Michael Laitman, On Quora: “What is the oldest recurring lie in human history?“
It is that we think of our enemy as being outside us.
We think of our enemy as belonging to a different group, tribe, party, race, or who is more favored in some way, of a higher social strata, wealthier, more intelligent, more attractive or more fortunate.
However, all such “enemies” are a figment of our imagination.
Our real and only enemy is not outside us, but inside us. It is our very egoistic nature, the operating system behind our every desire, thought and action.
We have no control over the human ego. It grows within and becomes part of our personal identity to a point where we have no feeling of it—and since we don’t feel it, we also don’t feel it as a problem.
However, if we fail to gain awareness of how the ego operates within us, and how we can rise above it, then it will continue making us perceive problems in other people—that we need to change or even eliminate certain other people who hold different views or who exhibit different attributes to our own.
We can expect no positive outcomes and no winners to emerge from perceiving the enemy outside us, because it is an incorrect and incomplete perception to begin with.
If, however, we shift our perception, perceiving the enemy as the ego cunningly positioned inside every one of our desires and thoughts, i.e., a desire to use what we perceive outside us in order to benefit ourselves, then we position ourselves to fight a battle that can truly lead us to victory—a much better life for everyone.
In such a battle, we need people who appear dissimilar to us, people we feel indifferent, critical, and even hateful toward, standing together with us on the same team. We can then feel our involuntary negative urges toward them and exercise positive connection above such urges.
However, the constant aim to positively connect above the raging ego requires a prerequisite unanimous agreement by all members of society who wish to overcome it—that aiming at unity above all divisive egoistic drives is more important and more beneficial for society than giving in to our egoism. Without an agreement among all members of society on this point, then it is enough for one person to fall victim to the ego’s demands for personal gain at the expense of others, and everyone will fall as a result.
While a mutual effort to unite among people who hate each other might seem too romantic and utopian to become a reality, the more we develop and suffer from our frictions, the more we will realize that we have no other alternatives.
In short, if we all fail to unite above our egoistic differences, we all lose.
Today more than ever before, we bear witness to the increasing strain of our interdependence around the planet, where we all depend on everyone, whether we like them or not. If we let ourselves further develop without making any motions to unite, then we can expect increasing amounts of negative phenomena to pressure us. We will be led to a corner where we will see that we either unite above our differences and find a way out of that corner, or endure intolerable suffering.
To support the idea of needing to unite above our differences, we can take an example from live organisms: An organism contains multiple contrasting cells, organs and parts, pluses and minuses of all kinds, and its survival is due to an enveloping systemic tendency that makes all of its parts complement one another for the healthy functioning of the entire organism.
Therefore, just as there is no morning without evening, day without night, or light without darkness, we too would be wise to rise above our one-sided perspective of the world, and feel the necessity to complement all differing qualities and views.
For the time being, we find ourselves becoming cornered more and more in our own egoistic shells, pointing our fingers at others as the source of our problems. The more we continue developing in such a way, the more our society will break apart, and the more we will all suffer. It is simply an unsustainable modus operandi.
We thus need to start waking up to the only real enemy in our lives—the human ego nested within each and every one of us—and reach a unanimous resolution to unite above it. To speed up our path to such an awakening, we need a new culture where we praise unity above all forms of division, support each other’s motions to positively connect, and embrace a diversity of views, races, nations and qualities in the process.
If we reached that level of common awareness, we would be on course to discover a whole new and harmonious world. Every one of us would then experience newfound happiness, health, confidence and security, the likes of which we have never felt before.
Photo by Sylas Boesten on Unsplash.