Two Streams: Altruistic vs. Self-Centered

by Dr. Michael Laitman

The world as we know it operates according to a very simple law: the stronger one wins and the weaker one loses. The universe we perceive seems egoistic, and balance is kept only by the fact that all creations are “programmed” to take only what they need for their sustenance.

But on the human level, there is a “bug” in the program. In programming languages, a “flag” is a predefined bit (or several connected bits) that a program uses to remember something or to leave a sign. It seems that in humans, the flag that tells all other creatures to stop consuming is missing. So the bug is that we are programmed to eternal voraciousness. Or are we?

In truth, the self-centered stream that animals follow is constantly accompanied by another, parallel stream, which operates on the exact opposite paradigm—altruism. When an animal has satisfied its need, the other stream comes into play, and the animal instinctively stops eating or hunting. In humans, the altruistic stream is disconnected from the self-centered one.

So what we, humans, have to do is make that connection consciously! Otherwise, we’ll stay with only one, imbalanced stream, and will consume ourselves to extinction just as cancer consumes its host body until the body dies and the cancer goes with it. If you examine the crises engulfing the world around every corner and in every area of human engagement, it is easy to see that life on Earth will eventually become unsustainable.

And that point, where humans must become active and balance themselves out, is where we Jews come in. Almost four millennia ago, Abraham discovered a method he described in a book titled, Sefer Yetzira (Book of Creation). Since then, the method for maintaining human nature in check has been a property of Abraham’s descendants, and finally that of the Jewish people.

Approximately two millennia ago, all but a chosen few among the Jews lost their priceless knowledge, and became as oblivious to that other stream as the rest of the world. But the world has not forgotten that the Jews once held that knowledge, and whenever there is a crisis, the nations blame it on the Jews. They simply feel that the Jews are doing harm, not realizing that even the Jews have no clue what it is they are supposedly hiding, and which is so priceless. This is why most Jews deny they have a role, and excuse themselves by saying that being “a light for the nations” was misunderstood, and that if it was ever relevant, that time has ended long ago.

But the nations still blame us for everything that’s wrong with the world. So we need to understand that the fact that we don’t know about the other stream doesn’t exempt us from learning about it and teaching it to the rest of the nations. We may forget about it, but the nations keep reminding us through a unique kind of hatred which no other nation has been exposed to: anti-Semitism.

Because anti-Semitism emerges from a profound need to restore balance and prosperity to life, whenever and wherever the two don’t exist, the Jews are held accountable. Hatred of Jews may cloak itself in hatred of the State of Israel (the most recent mask), but it may also wear the attire of racism, religious extremism, or envy at the Jews’ wealth.

At the end of the day, the Jews must relearn the knowledge that Abraham bequeathed them, and they must pass it on to the nations. This is the meaning of being “a light for the nations.” This is the only way humanity can balance itself and maintain successful, happy societies where we all feel safe, content, and personally fulfilled.

I encourage you to read more about Integral Education, a method that teaches how to establish the balanced existence I’m referring to through an acquired sense of unity and solidarity. On my homepage you will find all the information you need in order to begin to explore the new paradigm, and how we can build societies that live with both streams balanced.

Also, if you want more information on the Jewish connection to the implementation of the social correction I am discussing, you’re invited to visit and download the materials from there. It is completely free.

Happy New Year.

This article originally appeared online in The Jerusalem Post.

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