Question: Today people feel the gap between real life and their psychological well-being. I remember our grandparents didn’t experience this discrepancy. Meanwhile, for a contemporary person (even if he has a family) a good psychological atmosphere is separated from the material well-being. Is there a way to demonstrate that these things are nevertheless connected?
Before, our egoism was not as big as it is now! Once upon a time there lived “a husband and wife”; they had a “hen” (meaning a household, a home, a vegetable garden, etc). A husband worked, his wife took care of the home. It was an old-fashioned household arrangement. The family life revolved around the home, community, children, and so on.
Today, it’s nothing like that. At this time, we all work for somebody else, for some society, for something unintelligible. In the morning, we take our kids to kindergartens, then we rush to our jobs, and after we are done for the day, we head to supermarkets…. From there, we run back home, quickly warm food, feed everybody as soon as possible, wash the kids, and go to bed. The next day, we repeat the same pattern.
Is it similar in any way to the previous way that family life was set up? Before, people used to have a home, a household. Today, we only call it a household. Everybody has individual possessions; even spouses have separate bank accounts.
So, we have to teach people at our seminars to rise above their egoism and unite beyond it. Otherwise, family will cease to exist since our egoism cuts us off from others, pushes us aside, while we take no action in response. And the state officials cannot do anything here. Two egoists cannot be forced to stay in one territory.
Why do I need a family? I go to work and earn my own money; I don’t need anyone! If I need to, in the evening I can bring home whoever I want. I can go to a supermarket, buy ready-made foods, warm them in microwave, and eat them for dinner. The whole arrangement serves the purpose of allowing everybody to live separately. Manufacturers of consumer goods get maximum benefits if there is only one person in the household since two single people will buy more of everything: refrigerators, TV sets, and washing machines.…
From a “Talk on Integral Education” 4/2/13