications such as Christopher Lasch’s, The Culture of Narcissism, Twenge and Campbell’s The Narcissism Epidemic, and Joseph Valadez and Remi Clignet’s essay, “on the Ambiguities of a Sociological Analysis of the Culture of Narcissism,” clearly demonstrate our poor social health.

Indeed, the adverse effects of narcissism are beginning to show on the international level despite repeated declarations supporting unity, such as the ones quoted earlier in this chapter.  On December 3, 2009, an Associated Press news item declared, “Isolationism soars among Americans.”

A poll by the Pew Research Center survey found that “Americans are turning away from the world, showing a tendency toward isolationism in foreign affairs that has risen to the highest level in four decades.” The poll also found that “49 percent told the polling organization that the United States should ‘mind its own business’ internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their own.”

Another, even more disturbing aspect of our alienation is hunger.  The alarming statistics that more than one billion people worldwide are hungry. But perhaps even more surprising is the fact that within the United States, “The number of households characterized as having ‘very low food security’—meaning food intake was reduced because of a lack of money—jumped from 4.7 million in 2007 to 6.7 million in 2008, and the number of children in this situation rose from 700,000 to almost 1.1 million,” according to a Los Angeles Times editorial titled, “A rising tide of hunger.”

But the problem is not lack of food; it is lack of mutual responsibility and a basic understanding that we are going to survive together or perish together because this is the law of life. There is no shortage of food in the U.S., but there is certainly a shortage of collaboration. On January 1, 2009, Andrew Martin of The New York Times described “a glut of milk—and its assorted byproducts, like milk powder, butter and whey proteins—that has led to a precipitous drop in prices.” Martin explained that the milk products were being stored in warehouses and deliberately kept out of the stores to prevent a further drop in prices. How hard could it be to find a satisfactory arrangement to guarantee the financial stability of farmers while not depriving millions of Americans of a staple such as milk? Clearly, if we followed the law of bestowal, even if only within the U.S., such absurdities would not happen.

Thus, both manifestations of following the law of bestowal (and its mundane attire of yielding self-interest before the interest of the system) and manifestations of breaking this law abound in our world. All we need in order to realize its inclusiveness is to become aware of its existence. And for that, we need to start with education.

You Don’t Have to Be a Teacher

To understand why the law of giving should be taught in school.  However, we must cultivate new ways of doing so. To awaken all the young people who wish to be encouraged toward a more spiritual life. We must acquire literary skills, a lively and colorful style, using prose, and allegories, even poetry.  Our weapon must be the pen we must translate all of the historical treasures into a contemporary style, thus bring it closer to our contemporaries.

Baal HaSulam once wrote, “We must establish seminaries and compose books to hasten the distribution of the wisdom.”  By making all texts accessible, we can facilitate transference of the wisdom of the ages through to popular media so people will know and better understand the basic laws of life and will know how to conduct themselves against mounting egoism.

However, we cannot look back in remorse that this has not been completed sooner—we can only take what is available from the past to prepare for the future. It is certainly not too late to begin to inform people of the hidden laws of Nature, which affect our lives in a very real way.  Just as everyone studies the basic laws of physics and biology at school, youths today should learn the basic laws of Nature.

In school, the principles of the Social Interdependence Theory could be a wonderful beginning.  If children learned to apply these laws to their schooling, they would benefit in many more respects than just education. In the previously mentioned research, Johnson and Johnson came to several far-reaching conclusions:

“Working cooperatively with peers and valuing cooperation result in greater psychological health than do competing with peers or working independently. Cooperative attitudes were highly correlated with a wide variety of indices of psychological health. More specifically, cooperativeness is positively related to emotional maturity, well-adjusted social relations, strong personal identity, ability to cope with adversity, social competencies, basic trust and optimism about people, self confidence, independence and autonomy, higher self-esteem, and increased perspective taking skills.” on the other hand, “Individualistic attitudes were negatively related to a wide variety of indices of psychological health, especially a wide variety of pathology, basic self- rejection, and egocentrism.”

“Social interdependence theorists note that both positive and negative interdependence create conflicts among individuals.” However, “In cooperative situations, conflicts occur over how best to achieve mutual goals. In competitive situations, conflicts occur over who will win and who will lose.”

In their conclusions, they also include suggestions concerning the structure of what they call a “Cooperative School.”

However, as effective as these teaching methods might be, they can neither succeed nor even be accepted without also teaching children the law of bestowal, life’s purpose is to ultimately resemble that law, with all the benefits included in this similarity. Without providing this information, man’s perpetually growing egotism will eventually subdue any attempt at collaboration and will increasingly isolate people, as it has been doing for the past several decades.

The Creation of Positive Mass Media For Us All

In addition to the collaborative school environment, and the efforts to inform youth of life’s purpose to motivate them toward change, the principles taught at school should be applied in the home.   Otherwise, the clash between school values and home values will sentence all attempts to failure.

Our thoughts are a reflection of our environment.  So young people’s domestic environments should match the values of cooperation that schools should promote. A publication by the U.S. Department of Education, titled, “Media Guide—Helping Your Child Through Early Adolescence,” stated, “It’s hard to understand the world of early adolescents without considering the huge impact of the mass media on their lives. It competes with families, friends, schools, and communities in its ability to shape young teens’ interests, attitudes, and values.” Regrettably, the majority of interests that the media shapes are antisocial.

An online publication by the University of Michigan Health System, for example, states that “Literally thousands of studies since the 1950s have asked whether there is a link between exposure to media violence and violent behavior. Virtually all have answered, ‘Yes.’ …According to the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), ‘Extensive research evidence indicates that media violence can contribute to aggressive behavior, desensitization to violence, nightmares, and fear of being harmed.’”

In a capitalist country, the government does not enforce laws that prohibit violence on TV and other media. At best, the government might strive to restrict it, but statistics clearly indicate that these efforts are grossly ineffective. The solution should come from the people, not from government. People have to decide what they want to watch on TV, and to do that, they must decide what kind of individuals they want to be, what goals they wish to achieve, but most important, what sort of adults they want their children to become and in what kind of world they want them to grow.

When parents decide that they want their children to grow up with a hopeful future, that they do not want them to join the growing ranks of depressed youths already numbering (according to the National Mental Health Information Center) “one in every five young people at any given time,” then the change will take place.  TV, movies, Internet, and every other means of mass media lives and dies by its ratings.  When consumers decide that they want nonviolent media, then producers, screenplay writers, and advertisers will know how to create a whole new repertoire of nonviolent films that promote cooperative behavior, as mentioned in the section “Taking the Law of Nature as a Guide.”

Mass media is a learning aid and a democratic one in the sense that it truly depends on the viewers’ favor. While it is controlled by a relatively small number of people who have their own interests regarding what to air and what not to air, at the end of the day, the media still shows us what we want to see, or else the industry would go bankrupt. Because the majority of today’s people are more narcissistic than ever, so is the nature of mass media programs. And because we are becoming increasingly self-centered, the mass media increasingly caters to values of entitlement and isolationism.

Yet, isolationism and narcissism are unsustainable in an interdependent world. They are to society as cancer is to the body. The solution, therefore, is to find a way to harness our intensifying desires toward socially productive directions, which in the end are personally rewarding, as well. This is the only way we can rise above our growing egoism and unite.

The Wonderful Solution for all Problems

The solution is to use the newly acquired awareness of the global system that is humanity, and to teach the law bestowal that sustains it and (most important) the goal of life. The reward will be, as said above, “total power, total awareness, and total governance” (of ourselves, of our lives, and of the world). But this will happen only if and when we choose to unite. In doing so, we will achieve the goal of existence.

We can choose to do so after many painful “persuasions” on the part of Nature, or after self-persuasion using the environment, the principle of imitation, and the awareness of our social interdependence.

There are two kinds of people—those who advance toward life’s purpose willingly and knowingly, and reap the benefits, and those who advance unwillingly, unknowingly, and reap agony.  The first type … stormy waves come upon them, through the strong wind of development, and push them from behind, forcing them to step forward. They are moved against their will often with great pains.  But the second type move of their own accord, by repeating the actions they have seen and learned from others, this hastens there development.  They chase it of their own free will, with a spirit of love in them.  Needless to say, they rarely experience any of sorrow and suffering like the first type,”.

sia

“Everyone Can Become Altruists” is based on the book, Self Interest vs. Altruism in the Global Era: How Society Can Turn Self Interests into Mutual Benefit by Dr. Michael Laitman.