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Michael Laitman, PhD

III. Achieving Equilibrium. Chapter 17: Epilogue

I titled this book, Bail Yourself Out: How You Can Emerge Strong from the World Crisis, because today we cannot rely on others to do it for us. And the irony about the title, as you might have sensed, is that although the only way out of the crisis is to work together, the decision to act this way lies with each and every person.

As we have been saying throughout the book, the universe is built on the balance between two forces—the desire to give and the desire to receive. And because these forces lay beneath all that exists, every element in the universe must maintain that balance within it. Objects and creatures that do not maintain it within them cannot survive.

In the animal kingdom, animals eat only what they need and leave the rest untouched. In this way, they naturally maintain nature’s balance by grazing where there is plenty of grass and leaving depleted areas, or by preying only on weak or sick animals. This is how nature preserves and promotes the wellness of the stronger and healthier plants and animals.

But man is a different story. Through our connections with each other, we desire to receive not only from nature, like animals, but also from other people. And when we begin to exploit others, we are no longer aligned with nature’s two forces because we are over-using the desire to receive and under-using the desire to give.

In this way, we undermine the balance of the two forces that form life, and thus disrupt the whole of nature. The multiple crises we are faced with today are in fact manifestations of this very disorder: the imbalance we inflict on nature. If we learn to balance these desires within us—take what we need and give the rest to nature and to humanity—we will immediately restore the balance, and all systems will stabilize, like a sick person who has suddenly been cured.

As we said in Chapter 10, at all levels of creation, from the atomic to the most complex human relations, existence is possible only through collaboration and self-fulfillment. Thus, for the survival of humanity, all of us must realize our personal potential through our contribution to the societies we live in. And today, that society is the entire world.

Toward the second decade of the 21st century, it is becoming increasingly clear that the days of personal, self-centered success are drawing to a close. Since the 19th century, the predominant school of economics has been the “economic human” (Homo Economicus), which builds its guidelines on the concept that we humans are “self-interested actors.”

In order to reverse this negative trend and to quickly heal the world, we need to make a small but paramount amendment: “economic humanity.” The new guidelines should rely on humans being collective-interested actors.

The minute we change our attitude toward benefitting one another, we will correct what has been wrong since the time of Babel, and the effect will be immediate. Today, every scientist, politician, economist, and businessperson knows that we are all interdependent. This is why every world leader, from Obama to Brown to Putin, is preaching unity these days. But it takes everyone to succeed—each and every person in the world. We are all under nature’s law of balance; hence, it is truly everyone’s responsibility.

In conclusion, I’d like to hitch this wagon to a star and suggest that to bail ourselves out, each of us need not ask what the world can do for me, but what I can do for the world.

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