The New Society
We are facing a number of global catastrophic risks. The most urgent ones and the most likely are self-induced. What is required is not more science or better technology but a sea change in human nature. As Thomas Friedman expresses in clear and practical terms in his book Thank You For Being Late, the survival of the human race depends it:
The fact is, for our survival as a species, our very notion of “community” has to expand to the boundaries of the planet (2016, 352)
In other words, we have to adopt all of the collective as our tribe. That will work. This automatically produces a potential resolution of the serious schisms all over the world. But the severe difficulty becomes apparent when we see what is required to achieve this. Essentially we all have to stop being so egoistic. As stated by Alexander King, the pioneering environmentalist who co-founded the Club of Rome:
… the fundamental difficulty lies within the very nature of man. Any durable solution to [humanity’s] external and internal problems can only come from evolution beyond the egoism that motivates every individual. The wisdom we desperately require can only come through inner transformation. … This seems the only hope of breaking the impasse of both great danger and great promise, in which mankind is presently constrained. (2006, 22)
Egoism here means the belief that acting in one’s own best interests is the only criterion that matters. This is what is tearing our world apart, the increasingly total breakdown of a sense of community, not only globally but locally.
King’s solution automatically produces a potential resolution of humanity’s horrifying mismanagement of our societies and our ecosphere. But how on Earth do we achieve this? The solution is simple to express but it seems utterly unreachable. As he goes on to say:
All religions have, in their purest aspirations, attempted to induce such a change, with very little success. Much as we need a miracle, we can hardly rely on one appearing. Nevertheless, we should strive, through deliberate efforts of inner development and new insights into consciousness and the working of the mind, to cultivate an enlightened communal sense. This seems the only hope of breaking the impasse of both great danger and great promise, in which mankind is presently constrained. (ibid)
But there is new hope. The new worldview brings about exactly the change he describes. And it seems far more possible because we do not really have to evolve beyond the egoism – just as well since that does seem to be impossible. Even with the new worldview we are still primarily egoistic, but the egoism operates on a much wider agenda. It means we want to do as we would be done by, for everyone, even if we are not terribly good at doing so. In due course this leads to the change Friedman and King are describing.
The Moral Rules
In the light of our having two quite different identities, the great struggle to define morality, and the basis on which it should be observed, make proper sense at last. The legendary naturalist Charles Darwin divided the effects of morality into altruism and selfishness, which he called the high moral rules and the low moral rules. The high moral rules are based on the impulse to prosper the other, whether or not this is to one’s own advantage. The low moral rules are the set of rational principles that one knows from education and experience one is required to conform to in order to get by in society.
These are quite literally the different natural perspectives of the two identities described in The Higher Self, the ordinary ego self and the higher self. For the ordinary self, the obvious morality is just the low moral rules. Reality is what you can get away with. One could well see the modern world as a global expression of this viewpoint. The higher self has a relationship to the world that is somewhat different. Egoism is still present, but the ego that truly knows itself identifies with the world as a whole. This automatically gives rise to the high moral rules. There is a natural urge to do well by others, and by the world as a whole. This viewpoint can be summed up by saying the whole is sacred. But this is a hard sell in the modern competitive world. In the world of the ordinary ego self it is a luxury one may or may not want to provide, let alone be able to anyway. But in the world of the higher self this is the key to heaven. Understanding one is the same thing as the known world changes everything because effectively, as countless sages have told us, how we treat the world is how the world treats us. That is the meaning of karma.
On the inside view karma is a real phenomenon, as described in Quantum Karma. As the ego self, as an ordinary person in an ordinary world, karma makes no sense. The world looks random, and assigning cause to some vague Eastern religious principle seems just daft. But for the higher self, living in a personal many-worlds reality, and identified with the world as a whole, it is a natural consequence of the nature of reality. What you do is what you get because you are the world. You are doing it to yourself. The effect is holistic, but very real.
As the higher self, the individual defined by the world hologram, the only practical way to treat the world is as sacred. All primitive tribes know this. All modern civilisations classify it as nonsense. But now we have the logical analysis that shows us exactly what all this means. We are realities. We are worlds.
This type of entity is immortal, and empowered. This type of identity also comes with a higher set of truths, higher here meaning more general. The rules are simple. First do no harm. This the basis of the quickstart guide to living right. These are the ‘do nots’ of the famous Ten Commandments. If you really want to do well, you follow the first two as described by Jesus. First love God, which is here taken to mean holding the whole as sacred, loving reality, loving life and all it entails. Be an optimist. See the glass half full. The second is to love one’s neighbour as oneself, in other words altruism, the great fundamental principle of the high moral rules. And of course, with the higher perspective of the higher self, all this is simply loving oneself in another form. What’s not to like?
These laws have been seen as commandments from a greater being, like the ultimate schoolmaster, but they are simply the laws of reality. These are simply the quickstart guide to the personal world described by QBism. This is the origin of the morality inherent in reality. These laws are the right thing to do, not only for the other people one encounters, and the culture at large, but, vitally, for oneself. In this kind of world, this is what works.
It may not seem so. It seems a bit obvious there are those that treat others badly but go on having a nice life. But in the ‘Moravec jump’ to the next lifetime all one’s karma comes true in the blink of an eye, as described in Quantum Karma. If you have even an inkling of the true long-term perspective, it is absolutely vital to do as you would be done by.
Understanding that karma is a real phenomenon, the only sane and sensible approach to life is taking the other people in the world into consideration. This is enlightened self-interest, acting to the benefit of others in order to serve one’s own self-interest. This is a purely selfish motivation – doing well by doing good – but it achieves exactly the effects the human race is so desperately in need of.
At present, self-interest trumps all other concerns. But in the new paradigm it is clear that an inherent morality operates, and this makes enlightened self-interest the only rational approach to life. The ground is shifted because the basis of egoism is redefined. We are still egoistic, but the egoism operates with respect to an identity that includes all the world. As a result the principle of the high moral rules, altruism, becomes the elementary low moral rule, what one knows one has to conform to for one’s own good. And this way we get to go on living here. The way we are headed there will not be any humans past a certain point in the near future. This is described in Race Survival Intelligence.
The New Culture
This seeds the vital change in human nature. We become selfish cooperators, selfishly altruistic. The scientific logic of this is explained in Interactive Destiny and the subsidiary pages. The reformation of society is extensive and dramatic. With every member of the community, rich and poor, rooting for the success of all, there is a total transformation not only of the quality of life but also of the effectiveness of the community and of our race.
Right now the human race is desperately in need of just such principles, a basis for an inherent and meaningful morality. We have booted out religion to free ourselves from irrational beliefs, but the baby is gone with the bath water, and the global culture is rabidly egoistic. The new understanding restores the humanistic principles as fundamental rules of the operation of reality, not just guidelines but essentials for life. This in turn produces a culture oriented towards support and cooperation, even if not at first committed. The efficiencies are extraordinary. Resources flow naturally to where they are needed. At the same time the general recognition of the frail state of the ecosphere results in far greater respect being paid to maintenance, with self-imposed austerity and ecological efficiency being highly prized and admired. As described in the next page, this is Human Being 2.0.
There is another change for the better which comes about as a result of the new paradigm being adopted. It is clear there are no absolutes of right and wrong, aside from the fundamentals that apply to basic humanity. And there is absolutely no basis on which one can say that one’s own religious views are right for everyone. As a consequence, others are necessarily seen as entities with their own values which are also perfectly valid. There is every chance the human race will live long and prosper.