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Michael Laitman, PhD

III. Achieving Equilibrium. Chapter 16: … and Staying Cool

“Till now man has been up against Nature; from now on he will be up against his own nature.”

--Dennis Gabor, Inventing the Future, 1964


On the surface, ecology should be the easiest topic to address in this book. Make all cars electric, all power plants solar or wind powered, and make all plastic recyclable. Then, voila, the world is a green, beautiful, and cool place once again. But if it’s that easy, why haven’t we succeeded so far?

There are many answers to that question. The most obvious is that we have been so busy making money from fossil fuels and cheap plastics, we have put everything else aside, including the planet—our home and that of our children. Another plausible answer is that solar energy is simply inefficient and costly, and using it would raise the price of electricity so high, it would be too expensive for people to use.

Yet, all these problems focus on the technicalities and leave aside the real issue—our indifference to the future of our earthly home and our intolerance of the needs of others. In short, as Dr. Gabor so plainly said, the real problem is human nature.

Today, our inaction about the state of our planet is almost criminal: we are subjecting parts of the world to floods that ruin the crops they live on, and we are afflicting other parts of the world with such severe droughts that people are simply dying of thirst. So why are we so heartless toward nature and towards ourselves?

The answer is that we have forgotten our primordial root—the balance of forces between the desire to give and the desire to receive. We see this balance in all of nature’s levels: the inanimate, vegetative, and animal. We humans consider ourselves above nature, perhaps not in theory but certainly in practice. But the truth is that we are not above it at all. We are very much a part of it.

We are the speaking level, the most highly developed level of nature. As such, we are also the most influential part of it: our actions affect all other levels of nature. But more important, our internal condition affects the rest of nature just as powerfully as our actions affect it, if not more. And when our internal condition is one of imbalance, egotism, and unawareness of the giving force in nature, the whole of nature falls into egotism and unawareness of the giving force, and everyone suffers—plants, animals, and people.

For this reason, even if we all drive electric vehicles and use only energy from renewable sources, the world will not become more welcoming. What will make the difference is if we recognize the desire to give, and learn how to incorporate it into our lives.

Consider this: when we suffer from such a mild annoyance as a common cold, it affects our whole body. We cannot breathe easily, we lose our appetites, our temperatures rise, we become weak, and our concentration drops. Similarly, the world is like a small village, and everything we do affects everyone and everything else. Hence, we must learn about nature’s balance at the most fundamental level—the level of desires—and implement it in our lives.

This does not mean that if I help an old lady cross the street, a hurricane will stop blowing in the Atlantic. It means that if we all think of everyone else’s good at least as much as we think of our own, because we want to get to know the giving force, then all of us together will make suffering a thing of the past.

It may sound fantastic, but if you remember that the only inharmonious and disruptive element in nature is us, it makes perfect sense that when we are united in harmony and in equilibrium, the hell that our planet is becoming will reverse itself.

And the most beautiful part about it is that we will not have to do a thing to make this happen. It will happen by itself, because our newly balanced senses will guide us correctly as to how to manage ourselves and create a heaven on earth.

This is as true for ecology as it is for economy, education, health, and every other aspect of our lives.

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