At present, the desire for independence is developing alongside our increasing egoism. That is why we are witnessing similar phenomena in other areas of life, such as couples that get married yet live separately because they want to “maintain their independence” or children who live in their parents’ home but lock themselves in their rooms most of the time. We want to feel connected to the world but also retain our independence – which makes our mobile phones the perfect way to communicate.
What does this have to do with the Catalonians’ desire for independence? Kabbalist Baal HaSulam writes in his article “Peace in the World” that “everything in reality, good and bad, and even the most harmful in the world, has a right to exist and should not be eradicated from the world and destroyed, we must only mend and reform it to the correct use.”
So what is the relationship between independence and unity? They are two opposites that complement each other. When every nation becomes independent and capable of expressing its own uniqueness, it will also be possible to crystalize all of them into a balanced whole that coincides with the laws of nature.
Undoubtedly, any nation that aspires for independence – be it Catalonia from Spain, Kurdistan from Iraq, or Belfast from Ireland – should examine the following: Where is the thin line between the independence of a nation and its unity with others? This is the all-important question that should occupy people’s minds in this day and age.
Baal HaSulam wrote: “We have already come to such a degree that the whole world is considered one collective and one society. Meaning, because each person in the world draws his life’s marrow and his livelihood from all the people in the world, he is coerced to serve and care for the well-being of the whole world… therefore the well-being of the collective and his own well-being are one and the same, and vice-versa.”
We all have much to gain from directing public discourse towards clarifying the relationship between independence and unity. This way, autonomy could be granted to those who demand it, but only through dialogue rather than violence, using civilized debates rather than weapons. We should use all means of communications–articles, tweets, posts, or any other form–to encourage the two camps to discuss the significant questions facing humanity:
- How can we maintain the independence of every individual in society despite their differences?
- How can different nations advance towards a mutually rewarding relationship?
- What do we have in common and where do we differ from each other?
- How can we maintain equilibrium between the two?
If we discover the role and function of each cell within the body of humanity, we will quickly recognize the natural requirement for unity in order for the body to come to life. Then, we will stride forward, arm in arm, with our natural unity on the one hand, and with our unique qualities on the other.