Quantum physics has demonstrated the following: the act of observing something has an influence upon its outcome. Thus, if we examine science as a whole from this perspective, we start to realize the potential implications of the foundational principles we were taught as children, during the most formative years of our lives. Perhaps one of the most important, is the idea of “survival of the fittest”.
Let’s consider a simple thought experiment, to illustrate the impact of this seemingly unimportant idea of “natural selection”. Imagine there are two groups of schoolchildren, each being taught a course on science in elementary school. Let’s call them Group A and Group B.
Group A is taught what most of us were all taught: “survival of the fittest,” a paradigm in which the strongest survive to procreate, and the weak are removed from the gene pool due to their inability to survive. It is the evolutionary corollary of the concept, “might makes right”. In other words, the physically dominant are those who (deserve to) survive. Group A is taught that violence, instability, and danger are normal, unchangeable facets of the world we live in.
Group B, however, is taught of the concept of integration and one’s relationship and responsibility to the whole. Group B is taught that, in an advanced civilization, survival is dependent upon our collective ability to coordinate and cooperate as a whole. Group B is taught that our thoughts, beliefs and consciousness are the determinant of the reality we live in, as they inform our behaviors and actions. Group B is taught the concepts of interconnectedness and harmony as natural states.
We can imagine the dramatic difference in perspective, that would result between the children of Groups A and B as a result of this foundational teaching, and core component of how the world works.
Group A, taught “survival of the fittest”, focuses on the ideas of competition and scarcity as the defining aspects of humanity’s evolution. It assumes that war is an inevitable (if not necessary) condition of humanity. This indirectly legitimizes past and ongoing conflicts, such as war and extractive industry. Group A is taught a concept, that precludes closer examination, of why humanity continues to behave the way it has been behaving, despite the serious problems created by our way of viewing the world and living on it.
Group B, on the other hand, comes to understand humanity’s evolution as being a function of its ability and desire to work together. The focus is upon transitioning from the past and present, into the kind of future that we all can agree is beneficial (most likely, a society in which all human life is valued, respected and free). Group B is taught to take responsibility, to understand the highest potential of humanity, and to not operate from fear.
Group B still learns about “survival of the fittest”, but only in the context of being a historical reality that was embraced and pushed by those in power (and largely, which brought us to where we are today). Group B is shown this alongside the more attractive option, the idea of humanity seeking to come together, to realize its full potential, and focus energy not upon fighting and competing, so much as upon coordinating and cooperating.
So how do the children of Groups A and B differ as they grow into adulthood? In all likelihood, Group A children will be more focused on their ego, their individuality, as they grapple to find a sense of stability and peace in a world of competition, in which there are inevitably winners and losers.
Like many of us, Group A children will also at some point in life, probably experience a feeling of emptiness and hollowness, when viewing life from the perspective of the separate, “me-against-the-world” self. Is the point, the meaning, of life, to simply make money, attain “success”?Like most of us, Group A children will believe that the concepts of world peace, world without war, equal opportunity and freedom for all, are idealistic and unrealistic; a possibility that is too scary to embrace, due to what others may think of us.
Group B children, on the other hand, are likely to become compassionate, clever and ethical individuals, who see an entirely different worldview relative to Group A. Not only do they not dismiss the idea of “world peace” as idealistic / unrealistic; they bear the burden of realizing that it is their responsibility and duty to lead by example and carry the world into this higher understanding of humanity. Group B children will grow into adults who are better equipped to help heal the wounds of the past, freeing humanity from insecurity and fear-based programming.
Children from Group B are more likely retain a crucial aspect of their childlike selves, as they mature into adults: the ability to see things as they are, without the pressure of social and scientific constraints to (“appropriate”) thinking. They are likely to be far more tuned into their intuition, their empathic understanding of their surroundings; and will be far more comfortable with the idea of simply being, rather than the forced feeling of needing to fight or compete (ie, the discomfort that Group A children feel when they are not “doing” things).
Group B children will have more of a struggle integrating into our world as it is today, but that reflects the point: our society has created, and is built upon, an unsustainable system. The only way it will change, is if we revolutionize the way we think, understand and behave.
We should all think about the risk/reward of holding space for this idea. At worst, we end up considering a new way of thinking, and others criticize us or disagree. At best, we are able to let go of harmful, ingrained ways of thinking; and end up creating a new (way for seeing the) world.