Session 5 - Man Must Invert His Will into Working for the Benefit of Others

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Now we arrive at the question, "What should change within us to be more in congruence with Nature?" When we are in balance with Nature, we are in a beautiful, good, and comfortable situation, feeling no pressure from Nature. But when Nature presses us, it is expressed in different problems—severe weather, earthquakes, diseases, wars, divorce, and other epidemics. So again, what should we change within us to achieve balance?


The search for the answer to that question leads us into the study of human nature. Human nature is a desire to live, to feel good, and to enjoy. Meaning, I constantly want to satisfy something within me which is called "desire." When I want to rest, I want to satisfy a desire for rest. When I want to eat, I want to satisfy a desire for food, and so on.


All human desires divide into several basic types: food, sex, family, money, respect, power, and knowledge. All the other desires are actually "sub-desires" within those basic types.


If I understand that I have no alternative and that it's in my interest and in the interest of all of humanity to bond with others through these desires, so we are all in congruence with the force of Nature, that singular law, then of course I have to correct every desire in me so that it acts in connection with and for the benefit of others. All these desires together are generally called "the desire to enjoy," a desire to be satisfied, to be fulfilled.


I must therefore aim these desires so they are for everyone's benefit. If I try to satisfy only my own desire, then it is considered an egoistic desire. If I aim each of my desires so they benefit all of us together, meaning when I receive for everyone's benefit because there is no other choice sincewe are all like a single family, then I must take everyone into account and think of all as one, like that singular law that is compelling me. Therefore, I must aim each desire within me toward everyone's benefit. The question is, "How should that be done?"

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Topic

We need to direct our desire to enjoy so that it will work for the good benefit of all.

Main Points

  • Human nature is a desire for pleasure, the desire to enjoy.
  • The desire for pleasure is usually found in a relatively empty state.
  • The desires are divided into several basic types.
  • In order to have pleasure that is balanced with nature, it is up to us to repair our egoistic desire.

References

"We are challenged to rise above the narrow confines of our individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity."

Facing the Challenge of a New Age, December 1956

"If the world's peoples developed a more holistic appreciation of the intricate interconnections binding us to one another and to nature, it is argued, we would internalize social and environmental externalities, consider the welfare of
future generations in making decisions today, and act in consonance with our collective longterm best interests."

Paper - Sustaining Sustainability: Creating a Systems Science in a Fragmented Academy and Polarized World

"Man in his misguidance has powerfully interfered with nature. He has devastated the forests, and thereby even changed the atmospheric conditions and the climate."

quote from Goethe's Faust

"Once they were all in the same tribe, they could keep the benefits of cooperation locked inside. And they unlocked the most powerful force ever known on this planet, which is human cooperation -- a force for construction and destruction."

TED Talk: Jonathan Haidt: Religion, evolution, and the ecstasy of self-transcendence

"Our belief that we are separate from nature couldn't be further from the truth. We are, in fact, an extension of nature and the creative living forces which shape the natural world we live in."

Paper - The Adverse Health Effects of EMFs from Modern Technology

Engage Yourself

Question 1: Two Capuchin monkeys who were put into a cage in the framework of a scientific experiment were placed before an interesting challenge. On one side of the cage was placed a closed box with nuts inside it, and on the other side a sharp stone. The monkeys were separated from each other by a clear divider with a small door in its center. On one side there was a monkey with a stone, and on the other side a monkey with a closed box. In order to eat the nuts, both the box and the stone were necessary. What would the monkeys do? The answer is in this next video clip. [Note: You can stop watching at minute 2:06 where another experiment is described; it is not necessary to watch that also. Link to video here, if needed.]

The following is a quotation from the lesson:

“I must therefore aim these desires so they are for everyone’s benefit. If I try to satisfy only my own desire, then it is considered an egoistic desire. If I aim each of my desires so they benefit all of us together, meaning when I receive for everyone’s benefit because there is no other choice since we are all like a single family, then I must take everyone into account and think of all as one...”

Go back and re-read the transcript text involving human nature from Session 3 here, and relying on that text, answer the following question:

What prevents us, humans, from directing our desire to the good of the other, in contrast to the two monkeys in the experiment?

Question 2: What is the right way to use a desire for pleasure?

Question 3: The inhabitants of Quechua are an ethnic group living in the Andes Mountains in Ecuador. Their unique way of life preserves and guards a human tradition and history from thousands of years. Join us in visiting the village of Alberto Taxo, one of the inhabitants of Quechua, who set for himself the goal of preserving the unique culture of Quechua and publicizing it. [Link to video here, if needed.]

a. Alberto Taxo speaks about living our life in harmony with nature and about another force that prevents us from this. What is that force?

b. How is that force described in the text of this lesson?

c. Does Taxo offer a solution for living life in harmony?

d. Can you offer a solution for living life in harmony?

Question 4: According to the text of the lesson, I understand that I need to repair the desire for pleasure…

Question 5: For the end of the lesson, look at the following clip from a performance by the Israeli band “HaDor HaAharon” (The Last Generation) called "What Everyone Wants" (Ma Kulam Rotzim). The song asks, "What does everyone want?" and answers, "Only to be happy." [Link to song, if needed.]

You are invited to send to us a link to another song, which describes any one of the central concepts in the lesson (copy and paste the link here).