Our Friend, Egoism

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: When young people, a man and a woman, are making their plans for the future, they dream about the way they’re going to live. Could spouses discuss the ideal picture of an integral family in an integral education group so that everyone could contribute their own vision to it?

Answer: This is useful even today. When creating an image of an ideal family, we need to understand our egoistic nature and have a completely objective attitude towards it. If I can objectively open up to my group, to “dissect” myself before it, and in addition, the group could also explain to me from its point of view who I am and otherwise, then by understanding the viewpoints, habits, and motivations of one another, all the things given by nature and instilled in us, then we would attempt to rise above that into a completely new system of mutual relationships.

We wouldn’t try to break each other because we are creating something mutual: that which is comfortable and good for us. And all our negative inner egoistic impulses would conversely automatically transform into unification above them.

We begin to see that if this egoism of ours didn’t exist, then we wouldn’t have been able to enter into contact with each other. But thanks to the fact that we build this common superstructure above it, the egoism is actually our partner, friend, and helper, acting seemingly against us while in reality demonstrating that precisely through resistance to it, by turning it inside-out in our mutual relationships, we create a new family, a new anti-egoistic society.

Egoism plays a crucial role in this society because without it, we wouldn’t be able to achieve anything. It is the very fabric of nature intentionally instilled in us. What differentiates a person from an animal? It is precisely the fact that year after year, generation after generation, egoism grows within man. By using egoism, except in the opposite direction, we create mutuality between us: Instead of repelling us, we come closer; instead of rejection and hatred, there is love. Everything is contained in this.
From a “Talk on Integral Education” #6, 12/14/11

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