- “COOPERATION + TOLERANCE = PEACE” beyond tribalism in a context of prior unity.
Human beings must accept, with humility, that their rightful position (and that of every one) in the naturally indivisible world-family of Earthkind (including humankind) is not the “ego-place” of prior dis-unity (and, thus, of separateness, domination, and control), but the “heart-place” of prior unity (and, thus, of ego-transcending cooperation and tolerance). . . . Indeed, this Call to Right Life and Peace is a great and absolute natural or moral Law, “Cooperation + Tolerance = Peace”. It is absolutely essential that the universal collective of humankind formally embrace and really enact this universal moral disposition.
“PRIOR UNITY” To rightly appreciate a vision of a Global Cooperative Forum, it is important to understand what he means by the term “prior unity”. By “prior”, he does not mean “previous”. It is some past “golden age” of unity on Earth. Rather, it is the inherent, or “a priori”, unity of existence—the primal, irreducible slate of being in which the world and all things continually arise and pass away. This original state of being, is, by its very nature, one and indivisible, regardless of the apparently separate happenings that arise within it. We can understand this by looking at the ocean, which is a single body of water supporting an ever-changing pattern of individual waves.
Prior unity, in this sense, is reflected in every dimension of the world and of the human being. For over one hundred years, physicists have been demonstrating, in ever more sophisticated ways, that so-called “matter” is a unified continuum of energy, not merely an assembly of separate particles. At the same time, biologists have shown that the genetic structure of the human being is almost exactly identical throughout the entire human species, and that the apparent differences between the world’s races are very superficial.
A clear awareness of the truth of prior unity enables intelligent collective action—action that starts from the working principle that prior unity is already so, rather than action that simply “works toward”, or struggles to establish, unity. In other words, the “real” or “realistic” politics of our time must come from understanding, and acting in accordance with, how things really are.
But there is an immediate obstacle to such intelligent action, and that obstacle is “ego”, or “egoity”. Ego is the false assumption that separateness is the case, and acting on that basis. Ego, makes, or is, “two-ness”—the sense of “self” versus “other”. The separate “self”, while constantly presumed, has no real existence. Human society is based on ego, or “two”—the subject and the object. Prior unity is not duality it is the mutuality that is peace.
The terms “tribal” and “tribalism” refer to ego in its collective form. Human societies do not operate on the assumption that human beings are all basically the same. Rather, human societies operate based on what he calls “the presumption of ‘difference-, or the notion of “us” and “them”. Identifying with one’s local grouping, or groupings—be it village, clan, town, religion, political party, nation-state, and so on—has an enormous amount to do with how human beings think and act. There is an instinctive assumption that those who are not part of “our group” are “foreign” or “alien”. These are key words in the common psyche and run through our social and political language.
The psychology of identifying with one’s own group first, over against other groups, is “tribalism”. This is a criticism of the positive bonding between individuals in any human grouping, but pointing to the reflex of separation. It is said in the ancient Upanishads of India, “Wherever there is an ‘other’, fear arises.” What is true in the individual case is true also with collectives. The fear of the “other” is the age-old root of human conflict, and, when extended collectively, is the root of war.
It is obvious to all who face the facts, that, at this critical point in human history, “tribalism” has been pushed to terrible, and potentially terminal, lengths. Earth-systems are breaking down, and the social, economic, and political order is under severe stress in many parts of the world. The nation-states—and the various associations of nation-states—are inadequate to deal with the urgent global realities, which cross all borders. A new human process that gives form and life to the fact of prior unity is urgently required.