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Michael Laitman, PhD

III. Achieving Equilibrium. Chapter 14: Yes, We Can (and Must)

“Mankind will never see an end of trouble until... lovers of wisdom come to hold political power, or the holders of power... become lovers of wisdom.”

--Plato, The Republic


The change proposed in this book is not a superficial one, but a fundamental change that goes beyond how we build our economic system, our education system, or even our political system. It is a change in our understanding of life, and as a result, of the society we live in. For the change to last, we need to realize that at our stage in human development, we as individuals cannot prosper unless the whole world prospers, too.

In the past, it was enough to be good to our families. By doing so, we balanced ourselves with the giving force of nature on the only level we were conscious of—our families.

Afterwards, as our communities grew, we needed to become aware of larger groups, and we learned that it is not enough to be good to one’s family, but also to offer care and kindness to one’s townspeople. This put us in balance with the giving force at the community level.

Then, we grew even more and needed to balance ourselves with nature’s giving force on the national level, beyond that of our towns or families.

Today, we need to do the same towards the whole world. Our awareness, whether or not we are conscious of it, now encompasses all of humanity. Hence, to balance ourselves with the giving force in nature, we must be positive and contribute to everyone, everywhere.

The consequence of not doing so is the crisis we see unfolding before our eyes. It is not a punishment from some higher force, but a natural result of not obeying a natural law, similar to the pain we feel when we disobey the law of gravity and jump off a roof without proper preparation or equipment. For us humans, our best defense is awareness.

And because awareness of nature’s desire to give is our first and most important tool, the first thing we must do is to teach politicians about its role and importance. We must show them that we haven’t been aware of it thus far, and that its absence from our thoughts is the cause of today’s crisis. In this way, politicians, who are highly sensitive to what works and what doesn’t, will know how and why they need to change their policies to suit today’s requirements.

Since politicians and statespersons live every day in the self-centered system of politics, they will quickly become aware of the discrepancies between the flawed existing system and the perfect, balanced one. In fact, this process began spontaneously the minute the financial crisis erupted.

Barack Obama’s speech on January 20, 2009 at the EbenezerBaptistChurch in Atlanta, Georgia, is a beautiful example of such awareness: “Unity is the great need of the hour—the great need of this hour. Not because it sounds pleasant or because it makes us feel good, but because it's the only way we can overcome the essential deficit that exists in this country. I'm not talking about a budget deficit. I'm not talking about a trade deficit. I'm not talking about a deficit of good ideas or new plans. I'm talking about a moral deficit. I'm talking about an empathy deficit. I'm taking about an inability to recognize ourselves in one another; to understand that we are our brother's keeper; we are our sister's keeper; that… we are all tied together in a single garment of destiny.”

In light of that reckoning, all we need to do is add the adhesive, the substance that will make that garment strong, yet soft and smooth. And that substance is the awareness that in uniting, we are aligning with the giving force in nature.

Achieving unity among politicians does not mean an end to debates and conflicts, but with both desires of nature in mind, conflicts can become fertile ground for change. As public opinion changes via the media, as described in Chapter 10, politicians will not worry about losing votes because they’ve lost political arguments. On the contrary, if a politician is able to change his or her view after realizing that it is in the public’s interest to take another direction, constituents will consider this flexibility an act of strength.

Moreover, in doing so, that politician becomes even more responsible for the success of the new direction, having seriously debated its pros and cons before deciding in its favor. The politician can then tell voters, “Look, I have weighed the options and have concluded that my opponent’s idea will be of greater benefit to the public than mine. Therefore, I think you should support it.”

This is a big responsibility, bigger even than that of the “winner” of the debate. By taking this approach, not only is unity enhanced, but ideas are thought through much more thoroughly.

International politics will have to change in the same way, too. In the global age, caring for the world is far more important than caring only for one’s country. Naturally, this trend must be shared by all the nations if it is to succeed. It requires that everyone knows about the two desires that sustain the foundations of our world. Without this knowledge, isolation and protectionism will prevail and wars will erupt. With it, we will finally have a genuine opportunity to achieve world peace.

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