The individual pursuit of happiness has led to the rapid intellectual and technological evolution of the human species. Though these advances have come from the wise ones yearning to fulfill the measure of their creation individually, they have had little effect, if any, on the desired end of their existence—happiness.
When more knowledge is acquired by the whole, it has the potential of creating widespread equality and understanding, but this threatens individuality—the purpose of human existence.
Knowledge is what is agreed upon through mutual experience and perception. It is not synonymous with real truth, because it changes as other facts are acquired which negate the accepted truth upon which it was based. The accumulation of knowledge does little to bring happiness to a person, except as a distinction that protects or promotes individuality.
To protect this self-perception and set a distinction between themselves and others, some seek to acquire superior knowledge that sets them above the masses. When these are accepted as being more knowledgeable, they take advantage of the perception. These gain power over the need of their followers to maintain individuality and feel set apart from others. These become leaders.
Some are not convinced of a leader’s superior knowledge and understanding, because in doing so, they will lose their own individuality by succumbing to the direction in which the leader has pointed the followers. These rebel against the leader and become enemies of the leader’s self-image and power.
The first leader recognized in the human experience is the parent who forms a family unit. Through no choice of its own, in its early years, the child becomes an inculcated follower of the traditions, beliefs, and customs (knowledge) of its parents. The parents base their knowledge on time-honored respect for what has been taught to them. To protect these traditions, parents unite with other “followers.” They form communities of families that are led in the same direction by whomever or whatever they have chosen as their leader.
These leaders protect the knowledge upon which the followers have agreed. These communities form cities and nations based on shared perceptions of individuality. The nations are led by the leaders who have convinced their followers of their superior knowledge and ability to protect the core of their power—the family unit established through individuality.
Leaders answer to themselves or to the images and illusions they have created that support their personal agendas. If the leader has the support of the nation, then the people have been convinced that whomever or whatever guides and gives direction to the leader is truth.
In ancient times, humans honored and worshipped their leaders because they were convinced that unseen and powerful gods led and directed them. As knowledge increased and spread to the masses, these unseen gods were replaced with other intangible gods, which had just as much power over the minds and motives of the people as did their mortal leaders. Whatever god is chosen, the leaders maintain control over the people by perpetuating and promoting the god in which the people believe.
Unseen gods religiously motivate humans to revere the whole to which the individual belongs, subjecting all to the will of these mysterious forces. These gods are known and accepted because people have placed their faith and support in mortal leaders who have convinced them of the supernatural essence in which they should believe.
It can be profoundly stated that a “god” is the equivalent of a Powerful Human Motivator. By utilizing this knowledge, leaders establish themselves above others, fulfilling their true nature of individual self-awareness; but are never able to satisfy their followers’ desires to arrive at the same awareness.
Being the wise ones that they are, humans soon developed a Powerful Human Motivator (a god) that would allow them, whether leader or follower, to maintain the illusion that their existence was indeed leading to a full self-awareness of their individuality. They created specific values placed on each other and the resources of the natural earth. These values would always sustain a continual state of distinction and division, assuring individuality—the balance of human happiness.
These values began something like this:
The Story of Ug and Thug
A long time ago, long before the discovery of silver and gold, there lived a man named Ug. Ug lived in a community of people who prospered well for that time, herding sheep, raising cows, and growing grain.
One day while Ug was fishing in a stream near his home, he noticed a shiny rock exhibiting its countenance through the crystal clear water.
“That’s a nice looking stone,” Ug thought as he retrieved it from its resting place.
As Ug pondered on the discovery he had made, he wondered what use this pretty rock could have. He decided that although the rock was beautiful, it served him no real purpose; so he threw it back. Now that he had discovered the existence of the rock, he began to notice that the streambed where he was fishing was full of the peculiar looking stone.
Ug’s neighbor, Thug, was a lazy sort, and spent many a day down by the stream idly dreaming up ways he could get out of the responsibilities of work that were required of him by the community of people where he lived.
One day, Thug noticed the shiny rock that his friend, Ug, had discarded.
“Hey!” thought Thug, “I bet I could convince Ug’s wife that this pretty stone is worth a mammoth meat pie.” (Something Thug loved to eat, but was too lazy to make himself.)
Thug took the stone and fashioned it into a trinket and gave it to Ug’s wife, who upon seeing it, immediately fell in love with its shiny attributes. She made Thug his pie, and couldn’t wait to show off her new trinket to her friends.
“Wow!” thought Thug. “If Ug’s wife liked the stone, maybe all the other women will like one too. I’ll never have to make another mammoth pie again!”
Thug went down to the streambed and gathered up all the shiny rocks he could find. When the other men’s wives wanted a shiny trinket like Ug’s wife, their husbands searched in vain for the rocks Thug had already taken.
The other women were distraught that they could not have a trinket like Mrs. Ug. These women began to pester their husbands until the pestering became unbearable. The men went to Thug and asked him for some of his shiny rocks for their wives.
“What will you give me for one of these rocks?” Thug asked.
“I will build you a fence,” said one man.
“And I will give you three cows to put inside the fence,” said another.
Soon Thug, the laziest man in town, had the best house, barn, fence, and animals in all the community. Thug spent most of his time looking and digging for the now “precious” stones. The more he found, the less there were for others to find.
It wasn’t long before Thug made a list of the things for which he could trade his stones. He divided his stones up into groups according to size. The littlest stones he traded for a cow, a sheep, or an ox. A bigger stone he gave in exchange for a new shed to be built on his land. And the biggest stones––well, these he kept for himself because he knew he could break them into littler stones that he could trade for practically anything he wanted.
Ug’s cow died and he didn’t have any way to procure milk for his growing children. He asked his wife if she would let him have her trinket so he could trade it to his brother (whose wife had one but wanted two) for one of his cows. Reluctantly, Ug’s wife gave up her trinket so that her children could have milk. Ug traded the stone for one of his brother’s cows. Ug’s brother, Shrug, took the stone, which was way too big for just one cow, and traded it to another neighbor for six sheep and five bushels of wheat.
Ug’s brother never told him that his wife’s stone was worth more than just one cow. He knew his brother needed a cow more than he needed a stone that he couldn’t eat, wear, or sleep in; so he decided he had done his brother a favor. And for the favor; he would get more for the stone than what he gave for it.
This situation went on for some time. Before long, the stones were worth much more to the people of the community than any of their other possessions.
One wise man set up a little business by the bank of the stream where the stones had first been found. His wise premise was to help people save their stones and get more stones by lending them out to others in return for a bigger stone than what they had borrowed in the first place. When this man lent out a stone that was the size of a walnut, he told the borrowers that they would have to pay him back a stone the size of an apple. When the bigger stone was paid back as agreed, the man would then chip off a little bit of the apple-sized stone for himself and give the person who had deposited his stone in the business a stone which was bigger than what he had originally deposited.
“What an easy way to get more stones without finding any, or trading anything for them,” boasted the man.
Since his business seemed to be successful by the bank of the stream, he called his business: The Bank.
Soon the people of the community were spending far more time figuring out ways to get and trade stones than they were raising things to eat, making things to wear, or building houses. It wasn’t long before there were lots of stones lying around that no one could eat, wear, or live in. The people began to die from hunger and the cold outside, or they were killed by someone wanting their stones.
Ug analyzed what had happened to his community, and called the people together and told them what Thug had done. He explained that Thug had taken advantage of all of them because he didn’t want to work like the rest of the community. He made Thug’s name known throughout the land as a lazy con artist who took advantage of the peoples’ industry for his own good. His name has been infamous ever since.
It wasn’t long before Thug killed his brother for speaking against him; and because of Thug’s riches and power, no one cared.
Our true natures consistently motivate us to maintain our individuality due to our unique awareness that we are different and independent from everything else in the Universe. As explained, we are aware of our self, and we use our ability to reason to experience things that validate our existence, or this individuality. Therefore, we naturally seek out those things that confirm this uniqueness. From our honest perspective, everything in the Universe exists for us to use in our experiences to arrive at happiness, which is the balance that we seek.
In the above story, Ug’s wife was aware that wearing a trinket set her apart from others. When the other women noticed this difference that set Ug’s wife apart from them, they recognized her uniqueness, and believed that they too could become different in the same way. Once all of them possessed the same bracelet, their individualism was diminished. To separate themselves further from each other, and reach a state of independent awareness that would bring them balance (happiness), each sought out other things–maybe two bracelets or three bracelets instead of one–to recover their distinctiveness.
This natural tendency is why humans establish borders, nations, communities, and families, and seek for personal riches and emotional securities such as patriotism or religious or group affiliations that separate them from others. Though these things are abstract, and are as varied as each particular mind interprets their meaning and value, they have become an important constant, and the utmost desire of a wise one in search of his or her natural balance.
Even those who do not want borders, nations, communities or families, and who do not seek material wealth or depend on the emotional securities that distinguish one human from another, still protect their individuality by not belonging to the group of those who do seek after these things. Inevitably, it is impossible for humans not to crave their selfish desires––no matter what they might be.
The leaders we choose to lead us are determined by their ability to protect and allow our individuality. The democracies of the world are premised on the ability of the people to choose for themselves the laws and governments that promote their selfish desires.
Governments that allow a person the liberty to exist and determine what brings balance to the self, and which guarantee this pursuit of happiness, are unquestionably supported by human nature. These types of governments encourage the perpetual quest for individuality. They promise their supporters the ability to achieve the realization of their selfish dreams.
Humans exist on a planet whose natural laws will never satisfy their free-willed intrinsic character. They are not like other creatures of the animal kingdom that have no concept of self-awareness, and maintain balance by working with natural law to perpetuate the whole. Working against the laws of nature, human self-awareness supports the individual, and sets a unique standard of balance (happiness) for which it continually seeks. Human intelligence and reason has created a powerful entity of motivation that helps maintain this balance. This Powerful Human Motivator is a great beast that has no part of the normal order of the animal world.
In other words, the corruption of man has created the dragon, which has given birth to a beast upon whose back the whole of humanity rides. Nothing stands in the way of this dragon and its desires. The beast receives its power from the dragon, and reigns throughout the whole earth. Who would want (or dare) to make war with or attempt to overthrow The Beast that fulfills the very essence of human desire?