Question: In the mid-1960’s, there was an incident in Paris when a person drowned in a pool in front of 150 eyewitnesses because nobody came to the rescue. Had there been only one person there, he or she would have saved him, but now it’s as if the responsibility was diluted among 150 people. Hence the law that the more people there are, the less responsibility each of them has personally. How can we make this law integral?
Answer: What does “mutual guarantee” mean? I am responsible for everyone. The general and the particular are equal in their power and influence—this is what the law of global guarantee implies.
If within the final integral system (and we take it as a starting point of any explanation) even one tiny particle is missing—me, you, or him—it won’t be able to function. It won’t be able to operate at the full 100%. It will break down not by 99% or 50%, but by the entire 100% because an integral system implies the participation of absolutely everybody.
Ultimately, the law is such that one is equal to all, one is important for everyone. There isn’t anyone who could wiggle out of this, opt not to participate.
In the integral education we present a simple example: We (all of humanity) are in one big boat. If I drill a hole under myself in the bottom of the boat, everybody drowns. I may say: “I’m sorry, friends, this is my personal business. I want to drown. Or I want to take a bath. That’s it. This has nothing to do with you. What right do you have to enter my territory and admonish me or order me around?!”
If we exist within the framework of one law of nature—in the same boat, like in Noah’s Ark. If someone drills a hole there, we will all drown.
So it follows that responsibility cannot be distributed among everyone. For each person it is the same responsibility as for everyone else! That’s why each person who stands around the pool and sees that someone is drowning must imagine that if I don’t take any action, then no one will. And then everyone would plunge into the water.
From “Lessons About the New World” #8, 12/15/12