The Needed Shift to Altruistic Social Values
Dr. Michael Laitman, PhD discusses altruism as Nature's law, and introduces the idea that by changing social values to appreciate altruism, we can discover altruism as the source of perfect and unbounded pleasure
It is not by chance that we have been created as social beings. If we look deep into our behavior, we will find that every action we take is intended to bring us society's appreciation. This is what sustains us, and its absence or, worse, the denunciation of society, causes us the greatest suffering.
Being shamed is the most terrible thing a person can experience. This is why we tend to abide by the values that society places before us. Thus, if we succeed in changing the values of the environment we live in, bringing altruistic values such as caring for others, sharing, and bonding to the top of the ladder, we can then change our attitudes toward others.
When society values a person solely by his or her devotion to society, we will all necessarily strive to think and to act in favor of society. If we eliminate the awards we give for individual excellence, and appreciate people only for their concern for society, if children judge their parents by these standards, if friends, relatives, and colleagues examine us only according to how well we relate to others, we will all want to do good to others so we can win society's appreciation.
Thus, we will gradually come to feel that expressing altruism, or unselfishness, toward others is a special and sublime value in and of itself, regardless of the social recognition it grants. In doing so, we will find that this attitude is actually a source of perfect and unbounded pleasure. Moreover, we will find that this attitude-altruism-is the comprehensive law of Nature, the same attitude that controls and sustains us.
Even though today's society is egoistic, it is quite prepared to advance toward following Nature's law of altruism. Education and culture have always been established on altruistic principles. In our homes and at school, we teach our children to be compassionate, kind, friendly. We want our children to be nice to others, and we feel that such an attitude toward others is the proper way, and that it protects those who follow it. Hardly anyone would declare opposition to these values.
Additionally, thanks to the progress in communication, today we can transmit new messages and values to society very quickly throughout the world. This is a crucial factor in increasing the awareness of humankind's escalating crisis and the need for a comprehensive resolution.
Although our current problems may be prompting us to change, there is more to it than that. When we build a correct attitude toward society, we are gradually admitted into a whole new level of existence, superior to anything we've known before. It is a higher form of existence, supernal, a sensation of Nature's wholeness and perfection.
The ancient wisdom of Kabbalah is being disclosed in our era as the method that teaches us how we can resolve all personal, social and global conflict, and pave a way to prosperity and success.
With it, we will be able to take our first real steps toward realizing Nature's law. Only then can we feel we are all part of Nature's single, comprehensive system, and taste the perfection and harmony within it. (First published on Kabbalah Blog.)