The recent tragic events of the Israel-Hamas war have made much clearer that our greatest vulnerability to terrorists is not in external threats but in our internal divisions. Our own very demonstrations, protests and vitriol that we spread among each other weakens us and emboldens those who wish to attack us. While the importance of unity is widely acknowledged, what remains less clear is that unity is merely the initial step in a more profound mission.
The story of the Tower of Babel serves as a poignant illustration of the consequences of misusing unity. The Babylonians, united in purpose, harnessed the power of unity to build a tower fueled by a group egoism. Due to their self-serving misuse of the unifying force, the tower eventually collapsed, scattered them and confused their language. Similarly, the history of communism reveals how a seemingly noble pursuit of equality and friendship, rooted in unity, can devolve into greed and oppression, resulting in the loss of millions of lives.
Unity, when constructed upon the flawed foundations of selfish motives, risks undermining its potential for positive change. It is not enough to proclaim, “together we will win.” Mere unity might ward off external foes, but it fails to address the persistent internal battle against our divisive egoistic drives that surface inside us at every moment. Without a higher guiding principle, the ego will resurface, perpetuating a cycle of conflict and drawing external threats.
What distinguishes this higher guiding principle is not a distant, cloud-dwelling grandfather figure but a positive unifying force that manifests in connections that we build above our divisive egoistic tendencies. This force is rooted in the fundamental laws of nature that reveal themselves through the intentions of those who unite in a common aspiration to project the very base qualities of nature—qualities of love, bestowal and connection—to one another and who wish for these qualities to spread to the world at large. Then, the unity that these people establish is based on the fundamental unity that exists in nature, which likewise attracts the harmony and peace that dwells in nature.
To build a society that endures, we must rise above mere unity and establish a society founded on the laws of nature. Without such an alignment, any social construct risks collapse, endangering its members. Recognizing the need to match our unity with nature’s eternal and perfect form of unity is essential for breaking the cycle of internal strife and external threats. We thus need to cultivate unity in society that is built on the benefit of all, a unity made of attitudes of its members that align with nature’s quality of love, bestowal and connection.