- Human Body Development Expansion & Consolidation Human Nature

Embryonic Humanity

Humanity is a whole, single organism, and may be likened unto the body of a human being, also a whole and single organism.  Likewise, the embryological processes that led to the development of the human being are therefore the same processes in the body of humankind.  What are these processes?


Humanity was not always a whole and single organism in its social, outward form.  Of course, on an ontological level, humanity is one – has always been, and always will be.  The last thousands of years have been the gradual manifestation into reality of this latent truth.  However, there have been stages:  “History has thus far recorded principally the experience of tribes, cultures, classes, and nations. With the physical unification of the planet in this century and acknowledgement of the interdependence of all who live on it, the history of humanity as one people is now beginning.”


We may say, then, that we are witnessing humanity’s embryological phase.  Roughly a century old, compared to the hundreds of millennia during which Homo sapiens existed, and the tens of millennia of civilization, humanity as one organism is very much an embryo.


What are the main embryological processes?  Immediately, the processes of cell division and growth and of differentiation and specialization come to mind.  This is how the organism increases in size and complexity, and other fundamental processes of gastrulation, somitogenesis, and organogenesis result from these first two foundational processes.


There is a third process, less discussed and yet now recognized as equally important, that it makes up the third of the three main processes of embryology: apoptosis.  A highly ordered and natural process, apoptosis is a series of biochemical events that leads to cell death.  WIthout apoptosis, for instance, fingers and toes wouldn’t be formed, as the hands and feet are massive paws until the cells in-between fingers and toes apoptose.  Similarly, organs are sculpted to their desired structure through apoptosis.  The chambers of the heart hollow out as structure responds to anticipated function.  The nervous system forms first as an overproduced mass of cells with potential, and those through which synaptic connections don’t arise aren’t chemically confirmed, and simply apoptose to allow for a well-functioning, descriptive neural network based on interactions that happened; and not a prescribed or predetermined system.  Apoptosis is not a passive processes, but active and highly-regulated, necessary for organic health and to maintain homeostasis – ironically, some degenerative diseases result from ineffective apoptosis.


This is not the only way cells die.  There is also the biological phenomenon of necrosis, which is the death of cells due to damage, toxins, trauma, infection, lack of blood flow or oxygen, a poisonous chemical environment – factors all extrinsic to the cell itself.  Necrosis is an unnatural and unhealthy occurrence, while apoptosis is a natural and healthy process.  And the differences are clinically perceptible; apoptosis is completely unnoticeable while necrosis results in pain, redness, heat, swelling, etc.


So what parallels can be drawn between the three processes of proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis?


– These processes are analogous to the dialectic through which civilization advances – crisis and victory.  The victory is often in terms of growth and decentralization – two movements that are inseparable.  They are both in terms of numbers and complexity, quantity and quality.  The crisis comes in the form of apoptosis – a decline in numbers, momentary set-backs and breaches in bonds, decreased efficacy when new complexities occur.


– Crisis is not a result of failure on the part of the protagonists, nor is it a passive occurrence; rather, it is an active and healthy phenomenon, necessary to provide organic conditions for new victories.  As progress is dynamic, so are the processes involved.


– It is important to distinguish between natural and healthy crisis and disruptive crisis.  Two factors predominate – perspective and the environment.  As apoptosis is a result of inner conditions, whereas necrosis is a result of external environmental factors, we must be alert to extraneous complications that result from the environment, and are not intrinsic to the process itself.  Crisis can be a smooth, seamless, and non-disruptive process when occurring in an environment imbued with love, patience, forbearance, and enthusiasm, one in which a humble posture of learning is the mode of operation.  Furthermore, if one has a negative perspective on events, then likely it will be seen as a crisis in negative connotation of the word; whereas if one perceives the same events as natural, it can be seen as an opportunity for progress.  How can we prevent unhealthy crisis – necrosis – before it becomes clinically manifest, and create environments and facilitate perspectives toward apoptosis, or healthy crisis?


– These three processes, growth, decentralization, and crisis, are all necessary for healthy progress, and they exist in a dynamic equilibrium.  An excess of any one becomes unhealthy.  Growth by itself leads to a congregation of functionless cells, losing touch with the purpose of increasing numbers; decentralization by itself is a premature distancing from the community, resulting in unsustainable activities or complacent stance; and crisis by itself is usually an indicator that focus is not on the process as a whole, but instead is on certain cells (individuals).


There is, of course, much more insight that can be drawn from how a human being embryologically develops and its application to the processes by which humanity advances.  It is important to always keep in mind that all these multiple interacting processes are fundamentally organic in nature.

- Empowerment - Governance - Human Body - Religion Justice

Abdu’l-Baha on Economic Policy

According to Abdu’l-Baha, wealth inequality, can be attributed to the “extreme greed and rapacity of the manufacturers and industrialists.” He furthermore  identifies  the root cause of income disparity as the defunct operations of the legislative branch of government:

“The principal cause of these difficulties lies in the laws of the present civilization; for they lead to a small number of individuals accumulating incomparable fortunes, beyond their needs, while the greater number remain destitute, stripped and in the greatest misery.”

Abdu’l-Baha introduces concepts into His discourse that rarely find equivalent parallels in the modern discourse on economic policy. Instead of dominant values such as “economic growth”, He emphasizes “justice”; instead of  “profits” He emphasizes “humanity” and “equity”. His appeal to new concepts is grounded in a metaphysics that transcends the modern foundations of economics, which are outdated. The remedy to economic injustice He specifies lies in legislation designed to ensure that private profits go to meet the needs of the impoverished masses:

“…Rules and laws should be established to regulate the excessive fortunes of certain private individuals and meet the needs of millions of the poor masses; thus a certain moderation would be obtained…”

The exact proportion of workers wages as a function of CEO or owner income that is most conducive to justice, Abdu’l-Baha specifies as 20-25%. Therefore the average laborer should earn 20-25% of the total income earned by an owner or CEO. The majority shareholder of a corporation for example could expect to see approximately 4-5 times as much share in the profits as the average worker would. No more.

“Laws and regulations should be established which would permit the workmen to receive from the factory owner their wages and a share in the fourth or the fifth part of the profits…The body of workmen and the manufacturers should share equitably the profits and advantages…”

Today the average CEO “earns” 360 times as much as his average employee.  According to Abdu’l-Baha’s vision, the ratio of reward for investment vs reward for labor is not as distorted in favor of investment as is today’s market. The power balance between the labor and capital markets today is not tenable in the context of justice. Furthermore, honest labor should come with the guarantee of social security and retirement packages for aging populations. According to Abdu’l-Baha,

“The capital and management come from the owner of the factory, and the work and labor, from the body of the workmen… Either the workmen should receive wages which assure them an adequate support and, when they cease work, becoming feeble or helpless, they should have sufficient benefits from the income of the industry; or the wages should be high enough to satisfy the workmen with the amount they receive so that they may themselves be able to put a little aside for days of want and helplessness.”

The accumulation of excessive wealth is itself a burden and carries with it natural and moral dangers for individuals. Extremes of wealth and poverty engender social unrest between classes. Violence and crime become means of survival for the poor as well as weapons of retribution for their suffering against the rich. Wealth in itself is a transient entity that will not endure beyond its utility in this world. Large sums of wealth carry with them the burden of responsibility and administration for its owner. In the words of Abdu’l-Baha:

“If the fortune is disproportionate, the capitalist succumbs under a formidable burden and gets into the greatest difficulties and troubles…[for] the administration of an excessive fortune is very difficult and exhausts man’s natural strength”

Abdu’l-Baha advises people who control vast means of production that they exercise moderation in the acquisition of profits, instead diverting the majority of their funds to the infrastructure of their company, the needs of employees, or the welfare of society:

“It lies in the capitalists’ being moderate in the acquisition of their profits, and in their having a consideration for the welfare of the poor and needy”

For Abdu’l-Baha, the profits of a corporation do not belong to whoever arbitrarily purchased more of their stock. On the contrary, there is a moral right intrinsic to the workers who created the products to ownership of a fixed and definite proportion of the profits:

“Workmen and artisans receive a fixed and established daily wage—and have a share in the general profits of the factory…” “And it is from the income of the factory itself, to which they have a right, that they will derive a share…”

Moderation in the profits of the owner are linked to the retirement security of the laborers as well as the cost of caring for and rearing the worker’s offspring. The social security net of work covers not only the individuals who work but their family and children until they become old enough to be independently financially responsible:

“It would be well, with regard to the common rights of manufacturers, workmen and artisans, that laws be established, giving moderate profits to manufacturers, and to workmen the necessary means of existence and security for the future. Thus when they become feeble and cease working, get old and helpless, or leave behind children under age, they and their children will not be annihilated by excess of poverty.”

Abdu’l-baha advises congress to legislate on matters of workers rights and the share of profits to be apportioned to owners vs laborers in a just and impartial manner. By this statement He rules out the legitimacy of lobbyists or special interests swaying the partiality of the law-makers. It would be important for them to remain “impartial” in this regard and to legislate laws of profit distribution in accordance with principles of justice.

“But the mutual and reasonable rights of both associated parties will be legally fixed and established according to custom by just and impartial laws.”

If owners oppress laborers by refusing to pay them their share of the profits or treating them poorly or providing abusive working conditions, the judicial branch is responsible for passing a ruling in defense of the laborers, and the president and department of justice would be responsible for penalizing the corporation, procuring the profits due to the unpaid workers and establishing measures for the continuation of a just relationship:

“In case one of the two parties should transgress, the court of justice should condemn the transgressor, and the executive branch should enforce the verdict; thus order will be reestablished…”

Abdu’l-Baha clearly situates the relationship between employers and employees within the public sector, endorsing the validity and importance of state-run workers rights regulations:

“The interference of courts of justice and of the government in difficulties pending between manufacturers and workmen is legal, for the reason that current affairs between workmen and manufacturers cannot be compared with ordinary affairs between private persons, which do not concern the public, and with which the government should not occupy itself.

A coherent conception of society underlies Abdu’l-Baha’s vision of the relationship between the private and state sectors and the role of governance and law in ordering and regulating capital and labor markets:

“If one of these suffers an abuse, the detriment affects the mass. Thus the difficulties between workmen and manufacturers become a cause of general detriment.”

The Baha’i principle of unity is the nexus through which all things are connected. Pain of the part necessitates pain of the whole. Prosperity for the whole implies prosperity for each part. Can any body part maintain the position that only some distant body part is in pain, but that it itself is immune to the feeling? Surely not. The body experiences pain and pleasure as one. Likewise, the body politic experiences prosperity or privation as one. Abdu’l-Baha explains:

“In reality…these difficulties between the two parties produce a detriment to the public; for commerce, industry, agriculture and the general affairs of the country are all intimately linked together.”


- Governance - Human Body - Prevailing Conceptions Discourse Human Nature Justice Oneness

Economic Theory: Competition, the Key to Prosperity?

Human nature has been misinterpreted. We are not selfish and competitive by nature, but rather, altruistic and cooperative. Human societies to some extent actually represent an anomaly in the competitive theory of the jungle. Humans demonstrate a detailed division of labour and exchange of goods and services, with or without a cooperative intention on the individual level, between genetically unrelated individuals, that amounts to an economy-wide scheme of cooperation for collective prosperity. Modern societies with large organizational structures for meat and vegetable production and distribution, banking services and widespread trust in economic stability, and the rule of law and order, do the same. Since earliest days of the species Homo sapien, we have seen dense networks of exchange relations and practices of sophisticated forms of food-sharing, cooperative hunting, and collective warfare in hunter gatherer societies. The world of the animal for example, exhibits little to no distinguishable division of labour. In the jungle, cooperation is limited to small groups, and when it is seen it is almost certainly among genetically closely related individuals (eg: a family in a pack of wolves). Even in non-human primates (chimpanzees etc.), cooperation is orders of magnitude less developed than it is among humans. One may argue that certain insects such as ants and bees, or even the naked mole rat demonstrate cooperation in colonies of 1000’s of individuals working together. However, cooperation of these types of organisms cannot be appreciated except in the context of their considerable genetic homology. Genuine, conscious, cooperation that is biologically altruistic or selfless (ie: lacking genetic incentive) is seen in human society because of our unique nature, distinct from the jungle.

The “Jungle” interpretation of human nature comes from looking at humanity’s past of war and crime and deducing that human nature is selfish and competitive. No serious sociologist would look at a child and deduce that human beings are 2 feet tall and irrational. Yet, that is precisely what has been done when we look at humanity’s war- and crime-ridden history and deduce that human nature is selfish and competitive. Over the course of the child’s maturation and development it will become evident that he is actually capable of being a 5’10” professor of physics, for example. To judge human nature based upon an immature stage in human development leads to misconceived notions of who we are and how we should behave. The problem arises from the mistake of taking descriptive observation and mistaking them for a prescription of how things should be. The is-ought fallacy. Based on the observation of selfish and competitive behaviour, sociologists have prescribed selfish and competitive standards for others to follow. Instead of describing humankind’s violent past and seeking to overcome and transcend these difficulties in the future, many social theorists normalize these characteristics and prescribe them as the mode of interaction in economics and political practice. The sad truth is that much of our social order is built with this view of human nature in mind, catering to the worst aspects of our potential. No wonder society and the global state of affairs are in such shambles. A distinctive effort is needed to rethink human nature and our relationship to the collective order. Nothing less than a spiritual revolution in the hearts and minds of people and a transformation of the values of society will redeem us from the course we have set for ourselves with bankrupt self-conceptions.

Current economic theory is modeled around a self-interested conception of human nature analogous to the competitiveness of animals fighting for survival and reproductive resources in a jungle. I believe human nature is fundamentally altruistic, analogous to the harmony of cells and tissues cooperating for total organismic prosperity. The best advantage of the part is pursued in the progress of the whole. Cooperation of the various parts leads to health, and selfishness of any cell leads to cancer. The human body and not the jungle is what I choose as my model for societal and economic organization.

Assumptions of the Jungle Interpretation of Human Nature:
1. Human beings are naturally self-interested
2. There is a finite amount of goods, services, and opportunities with an infinite amount of wants, drives, and competitors
3. Competition is both biologically necessary and mandated by the scarcity of resources
4. Survival of the fittest is not just a biological law, but a social one as well, equally applicable to the biological and social human condition

Assumptions of the Body Interpretation of Human Nature:
1. Human beings are naturally altruistic
2. Goods are produced in proportion to the sense of a duty, purpose, and enterprise animating human endeavours, individually and collectively
3. Needs are satisfied in a way that does justice to their severity and intensity, which balances the extremes of satisfaction and want society-wide
4. Creation of a just and prosperous world order is the fruit of all social evolution, just as the manifestation of the rational mind has been the fruit of biological evolution


- Consultation - Empowerment - Governance - Human Body - Prevailing Conceptions Discourse Justice

Discourse and Politics: Blood in the Arteries of Governance

Discourse on the following topics has brought these themes to the point of being reconceptualized. Certain foundational principles have emerged and crystallized from ongoing discourse. Principles we now believe in in a new way are:

1) Unity of all Humankind
2) Justice according to the Laws of God for all
3) Knowledge, as the central feature of social existence, the generation of which is prerogative and responsibility of all
4) Power, corrupted by partisanship today, must be revolutionized by the power of cooperation, love, unity, spirituality, selflessness, collective-mindedness, and humility.

The fundamental difference between the governance of the present and the governance of the future will be the values of the governors. Unity of the people will be: 1) an assumption about the nature of their collective trusteeship of the governed. Baha’u’llah writes, “The poor in your midst are My trust; guard ye My trust.” If the assumption is that all citizens are equal subjects under one government then disadvantages will not be allowed to amass disproportionately in one sector. 2) The self-conception of governance must change to recognizing itself as the greatest champion of justice for all people. Associated with this is 3) the requirement of promotion of language that reflects the selflessness of the speaking party and grounds any and all validity or claim to be heard in the public forum in the collective well-being. Thoughts will be entertained only that aim at the betterment of all people without regard for particularistic interests. And proposals will be entertained only that allocate resources in accordance with what serves the long-term, principled interests of all people. Baha’u’llah addressing the concourse of the rulers of the earth writes “Take ye counsel together, and let your concern be only for that which profiteth mankind and bettereth the condition thereof.”

How can there be different people, with different ways of life and social structures, but all with a binding unity? How are the diverse tissues of a body coordinated to achieve maximum efficiency and prosperity for all? In pursuit of collective unity and prosperity, rulers ought to regard the world as the human body which, though created whole and perfect, now has various social, economic and political imbalances  as a body that has been afflicted with illness and maladies. Selfish, particularistic, or corrupt politicians, of whom partisanship is a subset, are like untrained, uneducated, fake doctors who have pursued their own materialistic desires at the expense of the common weal.  And through the violent and competitive electoral and social system we have created if a well-trained and educated physician did intervene, his influence was limited and interrupted and the recovery remained limited to a small region of the body. Collectively, the unity and prosperity of the human race has not been realized.  “That which the Lord hath ordained as the sovereign remedy and mightiest instrument for the healing of all the world is the union of all its peoples in one universal Cause, one common Faith.”

This can in no way be achieved except through the power of a skilled, an all-powerful and inspired Physician. Any representation to the contrary is false. The testimony of all history is obvious. Mankind suffers, and selfishness reigns at the level of statesmanship, where selflessness should have flourished decades ago. We must have laws within our discourse against selfish ideology or intentions and we must promote a discourse that glorifies and appreciates educated, thoughtful, proposals that aim for the betterment of all people with no surreptitious corruption or financial motives. We must vote for and uplift those who have demonstrated a history of consistent selfless action, thoughtful planning for universal betterment, and unwavering discipline and justice in the face of tempting expedients. A stricter order of appreciation for the level of selflessness in the ideology of political leaders is necessary. Those with power must support a culture and enact laws that ensure values which promote those with selfless tendencies, and remove those with particularistic or corrupt inclinations.  “It behoveth every ruler to weigh his own being every day in the balance of equity and justice and then to judge between men and counsel them to do that which would direct their steps unto the path of wisdom and understanding. This is the cornerstone of statesmanship and the essence thereof.”

The publication of high thoughts is the dynamic power in the arteries of life; it is the very soul of the world.

- Governance - Human Body - Three Protagonists Discourse Justice Oneness Power

Beyond Political Partisanship

Three Protagonists and the Life of Society

Prosperity is the goal for mankind. As individuals and as a collective. To govern large groups of individuals congregated into a collective, as in a metropolis or a rural village, as in a city hall or a neighborhood shop, to prevent chaos, violence, injustice, and disturbances of the peace, institutions are needed. Security provided by appropriately appointed law administrators allows societal functions of education, travel, medicine, and commerce to receive well-deserved focus and resources. From the sanctity of authority, institutions engineer the erection of infrastructure and offer their guidance for the organization of social elements. While elected representatives are of the people, governance flows from the occupied institutions to the people. Albeit, creative initiative and prosperity are experienced fundamentally at the level of the individual and their families. At the same time, it should not be overlooked that prosperous institutions conduce to prosperous communities, and prosperous communities ultimately will be undermined if individual health and wealth disparities are so extreme as to undermine the very fabric of safety and security in a society.

Partisanship, Unity, and Justice

Partisanship is defined as loyalty to a group of people or a camp of ideology over and above its merits or its rightness or wrongness on individual issues. Initially parties are purportedly selected on the basis of personal affinities for the rightness or wrongness of their stance on issues, the very existence of parties beyond the issues implies loyalty on the basis of something other than whats right. What does partisanship add where the issues end? What does a party contribute that principles could not? Party choice is maintained often in the absence of close affinity with many issues, or even of those issues with the reality of the exigencies of the people. Party affiliation is not repeated for each issue, deciding what is best in each case. Moreover, oftentimes party membership is selected on the basis of cultural values or family position. For those in politics, often the choice is a pragmatic one brought about by the considerations of career opportunities and personal success. Times change and issues come and go, issues are even conjured up as distractions or partisan chess pieces; throughout all this proponents of a given party are expected to adapt their beliefs to the platform propounded by the partisan goals and agenda. Little thought is given to alternatives to this system given how antithetical partisanship is to nurturing right, moral, constructive, reasonable, and honest governance and societies. Partisanship is by definition antithetical to unity. To say “we have a partisan system” is to deny the successful functioning and the very unity of the system itself. A broken system is all that remains, a so-called “gridlock” is what they call it today. Partisan politics does not produce governance, it entails conflict between warring factions.

Solutions: Secret Ballot and Bans on Campaigning

Keeping our political views personal and voting privately allows justice, thoughtfulness, and more nuanced governance. Publicizing our political viewpoints, public displays of party loyalty, talk of voting choices, and expensive campaigning all force people to act more than they think, force people into camps before the issues are considered, and prevents them from being able to reflect privately. Privacy and humility in these considerations allows voters, politicians, governments, and populus to reserve their choices for what they think is right and best, and protects political action from public confusion or particularistic coercion. The concept “special interest” is contrary to the betterment of the people; all that should be considered is “general interest”, and common well-being, as the prosperity of the part is best safeguarded by pursuing the prosperity of the whole. Politics will, as medicine has, learn this. With the thought of the betterment of society in the uppermost of our consideration a better modus operandi for political action is achieved. Conversely, the continual flow of statements of loyalty, mass action, and emotional hysteria in the political sphere prevents people from considering and planning based on the their perception of what is just in a given issue before contributing their voice, vote, assistance, or position. A) Being morally correct, and B) being applicable to the priorities of society is foremost in people’s deliberation. Without secrecy from public scrutiny, without privacy from particularistic detractors, how can one reconsider one’s views on challenging questions? Said another way, without thought, how can difficult problems be approached? Excessive publicization has suffocated the internal thought process. After pledging commitment on one topic, voters are drawn in by ties of partisanship to support other viewpoints propounded by the platform and whatever irrelevant issues the party leaders deem strategically useful in the expedient time frame.

The presence of campaigning detracts from the selflessness and virtues prerequisite to the very act of leadership. Indeed, campaigning itself raises questions as to the motives and intentions of the individual whose foremost requirement would be qualities of selflessness and self-abnegation in deference to the interests of the good of all people. The implementation of a system of secret ballot for voting for positions of all offices and all important issues would eliminate the counterproductive conglomeration of individuals into morally superfluous partisan factions. What does partisanship add that private principle does not? What fame does campaigning achieve that successful service to human good does not? Disqualification of any candidate for office on the basis of attempts to campaign would protect those offices from the corruption that self-serving politicians have inflicted upon the populus since the inception of democracy.

“O ye the elected representatives of the people in every land! Take ye counsel together, and let your concern be only for that which profiteth mankind and bettereth the condition thereof, if ye be of them that scan heedfully. Regard the world as the human body which, though at its creation whole and perfect, hath been afflicted, through various causes, with grave disorders and maladies. Not for one day did it gain ease, nay its sickness waxed more severe, as it fell under the treatment of ignorant physicians, who gave full rein to their personal desires and have erred grievously. And if, at one time, through the care of an able physician, a member of that body was healed, the rest remained afflicted as before.”

- Consultation - Governance - Human Body Justice Oneness

Oneness, Justice, and Governance

As has been a central theme throughout the discussions on this blog, our current stage of human history is defined by global interdependence.  All forms of government and organization that divide one group against another are simply outdated, ineffective, and frankly detrimental.  Progress requires harmony and coordination among and between all levels of society; and thus, the practice of governance – which is an institution that serves to facilitate progress – must be informed by a recognition of humanity’s oneness and interdependence.

The vision of our social body is analogous to the human body, in which diverse elements are integrated together in a unified whole – each achieving well-being through striving for the well-being of the whole, while the well-being of the whole allows the full realization of each parts capacities.  As demonstrated with an organism, organic unity is not uniformity – it is harmony of diversity.  Similar to biological life, diversity is a source of strength, of creativity, of resilience, of productivity, of adaptation, of beauty; and real prosperity will be achieved when all the diverse elements and segments of society contribute towards governance within a unified and integrated framework.

The means to achieve unity is through justice.  The role of a just government, then, is to allow every individual and group the opportunity to build capacity to contribute to the advancement of civilization; as well as to guide collective goals and collective decision-making processes with the aim of the well-being of the whole, and not of one part at the expense of the whole.  This necessitates a consultative approach to governance, to allow for diverse thoughts to become harmonized into unity of action.  Justice is how unity in diversity occurs.

In your daily life, what are some forms of governance and organization that you encounter? 

How are they informed by oneness and justice?  How can they be informed by these concepts?


- Empowerment - Human Body - Three Protagonists Oneness Power

Neuromuscular Power

Operating under the assumptions that human beings, by nature, are cooperative and not competitive, and that there are spiritual sources of power that can unleash the latent capacities of individuals towards contributing to the advancement of civilization, the model of contest for social structures is ineffective. Instead, what are other models of social organization that are just, sustainable, and empower humanity to take charge of its destiny?

We, again, arrive at the analogy of the human body. Human society is a single body – composed of diverse yet organically unified cells, dynamic in its function, and in which the well-being of every part is inextricably linked to the well-being of the whole (and likewise, the well-being of each part can only be had through seeking the well-being of the whole). How does the human body exhibit power? Movement is achieved when the muscles exert force onto the skeletal structure, while in harmony with a relaxed counter-muscle, and in concert with the directives of the nervous system. There are multiple entities, all working together and for the same goal, that allows power to manifest – it cannot be accomplished without the cooperation of all parts, and surely not if some parts are in competition with others. Organic bodies are characterized by having properties that only emerge on the level of the whole, that do not exist at the level of any parts.

With this understanding, power is an expression of unity – an emergent property of our organic social body that is manifest when the relationship between individuals and institutions is marked by harmony, cooperation, integration, and interdependence. Power ultimately resides in the individual members of the social body (muscles), but the capacity to release this power rests with the institutions of society (nervous system) – the creative powers of humanity will never manifest to their fullest without a true harmony, trust, and common vision between these two. Social structures, as trustees of collective well-being, must learn to guide, coordinate, and tap into the capacities and powers of all people in pursuit of collective goals. And individuals must align their initiatives with this guidance and vision. Only then will we have the makings of a healthy social neuromuscular junction.

- Human Body Development Human Nature Oneness


That certain evolutionary processes are teleological in nature, meaning they are driven by an intrinsic purpose, brings up to the concept of latency.  The characteristic of latent potential is common to all organic bodies – plants, the human body, and humanity included.  Latent truths or characteristics come to fruition (quite literally in the case of a tree) or are manifest visibly over time.  This does not mean, however, that they previously didn’t exist – they were simply in latent form.  Some latent potentials are manifest through physical processes that are independent of humans, such as the formation of planets.  Others only come about through human agency.  Let us look at individual and collective evolution as it manifests latent potential.

On the individual level, the soul is a latent capacity that is manifest or expressed through the human mind.  Prior to the physical development of an individual human, the soul was not manifest, but latent, and its powers become manifest when the human being assumes its physical form – particularly the brain.  And the soul itself has latent capacities – reason and understanding, justice, attraction to beauty and truth, nobility, desire to search for meaning and purpose – and these spiritual potentialities become manifest only through human agency and will, through conscious effort, through an individual’s life and behavior.

On a collective level, world civilization is the latent fruit of humanity’s collective social evolution, which comes about through human agency.  It is a social reality we construct.  In the same way that biological evolution provided for the expression of the soul, social evolution is providing for the expression of a divine civilization – the soul of the body of humankind.  As oneness is the operating principle of our collective life, its manifestation is also latent relative to human agency.  Over time, we progressively express higher and higher degrees of oneness.  This doesn’t mean that humanity was not always one.  Rather, the expression of oneness becomes more maturely translated into social reality over time.

Oneness of humankind, thus, is an ontological truth, a teleological truth, and a latent truth – latent relative to human agency.

- Human Body Development Human Nature Oneness

History of the World, Part 3

The next point regarding our perspective of history is that there is purpose in creation; in other words, evolution is understood as a teleological process.  Characterizing evolutionary processes with this word – meaning that it is directed by an intrinsic purpose – might conjure up controversial thoughts and connotations.  It is true that teleological “grand narratives” in the past have been used to oppress peoples and impose ideologies.  Yet, we can’t ignore a truth based on its abuses in the past.  Let us place society’s notions aside and simply think clearly.  Isn’t it the case that the purpose of the seed is to develop into a tree?  Isn’t it the case that the purpose of an embryo is to develop into a human being, and the purpose of a child to develop into an adult?  The seed does not randomly or haphazardly become a tree – it is its purpose.

Similarly, the biological evolution of a human being has a purpose; and the social evolution of humanity has a purpose.  The human body’s purpose is to provide the vehicle for the expression of the soul, through the human mind – and the purpose of an individual’s life is to develop spiritual qualities.  This purpose is realized through selfless service to humanity.  And the purpose of humanity’s collective life is to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization – eventually a world civilization that has achieved a dynamic coherence between the material and the spiritual dimensions of life.

The oneness of humankind is a teleological truth (as well as an ontological truth, which we discussed a number of posts ago).  It provides the purpose and direction for humanity’s social and spiritual evolution.

- Human Body Human Nature Oneness

The Human Body and the Body Politic

We are in disagreement with self-interested conceptions of human nature and competitive social models. These tend to derive from a materialistic reduction of reality. Humankind’s future does not rest in their espousal, regardless of how popular they may seem at present. Systems known to humankind each comprise a possible candidate on which to model social organization. The human body and not the jungle is a more constructive analogy for the organization of our society. The human body analogy equips us to envision a social order that is harmonious, united, and prosperous. Cooperation of the various parts leads to health, and selfishness of any cell or tissue produces disease states. Through the instrumentality of reciprocity and cooperation each member of the body politic contributes and receives mutual comfort and welfare. One member’s affliction or distress will produce affliction and distress in all members and the whole. The body politic experiences happiness and sadness as a single entity. Can my finger but not myself be in pain? Can acute injury to the eye spare the functions of the broader nervous system? The agency of the sympathetic nervous system, like the inter-human sense of sympathetic emotion, leads to interconnectedness in all matters of pain and pleasure, disease and health, disaster and prosperity. Can the part be distressed but the whole at ease? It is our foundational conviction that society should be organized according to principles of reciprocity, cooperation and interconnectedness. Through the arteries of humankind will then flow the spirit that empowers us to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization.

- Human Body Human Nature Oneness

The body of humanity

The human body is the one analogy that points toward a convincing model for the organization of a planetary society. There is no other model that mirrors its complexity or prosperity upon which we can rely. Human society is not a mass of individually differentiated cells but of associations of tissues and organs, systems and will, intelligence and common purpose. The modes of operation that characterize man’s biological nature illustrate fundamental principles of social and civilizational existence. Chiefly, unity in diversity is championed by the existence of each and every human frame. Paradoxically, it is the wholeness and complexity of the human body–and the perfect integration of its component elements–that permits the full realization of the distinctive potentialities inherent in each cell.