Integral Upbringing, Talk 1

Integral Upbringing

A Series of Talks between Dr. Michael Laitman and Psychologist Anatoly Ulianov
Talk No. 1

December 11, 2011

Everyone Needs Integral Upbringing

The world situation is changing rapidly, and there is a need to create an integral method of educating adults. I receive lots of various messages from developed countries: Unemployment is on the rise.

People are at a loss despite the fact that they are receiving unemployment benefits. Currently, they are still available, but what will happen next is unknown. After all, we are talking about hundreds of millions of people who will lose work because the crisis will destroy all the industries that are not vitally important. What will the people who produce what no one needs do?

We see how protest movements are growing due to the Internet, mutual communication, and our mutual influence on each other. All humanity, from ordinary citizens to governments, is interested in taking this process under control and preventing its spontaneous development because modern weapons plus an unpredictable course of events can lead to disastrous results.

In order to prevent all kinds of disasters, civil or even world wars, we need to think in advance about global, integral upbringing of the majority of the population.

The Key To Healthy People, Family, And Society

Question: Suppose we organize a course on integral education for adults. What results can they get upon completing the course?

Answer: We should understand that from now on, nature offers us only two paths of development leading to one goal. The ultimate goal of nature is complete unity of all its parts, including humanity as a part of general nature.

We can reach this state of harmony, equilibrium, and homeostasis in two ways. One of them is the path of suffering, the realization of this necessity in spite of our desires and inner impulses. This path is very difficult, complex, and forced.

In principle, nature developed us in this way all the time. This is the process of evolution, when we are pushed from behind and thus look for comfort. It turns out that we seek a better life by being pushed from behind, make plenty of mistakes, but eventually develop. This is how man, small societies, as well as humanity as a whole developed in the past.

But there is a possibility of development with dignity, when a person is aware beforehand that all nature is moving towards integrality. Now, the first signs of this future integrality become apparent, obliging us to exist in it as part of society, nature, and the universe.

Nature strives for balance because it is the key to its health, safety, and sustainability both in every part of it (for example, in our body) and the whole system.

Let us take this future state as a common goal of all humanity and begin to approach it, at least in different regions of the world, through various international organizations, beliefs, and, most importantly, through education. Education shouldn’t be obtrusive; we should simply tell people about the laws of nature, the laws of the development of human society: behavior, education, family relationships, and child upbringing. We teach people how to live on a fairly modest salary, allowance, or scholarship.

But all this must be taught to people. They do not know how to raise children and how to get along with each other. We see that humanity teaches something completely different: It does not teach or educate its offspring, the future generation, so that it lives well.

We do not think about how to make people happy. We push them into the abyss of capitalist competition, in which they are willing “to eat each other” gladly. But there are no winners in this contest, and in the end, we condemn them to constant stress and problems. As a result, no one sees happiness.

It is essential that psychologists, sociologists, parents, teachers, and people who already understand the problem or can understand it come to a more or less correct conclusion, and with the help of scientists, the public, and the Internet (today it is a considerable force) will be able to show all humanity that this integral education is the key to the healthy society, man, and family. We simply will not survive without it; we will advance with huge losses. Of course, we will achieve the same goal, but it will be a terrible path.

Don’t Bother Me In My Comfortable Dungeon!

Question: The term “integrity” is more or less clear from the global perspective, but what does it mean “to be integral” for an individual person or a family?

Answer: A classic example of integrity is a connection in the form of cogwheels. We are interconnected like a mechanism that consists of cogwheels that are interlocked with each other. Any movement from one of them forces an analogous movement in all the rest to the same direction.

In addition, this connection is not yet complete today: For the time being, it is like we are in a bonding box, at some distance from each other, and gradually we come into contact with each other. That is, there is some osculatory movement in regard to one another, which is already starting to form serious linkage.

Over the next few years, we will reach such linkage where the cogwheels will spin with each other in an absolutely coordinated fashion. Imagine that you are under a hard pressing on all levels of your life, and your thoughts, desires, actions, and decisions depend completely on the society and the circumstances around you. You will feel like you are in jail, in complete slavery!

This state is unbearable. A person will wish to break free, to simply dash out from there in any direction, and even die rather than feel the constant, horrible pressing on all the levels: mental, spiritual, and emotional.

We need to prepare people to perceive their contact with everyone else as something wonderful and pleasant. In general, this state is completely opposite to our nature, but it is approaching relentlessly, and it scares me to think about how humanity will begin to enter it.

We are slowly coming closer to this state. I see how it provokes various revolutions, governmental changes, collapse of families in one place, collapse of monetary or economic systems in another, and so on. This will increase with every month and every year. If a person does not feel comfortable in this state, he simply will “explode” before the world war. Nothing will matter to him; he will be forced to free himself from these chains! Therefore, we need inner psychological compensation for this unbearable state.

A modern person does not wish to interact with anyone: It is like we locked ourselves in our apartments, with our computers, and that’s it. At work we also are one on one with the computer. After work, we run to the supermarket, buy something pre-made, throw it in the microwave, eat it, then again rush to our computers, and then to sleep. At times we may see our lovers or a few friends, but that’s all.

Human beings have created this life in accordance with our inner demand. However, if one sees that whether he wants it or not, others are bursting into his inner world, into this comfortable dungeon of his from which he cannot run; he will feel that he is being more and more obliged to do something. At that point, we certainly will see big explosions.

I imagine that state and psychologists can understand it also. It is the same as jumping off the hundredth floor of a building that is on fire.  You tell this person, “but you will certainly die!” and he replies  “Yes, but right now the fire seems scarier than a second in thin air, without the flames.” A person doesn’t think about what will happen later. I’m afraid that these states are approaching whether we like it or not.

Disturbing Disturbances

Question: The modern man truly finds shelter within the walls of his apartment. He also tends to search for information that is faceless and unobtrusive and watches some kind of funny sitcoms on TV. And it’s unclear how this global interconnection will affect a person. If I’ve locked myself up inside my apartment, how will all these concerns you are talking about reach me?

Answer: They will reach you through unpleasant states. If everything continued as before, nothing bad would happen because of it. You lock yourself up in some kind of cocoon and you exist inside it—this is a comfortable state for you. You don’t want to change it, you don’t want to marry, have children; you don’t want to have close relationships with your friends because this is usually considered an obligation. Your parents have become a complete nuisance: You have to call them and, what’s even worse, visit them and so on.

If everything continued like this, this would be the best thing in the world—I was born, detached from my parents, made myself a cell inside this hive and that’s it, I exist in it. But the thing is that the goal of nature is to bring us to a balance with itself, that is, to make us integral, absolutely interconnected, like elements of one analog system.

All parts of this system depend on each other, and if there is a surge, a disturbance in a certain part of the system, it is passed on to the whole system, the whole system also comes to a disturbed state, and then gradually balances itself according to its laws and comes back to a standstill. We proceed….

And in any of these states of balance or imbalance, all the elements affect each other. It is an absolute interconnection! And this is the interconnection that the person feels, especially in a non-static state.

In a static state everything calms down. And when all the bonds are equal, I find myself in the center of them, like a spider in the middle of the web, and I feel balanced. I have to coexist within these boundaries, but because they are balanced around me and I am in the middle, I don’t feel their pressure. This is how everyone feels.

But the system is alive and natural. Nature always directs us to a certain state, set out as the goal of its existence. That’s why we will feel constant disturbances, slants, lack of balance, disruptions in homeostasis. And that’s why we will feel unwell.

When Freedom Is Worse Than Slavery

Question: I have a few acquaintances who live exactly as you described. These are middle-aged people who have created this cocoon for themselves. Are you trying to say that they will not be able to calmly live in their homes due to inner worries and concerns?

Answer: It’s not only an inner worry, but an external one as well. We are coming to a point when the world is freeing itself from excess production, and more than half of the working people today are simply no longer needed as workers. They will find themselves in a state of complete emptiness because they are used to being slaves.

Practically the entire population of our planet lives this way. At six in the morning a person leaves his house, takes his child with him if he has one, drops him off at the kindergarten on the way, heads to work, returns from work, picks up his child, and also swings by the supermarket. In the evening spouses have half an hour to bathe their child, tuck him into bed, eat some kind of pre-cooked meal, and that’s it—the day ends here, and tomorrow it’s the same story all over again.

We are moving towards a state where a lot of people are beginning to have more free time, and the sensation of being lost is growing because they no longer find themselves within a familiar framework, but as if outside any framework altogether. That is a lot worse! This internal sense of freedom is worse than slavery!

And if a person isn’t given an opportunity to obtain gratification from some other source, isn’t given a sensation of boundaries, a framework like at a job, a sensation of some kind of responsibility and servitude that he is used to, then we are going to have enormous problems.

We must understand that in the future it will only take a person two or three hours a day for all his necessities: working, attending to oneself and others, and so on. All the remaining time, at least 20 hours a day, he will be left to his own devices.

To avoid bringing this system out of its equilibrium, sociologists, psychologists, political scientists, all of us need to carefully think through the framework that humanity must acquire in order to feel needed, happy, and completely fulfilled with the inner feelings that gives one a sense of life, and even beyond that.

It isn’t easy when there are no responsibilities, no pressure from above, no need to work hard in order to earn more, to show-off in front of the neighbors, and so on. We are coming to a completely different relationship towards ourselves, society, and life, which comes down to a new upbringing, a new perception of life. This isn’t a simple system at all. But it has to stem from that final outcome that we wish to achieve, and first and foremost from the terms created by nature.

Nature will force us to give up excessive production. Middle class will be essentially eliminated. Those remaining will be the elites who make all the decisions, with a very small number of officials, a huge mass of the unemployed, and with 10% of the world’s working population engaged in production and servicing of everyone else. These 10% will actually be necessary, but there will simply be no need for all the rest.

In reality humanity is created in such a way that 90% of its population must be engaged in activities of a completely different nature: in self-improvement, in creating a correct connection between themselves. They are the ones who will create that integral, global, self-contained, and balanced environment that will bring the entire society into equilibrium with nature. Only then will we have a right to exist.

If we leave, let’s say, only those 10% who work in production, the purpose of creation will not be achieved. The purpose of creation is to bring all parts, all levels of nature: the still, vegetative, animate, and human, to the attainment of complete harmony among them. Only then will this system achieve a final state of equilibrium.

The Universal Law Of Harmony

Question: What do you mean when you are talking about harmony?

Answer: Harmony is easy. It comes from the fact that there are two forces in nature: the force of bestowal (the positive force) and the force of receiving (the negative one), which at different levels (biological, physical, moral, and so on) manifest themselves as balanced systems. If these forces are balanced in the human body, the body is absolutely healthy. If they are balanced in nature, this means it’s in a state of absolute rest. A lack of balance leads to all sorts of movements.

Naturally, imbalance is necessary because it produces life. It’s the constant interaction between two forces within certain limits, the variation of their relation to each other that create life. For example, the expansion and contraction of the chest, heart, and other organs are built on mutual movement of the opposing forces that support and complement each other. Life is what occurs between them, owing to their proper and harmonious interaction.

In our development, we will reach a point when the entire human community will achieve precisely this mode of operation whereby all its parts mutually oscillate. But these oscillations, like breathing, will be interdependent with each other, when the force of bestowal is equal to the force of reception. They will alternately interact with each other: However much we give to nature, so should we receive; however much we receive, so we’ll have to give.

Then, we will live in harmony, homeostasis, meaning a state of mutual support. Nature that brings us to a state of equilibrium between its two main forces, the force of giving and the force of receiving, intends that we come to this. It’s nature’s general trend.

We can do nothing with this general universal law. We can only understand where we go and how to fit voluntarily, knowingly into this external, absolutely binding law. Thus, we’ll feel comfortable not only in the final state to which we will come, but at all stages of development.

A Course On Harmonious Education

Question: Today we already have a request from state and public organizations for a course of integral upbringing for adults. How do you envision the structure of this course? What should we educate people about so that they would learn how to live harmoniously, in concord with each other?

Answer: I think that it shouldn’t be just one course, but a collection of various disciplines. People should acquire primary knowledge, discuss it in a group, whether in a classroom or virtually, but with an instructor, that is, a specialist who can explain the material in an understandable way.

First and foremost, one should study human psychology on a basic, fundamental level, where each of us could understand: Who am I; what am I; how do I think, act, and interact with others. It is necessary to explain the psychology of interactions between spouses, between parents and children, the correct way to relate to children, children’s upbringing, and home economics on the basis of the requirements put forth by nature: How much we consume, how much we give back. In other words, we must put ourselves in a framework that will allow us to exist in a state of balance.

Naturally, each of us needs a place to live, a family, security, healthcare, food, and so on. All these are basic needs of every human being, and one should feel sure that they will be met, provided that he satisfies all the requirements of society.

All the other requirements depend on the person’s position: He either works in production or is engaged in social work, studies or, perhaps teaches others. People will practically work about two or three hours a day. Some may work more, some less, but that won’t determine how much they earn.

The remaining mass of people will be engaged only in creating a homeostasis, an equilibrium for the entire system of human activity on our planet. This is when we will see a different society.

All of this needs to be explained, broken down by discipline. We need to explain the full history of humanity as a consequence of development of our egoism, which brought us today to a state of such complete satiation that we don’t wish to develop any further.

We no longer desire anything in life. We come to depression, drugs, and terrorism, in other words, to the final stage: the rebirth of our egoism. Today we no longer wish to strive towards anything, but on the contrary, we plunge downwards, into alcoholism, and degradation because we don’t see any prospects in future growth. Our egoism, having arrived today at its maximum level of development, is starting to finalize itself and acquire an integral form, but we are not ready for that.

This is why we don’t understand what to do from now on, why we cannot organize the earth’s resources, communication networks, and, in general, the entire development. A new common paradigm, a new attitude towards life, should give a person an opportunity to correct the crisis in all realms of life: family, society, ecology, economics, and so on.

After a general education course, we need to introduce a course on integral upbringing. A course on upbringing entails group lessons, where people literally work through all possible elements of communication through discussions and all kinds of role-playing games.

They work through them like any actor who has a few hundred techniques in stock from which he then compiles a role, an image of a certain person. This is how we must educate a person about the laws of behavior in an integral world. And it won’t seem artificial to him because we will teach him about the correct interaction with others from which he would suddenly feel some higher sensation of tranquility, peace, and fulfillment.

His inner void, which he previously fulfilled at the expense of economic achievements in capitalist competitions, will start to become filled from a completely different direction, according to a different scheme. It will be filled in such a way that he will feel himself safe and secure. Nobody will enter in any confrontations with him.

We must include a large number of groups in this part of the course. I think that it will be a very serious, exciting action in which parents with children, spouses, and entire neighborhoods can participate.

Here we will start to form a new type of social interactions, a new view of life and the world, within which a person will begin to sense the globality of nature, its integrality and inner harmony. This inner harmony is essentially where our inner demand lies. This is what we want to experience in our life and what we are attempting to achieve in our useless competition with each other.

Impossible To “Wait It Out”

Question: You are talking about good connections that a person should learn in the process of his upbringing. What does it mean?

Answer: Today nature is gradually showing us that we are connected with one another in a global and integral way. However, rather than forming a common, integral, and uniform system of mutual support, we stand against one another. That is, we are still connected through the egoistic system directed towards mutual destruction and mutual absorption.

Nature is manifested with regard to us from a totally different side. It treats us as an integral, interconnected, and analog system, while we only work only on severe clashes between them. It turns out that today we are unable to control not so much ourselves, but nature, and to come to some balanced state. This is why we can’t understand today’scrisis.

This global, integral, and horrible economic crisis is just starting; it hasn’t ended. Seven or eight years ago I warned that this is only just the beginning. Everyone keeps saying that we’ll overcome it as we did in America and Japan. We will not overcome it! We have to understand that nature is moving us towards a certain goal. We can’t “wait it out.” On the contrary, we’ll be worse off.

We have to understand that we are obliged to become as nature itself. Nature will compel us to do that. It has enough power and means.

Commonality And Self-Expression

Question: Could you give an example of a relationship between people that would be considered integral?

Answer: An integral relationship is when a person receives and bestows in a balanced manner. If the relationship between people works in this way, that means they are integrally connected.

I don’t want to keep repeating myself or sound like a socialist or a communist because that’s the last thing I am, but an integral society is one where everyone receives according to his necessities and bestows to society according to its needs. That constitutes an integral, global interconnection.

Under these circumstances a person enjoys and is fulfilled by his sensations, by what he discovers in this integral connection. It turns out that the more he bestows to others and the more he connects to an integral society, the more he is fulfilled by it. He begins to discover this system, enters it, and belongs to it.

He becomes an inseparable part of this system, like an electronic element, a resistor or a condenser, installed in the circuit, whereby the system begins to work with him in general harmony, and he feels it pass through him. The person begins to understand that he profits from being fully plugged into this system. And he doesn’t lose his individuality for he contributes himself, his qualities. If you’re a condenser, that’s what your role is, the same with a resistor, and so on. Essentially, you remain who you are.

Nature deliberately created us a certain way, precisely to allow everyone to be integrally connected to the general system via their maximum actualization in it. Your personal, individual, and unique participation does not contradict the integrality of the whole system; on the contrary, it allows you absolute self-expression.

A Knowledge Kit For The Society Of The Future

Question: We need a very specific method of upbringing. You have said that one of its parts is education. What should this knowledge kit include?

Answer: These are classes where people acquire knowledge about psychology, physiology, and social science, where a person learns about human society.

The most important chapter is the development of the human society over the course of history as the consequence of the development of egoism in every individual in general.

Next is the psychology of human behavior: a person’s interaction with himself, his family, and children, interaction between spouses, parenting, the education of children and interactions in society: how separate individuals form a society.

All of this must be presented in a form that is clear and accessible to the entire population.

We must speak about both the current society and the society of the future, which is where nature is leading us. The difference between them gives us the feeling of discomfort we are now experiencing. This is why we need to reveal the essence of both societies.

And then the person will see what else he needs to do in his life. In this way we will help the person advance towards the realization of the goal: the way he needs to change the society by changing himself and the social connections.

This way, instead of advancing through revolutions, we sort of obligate people to advance through the creation of a comfortable, integrated, and well-intentioned lines of communication, by creating new relationships between them. And this will influence everything else.

We must launch absolutely all the means of mass media, so they would work for this idea because this is the only way for us to prevent revolutions and even world wars.

Following are the topics of educational programs that must be included in the course of the future society: the realistic way to transition to it, the qualities that exist in it, and what it means to exist in it. Let us play “the future society” like children do, and this game will gradually shape us.

Imagine that you receive a certain amount of resources—your minimum livelihood, your apartment, maybe a family or maybe you are alone. This is currently allotted to you, based on what the society can provide for you, and at the same time you must take part in a certain social work, etc.

What do we get? How can we build this kind of society? Do we think in the right way from society’s integrated perspective? Can we force people? No, we cannot. What about education?

Here we must approach making of new decisions very seriously. A person will understand that when he behaves the right way, he receives encouragement from the society, from his inner state, and vice versa.

There are very serious, enormous egoistic layers, which we must correct in us and literally elevate man above us, above our egoism, so he would begin to understand that an integrated society only works when we connect our egoism between us with the quality of bestowal.

Every one of us sort of represents a tiny wheel, a cogwheel, and the connection between these cogwheels happens inside the desire to bestow, to connect, to be in harmony with others—then they lock into a single system. But if we do not wish to connect them, they will connect in a harsh way: They will rub, screech, and literally spark from all this rubbing.

People must be shown all this in practice. We will gain experience through our study as we try to feel it and realize it through practical activities. We will see why certain things come out in life and other things do not. Our level of sensitivity towards our own egoistic evil rises. And then we will begin to see it even in small manifestations and understand why I fail to achieve certain things that I want. It is because I use my egoism more than it should be used.

We will no longer be blind kittens moving by force, instead we will start trying to participate in this movement independently and consciously.

The Formula For The Distribution Of Means

Question: 15 years ago I took part in a personal growth training, which was divided into several stages. The last stage was realized in real life. We gathered and discussed things that were actually interesting. What was fundamentally different about that place was that it was supported with money, earned somewhere else. How can this be realized according to your program? A question arises: Where will I get the same apartment, the same bread, clothes, etc.?

Answer: Become part of this society of the future. Take 100% of the people with 100% of all the resources and distribute them based on the calculation that the society is working on providing everyone with a normal minimum necessary for existence. And the rest of the time people only spend creating an integrated connection between them.

You will see where you need to take and where you need to add something, and how many resource you will need to create this integrated connection. Naturally, the society will need to earn these resources.

Moving Ahead Of The Blows

Question: Is an integrated connection when I consider the interests of all the other people in every one of my actions?

Answer: Yes. But this needs to be studied, it needs to be taught, it needs to be practiced. The entire society needs to participate in this. Absolutely everyone must become students of the new world, they must study it.

Our lack of knowledge about it is the source of all our current problems. We have entered a new system of interaction between nature and us, interactions in the human society, in the universal unity of the world, and we do not know how to act. I was pushed into some new world and I absolutely do not know any of its laws. I am like an elephant in a china shop.

First of all, we need to understand a very simple principle: Nature will get us there anyway. If you wish to attain happiness by force—be my guest. If you wish to get there fast and easily—sure. The fast and easy way is the way of independent realization and a willing consent, when we move ahead of the blows coming from behind.

The People Is The New Government

Question: Suppose that we have written a course on integral education; we have it. Where do we go with it? To the government?

Answer: We will take it to the government, public, and scientists through whom we are starting to advertise it. We will also promote it via the Internet and other media channels.

Today, the government is involved with a limited sector of society and state. It seems to stand on the side, and its functions gradually become narrower. Various economic, social, educational, and community programs and associations are at work.

What functions does the government still carry on? Even health care is not under its control anymore, even the army is hired. This is like the lone king or the parliament that slowly dissolves produces spin-offs: new independent social, political, and economic systems that have nothing to do with the government.

It is not necessary to conduct our course through the government, but it should certainly go through the education system. However, this education is not for children; it is not professional, technical, or university education. It is intended to educate the public. It forms a new humanity, which would not survive otherwise.

To date, we already have a very serious relationship with UNESCO, the UN. We have representatives who act as advisors there.

Also, I do not think it is necessary to address anyone but the people, especially since the time of the Internet. I think that we still underestimate this new “government.” It is the voice of God, the voice of the people. We just need to use it properly.

The Integral Upbringing: Virtual Or Physical?

Question: What is the best way to teach people: virtually or in actual physical courses?

Answer: I think that education can be virtual, but it must include exams. This will oblige every member of society to learn.

Just like people used to go to work in order to earn a salary, now a person will have to spend a certain amount of time in our educational system. And he cannot think lightly of it. He must actually go over each lesson, answer questions, and send his comments, taking an active part in this process. At the end of the course, he will have to take a face-to-face exam so that he can show what he has learned.

Every student should be supervised because the success of the integral society depends on each of us. Here we see another interesting trait of this system: Because it is integral, each member has the exact same weight as the others.

After virtual studying and actual exams, people should form groups in which they will have to do some practical work. It should be done in neighborhoods, schools, in the daytime or in the evening, in different community centers, on TV shows, virtually, and so on.

Musical compositions, plays, and literature should be dedicated to this idea and present it from different perspectives.

Question: Who this program is intended for?

Answer: It is meant for the most ordinary people. It’s not for the intellectuals who find it hard to part with their beliefs, even thought they don’t understand this social order at all.

As far as I know, it is the most ordinary audience, people with a college education at most, but not more than that. It’s for ordinary people, the middle class. We are not that interested in others because the middle class is the basis of any society. Currently, specifically these people fall victim to all that’s taking place.

The Invincible Power Of Thought

Question: Habits of egoistic behavior have formed in society. People are exploiting each other. How do you imagine overcoming them? At what expense will old habits be broken and new ones formed? Where is that force?

Answer: I have no doubt that only upbringing—direct, gradual, through examples and various role play exercises—will bring about change in the consciousness of man. Obviously, it should be conducted without any pressure, but on the contrary, precisely by realizing the need for it and the benefit it brings.

As a final consequence, this large portion of humanity that will begin to act in this manner will influence the whole system, the entire planet. When lots of people begin to think about the same thing, their thoughts affect everyone else. It is a tremendous force.

Let’s imagine that in your education system you manage to unite 100,000 people (there is no organization on Earth, where 100,000 people would actively engage in something new or special). In this manner, you will begin to pour in a huge integral force into this inner system, into the subconscious connection that exists between all the inhabitants of the planet Earth. And this force will work according to a particular goal, with predetermined assigned forms.

People suddenly will begin to express some interest and relation in regard to it. They will search for it, turn to it. They won’t know where it comes from because it emerges in us in the same manner as various thoughts and desires. All of a sudden everyone, young and old, begins to feel that it’s close to them, that they need it because the inner interconnection exists between absolutely everyone.

I am completely open to the development and implementation of this integral knowledge and upbringing. The most important thing is to start.