[Again a post in two parts, as this one deals with the most crucial topic for me. It needs a good explanation, which is too long to be posted in one piece, and then this needs to be tied back into the Auroville situation. Originally, I planned this to be a 3-part post, but circumstanced forced me to keep the third part for later. I hope that even without a direct reference to the present Auroville situation, it still stays informative and interesting all the way through.]
Spirituality is a very tricky affair. It is about personal growth, based on experiences that go against the foundations of our global Western society.
Western society, at least since ancient Greece, openly did away with all religious belief and in one fell swoop threw away the spiritual baby with the religious bathwater. Greek “philosophers” formulated what we call “materialism”, which has become the most fundamental aspect of how Western society, for the following 2,500 years, would approach, view, and describe reality.
We will come back to this in part B, but in order to get a clear picture of the importance of this purge, we need to have some idea of what the reality of today's world is, and need to understand the changes that are happening. For this, we need to agree to the reality of some very basic and simple principles. And realise that very simple principles, when given enough time to multiply themselves over and over and over again, create a reality that LOOKS extremely complex. (As an example: the beauty of fractals is obtained by endlessly repeating the same simple formula.)
Can we agree to the one basic fact that we live in a world where the few rule the masses?
However you want to call these two groups, the reality is that the vast majority has to follow rules set by a small group of people, which we can call “the politicians” or “the powers that be” or “the elite” or any other name. It does not matter at all what we call them and it matters even less WHO we think these people are: we can all agree that our lived reality is shaped in a hierarchic setting: less people define the reality of more people. If we agree on the fact that that is effectively the situation globally (there are pockets of humanity who may live outside of the global hierarchic system, but they are rather insignificant on the global scale and therefore can be ignored in this simplified analysis), then we can ask the question: how is this possible?
We will leave the numbers issue aside for a moment, and get to the more basic question even if it's one-on-one: what can someone do, to FORCE someone else to obey their wish? Let's simplify this complex global situation to what it in essence is: person A wants person B to do what person A wishes.
How can that be done? If B agrees with A that it's a good thing to do, there's no issue: B will simply do it.
But if B does NOT agree that what A wants is a GOOD thing to do, then what? What can A do to make B do it anyway?
We will leave that question unanswered for a moment, and go even a step deeper. How does A decide that they want B to do something? How does B decide whether or not they want to do what A wishes? Generally, it will be simple: they decide to do something because it makes them happy. Or because they THINK it will bring them happiness. So that brings us to the core of the core: what makes us happy?
It may seem to be a very vast and philosophical issue, but it isn't. It is a very simple question. Almost all of us have the experience of being happy when we get material, emotional and mental comfort. But almost immediately, we also feel that it's very hard to be happy next to a person who is NOT happy. When we see suffering around us, our happiness doesn't feel so happy anymore. We are empathic: we actually FEEL the unhappiness of our fellow human beings. Unless we have happy people around us, we can't really enjoy our personal comforts. That experience is already a big deal, but it is nothing compared to the experience we have when we can make our loved ones happy. THAT is something we can hardly describe: the joy we feel when we are able to be the source of happiness of someone that means the world to us, is beyond everything else. It is arguably the most quintessential experience of our normal lives, the moments that touch us the deepest.
From these simple experiences follows that normal, empathic human beings will automatically want to do things that makes them and everyone else happy. There will be a constant “give and take”: making only oneself happy is not bringing enough happiness, so we need to make sure the people around us are ALSO happy, otherwise we are not really happy ourselves.
This means that logically, and all by itself, a society of normal, empathic human beings will evolve into a thriving, warm, loving and caring community.
So why is that not what we live in?? Imagine for a moment that someone, for whatever reason, does not have the ability to feel anything when other people are happy. They somehow cannot get to levels 2 and 3 of the 'happiness-scale'. They are stuck in only feeling happiness when THEY THEMSELVES get material, emotional or physical comfort.
Such a person would not understand why everybody else is doing things to make EACH OTHER happy. Because for this person Z, reality is very black-and-white: happiness is ONLY when their personal comfort is maintained or increased. Unhappiness is everything else: every decrease in comfort is experienced as negative. This boils down to the very simple situation: for Z, the ultimate goal is to have ALL comfort that is available in the world. That is what “good” is for Z: having all material possessions available, having all emotional attention, having all power. So every little piece of comfort that goes to someone else, is “bad”. For all other people (the empaths), “good” is what increases the happiness of ALL, and “bad” is what decreases the happiness of ALL. Because for the empathic humans, happiness will increase EXPONENTIALLY by making others happy: when A makes B happy, it not only increases the happiness of B, but AT THE SAME TIME, increases the happiness of A also!
In the situation of Z, the opposite is true: Z can only be happy when he himself is happy, pushing him to REMOVE the happiness of A, B, C, D etc. When A makes Z happy, Z's happiness increases. But when Z makes A happy, Z's happiness DEcreases: A's happiness has no value for Z, and Z needed to sacrifice something to make A happy. To put it in mathematical terms: Z creates a situation in which the maximum happiness is the SUM of all the personal happinesses of A to Z, while A to Y create a situation in which the maximum happiness is the MULTIPLE of all the happinesses of A to Z. Which is much more happiness than Z can ever create: 4+4+4=12, but 4x4x4=64. It seems clear now that doing what Z wants is enormously detrimental to A, B, C, D etc. Z seems to be doomed to fail miserably. But is that really so? Because in practice, Z does not need to take them all on all at once: he can start with trying to get A to give up their comfort and give it to Z. Here comes the crucial part. We all expect others to be like ourselves. The importance of this fact cannot be overstated. We all immediately assume that people who LOOK like us will also FEEL, WANT and DO like us. This means that A, B, C, D etc. will all assume that all the others will also feel happiness if they make people around them happy, and feel rotten when others suffer. Z on the other hand, assumes that all the others will only want to make themselves happy, at the total detriment of everything outside the ME, if need be. Remember, Z is a very, very rare exception. A, B, C etc. are the norm. Z is endlessly rarer than one in 26, which this latin alphabet example turned into. Imagine that we have a group of 1 lakh empaths, and 1 person who cannot feel empathy. It will be clear that it will take Z only one day to notice that something is “off”. That everybody else is behaving in a (for Z) illogical way, detrimental to themselves. But it will take an eternity for the other 100,000 to figure out that there is one needle in the haystack. Z does not stand out immediately, there is no reason for anyone to suspect that something's amiss.
Now Z is going to have to do some serious thinking to make sense of this weird situation. First of all: for Z, the concept of 'morality' is absurd and should not exist. Morality defines acceptable behaviour, and the acceptance of behaviour can only have any value when what other people FEEL (that something is acceptable or not) matters. In Z's experience, it doesn't matter AT ALL what anyone else feels. Z doesn't give two hoots about whether or not anybody else accepts anything: the ONLY thing that matters is whether or not Z gets what Z wants. Therefore there are no limits to Z's behaviour: ONLY what benefits Z is important. If Z gets what he wants through lying, then lying is good. If Z gets what he wants through stealing, then stealing is a great tool. If Z gets what he wants through hurting or even killing others, then hurting and killing is a perfect way of life.
So now, how will Z's career in the 1 lakh empathic society work out? It is really not hard to see that there is only ONE logical sequence of events here. Every step follows naturally from the last.
A, being an empath, is naturally inclined to make OTHERS happy and SHARE comfort. A has constantly the lived experience that this brings great happiness. He has never thought of the possibility that there might be one day someone who does not care for others. A is living a great life, being and making happy. When he meets Z, he will naturally give Z whatever Z asks for: making others happy is what we do. B will react the same. And C also. And the 99,997 others also. Therefore, Z will have it easy at the start: being given everything without any problem by one after the other.
But then comes the moment that Z wants MORE than just “his share”, and that, around the same time, the persons Z comes into contact with, start noticing that Z is not sharing anything himself. Z can then move on to the next place and start again, but that is also uncomfortable: Z accumulates material possessions and travelling with stuff is hard. So at one point Z will start to “explain” why he is different or why he can't share. Here, all trickery begins. Z will lie that he is collecting more than his share for someone else – until it is found out that that someone else does not exist. Z will start using emotional manipulation, and claim to be a real special victim, needing special care for some time. Z will start stealing things, making sure that others get blamed for it. Z will abuse everything, literally ANYTHING that he can to fool the others into getting what he wants. This will all work for some time, and Z will profit greatly. But something else will happen in parallel: Z will start eating away at the trust that was installed in the society of empaths, where everybody, from experience, knew that the others were all in the same boat and sharing the same interest: the “greater good” makes all of us happy. At the same time, Z will come to see how “smart” he is. He can fool all of the others; he must clearly have more brains and be more intelligent. 'Shrewd' is not a notion Z wants to get out into the world, he will label himself 'special' due to being able to use his brain better. Z will also immediately notice when other persons are “like him”. In a vast mass of empaths, psychopaths (because that is clearly what Z is) are to each other as clear as flashlights at sea in a moonless night. But also the people who are only a little bit sociopathic will be quickly spotted by Z. He has literally nothing else to do all day than to make sure that every last one of his personal wishes are materialised. He has no other goal in life than to get as much comfort as possible. The whole meaning of life and the universe is for Z only Z and what Z wants. So every second will be spent on finding ways to get there. Z will also constantly want more: getting something for a short while will become boring, and then MORE will be needed to make Z happy.
Z will therefore quickly try to corrupt as many 'weaklings' as he can. He will proclaim to be the smartest, therefore he will put the corruptibles under his command. He will create a group, which will benefit from his ruses and his scheming: the birth of hierarchy. This group will convince a larger group that they are a group of more intelligent beings that need to rule over the others: the birth of politics.
We can now go back to our questions we left pending at the beginning. The last one was: how can A make B do what A wants? If A and B want the same thing, it's easy: there's no need to “make” anyone do anything: they both agree it's a good thing to do. But if B does not agree that it is a good thing, A's a bit in a fix. If A is an empath, there will be little to do: A can try to convince B by bringing arguments, by trying to let B see the situation from A's point of view and why it will be good for B to do this. But ultimately, it will depend on B's willingness or understanding to change his mind and go along, or stick to his unwillingness to do it.
If A is an empath, that will be the end of it: A will not do something to hurt B in order to get what A wants, because that will not make A happy: if B suffers, A also suffers. Now if Z wants B to do something, the story is obviously totally different. Z doesn't give a damn about B suffering, and gives EVERYTHING about getting what Z wants. So Z will immediately pressure B by emotional blackmail, telling lies, manipulations, and if it all doesn't work: physical violence. Z will let B suffer all he needs to give Z his wish.
That is the ONLY possible way to make people do something that they DON'T WANT to do: make them suffer. Mentally, emotionally or if needed physically; there is no other possibility. People are free to do what they want or not, and ONLY suffering can force them to change their mind. Even that may not work, because people may even prefer to die than do what is asked. Then, the only and final option is to kill them, which in the still still does not give the psychopaths what they want. Psychopaths is the correct term here, if we look at the root of the word – for some not so obscure reason psychopathy has been reduced to mean only “serial killing” or something similarly absurd –: 'psyche' is 'soul/inner being' and 'pathos' has become 'illness' (originally 'feeling'), therefore it means the sickness of the soul, which is what not being able to feel empathy really is. Sociopaths and psychopaths are rather similar concepts, with one maybe a bit stronger tendencies than the other: it's not important for our basic understanding of this simplified explanation. What is important to understand is that physical force is always the last resort, and in fact the ONLY threat that backs up every law in every country in our global society. “If you don't do what we say, we will physically harm you.”
Now obviously, that brings the bottom line of “making someone do what I want” to nothing else but physical strength. Because if B is stronger than Z, how is Z going to physically hurt B? It may all backfire severely, and Z might get physically damaged in the process. Z obviously is very aware of that, and will have calculated his chances long in advance. Given the fact that Z wants ALL comfort available, he will have seen already long ago that he will have to coerce a lot of people who are physically stronger than him. So even on a one-on-one level, Z will not reach his goal if his only weapon is physical force. So that is where the hierarchy comes in again: Z has created a group around him that obey his orders and will fight FOR Z. He does not have to face B alone, he has a lot of others that will join in. Obviously, B can also have a lot of supporters, and a battle may follow that Z still can lose. So Z needs to find another solution. This brings us back to the next question we left hanging earlier: how can a small group rule a large group? How can an elite make the masses do what they want? We'll look at that in part 25 B.