The following is the seventh chapter from We Can All Win!.
What is Wealth?
Timothy Wilken, MD
The collective term we humans use to describe what we value is “wealth”.
The human species emerged in the world of space-binding. Here the rule of survival was fight or flight. The values in this world were adversarial. Adversary relationship originates on earth in the animal world. Earth supplies limited space for the animals. Space is finite. Good space is even more finite. This means it is very limited. There is only so much good water, so much good grazing land, so much good shelter, and so much good food. There is not enough to go around. The space-binders must compete for this limited amount of good space. They compete adversarialy. They compete by fighting and flighting. They compete by attacking and killing other space-binders. Humans living as space-binders follow the adversarial rule. They compete by fighting and flighting. They compete by attacking and killing their enemies. In this world survival depends on securing good space and avoiding bad space. Bad space is where the predators live – bad space is where you lose – bad space is where you die. Bad space has threatened humans for a very long time as Jared Diamond1998 explains:
“For most of the time since the ancestors of modern humans diverged from the ancestors of the living great apes, around 7 million years ago, all humans on Earth fed themselves exclusively by hunting wild animals and gathering wild plants, as the Blackfeet still did in the 19th century. It was only within the last 11,000 years that some peoples turned to what is termed food production: that is, domesticating wild animals and plants and eating the resulting livestock and crops.” (1)
Jared Diamond makes the point, that for 99.9% of the seven-million-years that our species has existed, we have been hunter-gatherers. And, for that same period, our species has been dominated by the adversary way, and all human values have been adversarial values.
Adversarial wealth – physical force
Physical force is what adversarial humans value most. The force to physically control other humans. Adversarial wealth is weapons, fighting men, horses, fortresses, that which gives me the adversarial advantage.
In our modern world, adversarial wealth is B2 bombers, F15 fighter aircraft, aircraft carriers, tanks, military satellites, explosives of all types from hand grenades to nuclear weapons, trained soldiers and last but not least guns.
The adversary world is a game of with losers and winners. This is a world of fighting and flighting – of pain and dying. Survival depends on securing good space and avoiding bad space. To win in this game someone must lose. Winning is always at the cost of another. All humans living in the adversarial world are struggling to avoid losing – struggling to avoid being hurt. Recall our definition:
CONFLICT –def–> The struggle to avoid loss – the struggle to avoid being hurt.
Here humans must fight and flee to stay alive, and they do. Always ready at a moments notice to go tooth and nail to avoid losing – to avoid death. Losers/winners is the harshest of games. Winning is always at the cost of another’s life. The loser tends to resist with all of his might occasionally prevailing by killing or wounding his attacker. So both parties can lose, turning the game – losers/winners into losers/losers.
If we analyze adversary relationships, we discover that individuals are less after the relationship. (1+1) < 2.
In the adversarial world where the loser forfeits his life. (1+1) = 1. Or, in the end game of losers/losers, both adversaries may die in battle. (1+1) = 0.
The adversarial value system is much intact in our present world. Much of today’s wealth is weapons. Nearly all of today’s nations maintain large armies, navies, and airforces. They also maintain equally large national, state, and local police forces. The number of weapons in private hands is equally enormous – over 200,000,000 just within the United States1999. Adversary wealth is physical force – adversary wealth is firepower.
Adversarial humanity uses force to seize their wants and needs. By coercing the actions of others with force or threat of force, they seek to protect their own lives and well being. They seek to optimize their individual survival and to make their individual lives meaningful by hurting others.
Adversary humanity sees self and other as separate – as different – as distinctly apart. Things are black or white – good or bad. You are either for me or against me. You are either my ally or my enemy.
However, in 1776, a new option for humanity emerged with the institutionalization of Neutrality. And with this new option came a new set of values – neutral values.
Neutral wealth – money
Neutral relationships originated in the plant world.
Sunlight provides unlimited energy for the plants. Each individual plant needs only the sun, and adequate water and minerals to survive. Plant survival does not require any relationship with other. This fact makes plants the independent class of life – independent of other.
Humans living in the world of institutional Neutrality view themselves as independent of others. While they should not deliberately hurt other humans, they are not required to help them.
Their success or failure depends solely on their own efforts and talents. Individuals have no relationship with each other. Individuals have no awareness of each other, they ignore each other. To survive in the neutral world, you must be self-sufficient. If we analyze neutral relationships, we discover that individuals are unchanged by their relationship. They are neither less nor more after the relationship. They are the same. (1+1) = 2.
Choices which do not hurt or help are neutral choices. Actions which do not hurt or help are neutral actions. Relationships which do not hurt or help are neutral relationships. The mechanism of relationship is conducted through a free and fair market with the honest exchange of merchandise of good value at a fair price. Recall our definition:
FAIR TRADE –def–> The bartering to insure that the exchange is fair – to insure that the price is not too high or too low – to insure that neither party loses.
Institutional Neutrality is about fairness. The market place is a fair and safe place to exchange goods and services. Neither seller nor buyer should be injured in the exchange. Products should represent a good value and be sold at a fair price. All citizens are guaranteed freedom from loss.
The medium of exchange in the neutral world is money. Money is used as symbolic representation of all real wealth. For all intensive purposes in the Neutral world money and real wealth are the same. Money is what neutral humans most value. The money to purchase help. Neutral wealth is any negotiable security – cash, stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit, that which can be exchanged in the fair market.
Neutral humanity uses money to purchase their wants and needs. By purchasing the actions of others with money, they seek to protect their own lives and well being. They seek to insure their individual survival and make their individual lives meaningful by ignoring others.
Neutral humanity sees self and other as independent – as separate – as different – as distinctly apart – as buyers and sellers in the great market.
And, if other is not independent, if other does not have the price of admission to participate in the great market, then neutral humanity cannot see other at all.
In 1999, humanity has the option for synergic relationship. If we choose Synergy we will adopt a new set of values – synergic values.
Synergic wealth – mutual life support
In a synergic culture wealth is defined very differently. Synergic wealth is that which supports life for both self and other. It is mutual life support. Synergic wealth by definition excludes adversary wealth – physical force that hurts other human beings, and neutral wealth – money that ignores other human beings.
Synergic humans recognize that interdependence is the human condition. They recognize that all humans need help unless they wish to live at the level of animal subsistence. They choose to help others and trust that others will choose to help them.
They know that adversarial humans use coercion to force others help them. They know that help obtained with force or fraud is the lowest quality help because the helper is hurt.
They know that neutral humans use money to buy help from others in the fair market. They know that help purchased in the market place is of average quality because the helper is ignored.
They understand that synergic humans use co-Operation to attract help from others. They help others and trust others to help them. They know that help attracted by helping others is of highest quality because the helper is helped.
Recall that when others understand that by helping you, they will also be helped, they will automatically help you. That when others understand that when you win, they win, they will support and celebrate your every success. Recall our definition:
Co-OPERATION –def–> Operating together to insure that both parties win, and that neither party loses. The negotiation to insure that both parties are helped, and that neither party is hurt.
Synergic relationships are mutually helpful. Both parties in the relationship experience a gain. In Synergic relationships, one individual plus another individual is more after their relationship than before. (1+1) >> 2. Synergic relationships are marked by low conflict, high effectiveness and enormous productivity.
Synergic humanity uses co-Operation to attract their wants and needs. By attracting the actions of others with co-Operation, they are able to protect their lives and well being. They seek to insure their individual survival and make their individual lives meaningful by helping others.
Synergic humanity sees self and other as components of the same whole – as aspects of the same unity – as existing together – as a co-Operative alliance.
Co-Operation is mutually life affirming. Both self and other join in an alliance to seek mutual survival and mutual meaning.
They seek to be more together than they can be apart.
Life is the basis for all synergic values. All forms of life are animated by the life force. The life force is not well understood, but it seeks to survive and to extend itself into universe. The life force on planet earth is known to be three and one half billion years old.
It is like a special flame, sort of a living fire, we pass it to our children in the act of procreation. But, we do not know how to rekindle the flame should it go out. The life force itself is the very basis of living action.
(Life Force) x (Time) = Living Action
No life force. No living action. Therefore, the sanctity of life itself must be the highest synergic value. Therefore, synergic wealth is defined as life itself – life of both self and other – and that which promotes mutual well being. That which satisfies the wants and needs of both self and other. That which promotes mutual survival and makes life mutually meaningful for both self and other. We can now further define our synergic value system.
IMPORTANCE –def–> The amount of wealth effected by an event compared to the total amount of wealth.
RISK –def–> What is the amount wealth that could be lost during an event – action, reaction & resultant.
OPPORTUNITY –def–> What is the amount of wealth that could be gained during an event – action, reaction & resultant.
ALLOWED ACTION –def–> Any action is allowed which does not injure or hurt.
SYNERGIC ACTION –def–> Any allowed action which helps.
DYMAXION ACTION –def–> The least synergic action that triggers an event that produces the greatest gain in wealth.
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WE-ness & Synergic Trust
If we are to move beyond adversity and conflict — if we are to move beyond neutrality and anonymity, then we must get to know each other. The secret of creating synergic relationship is WE-ness. Synergic relationship is close and personal. It requires trust, caring and committment. It requires honesty and openness.
Trust is not a new word for humanity. It was coined long ago when the world was dominated by the adversary way. Trust meant that I could rely on you not to hurt me. In a world of black and white – good or bad – friend or foe – trust meant that I was safe to assume that you are not my enemy. Trust meant the ability to rely on the absence of a negative.
Synergic trust is much more than simply the ability to rely on the absence of a negative. It is that plus the ability to rely on the presence of a positive. Synergic trust means that I can rely on other not only to not hurt me, but also to help me.
In the future, we humans can use co-Operation to attract help from others by insuring that those who help us are also helped.
When we co-Operate, others will seek to invest their action with ours for a share of the cooperators’ surplus. They will understand that when we win, they will win, and they will support and celebrate our every success.
If we humans choose a synergic future, we will trust each other. We will care about each other. We will help each other. Our relationships will be loving positive experiences. We will all win. We will be more together than we can ever be apart.
We humans can create a future based on synergic trust. We can build it by working together. We can heal ourselves and our world by co-Operating. The choice is ours.
1 Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel – The Fates of Human Societies, W. W. Norton & Company, New York-London, 1998
The Present — Crisis: Danger & Opportunity
The Future — A Synergic Future
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