Since the times of Darwin, we have been conditioned to believe that “survival of the fittest” is the normal state for species in which to live and interact with each other. We have been taught that the mentality of nature is “kill, or be killed”. We have been taught that species are selfish at their core and altruism is not the norm. Consequently, we see this mindset portrayed so perfectly in the world around us today throughout the different layers of society. Yet life’s economy is primarily based on collaborative rather than competitive advantage.
But how many of us have stopped to determine if that even resonates with us? Is this our personal truth? Is this really how we choose to live? Do we really see the world as a hostile place, where we each must fight our way through, negating the needs of others just to satisfy personal agendas?
With the current social revolts going on around the globe right now, it is impossible not to give this some greater thought to see where each of us fit in. Although society may have conditioned us one way, it appears loud and clear that this is not our natural way. We have been hypnotized for long enough and the time of awakening is upon us when we are awakening to a more natural way of interacting with each other and our environment.
Nature’s Lessons on Cooperation and Competition
“The basis of nature is cooperation and democracy.”
Tom Shadyac, from the film “I AM”
I live amidst nature, comfortably and far from any major urban life. Living amidst nature, with the animals in their natural habitats, allows me to observe them in their most natural setting. Nature provides amazing teachers for us. All year, every single day there is priceless wisdom shared. One simply has to take some time out, be still and observe. When the student is ready, the teacher does indeed appear.
One of my most favorite things to do is watching and interacting with chipmunks. It never seems to get old to watch these amazing little creatures in how they navigate through and interact with their world. They are such a joy to observe and they have so much to teach us just by being themselves. I have a chance to learn their unique personalities, and how they interact with their environment and each other during three of the four seasons.
During autumn, chipmunks, as many other animals, are engaged in collecting and storing food to last them throughout the winter. As part of my interaction with them, I give them some seeds or other nuts, sometimes sprinkled on our deck which acts as a large feeder for them and the birds. There are four different chipmunks that have been visiting regularly this autumn. As it so happens, often more than one shows up at the same time. What I have noticed watching them during these times has been most intriguing to me. Unlike what some may think, in that they would quarrel and fight amongst themselves, trying to compete for the food supply, that isn’t exactly the case. As long as there are two piles of food available, no matter how close, there is no competition involved. Neither chipmunk feels threatened or is compelled to chase away or attack the other. (I have observed the same behavior in squirrels, ducks, and other animals.) However, when they have the perception that there is a lack, or only one pile, or only enough or available for one, they engage in competitive behavior.
One perhaps can begin to see the correlation to the way we operate in this society. In our world, there is more than enough of everything a being needs to go around for everyone, but there is a perceived lack. This projected paradigm has been our civilization’s downfall for far too long. People steal from others, cheat, lie and live in separation out of fear of not having enough for themselves. Of course, there is another key player that we need to throw into the mix, that I doubt exists in the chipmunk realm—greed. Not only do we live amidst a perceived lack, but we are also capable of exhibiting greed. Even when we get enough to meet our basic needs, and then some, we still want more.
Greed is a clear sign that a person does not understand the nature of their being.
Part of what makes this world so beautiful and diverse is that every species has its own unique way of interacting with the world. While I have not seen chipmunks go out of their way to help each other, I have observed enough to know that they will not sabotage another member’s efforts. They focus on getting what they need, not trying to take everything possible. They stay true to the nature of their being. Other animals from my experience, birds especially, will go even a step further and not only cooperate, but go out of their way to help each other. I find this behavior magnificent. Unlike humans, who often help another for their own personal agenda (such as guilt, obligation, fame, etc), one can sense that these animals are doing it simply because they realize they are part of one system. In fact, many in the world have captured experiences far greater than mine where two different species, even ones that we call rivals or predator-prey, have interacted together in an altruistic way. So what about us?
The Human Connection
Nothing in nature takes more than it needs.
Tom Shadyac, from the film “I AM”
Some may think it is trivial to observe chipmunks, never mind learn from them something to better our own lives. We are after all the superior race and are more evolved than chipmunks, right? Well, I cannot say that I agree with that outlook one bit. Our actions in how we live with each other and this planet do not model this very well either.
Yes, we have an amazing gift of a very powerful mind that is capable of rational thought, logic, and so much more! But are we using it to the highest of our abilities? When I look around at the world today, while there are pockets of amazing beings, doing amazing things in how they co-create for the betterment of all, the majority live in a mindset of separation, division, lack, and greed. As filmmaker Peter Joseph, who I consider to be one of the most influential speakers today shares, we are suffering in our society from a value system disorder. One of the ways that I see this, is that as a society what we value the most, has the least value for life. This is why I believe so many on this planet are standing up and having their voices finally be heard.
We have been living in a projected duality for so long, fueling division between us, instead of unity. We fight amongst each other competing mindlessly for resources, and not even to sustain life, but to sustain status, power, and control. I don’t think there is another species on this planet that acts in such a destructive way. It is time to wake up.
“We have a term for something in the body when it takes more than its share. We call it Cancer.”
Tom Shadyac, from the film “I AM”
We seem to be so infatuated with borders and bank accounts, rankings, and numbers. We seem to be so stuck in the density of this three-dimensional physical reality, not realizing the illusions we have created and live out. We have removed ourselves far from our true nature. We seem to be living in a state of amnesia, not realizing the eternal beings of love and energy that we are. Let’s come back to who we truly are.
It is my current belief that we have come here to this planet, to further our spiritual evolution through consciousness expansion. In many ways, we are doing that, but for so many of us who are observing from the sidelines and ready to live in a completely different way, it appears to be happening at a snail’s pace, if not backward. This is what makes this time of awakening so exciting, but even more so, so promising and hope-filled. Gaia—our planet—is ready to move on and exist on a higher dimension of consciousness. The question is, are you?
The current time and the current events are giving us a chance to change our ways. Not for the sake of change. Not because what we were doing so far is “bad” or “wrong” (remember, the goal is to transcend duality.) But because it is not serving the greater good of all. Competition is not our nature; love, unity, and cooperation are. Of course, we are free to express ourselves in whatever way we choose, no one will or should force us to change. But so many of us are changing today. Changing, because we have come to see and realize that the way we have been doing things thus far is hurting us, and we simply do not need to or want to suffer any longer.
I am grateful for my little furry friends who have taught me so much. It makes me expand with even more love, gratitude, awe, and humility as a being knowing that I am just one part of nature. Such a small lesson perhaps, but such a big meaning. When there is a perceived lack, we act from a space of fear. Fear sabotages who we really are, masking our true nature. Fear cripples us, hurts us, and hurts all those around us. The choices we then make in trying “to survive”, threaten the survival of others. There is a different way to live. We are in the midst of creating that way here on this planet right now.
It is not the time right now to pick apart how you feel about what others are doing to help initiate a change. You don’t have to agree with how others express themselves, you just have to focus on you and what you are doing to help change the system to serve the greater good of all.
As was stated in the beautiful movie Avatar by one of the characters, “Our great mother does not take sides; she protects the balance of life.” May we apply that wisdom ourselves, and instead of taking sides focus on the balance of life. The time has come to unite at least on that. We have been competing, struggling, and hurting for far too long. The truth is we don’t need to fight anything or anyone; there is more than enough for everyone to have their life needs met. We simply have to stop with the greed, competition, and division. We can still each express ourselves in our own unique ways. This is not about bringing in some new world government, religion, or currency. We are far too capable on our own and can rule ourselves just fine when we act from our highest self. We can be individuals while living from the core foundation that we are one.
May each person express themselves in creating the New Earth as they see being right for them. Some will walk the streets, while others engage in building new communities. No matter what situation, person, or event, take what resonates with you, and peacefully leave behind what doesn’t. We can create the world we wish to see best, by being an example of the new way of life.