Session 4 - Nature Is Leading Us to Interdependence

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Scientists write that the trending direction of evolution is to bring us into one form: making us so connected that we will feel that each person is actually dependent upon the whole of humanity, and that the whole of humanity is dependent upon each person. It may seem like a far off concept, but it's already clear that this is the direction of our development.

 


Yet, for now this law contradicts our nature; we aren't built to accept it because each one thinks only of oneself, misunderstanding that we are all interdependent. If I understood it and felt it, if I really saw that I was dependent on, and connected to everyone, I would first want to make sure they were happy, and that they would relate to me favorably. How do we arrive at such a relationship with everyone?

 


The reason for our current condition is that we don't see how "round" and interconnected the world is. This is why we are in such a crisis, which forcefully detaches us from the life we've grown accustomed to over the last several decades. We've grown accustomed to working long hours, making money, making waste, producing products that are needed or that are not needed, but most importantly—producing and selling like hamsters on a treadmill. We all accumulate redundant stuff, building ourselves some safety net in the bank—pension, healthcare—we want to have a big and secure house, meaning we want to be sure that at the end of our lives, we and our children will not be lacking anything.

 


It's clear where we want to go, but it seems that the direction we've been traveling has been wrong. Nature is shattering our plans. Even the wealthy among us can't make that dream come true, much less the others—the middle class and below—which are the majority of humanity. In fact, Nature is leading us in the opposite direction—to finding the safety, prosperity, and development in good connections between us.

 


Through this channel of good relationships between us we will receive everything we want, and not by each of us trying to hold on to his or her seemingly private life. We can clearly see the change through the general crisis that's appearing now, which actually breaks all the previous rules. It is a new world. For the first time, instead of many different, seemingly dispersed and disconnected laws of Nature, we are beginning to sense that a new law is operating on us. Suddenly we are all under its umbrella, and all of us are being drawn to one direction.

 


There has never been a state in humanity when so many different countries were in a similar situation. Everywhere—North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, or Siberia, and even in Australia and New Zealand—everyone is in the same process of deterioration, a general decline. Regardless of the society, civilization, religion, or environment that we are in, a great cloud has suddenly descended upon us, which seems to be enveloping all of us together.

 


As scientists are discovering, and as we feel through the crisis and the interconnected relationships between us, we are all dependent on one another. The butterfly effect is acting in such a way that through six people, every person knows every other person in the world. Today there are even studies that prove that our thoughts affect the climate, that earthquakes and tsunamis depend on all kinds of mutual relationship and on people's ways of life. It turns out that we are facing one law that unites us by force.

 


Thus, if we want to have a better life we should contemplate how to move toward that law rather than away from it. We must want to unite, and to advance in a good, wholesome, comfortable direction, to move in harmony with the laws of nature and not against them. Otherwise, there is no doubt that Nature will break us and win.

 


The laws of nature are unchanging. These aren't political laws that we can bend one way or another because we feel like it for all kinds of reasons. The law of nature is above us. Just as we can only study the laws of physics, chemistry, and biology in order to know how to use them properly, the law of nature is absolute. It thus follows that we have to study that singular law, the Comprehensive Law of Unity and Mutual Reciprocity, and join it to the best of our ability. This Comprehensive Law of Unity and Mutual Reciprocity is the general law of the whole of Nature.
 

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Topic

The force that develops us connects all of humanity together, to a level in which each person in the world depends on every other person.

Main Points

  • Our egotistical nature prevents us from seeing this governing law of nature.
  • If we feel and recognize that this is an immutable law of nature, we will want to relate well with one another.
  • Nature shows us that consumption and increased production do not bring happiness, rather it is the connection between us that causes us to flourish.
  • For the first time all of humanity together is discovering, at the same time, the law of nature that acts on all of humanity together, as one.  If we truly want a good life, it is up to us to act in accord with the one integral law of nature and not against it.

References

"Lester W. Milbrath (1989) notes in his book, Envisioning a Sustainable Society: Learning Our Way Out, that:

As a society, we have to learn better how to learn – I call it social learning; it is the dynamism for change that could lead us to a new kind of society that will not destroy itself from its own excesses… for we must share a vision for a new society before we can realize it."

Paper: Evolutionary Ethics: Vision and Values for a World of Insurmountable Opportunities

"The resources needed to sustain mankind's tenancy on Earth are present and available. How they will be used will determine the future insofar as that future may be shaped by human minds and hands."

Article, Part 6: "Is Humanity Destined to Self-Destruct?"

Stages of evolution in the development of humanity, join together to unite as a higher level of existence.

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

"Evolution is constructive because of cooperation. New levels of organization evolve when the competing units on the lower level begin to cooperate. Cooperation allows specialization and thereby promotes biological diversity. Cooperation is the secret behind the open-endedness of the evolutionary process. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of evolution is its ability to generate cooperation in a competitive world. Thus, we might add "natural cooperation" as a third fundamental principle of evolution beside mutation and natural selection."

Article: Five Rules for the Evolution of Cooperation

Engage Yourself

“The world is becoming more and more interconnected. Never before in human history has there existed such an intense relationship between international trade, communication, and politics.” …

“Even though the term Globalization is frequently used, it is not easy to define. One thing is clear, in today's world, economic, environmental, social, and political issues and problems are no longer limited to the national level. This is because the world has become so interdependent. Reasonable governance can only be realized through broader groups of stakeholders—for example, state confederations, such as the European Union, regional economic organizations, like the OECD, or the whole world.”

a. The quotations mentioned above are taken from a short explanatory film about globalization that was produced by e-politik, an independent non-profit organization in Germany that sets for itself a goal of supplying the wider public with needed information and a correct perspective on human society. Please watch the following clip on Globalization [link to video here, if needed], and note below 3 main points from the clip that made the most impression on you.

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Include your 3 main points here:

b. Following is a quotation from the text of this lesson:

“The reason for our current condition is that we don’t see how “round” and interconnected the world is. This is why we are in such a crisis, which forcefully detaches us from the life we’ve grown accustomed to over the last several decades.”

According to the quotation from the lesson, the reason for all of our problems is that we are not aware that the world is interconnected, and according to the clip, the continuously growing connection is rather an obvious and apparent fact.

If you were a representative of integral education and were asked to explain the difference between the two perceptions mentioned above, which of the following claims would you choose?

If you selected "Other" above, please specify:

Question 2: Where in the world is it possible to see the action of the global law of nature?

Question 3: According to the theory of “six degrees of separation,” between any two people in the world there is a separation of no more than 6 people. In other words, between you and the most distant person from you in the world – a farmer from Kamchatka for example – you are separated by no more than six people, which is to say that you know someone, who knows someone, who knows someone (to a maximum of 6 people), who knows the farmer from Kamchatka.

“Six degrees of separation” was considered not too long ago to be an “urban legend”—a theory not based upon fact and seemingly incorrect. Later, scientists began from a limited scientific network to investigate the theory and reached several fascinating discoveries on the subject. These discoveries were presented in the fascinating BBC film “Six Degrees of Separation”. If you haven't already viewed this important and fascinating film, please view it now. [Note: it is 47 minutes in length. Link to film here, if needed]

And meanwhile on the Internet, the network connections continue to tighten. The BBC presented new research according to which the measure of separation in the social networks is only 3.74 degrees, or as the writers of the research defined this: "A friend of your friend, is familiar with a friend of every other user in the social networks." Indeed, the world is small.

What do you feel in relation to the fact that the distance between humans in the world continues to become shorter?

Question 4: Watch the following clip: “Modern Laws of Global Life” and summarize the main points in your own words. [Link to clip here, if needed]

Please include your summary here:

Question 5: Why is it not worthwhile to behave in manners that are against the laws of nature?