KVE301/KVE401 Universal Human Values and Professional Ethics
Chapter 9: Harmony in the Society – from Family to World Family Order
Identification of the Comprehensive Human Goal
In order to facilitate the fulfillment of the basic aspirations of all human beings in society, the following comprehensive human goal needs to be understood.
- Right understanding is necessary for human beings, for all human beings. When one does not have the right understanding, one remains disturbed and also acts in a manner so as to create disharmony with other human beings as well as with the rest of nature.
- Prosperity is needed in every family. Prosperity in the family means that the family is able to identify its needs and is able to produce/ achieve more than its requirements.
- Trust in society means every member of society feels related to everyone else and therefore there is trust and fearlessness.
- Co-existence in nature means there is a relationship and complementarity among all the entities in nature including human beings.
This is the Comprehensive Human Goal.
With a little exploration, we find that all four are required for human society. We are not satisfied with anything less than this. This is the basic minimum requirement to ensure sustainable happiness and prosperity. We can’t cut down any of them. This is the minimum level that each one of us wants, and also the maximum we can think of. We can’t think of anything more than this. This is the target for each one of us, the whole human race, and the human tradition. The moment we leave anyone of them out, there will be a loss of continuity, and the goal cannot be achieved.
We can solve society’s problems when we see beyond the contradictions of life. When we live in higher consciousness, we obtain the higher knowledge that sees the higher harmonies which enable the resolution of every problem.
Prosperity is the state of flourishing, thriving, success, or good fortune. Prosperity often encompasses wealth but also includes other factors which are independent of wealth to varying degrees, such as happiness and health.
Man is eager to live and afraid to die. Most problems owe themselves to this fact. The fear of death might be reckoned as a prime fear but the most primeval and basic fear is that of expectation being defeated, or more specifically, that of losing what one delusively thinks one owns (the delusion “this is mine”). Fear of losing what one is attached to (the family, for example) gives birth to the fear of death and therefore the former is the most basic fear because one is attached to the body and is afraid to lose it. Fear resides within and not outside us. External fear is mere fiction. If we succeed in cultivating fearlessness no incident, no external circumstances can strike fear in us.
Abhay is not associated with Bhay and Nirbhay, at all. Abhaya means fearlessness; it is a permanent state where there is no question of ever experiencing any fear. A person with Abhay is continuously aware of his own reality; for him to become subject to fear would be impossible. We should not consider this quality of Abhay as just the absence of fear.
Fear is only a delusion created by the mind; lack of fear is also a delusion created by the mind. Mistaking one thing for another leads to fear; recognizing the mistake and rectifying it, leads to the removal of fear. These two, Bhaya and Nirbhaya, are associated with fear and freedom from fear.
The world is full of Diversity – there are different nations, cultures, religions, communities, languages, and beliefs. The beauty of existence can only be maximized if everything in this world is in harmony. Peaceful, symbiotic co-existence is the key to harmony in the world. For peaceful co-existence to occur in a diverse society the following must happen:
- People must recognize that traditional interpretations of peaceful co-existence are outdated.
- Governments and individuals must recognize that society needn’t be homogeneous or institutionalized to serve an important purpose for people.
- Members of varying cultures, countries, and faiths must learn to respect the traditions, beliefs, and boundaries of one another.
- Religion and politics must be separate.
- People must agree to disagree regarding certain moral values and beliefs and come to recognize that others can be different from them and yet be equally capable in their own unique manner.
The above-mentioned goal is not only comprehensive but also universal i.e. equally applicable to all human beings and for all times. It includes all our aspirations and this is the goal for each one of us. Thus it becomes the goal of human society or the basic need of human civilization.
Now how are the four related? We will find the following when we look for the relation in the above:
- The harmony in society begins with the individual. We need to ensure the right understanding in the individual as the foundation of harmony in the society.
- With the right understanding, the need for physical facilities in the family can be ascertained. By assessing our needs correctly and by producing more than required the family can be prosperous.
- Assurance of right understanding in the individuals and prosperity in the families, understanding of human relationships leads to harmony and trust (fearlessness) in the society. When every individual is able to live harmoniously in a relationship, and the needs of all the families are ensured, fearlessness (mutual trust) in society will naturally follow.
- When human beings with the right understanding interact with nature, it will be in consonance with the co-existence and will be mutually enriching.
We may also understand it in the following sequence.
1. Right understanding ⇒ 2. Prosperity ⇒ 3. Fearlessness (trust) ⇒ 4. Co-existence