Lesson 9 Transcript: Plurally Speaking
[With Chaim and Gilad]
Chaim : Welcome to session number nine of What Does It Mean to Be Jewish Today? Today we’re moving into a special stage in the course. We’ve been through all the material that explains where Jews come from, why there’s anti-Semitism; and we also talked about the solution being unity. Then how do we achieve unity? That’s been the question in the back of the mind of I’m assuming every one of you who has been watching the lessons.
Gilad: Actually not everyone only here but I think that a lot of people in the world are asking that question. A lot of people are talking about unity. A lot of people want unity. But it isn’t like anyone has this method of how to reach unity. So the whole course has been telling us about a method that enables human beings to reach unity. You’ve been telling us that it’s based on this ancient wisdom, that it’s actually a method that was founded not a few years ago through pop psychology, but thousands of years ago by Abraham. And today is really exciting because we’re going to talk about the actual implementation, now in our days, with a method that’s actually out there for everyone to use.
Today and in the next lesson too. And the thing is that when you try to unite, usually what happens is you get the opposite. It’s been found that when people try to force themselves into unity it ends up being… it explodes, just like the beautiful testimonial that we heard about, the lady who was trying to have a workshop with her family, and the minute she forgot about the rules, out the window with unity.
And when she heard an opinion opposite to her own…
[Announcement re putting questions and testimonials in chat.]
The method basically is innovative in the sense that it’s easy to implement and it’s not something you would ordinarily think about, but when you do think about it, you don’t see how it could be otherwise. The method is simply put, this: change the environment to change yourself. You cannot achieve unity by forcing unity on yourself, or on someone else of course. But if you change the environment you’re in, the social environment you’re in, you can change yourself and do anything.
We talked about how we’re all connected and we talked about how we all influence each other, and today we’re going to hear and see examples of what this does to us, from ordinary people and from scientists. We need to realize that who we are, we should leave ourselves alone, as we are. We’re not going to change it. The qualities we’ve been given by nature can do a tremendous amount of good to humanity and to yourselves, if you use them to the benefit of society. Why should we use them for the benefit of society? Because when you do you get positive feedback, you get respect from society, you get an elevated social status, you become someone that people listen to, you become someone that people want to be with. All those privileges and prerogatives that come today with being super-egotistical, if we reverse them and give them to those who are super-altruistic, then everyone will want to be that way.
Let’s just see how connected we are. Let’s look these four slides.
And that’s who we are.
Let’s recap it. I’m assuming that even if people heard it, they don’t comprehend it. It’s incredible. We’re talking about research that was done for over fifty years, 15,000 people. The researchers went after the people and every single period of time they went back to the same people and asked them. Who are your friends? What is your marital status? Do you smoke? Are you healthy?
They did this over fifty years, so imagine how much detailed information you get. And what they found is incredible! They found that they can identify a person’s state based not on what he does, but on what his friends do. Even more so, they found that this ripple effect takes effect over three degrees of freedom.
Even if there are two degrees in between that don’t know each other?
Yes. In other words, they found that if I become obese, and you’re my friend, then you, without doing anything, automatically have a 57% higher chance of becoming obese. And that’s OK. We can understand that because I eat big hamburgers in front of your face and it might tempt you to have them as well, so that makes sense. Now what’s interesting is that I influence your friends, meaning the first degree’s friend’s friend, to also become obese, and I raise their percent to become obese by 20%.
Even if you don’t know my friend.
Now there is a chance that I might know your friend, because we’re friends; there is a chance. But what’s incredible is that even three degrees of freedom…
So the friends of my friends which neither of us knows…
If I start becoming obese, I raise their chances of becoming obese by 10%. It’s the same with smoking, happiness, getting married. If I get married I raise the chances that your friend’s friend, who I don’t even know, will get married. If I get a promotion, I raise the chance of our friend’s friend to get a promotion, even though I don’t know them.
It’s really incredible, because what they found is that we move like the buffalo, and when they mapped out all these changes in a network analysis, they saw that these changes go in clusters and changes begin to spread throughout the network. So all these things, in a way, they’re contagious. Happiness is contagious. Sadness and depression are contagious as well. Obesity, smoking, health status, all these things that we seem to think we have complete control over—that if I decide to do a diet, then I can lose weight; if I were to quit smoking, then I quit smoking—they found that whether or not I decide to quit smoking greatly depends on what my friends around me do. That’s incredible!
So the social possibilities of these connections are amazing. Let’s take a look at what Christakis himself said in regard to the social potential—the potential for social change—that can occur if we use the fact that we are already connected correctly.
[TED talk clip by Christakis]
I think we form social networks because the benefits of a connected life outweigh the costs. If I were always violent toward you, or give you misinformation, or made you sad, or infected you with deadly germs, you would cut the ties to me and the network would disintegrate. So the spread of good and valuable things is required to sustain and nourish social networks. Similarly, social networks are required for the spread of good and valuable things, like love and kindness and happiness and altruism and ideas.
I think in fact if we realized how valuable social networks are, we would spend a lot more time nourishing and sustaining them, because I think social networks are fundamentally related to goodness. And what I think the world needs now is more connections.
And what a person in the audience says is: We need a new shepherd. Christakis says we need more connections and she says we need a new shepherd.
By the way, Moses is called the shepherd.
Question from the audience: Why do we tend to follow the incorrect and not the correct things?
That’s a great question. We tend to follow the incorrect because the incorrect always dominates, because it’s who we are inside, because of our egos, because usually the incorrect is at the expense of someone else. Egoism doesn’t just mean that I am the best that I can be. That’s legitimate. That’s natural. Egoism means that I’m the best, better than everyone else, and that’s what’s important. I’m the best in my environment. I’m the top of the heap, and that’s why everyone follows me, because I’m the leader of the herd.
I got there by being the strongest, by being the most manipulative, by being the most ruthless. Otherwise I wouldn’t be there. In our egoist society, leaders get elected by promising to the public how good they’ll be to the public. But by definition, they’ve gotten there because they are the worst of all the people, because they were the most manipulative and the most selfish and they could trample on everyone else to be at the top. That’s how they got there, just to stand on top of the pile of people they’ve trampled, and say: I will do for you more good than anyone else could. By default, they’ll do the opposite. They cannot help it, unless we the people change the social atmosphere.
Let’s look at another aspect of our inter-connectedness. Slide # 5.
So we need to understand that we are already affected by the fact that we are living in a globalized society, in an interconnnected world, where everyone affects everyone else, be it through Facebook, the media, through friends, through friends of a friend of a friend. And through something that we’re not even aware of—through our own biology.
In the brain there is something called ‘mirror neurons.’ Mirror neurons are neurons that light up, that respond, not when you think, not when you do whatever you do—you move or something—they are in the same area of the brain, the frontal lobe, that has to do with motion. They have nothing to do with your own motion. They have everything to do with someone else’s motion. When you look at someone else do something, or say something, or express something like an emotion, that’s when they light up.
Twenty percent of the neurons in our brain that have to do with movement relat not to our own movement, but to other peoples’ movements, to the environment, to events. It’s understandable when we think that we have to communicate with each other, not just verbally, but emotionally and physically. So it’s only reasonable that we have these neurons.
It’s like when you see someone and just imagine like a spider working on their hand, and you’re trying to imagine it, maybe even now while you see me [walking fingers across top of other hand], even though there’s no spider, the fact that you’re looking at me and you’re trying to think of it, that’s your mirror neurone—that feeling that you get that you can already imagine the spider on your own hand. That’s mirror neurons. That’s why they’re called mirrors because you’re actually mirroring the other person’s state.
It was actually found by accident in a little lab in Italy. Scientists were checking some brain reactions of monkeys and while the researcher was writing some things down, he took a peanut out of a bowl, and while he was eating the peanut, the monkey that was connected to the brain scanner, was looking at him, and it immediately spiked the machine. And they understood, because the monkey didn’t get any peanut. He was looking at the researcher eating a peanut and it awakened the same reaction as if he were eating it himself. They were baffled understood; they didn’t give him any nuts.
They started looking into it and they found this thing called mirror neurons. It basically allows us to empathize with a person’s emotional state—if he’s happy, if he’s sad—and these mirror neurons are incredible because it’s the first time that science has biologically found an explanation for these scocial sensitivities.
So it’s not just that people maybe feel each other, sense each other, identify with each other. We’re biologically wired to be connected. We’re biologically wired to feel what the other person is feeling. Some people try to ignore it a little bit, but man others don’t. I think that each and every one of us has felt that sense of identification when we see something outside of us—either good or bad—and it’s very interesting to see that science is beginning to see that from all aspects we’re biologically wired to connect, not just…
It’s very important to understand that these phrases we always hear—that you have to set a good example, that we learn from example more than from anything else—it’s biologically built that way. We will teach each other just by doing. So even if you don’t want to teach someone, but you act a certain way, you are already influencing everyone around you.
You know how sometimes parents do things that they’re not proud of, but their kids see them, and they say: Don’t learn from me. It’s too late. If they saw you, they’ve learned from you. It’s in their brains already. It’s reqiring their brains to act the same way, because this is their environment, and we influence each other all the time, especially if it’s someone as important as a parent.
It’s not just parents, it’s also friends, everyone who’s important to you and does something, the value that that thing you do projects, gets implanted into your surroundings, into the people around you. That’s why example is so, so important. There’s a phrase in Hebrew that’s a well-known axiom: Where there are no persons, be a person. You set the good example because you know the influence of it.
It’s not only the influence of it, which is powerful, as we saw from the research of Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler, that were following people for tens of years and realizing that their choices are really dependent on the others’ choices. It’s also that the environment determines what we find pleasurable. It determines our measure of what pleasure actually is. Here’s an interesting experiment.
Subjects are put into a brain scanner and while their brain was being scanned they got a straw and were given wine. While they were drinking the wine they had a screen that explained what wine they were drinking. Half of the subjects they’re reading that they’re drinking cheap twenty-dollar wine, and the other half were reading that they were drinking this four-hundred-dollar, expensive wine.
Everyone was drinking the same stuff, the same wine. The interesting thing is that subjects that thought they were drinking the cheap stuff said, un, not so good, and the ones that thought they were drinking the expensive stuff said, wow this is amazing.
Never mind what they said, what did their brains do?
Exactly! Their brains while drinking the expensive wine lit up. All the pleasure areas in their brain lit up, so they weren’t just convincing themselves that the wine is better, they were actually sensing greater joy from drinking what they thought was expensive wine than the one who thought they were drinking cheap wine. And why is that? It’s simple! People determine what is pleasurable according to society. In society expensive wine is considered high society, prestigious, so people determine that it’s pleasurable. I’m doing something that’s considered by other people as pleasurable, then I must find it pleasurable as well. It’s a natural chemical response.
If we look at few different countries we can see that’s pretty evident. What one country finds as pleasurable isn’t necessarily what another one finds as pleasurable. If you look in Europe, and they’re looking at American football, they might not think that’s the most pleasant thing to do. On the other hand, if Americans look at European futbol, which is called soccer, they might not necessarily think that’s the best thing to do.
That’s changing now, but that’s a different course.
There’s another experiment, but I’ll save it for later.
When you look around you there is so much egoism and society is so flooded with it, in the media, all our idols… How do you change it? Even parents, more often than not, tell us be strong, fight for what you believe in—it’s not like it’s bad to fight for what you believe in—but it’s the aggressive message that’s being sent. If your whole society is like that and extols egoism, then how do you change it? It seems impossible.
Well… to a point. First of all, changes occur when things stop working. And today a lot of people are talking about unity, but don’t know how to make it happen. So a lot of people already realize that the egoistic frame of mind has exhausted itself. That’s when changes begin to occur, when the current system is no longer sustainable, so people start looking for alternatives. That’s also when revolutions occur, when wars occur, when violence and upheaval start to happen. We are in that stage in humanity now, because people understand that egoism will get us nowhere. We’re going to ruin ourselves; we’re going to ruin our planet, our only habitat.
The difference is that today, unlike before, we don’t see an alternative method for the way we exist now. Everybody understands the direction, that we are connected, that we are globalized, but nobody understands how to get there. That’s where we come in. We [sometimes] think that because the whole society is like that, it’s hopeless. Not true.
There’s a very famous experiment called the hundredth monkey. I’m not sure it actually happened, but the idea of it is this. There’s a story about monkeys in Japan that researchers observed—the monkeys liked eating potatoes—one of the monkeys discovered that if they took [the potato] to the sea to wash it from the dust, it tasted better. So other monkeys started doing the same. Gradually more and more monkeys on the island started doing the same.
At some point—it’s not clear when—all the monkeys of the same species, in different locations, started doing the same. Monkey colonies, in different places that had no connection whatsoever with one another, started doing the same thing. Researchers were not sure at what point it happened, but to them it was clear that there was a critical mass of monkeys that adopted this behavior which caused this change in the behavior of all the monkeys of an entire species.
And that’s very important, because we need to realize that we need only influence a certain amount of people, relatively small by the way… [To Gilad] There has been research about it, right, about the critical mass? I think you talked about ten percent or something like that.
Yes, it’s actually ten percent right now. I’m hoping to find a lower tipping point. That’s exactly what I’m doing in my research now, and what I’m beginning to find is that with an additional element, called an environment, you can lower that ten percent to less. If we’re talking about ten percent, how much of the world right now is starting to move toward that paradigm shift? I’d say less. How long does it take for less than ten percent to reach that change? According to the research, infinite time. So the only thing that could maybe switch people around faster, I think, is if they start suffering, but I don’t think that’s the ideal path.
I think I have some good news for you. It can be less than ten percent, and we’re going to show you that it can be far less than 10%. The clip you’re about to see now is not a science clip. It’s just a person who was probably using his cell phone to shoot some kind of a festival. We’re going to watch a bit of this festival and just look at what happens to people, and also as you watch, be mindful of what is happening to you—how you feel in the beginning clip to what you’re seeing and at the end of the clip to what you’re seeing. It’s poor quality—probably not a very good cell phone—and it’s not an experiment. That’s the beauty of it. It’s just something very spontaneous and it’s a great example of human nature.
[Man dancing to lively music. Very soon another man joins, then a third man. Then others begin joining. A whole crowd of men and women runs to the grassy area where the dancing is happening. Happy screams begin to come from the mob. At the end of the dance, most have joined and are yelling and applauding.]
Wow! It seems in that clip that the moment people identify that something’s happening, they just want to be a part of it, and they’re running to that location to dance. In the beginning everyone is just sitting there. They see a guy dancing; they don’t care. The second that critical mass hits, people are running to that spot to dance! It seems like they’re drawn to it. They want to be part of it. Something’s happening and they want to be part of it. It’s incredible!
What did you feel when you first saw this guy dancing?
I thought, ‘What a weirdo!” [Gilad and Chaim laughing.]
Exactly!.I thought the same thing the first time I saw this.
And the second guy too. I was thinking, who made that happen, the first guy or the second guy that joined him? The first guy probably could have kept on dancing there for hours if not for the second guy who had the courage to go and join him.
When the third guy joined, that’s when everybody else joined. And it was far less than ten percent, of course. There’s another hidden message hidden in that clip I suppose, like, ‘Stick to what you believe in.’ We can see that if we reach a critical mass, which is not a lot, of convinced individuals, then they can persuade everyone else. [To Gilad] How did you feel toward the end of the clip when you saw everyone dancing?
I wanted to go dance as well.
Exactly! That’s exactly how I felt. That’s how I felt the first time, and the second time I watched it…
How many times have you watched it?
This is actually my third I think.
It also corresponds to what Gilad was saying before, that what we interpret as pleasurable changes by the environment, because in the beginning I thought, ‘What a weirdo!’ And the last thing I wanted to do was dance with this guy. But when I watched everybody else doing this, I wanted to join them. It suddenly seemed fun and a good thing to do. Yeah, natural! Why not dance with everybody else?
So what seemed weird at the start, the second it became a consensus, the second everyone was doing it, it became something natural.
A woman from the audience writes also the other side of that coin: She believes that’s what’s happening in Ferguson, that she can’t believe all the people are looters and haters, they basically got caught up in the moment, similar to those who went dancing.
It’s true. It’s the sad side of what we’re talking about. But that’s actually what we’re seeing in the whole world today. That’s what we’re seeing in every single field. We’re seeing environments that promote negativity, narcissism and consumption and self-glorification. That’s what we’re seeing. That’s the environment we’re surrounded with. So just like that dancing environment that we saw now, that made you want to feel like dancing, right now we’re surrounded with environments that make you want to feel like buying, exploiting, stepping on other people, and the reason we’re so easily drawn to it is because we’re egoists. We have that inside of us. And the second you give an egoist an excuse to be an egoist, it’s a deadly match.
I think it was during the first lesson that we watched this clip about the Jewish students talking about anti-Semitism. And they said that anti-Semitism has become trendy. So the worst things can be regarded, not only as natural and acceptable, but desirable. It can easily come to a point where being anti-Semitic, or hateful of any other group or promoting any other form of negative behavior, you can come easily to a point where you are ashamed not to be that way.
We can now feel first-hand how an entire, civilized country can become a Nazi country. Even if there’s this one guy—Baal HaSulam writes about it—that if a town speaker comes up and speaks insistently about one topic, he’ll make it trend. That’s exactly what happened there. He also suggested a solution there, but that’s a different story.
So we need to realize how easy it is to change public opinion. But now that we understand it, we know our obligation. It’s not just a workshop any more, it’s about everything we do. But there’s a big difference here. You’re not trying to be nice or courteous to people because you were brought up this way. Most people were brought up to be courteous and nice because we are taught if we are nice we’ll get what we want. Say please. It’s because if we change the social atmosphere, we will change the world.
So that’s what we’re trying to install here—a social change through changing of the environment, where everyone stays the same according to their natural characteristics, but they contribute those characteristics to the benefit of society. That’s what we’re trying to promote here. Not necessarily pleasant or courteous behavior, other kinds of social norms. It runs on a deeper level and it manifests in different ways. The ideas is that we are all aware that we are creating a new pro-unity social environment and we want to see it in the media, in the press, among ourselves, with our friends, with everyone.
The idea of the workshop is to create bonding and create such ties that make it easier for people to sustain such an environment, to maintain it, to keep it going for a while. It takes a little time before it catches up, but as you could just see, not a long time and not a lot of people, but we need to be consistent.
We need to keep on dancing until they join us. You were talking about the media. There’s a researcher in Israel, Vinter [?], who says something very interesting and very true. He says that you can easily change the ways millionaires behave, and it’s an example of people staying the same—we’re not talking about communism or people having equal income, everyone stays the same—but you can use people’s abilities, you can use the fact that a person is very, very good at business and he makes millions. That’s fine if he has the ability. Vinter says: Right now what’s the media promoting? They’re promoting the top ten millionaires this year. These millionaires have everything they need. They don’t need anything. They have too many zeros on their bank account already. What are they striving to do? They are striving to make that list of the top ten which means, another zero on my account, another zero on my account. That’s what they’re after; they already have enough of everything they need.
Vinter says you can change it like that [snaps fingers.] That same well-known newspaper, if it begins to publish an article The Top Ten Contributors in the business world and the top ten notable causes done by business men, and the newspaper begins to promote that as being something noble, then those businessmen would automatically want to make that kind of list, because we are social creatures. We want to get agreement from the others. Even the greatest millionaire cares about what other people think about him.
The whole point of being a millionaire is so you can brag in front of other people.
Exactly, so you can show how rich you are. Vinter is saying that by simple changes in the media, you can make such a huge impact. So let’s keep on dancing.
When we think that we’re going to have to use the environment to fight against our nature, that too is not the case. Once you condition yourself, once you put yourself in an environment that promotes pro-social behavior, you change your genes. You change your DNA. We’ve all grown up with the Darwinian paradigm that says evolution takes millions of years, thousands of generations, for a fluke mutation to occur that makes a creature operate better in its environment, and that’s why this creature survives and others don’t. It’s not the case.
The environment changes our biology, the DNA. It’s been discovered many times in the past few decades, mostly with animals and plants, but recently even with people. Let’s look at slide # 11.
This is published in Time magazine. Dr.Laitman always talks about how all we need is to educate one generation to grow up properly and that’s it. That’s all of our work. The rest will just continue naturally, because their nature will change, our nature will change. We need to understand that by creating this environment we are changing our nature.
Let’s take a look at an amusing and famous example, how much we’re influenced by the environment. The fact that we’re influenced by the environment has been observed for decades. Social psychologists have been experimenting with it for a long time and there are numerous experiments about it. One of the more amusing ones has become a classic. It’s called the elevator experiment.
Before we watch it, let’s just ask our viewers a question. What would you do if you were in an elevator and people around you suddenly turned to face a certain direction. Would that make you turn around, change you direction? What if I did that over and over again? Would you stand there, like an idiot, turning back and forth and back and forth?
I wouldn’t. I’m no idiot! Let’s watch the clip.
[Candid Camera stunt: Two members of Candid Camera staff and two others enter an elevator. Staff face the rear. Man in elevator tries not to turn, but can’t resist. Looks at watch in order to turn himself toward the rear.
Second trial of same stunt: [Non-staff member] passenger quickly follows suit and turns to rear.
Third time: Three CC staff, one passenger. Passenger quickly follows suit and turns to rear. Door closes, then opens after a short time. Everyone, including passenger, has turned to the side. Three CC staff turn to the front in unison and passenger joins them. Door closes and opens again and all are turned toward rear. CC staff take off hats and so does passenger. They put hats back on and so does passenger.]
I’ll bet all of you are thinking: I wouldn’t do that. I would stick to my standard. I would stay the same. I was thinking that too while watching the clip. But the fact is, this is a Candid Camera stunt, but it is based on research that was conducted thousands of times in many different scenarios. In one scenario, people went into a library, passed by a maintenance worker, and when they were in that room they heard a crash, probably of the maintenance worker falling off the ladder he was working on. People popped their head out to see what happened. They had two subjects in the room who just sat there and ignored it, and in every single case the third subject that joined in stayed as well, because the other two sat there and didn’t move either.
This was conducted in hundreds of scenarios, with restaurant tipping, with bystanders not approaching someone in need in the street, in every scenario you can imagine, and the results are always the same. People conform to what is around them.
That’s human nature, but since we are aware of it now, we can observe ourselves and choose to make a difference. This relates of course not just to anti-Semitism. This has nothing to do with religion. It has to do with our lives, very simply, everybody’s lives. It has to do with changing our society. There is a lot of work.
Comments from audience: Greed has caught a lot of attitudes formed [?], that’s why the money-changers won’t have to think. If everyone is doing it, then it can’t be bad, can it? Gives example of young girls believing that they must be thin to be cool or attractive, in the 50s it was smoking and drinking.
It’s true. A lot of companies and governments understand this kind of behavior.
That’s how advertising works.
It’s the reason why an ad during the Super Bowl costs however much it costs because they understand the impact it has when people are hit by it. I want to add, it’s a fact that we’re constantly hit by these things, constantly. I read an article that says we are exposed to three thousand advertisements a day. The number is questionable; some articles say even more than that. You don’t have to read an article to feel that you are constantly bombarded with ads, whether it’s on the internet, the street, our cell phone, constantly you’re being hit with ads. And what are these ads doing? They’re brain-washing you. They’re re-creating what you define as normal.
If you define about girls being skinny, if women keep on seeing photos of very thin models, then that becomes their standard for being pretty. That usually makes them feel bad about themselves because those standards are unrealistic. It’s the same with everything.
So what we’re talking about here is creating an environment that constantly bombards us with opposite values [from current ones] of how good it is to be connected, things that we naturally know are good for us. Throughout the entire course we’ve been talking about it, and we’ve been saying that these things that we’re naturally wired for, and that people feel that there is this positive connection in it. And due to the ego, which led us to develop the opposite kind of environment, we have to develop something in contrast to that.
It makes sense, because everything in nature is built on this plus and minus, but right now we have only the minus side. We have only our egoistic desire, surround by an egoistic-nourishing -promoting environment. And we can see the result of that.
I’d like to go back to the sources and read something that Baal HaSulam wrote in the 1920s. He was well aware, not only of the influence of the environment but also the effects of globalization at the time. He wrote extensively about how we all influence each other all around the world. He called the world one ‘like one family’ and that we’re all tied together, that you can’t have one country succeeding at the expense of others, that it doesn’t work that way anymore. He wrote this in the early 1920s.
What seems to us only now natural and comprehensible, seemed to him obvious eight years ago. Let’s read something from an essay called “The Freedom.” Let’s see exactly how he suggests that we should change who we are. It will go in synch with what we’ve been saying here.
Slide # 12
You could ask: Where do I find such an environment that I can plant myself in it and get these good thoughts from it? That would be the best thing. And then you look around and you see that it doesn’t exist. Baal HaSulam knew very well that it didn’t exist. When he is talking about continually choosing a better environment, he means that you need to surround yourself with like-minded people who understand the influence of the environment and work together to build an environment. This is why there’s this continual process.
The ego, just like with the people of Israel thousands of years ago, keeps erupting at different levels and in different ways. You need to constantly be aware that you are using the ego that has been built to the benefit of society. It’s not the ego any more; it’s who you are. It’s your qualities and even the bad qualities stop being bad because they are not being used to the benefit of society.
So if you work together on building this environment and if you’re patient with each other, because when the ego erupts—at some point it has to erupt so then you can fix it. But it doesn’t erupt in all of the people at the same time, so when you put yourself in that environment, the people who creates this environment can help those whose egos are erupting redirect themselves to a positive direction. In that way these people become stronger because they have overcome another level, another manifestation of the ego. Now they will be able to help out other people who need to be redirected toward a positive direction.
The result will be that you will build an environment that is altruistic eventually, because again, once you put yourself in a different environment, your genes change accordingly. The DNA that you pass on to your children will already be different, and they will be naturally more leaning toward altruism.
We are the generation that has to make the conscious choice to change its way. It’s a privilege; it’s a huge responsibility. Just imagine what the world will be like twenty, twenty-five years from now if we don’t. Look what’s happening now. Look at the direction and imagine what will happen if we don’t do it. So we need to hurry up. We have the means; we have the knowledge; we have the method; we’ve got everything. We need a very small critical mass as you can evidently see, but we do need a certain amount of people who are convinced and are dedicated, or at least supportive, of this change.
You might be thinking: How can a single person lead to change. What difference does it make if I do it or not? I don’t know if that’s what that second guy who joined the first guy dancing was thinking, but he very well could have thought that. What will matter if I join him? He’s just one guy. If I join him, we’ll just be two. And the same with the third guy; he probably thought the same thing, or could have thought the same thing.
But we don’t sometimes realize the impact of our actions. We have no idea of doing a single action, putting a single post on Facebook maybe, liking A Bundle of Reeds. I’m just giving you an example. We have no idea who it’s going to reach, how it’s going to reach, and how it’s going to impact the entire system. Science is finding that because we’re so interconnected, every little movement automatically affects the entire system, and it has huge impact. So really we should not underestimate the influence and the impact of your actions.
This is basically the message that we wanted to pass on today. We want to talk about a survey. We’re going to need your help to see if we can do a better job in the next course. Next week we will talk about the implementation through what we call Integral Education. The workshop method of discussion is part of a more inclusive method of education. By education I mean a method for changing our thought processes, or in short our attitude toward other people.
As we now realize, we all need to be re-educated, not in terms of knowledge but in terms of how we treat each other. This is a method that was developed by Dr. Laitman and Dr. Ulianov and other people which implements all of the principles we’ve learned in this course and uses them to change human nature.
Let’s talk about the survey. It’s important for us that you take part in it. It’s very important that you help us improve this course and examine other directions where we can go with passing on the message.’
That’s the purpose of the survey. This is the address for filling in the survey. bit.ly/borsurvey. Please save this address.
[Comments re survey, wanting input for future direction, free e-book will be sent for completing survey, etc.] We can only know your thoughts through this survey because we are a virtual classroom. Send questions and testimonials.