Session 9 - Changing the Influence of the Environment on Man, Part 1

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How do we realize the bonding between us in actual fact? We need to realize the bonding within society in practice, through our attitude toward it. We must build an impactful environment with vibrant social systems, where each person feels compelled to treat society and all of nature favorably, since the well-being of society, as well as one's own well-being, depends on one's attitude toward society. Therefore, we need to reorganize the human form we have developed through our egos, which is now aimed entirely toward egoistic demands. As we can see, the egoistic social structure isn't working any longer, and  the crisis that has come from it is comprehensive, global, and integral.


Since we wish to restructure man's attitude toward society—because we are dependent on each other and society must demand of each of us the proper attitude—we need to understand what society needs to do in actual fact. Society, our environment, must give us examples of the right behavior, just as a mother lovingly does toward her child. Society must fundamentally transform its impact on each and every one of us. First, we must act through transformation of the public media systems, and the educational system must change immediately. These systems must provide each of us with a sensation of urgency for changing our attitudes toward one another, and toward our environment.


A good society is like an incubator, it surronds, envelops and warms us. It is a place where we develop safely, encouragingly, and properly. Just as heat, moisture, air, and all the conditions in an incubator are ideal for the chick to develop in the egg in the best, quickest, and healthiest way, we need to build around us a society that will be to us like an ideal greenhouse. In such a society we will be warm, cozy, comfortable, and will never want to leave it. Just as a fetus develops in its mother's womb in the safest way because the womb is perfectly suited for it, we must establish our society so that everyone develops in it in the ideal way, as well.


In an ideal environment, each person builds society for his own sake, as well as for everybody else's sake. When everyone works together this way for everyone else, we build our great global human family, and we all become brothers and sisters. It turns out that our attitude toward Nature, toward that singular law by which we should be as one, is then realized within society. In fact, our attitude toward society and the realization of that regulation within it, is more important than our attitude toward Nature itself. The single most important thing for us is the proper construction of our vital and flourishing human environment.


Therefore, it is not without cause that millions are now losing their jobs and becoming unemployed. We need to set up courses for teachers, educators, and instructors, where in this work, each of us also becomes a teacher to others, an educator, an assistant, and a caretaker. For this reason, everyone must learn about these new integral studies and acquire a new profession called "becoming a human being in the new society."


Each of us must rise to a level where he or she completely understands what is happening in Nature, what is happening within us, and how we should relate to others. Studies show that the minute this mutual influence begins to affect all the members in the group, no one can escape it. It compels a person, wrapping us with positive and favorable nourishment, and whether we want to or not, we change. Just as children change through society by simply watching examples, we, too, are educated and acquire new modes of behavior, attitude, and values simply through examples from our environment, our society.

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Topic

We need to change our environment, so that it will change our general relationship to nature overall, and specifically our relationships between us from concern for self, to concern for the best beneficial good of everyone.

Main Points

  • The environment needs to give to a person an example of a correct relationship between humans, and between man and nature.
  • The most important systems in changing the environment are the communications media and the system of education.
  • Our attitude and relationship with the environment is more important than our relationship to nature.
  • Every person needs to rise to a level of consciousness in which he understands the general processes in nature, and in the person himself.

References

"An organism is more attuned to and consequently smarter about local conditions than any single organ within it and each single organ benefits from the organism's greater knowledge. Pooled intelligence is what allows organic communities to read their circumstances, shape and size themselves and their numbers accordingly, and recognize opportunities, changes and limitations. It is what allows communities and their participants to live well and within Earth's means."

Article - Organic Democracy (Part 2): Adaptive, Responsive, Life-Sustaining Communities

"We concluded from this research that among economics majors in the lab and hunter-gatherers in the forest, contributing to the success of a joint project for the benefit of one's group, even at a personal cost, evokes feelings of satisfaction and pride."

Book - A COOPERATIVE SPECIES: HUMAN RECIPROCITY AND ITS EVOLUTION

"Change is not always positive, but it can be! With dedication and will, society can change for the better for everyone. It depends on the vision and the commitment of the people."

Article - More is "Caught" than Taught - Jane Foraker-Thompson and Moira Edmunds highlight a crucial responsibility of child and youth care workers — and all adults

Engage Yourself

Question 1: The following is a quotation from an essay by Albert Einstein:

"The abstract concept "society" means to the individual human being the sum total of his direct and indirect relations to his contemporaries and to all the people of earlier generations. The individual is able to think, feel, strive, and work by himself; but he depends so much upon society—in his physical, intellectual, and emotional existence—that it is impossible to think of him, or to understand him, outside the framework of society. It is "society" which provides man with food, clothing, a home, the tools of work, language, the forms of thought, and most of the content of thought; his life is made possible through the labor and the accomplishments of the many millions past and present who are all hidden behind the small word "society.""

If the environment plays such an important (in fact decisive) function in shaping the person, how, in your opinion, is it possible to use the power of society to build a correct environment?

Question 2: Read the text of the lesson again in depth, and answer the following question:

a. Suppose that you needed to choose one of the two following actions in order to correct the imbalance between us and nature. Which one of them would you choose, and why?

b. Please explain why:

Question 3: According to the text of the lesson, why is our relationship to the human environment more important than the correction of our relationship to nature?

Question 4: In organizing a new environment, it is especially important to pay attention to: