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Chapter 8. Everything is Ready (for Life’s purpose). Egoists and Altruists

Some individuals possess a natural inclination to help others. This is an additional preparation that exists in humanity for the correction process. Usually, the ability to empathize with others enables us to derive greater pleasure from contact with others.

However, some people experience others differently. They actually feel others’ pain as though it were their own. Therefore, they are compelled to try and help others—at the same time relieving their own pain. These people are “egoistic altruists.” For short, we will call them, “altruists,” although they are, in fact, as much ego-centered as their fellow egoists who do not feel others’ pain.

Egoists do not suffer from others’ pain; hence, they may exploit them as they wish. Altruists, however, do suffer from others’ pain; hence, they are cautious even of saying hurtful words. Both kinds receive these tendencies from Nature. Therefore, these differences do not reflect “good” people or “bad” people, but are simply evidence of one’s obedience to Nature’s commands.

It is possible to change a certain gene sequence to affect a person’s ability to be good to others, Prof. Abstain discovered in his research of behavioral genetics. The researchers assume that there is a reward for altruistic behavior in the form of a chemical called “dopamine,” released in the benefactor’s brain and prompting a pleasant feeling [18].

Approximately 10% of the world’s population are this kind of “egoistic altruists.” This is what Baal HaSulam explains in the writings of The Last Generation, which cover his social doctrine and depict the shape of the corrected future society. Thus, humanity has always been divided into 90% egoists and 10% altruists.

Altruists care about the wellbeing of society, mutual aid in various fields, the wellbeing of the weak, and so on. In fact, altruists handle cases and situations that society does not, either for lack of attention or for lack of empathy with others’ difficulties.

Altruistic organizations spend fortunes and make tremendous efforts in many ways; alas, for the most part, their help to the needy does not bring substantial changes to their situations.

Africa is an example of this state of affairs. In the past, before the West interfered with their lives, Africans provided for themselves. Today, however, despite the food and the water they receive, they are starving. The vast amount of money collected on their behalf does not change their situation; they are in constant struggle and are rapidly declining.

There is almost nothing that altruistic organizations have not tried to improve the state of the world. Still, the world’s state is worsening. While it is possible to continue as we have been, it would be wise to take a brief pause and ask ourselves why we are not succeeding in improving the state of humanity.

The answer boils down to this: All the world’s problems, personal and social alike, stem from man’s imbalance with Nature. Accordingly, helping others on the material level may have short-term benefits, but in the long run these will fall away, as material aid does not promote mankind to balance, and thus does not resolve the problem at its root.

Of course, people should be fed when they are starving. But at the same time, after we have helped them get back on their feet and provided for their necessities, we must turn our attention to increasing their awareness of the true goal in life.

If we want to induce a positive change in the world and in ourselves, we must reexamine our definition of an “altruistic act,” and make it more precise. Deeds should be measured by their overall contribution to humanity’s genuine, fundamental change, and to uprooting human suffering at its source.

The situation can be compared to a person with a serious illness who takes tranquilizers instead of dealing with the illness itself. In the meantime, the disease worsens, and in the end, prevails. Actions that do not deal with the source of all our problems will not suffice, and will only postpone the outbreak of the illness in a much more severe form.

Acts are considered altruistic only if they intend to balance man with Nature’s common law of altruism, if they elevate our awareness to the fact that we are all part of a single system, a single body that contains all people wherever they are, regardless of race or nationality. It is not about instinctive acts of charity to help people suffering from this or that distress. Rather, it is about actions carried out with the awareness of our urgent need to bring all of humanity, both weak and strong, into balance with Nature.

Hence, altruistic goodwill and energy should be channeled primarily toward raising humanity’s awareness of why we have these problems, and how to resolve them. In this manner, the assistance given to us by Nature in the form of the ten percent of altruists in society will be wisely utilized, and their great potential realized.

The division into ninety egoistic percent and ten altruistic percent exists not only in humanity as a whole. It is also found within each person. One of reality’s primary laws is, “General and particular are equal.” It means that whatever exists in the whole also exists in each of its components.

The universe is holographic, as Michael Talbot demonstrates in his book, The Holographic Universe, a collection of scientific discoveries in that field. Baal HaSulam describes the same law in his own words in the article, “The Secret of Conception and Birth”:

“General and particular are reciprocally equal as two drops of water, both in the externality of the world, that is, the general state of the planet, and in its internality. This is because we find a complete system of sun and planets dashing around it in even the smallest water-atom, just as in the big world.”

This law shows that every person, whether egoistic or altruistic, consists of ten percent altruistic forces and ninety percent egoistic forces, as is the division in the whole of humanity. The difference between people is in the internal, individual state of these forces.

In an altruist, the (egoistic) giving force is active, and inactive in the egoist. But within each person exists an element of giving. Thus, there is not a single human being who lacks ability to reach equilibrium with Nature’s altruistic force. After all, this is why these forces were planted in us to begin with.

[18]Dopaminergic polymorphisms associated with selfreport measures of human altruism: a fresh phenotype for the dopamine D4 receptor, Molecular Psychiatry, April 2005; 10(4):333335.

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