Speaking about the Russia-Ukraine war, NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg recently told a German weekly newspaper, “We must prepare for the fact that it could take years.” As I have said several times, this war is not like any war before; it is a scrutiny on a new level, a precursor of more scrutinies to come. This scrutiny may have started with Russia and Ukraine, but it will not end there; it will encompass all of Europe, and eventually all of humanity. These scrutinies will drive human society to rebuild itself in a way that helps us achieve life’s essence and purpose.
The current bafflement and indecision that has overcome us is not negative. It is a mandatory state that precedes any progress. There have always been struggles over who will rule—which party or which leader or which ideology. The reflections imposed on us today impel us to determine how we want to relate to our society, to our country, and to humanity, and what will advance us to achieve the state of completion and perfection.
Although at the moment, the struggles are between individuals who are leaders of their countries, people already see that this is not the correct way for humanity to be, at least not in terms of the leaders’ motivations. When leaders’ decisions are driven by considerations of the benefit of the public rather than their own benefit, their decisions will be correct, they will succeed, and they will win everyone’s support. This, by the way, does not pertain to one specific leader but is true of all leaders, as this will be the basic tenet of leadership in the future.
The mutual dependence that seems to burden us today, causing shipment delays, food and energy shortages, and spreading viruses around the world, is really the flip-side of our mutual responsibility. When we learn the message of interconnectedness that it teaches us, we will find that our connections do not hurt, but allow us to live more comfortably and easily, and that our mutual dependence is an invitation to connect our hearts and not only our economies.
The reason that we currently feel as though the world is in crisis is that we are unwilling to accept our interdependence. In the struggle between forced interdependence and reluctance to play by its rule, we are causing everything to shut down. However, if we embrace connection rather than reject it, we will discover its countless benefits compared to having to rely only on ourselves.
We are living through a very special time in history. A pivotal shift is happening, a spiritual transformation. Gradually, we are learning to perceive ourselves not only as individuals, but also as parts of a system that maintain a symbiotic relationship with it: We nourish the system, and the system nourishes us.
Until today, we perceived ourselves as separate beings. This put us in constant struggles against every one and everything. The survival of the fittest epitomized our attitude towards life.
In the new perception awakening within us, our attitude will change to what anthropologist Brian Hare and research scientist Vanessa Woods refer to as “the survival of the friendliest.” In this approach, those who feel connected to others and act with everyone’s benefit in mind will prosper, and those who cling to the attitude of “each man for himself” will find themselves defeated by life.
Soon, and I hope it will come without too much pain, humanity will come to complete despair. We will feel that we are suffering blows every step of the way, and at every point in our development. When we come to this, people will agree to connect as a last resort. At that point, I really hope that humanity will begin to contemplate how to rise above the ego because otherwise, it will inflict unbearable suffering on all of us.
In the era that is now dawning, we will not be able to impose decisions on others. We will not be able to oppress or force each other into any resolutions that they will not want to make of their own volition. Person against person, country against country, regime against regime, no one will be able to impose one’s views on the other. In the new era, he who starts a war—loses. Rather, everything will be done with connection and reciprocity.