Human society has developed to a point where it is able to observe its integrated nature. The current global financial crisis demonstrates that we are all part of one system from which no country or individual is separated. The crisis is a result of the egoistical and unbalanced relationships of humanity. The only cure to the crisis is to understand the interdependence of the human system and try to bring it into balance with nature. Nature is an integrated system that lives in perfect balance because it acts within the principles of love and bestowal. Humanity will also find balance when it operates within these principles.
Human society has developed from small family units to large nations, and from independent nations to the new global age. In this global age each country is connected and dependent on the others for its livelihood. In the past, a small farmer was able to completely care for his own needs, without a sense of connection to the rest of the world. The present situation is completely opposite to that. Not even the richest and most powerful countries can survive without a connection to the rest of the world, due to the global nature of exporting and importing of goods. The global financial crisis started in the most developed and integrated nation: the United States, then quickly spread to every other nation in the world. No market and no nation is immune because in these times, we reveal the truth of our nature: that we are each interrelated parts of one whole.
The truth of our interconnection is revealed by these global events, but what is also revealed is our discordance with nature. Humanity relates to each other through its ego, but when relationships are egoistic, there is no balance. The human ego only wants to feed and serve itself, to the greatest extent imaginable. When each person relates to every other person with his ego, there is no mutual give and take. There is only “take,” which is impossible to maintain on a long-term basis.
In the current global social system, we are experiencing the final result of a global egoistical relationship. Each nation, each bank, and each individual only looks out for its own needs. The result of this type of relationship is the global crisis that that we are currently witnessing.
If we observe nature without the influence of humanity, we see a perfectly balanced system. Nothing consumes more than it needs and nothing is wasted. In fact, each part of the system naturally provides what the other parts need without any thought or calculation of the possible return. For example, plants consume carbon dioxide to survive and emit oxygen. Animals do the exact opposite. Each gets what it needs, and provides what the other needs. Man, on the other hand, is concerned only with consuming as much as possible and goes through extensive calculations to figure out how to do so to the greatest extent possible. He only gives back to the system when there is a reason to do so – he has to get something out of the deal.
Since we operate only from the ego, we have no concept of true bestowal or giving. The closest we come are acts of charity or self-sacrifice, but even these are egoistic in intent. Giving to charity generally makes one feel better that they are helping someone else, or that they are doing the “right” thing. From a societal perspective, these acts can be beneficial, but they are still egoistic in that the person doing the giving only does so to get something out of it. How many people would donate to an organization they knew nothing about or did not agree with? It makes no sense in our human sensibilities, yet this is what happens all the time in the rest of nature. Acts of self-sacrifice are the same, although even more subtle. In these cases, a determination is made (generally unconscious) that the pain involved in the sacrifice is preferable to the pain that would be felt if by not making the sacrifice. This is not meant to minimize these acts: these calculations are an inherent part of our human nature. But true bestowal operates without any self-consideration. It works toward the greatest good, with each part being cared for in order to develop the whole system.
It is time for humanity to come to balance with nature. In fact, nature will push us that way as inevitably as gravity pulls us to the earth. We can either achieve this balance through our own choice and work, or we can come to balance through crisis and pain. The quicker and more joyful way to balance is for each of us to examine our own ego and observe how much we use everyone around us for our own benefit. Once we can truly see the depth of our ego, we can begin to transform our egoistic nature to match the altruistic nature surrounding us. For humanity, this is reflected in the rule to “love the other as the self.” When we are able to bestow on a large scale, the world will become a balanced and beautiful place, where each part is healthy and happy.