Question: Psychologists divide people’s needs to sensory, general values such as friendship, a good occupation, etc. and instrumental values such as being meticulous, cheerfulness, a sense of humor, performativity, strong will power, tolerance towards others’ values, a wide perspective, etc.
So it turns out that major conflicts, between children for example, occur because they don’t want to be polite or when they fail in doing something. In any case, the major crisis seems to be mainly regarding instrumental values.
Answer: I see it as people’s inability to connect. This means to diminish yourself relative to others, to understand others, to see them as higher or lower than you, to position yourself relative to others; when to be gentle toward them in order to feel them, to remove some of your own “self,” and to look at yourself and at others from the side, is undoubtedly a tool.
But why should we emphasize or present hundreds of fine discernments of qualities and attributes when they are all based on egoism?
If I can lower my ego, bend, and place the other above me, all the attributes such as sensitivity, understanding, attention, tolerance, kindness, etc. appear naturally.
Regarding the other there is only one perspective according to which I am either higher or lower than him. When we are equal I cannot even see what this equality relates to, to which parameters. As to being higher or lower, I perceive this aspect very sharply.
This means that a person should be trained to relate to others objectively: Let’s look at a person from the side, here he is before you: beautiful or ugly, black or white, it doesn’t matter. Each time, try to put yourself both higher and lower than him regarding a certain attribute, and do it as much as you can.
At the same time there is no intention to underestimate the other by using the term “higher or lower,” but only to understand things. When I place myself higher than the other, I do it in order to pass on something to him, in order to teach him something. I use myself as an instrument that fills him with certain emotions, knowledge, etc. I treat him like a child, whereas I am the grownup, but a grownup with good intentions that treats him well. I can immediately make myself smaller compared to him, and make him bigger compared to me in everything. Then I become the child compared to a grown up, or student compared to a teacher, who can now receive from him. Thus I can be enriched by anyone.
It is important to say that I never see the true objective picture of the world, but only the picture that my ego depicts for me, so this picture is actually distorted. Later when I look back at the past, I see how mistaken I was. But is it possible to be mistaken?
Not to be mistaken, meaning to see the world in its true form, is only possible according to the way I build myself with respect to this world, with respect to every person and to every event: higher or lower, and that in the end I profit from that. Thus I create inside me immense opportunities for studying, for teaching others, for finding a filling, and for communicating to the extent that I am ready to listen and to let myself be a source.
This is the most practical and effective method. It enables us to reach stability when everyone sees the other once from above and once from below, and to become flexible and soft and able to manage myself. As a result of this form of communication, we reach the middle way and we become equal by finding an objective point of balance. This is what we should bring people to, by showing them that it is possible, so that they will use this method in different types of communication.
From a “Talk on Integral Upbringing” 5/23/12