Question: You have said that a person is like a cancer cell in the body of nature. How long ago did this occur?
Answer: Our egoism develops gradually and we’ve undergone a few stages of its development. Starting from the 5th century BCE until the 5th century CE, humanity developed in its aspiration toward wealth. From the 5th to the 15th century humanity developed in its aspiration toward power. From the 15th to the end of the 20th century development was in the aspiration toward knowledge. These are the prevailing tendencies.
In the beginning of the 20th century, an academic named Vernadsky defined our development as ending and leading to a noosphere or balance with nature. Later this idea was embraced by many other scientists. This research was continued by the well-known Club of Rome with other branches of researchers appearing later.
Essentially, egoism ended its development in the 1960s during the birth of a new culture among the youth characterized by detachment from life in what is called the “Beatles generation,” hippies, flower children and so on. This was the beginning of an inner skepticism, which meant that the new generation didn’t wish to nor did it find it necessary to constantly strive forward due to the fact that it felt empty.
We are constantly developing under the influence of our desires. After all, a person is a desire. We don’t know what to do when our desires for wealth, fame, or knowledge run out and we suddenly feel that we no longer receive the needed fulfillment from them.
This is when general depression appears. This is what we now see in our society: growing rate of suicides, families falling apart, detached attitudes of children, and so on. This is a transition period, which should be relatively quick. We are in the midst of a serious developmental acceleration.
From a Lecture at Šiauliai University, Lithuania, 3/22/12