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July 11, 2020

Do You Recognize the Early Warning Sign of Human Extinction?

Do You Recognize the 4 Early Warning Signs on Human Extinction?

What Is the Difference between Humans and Animals?

The corporeal parallel to Stage Four in the Four Developmental Stages of the Primordial Desire in Creation (i.e. the natural evolution of the desire to receive) are human beings. Humans appeared through a natural process of evolution. The genus Homo (humanoid ape) first appeared approximately 2.5 million years ago, and evolved as all other species do, by natural selection. As with animals, hominids that were healthier and stronger survived, and those that were less so perished.

Yet, hominids, and primarily the latest evolution of the species, Homo sapiens, invested far more energy and time on social relations than any other species. Albeit many species, such as dolphins, chimpanzees, and wolves, cultivate intricate social relations, social structures in human societies are dynamic and evolutionary by nature.

In that regard, Baal HaSulam wrote in the “Introduction to the Book of Zohar” that unlike animals, humans have the ability to sympathize with another’s pains and joys, and animals do not. In declaring this, Baal HaSulam was not referring to empathy as is often exhibited by animals between mother and offspring, and even among unrelated specimens of a species. Instead, here he speaks of an entirely new mechanism of the desire to receive: evolution through envy.

In item 38 of the “Introduction to the Book of Zohar,” Ashlag explains the difference between desires in humans and in animals, and how envy increases our desires: “The will to receive in the animate, which lacks the sensation of others, can only generate needs and desires to the extent that they are imprinted in that creature alone.”

In other words, if an animal knows that eating is good, it may want to help another animal obtain food, as well. “But man,” continues Ashlag, “who can feel others, becomes needy of everything that others have, as well, and is thus filled with envy to acquire everything that others have.”

Indeed, the appearance of Homo sapiens marked what appears to be a shift in the direction of evolution. Homo sapiens, it seems, were focusing not on developing a stronger, more adapt and agile physique, but on developing their intellect, and even more surprising, self-expression. Thus, we see how Homo sapiens are the earthly representation of Stage Four in the desire to receive—the desire to become omnipotent and omniscient.


Do You Adhere to the Rule of Survival – Yielding Self-Interest to the Interest of the System?

Ashlag’s words quoted above mark a turning point not just in the history of human evolution, but in the evolution of the universe, as well. The (uniquely human) evolution-by-envy has shifted the very direction of evolution. Until the emergence of human ego, creatures evolved successfully if their internal organs cooperated, following the principle of relinquishing self-interest in favor of the system’s interest, and leaving the system to care for their well-being.

Yet, it is important to note that the rule of relinquishment of self-interest in favor of the interest of the system applies not only to organs and tissues within a creature. Organisms do not exist in vacuum; they are branches of roots that appeared in the spiritual realm. For this reason, they operate in the same way that spiritual systems operate—yielding self-interest before the interest of the host system—or succinctly: altruistically. Their host system—the ecosystems in which organisms live—abide by the same rule, since no other rule enables life to perpetuate.

Thus, if a creature’s physique works fine under certain environmental conditions, but conditions change, this creature’s physique might become inadequate and even inferior to that of creatures with a less sustainable internal structure, yet higher adaptability to their environments.

Apparently, such was the case with the extinction of dinosaurs. For 165 million years, dinosaurs ruled the earth, but approximately 65 million years ago, they disappeared within a relatively short time. Theories as to the reason for their disappearance abound, but no conclusive answer has been found.

One possibility is the meteorite theory. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), “There is now widespread evidence that a meteorite impact was at least the partial cause for this extinction.” But while there is no scientific consensus around a meteorite impact being the cause, there is indeed consensus that, as published by the University of California Museum of Paleontology, “There was global climatic change; the environment changed from a warm, mild one in the Mesozoic era [era of dinosaurs] to a cooler, more varied one in the Cenozoic era [era of mammals].”

Thus, whether it was a meteorite or something else that changed the climate, there was an abrupt change of environment to which dinosaurs (and approximately fifty percent of the species living on earth at the time) could not adapt. And so, they became extinct.

To survive, dinosaurs and almost all other animals must abide by the same law regarding their environment as their internal organs do: yielding self-interest in favor of the system’s interest, in return for the system’s care for them. When the rule is breached in the entire ecosystem, even if not willfully on the part of the animals, extinction occurs on a colossal scale simply because they did not adapt quickly enough.


How Every Desire for Fame, Power, Wealth, Erudition and Immortality Is a Desire to be Godlike

The rule of yielding self-interest in favor of the system’s interest in return for the system’s care, applies not only to all organisms, but also to the organism’s functionality within its habitat (ecosystem). Yet, there is one exception to the rule: man. To understand why man is different from all other animals, we need to reflect on the four stages. Stages One through Three reflect desires to receive pleasure from a giver, either by receiving pleasure directly from it or by returning its pleasure. But Stage Four is essentially different: it reflects a desire to be the giver.

Put differently, Stage Four wishes to attain a goal that is, by definition, unattainable. Just as a son cannot be his father, Stage Four cannot be Stage Zero. But just as a son can be like his father, Stage Four can be like Stage Zero.

Being a desire to receive, and knowing that being like Stage Zero, the Root, is the highest possible reward, this is what Stage Four wishes to achieve. As a result, we—its corporeal personification—strive to achieve the same. Subconsciously, our desires for fame, power, wealth, erudition, and immortality are really desires to become godlike. No person escapes these desires, since we are all parts of Stage Four, which was broken along with Adam’s soul. The only variations among humans are in the intensity and proportion of these desires, but not in their components.

Evidently, there are people whose desires for fame, fortune, and brilliance are very small—these are simple folk content with shelter, family, and very basic sustenance. In such people, the desires of Stage Four are less dominant; hence, they will have less ambitious goals. But even in the most sedate individual there is a “devil” that wishes for a little more than one’s neighbor possesses. These are the desires of Stage Four—the sense of entitlement that Twenge and Campbell write about in their book, The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement—and they are almost uniquely human.

These desires are also what make us the exception to the rule that governed evolution until the emergence of Homo sapiens. Because humans possess an innate aspiration to become like the Creator, we tend to be active in our approach to challenges, rather than passively adapting to conditions, as do other animals. Hence, instead of adapting our bodies as best we can to changing climates or to threats, we try to change the climate or to eliminate the threats.

One such effort was changing our “personal microclimate,” our immediate surroundings, by covering our skins with those of animals, whose fur provided better protection against the elements than our own. And instead of relying on our (clearly insufficient) physical strength to catch our food, we developed increasingly sophisticated tools to assist us in hunting, as well as for protecting ourselves against prey animals. Today there is unequivocal evidence that primates, some mammals, and even birds use tools such as rocks, twigs, and branches to assist them in acquiring food and in fighting. But systematic tool and weapon production, such as carving stones and bones into spears, is a uniquely human ability.

Another very important discovery that early humans (Homo erectus) made was the control of fire. Fire allowed humans to keep their habitat warm, deter prey animals, and even cook. The discovery of ways to make and to control fire marks a dramatic shift in evolution. Man was now an animal that could change its environment to fit its needs, instead of having to change itself to fit the environment.


Understanding How Humans Develop their Intellect and Change their Environment

A deeper and far more important aspect of the shift in evolution that the appearance of man represents is that unlike other animals that develop their bodies, humans develop their minds. To cope with danger or to obtain food, animals try to outrun or outfight their attackers or prey.

Humans, instead, build weapons. To cope against the cold, animals grow thick fur and layers of hypodermal fat. Humans light fires.

The use of the intellect instead of the body to obtain desirables also allows humans to plan ahead. While some animals store food for the winter, only humans grow food and clear unwanted vegetation from the land to make room for plants that serve them as food. According to most researchers, agriculture began between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago in the fertile Crescent (although new data collected by a team led by Dr. Robin Allaby from the University of Warwick has found evidence that plant agriculture began in Syria as early as 23,000 years ago).

Although man’s ability to grow food may seem much ado about nothing today, when humans first began to cultivate land, they, in a sense, became creators—they began to change their environment. This is a feat that only a desire of Stage Four can conceive.

Yet, with progress comes problems. All creatures, except man, must adhere to the rules of their ecosystem or they will perish. Man is the only organism that can plan and execute change in its environment at will. When this happens, man must learn the rules by which ecosystems work, or the changes might prove to be disastrous to the ecosystem, and by consequence, to its inhabitants, man included.

In the human body, as in any organism, each cell has a particular role. For an organism to persist, each cell must perform its function and yield the goal of maintaining its own life before the goal of maintaining the life of its host organism. If a cell begins to act contrary to that principle, its interests will soon clash with those of the body and the body’s defense mechanisms will destroy it.

Similarly, when man became potent enough to alter his ecosystem, he had to learn how to behave like a cell in an organism—refraining from jeopardizing the system’s sustainability, and risk having the system need to rid itself of the danger by either eradicating the human race altogether or by dying itself, killing the human race in the process, as described in regard to cancer. Today, I believe it is quite evident that Nature is already “taking compensatory measures” to balance humans’ detrimental actions.

But ten or so millennia ago, things were very different than they are now. Homo sapiens were just beginning to enjoy the benefits of knowledge and technology and the concept of humans risking their habitat was not on anyone’s mind. The development of agriculture shifted people’s lifestyles from hunting and gathering to a more sedentary comport, one consequence of which was the acceleration of technological development.

Another important issue that was on people’s minds at that time (and still is for many) was religion. Prof. Jared Diamond, acclaimed author of Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, said in a lecture titled, “The Evolution of Religions” at University of Southern California, that approximately 10,500 years ago, religion changed its functions. He explained that religion had adopted a role of explaining things. Religion began to explain all that was unknown and unfamiliar, and thus provided solace and confidence to people.

But the important thing to note about religion at that point is not so much the direction in which it developed, but the very fact that it developed. The existence of an institutionalized, organized entity that provided answers meant that people were beginning to ask questions—profound questions about the purpose of life and the laws that govern it. This later prompted the emergence of Kabbalah, precisely in that same area—the fertile Crescent.

In addition to the evolution of religion, because the agricultural advances we just mentioned encouraged people to abandon their nomadic lifestyles for a more sedentary one, the population in the fertile Crescent began to grow. And when technological developments, such as the invention of the wheel, encouraged further development and urbanization, more organized forms of government and religion ensued. Thus, Mesopotamia gradually became what we now call “The Cradle of Civilization.”

Self Interest vs. Altruism in the Global Era: How Society Can Turn Self Interests into Mutual Benefit“Do You Recognize the Early Warning Sign of Human Extinction?” is based on the book, Self Interest vs. Altruism in the Global Era: How Society Can Turn Self Interests into Mutual Benefit by Dr. Michael Laitman.

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