Cooperative, Human-Scale Community and the Integrity (Religious, and Altogether) of

Human-Scale Community

and the Integrity (Religious, and Altogether)

of Civilization

an Essay by

Adi Da Samraj

Cooperative, human-scale community (including, but not
to, “family” relations) is the political, social, and cultural root-source
of civilization. Cooperative, human-scale community is also the primary
political, social, and cultural condition that civilization tends to destroy.
Therefore, the struggle to re-establish cooperative, human-scale community—and,
in turn, to re-establish (within the larger political, social, and cultural
order) the virtues characteristically associated with cooperative, human-scale
community—is the constant necessity and the principal political, social,
and cultural revolution whereby civilization can be purified of its negative
effects, and whereby the integrity of civilization (and of civilized people)
can be restored.

As civilizations enlarge and universalize themselves,
the circumstance of civilized life is progressively removed from the truly
human (and humanizing) context of cooperative, human-scale community. Therefore,
as any civilization expands, the context of human living becomes progressively
dissociated from the practices and virtues inherently associated with true
(cooperative and human-scale) community, and becomes (instead) progressively
individuated, alienated, altogether de-humanized, and (therefore) focused
in egoic (and, in general, grossly and negatively, or lovelessly, competitive)
efforts (toward self-survival and self-aggrandizement).

The present state of civilized movements is so expanded
and so universalized that it is already both possible and correct to refer
to a rather single (or global) civilization, or world-civilization (which
yet retains within itself even numerous sub-civilizations—some struggling
merely to survive, and others struggling in a hope to become dominant over
many or all, and, thereby, to replace the current dominant mode of world-civilization).
And the present world-civilization is, primarily (or dominantly), a Western
(or, especially, European and North American) mode of civilization, which
has enlarged and universalized itself to the degree that it has, basically,
engulfed and dominated (or, otherwise, even destroyed) all other modes
of civilization.

Even though the numerous remaining (or, otherwise, even
newly emerging) sub-civilizations continue to struggle to survive, and
even to become dominant (whether on a global or a national or a local scale),
and even though that struggle will likely continue to produce changes in
the characteristics of global civilization over time, the Western mode
of civilization will likely (in the future) continue to remain fundamental,
at the practical and truly global level, for it is precisely the Western
mode of civilization that is, much more than any other, most directly and
practically purposed to practical power, and (therefore) practical domination—over
all of nature, over the physical world as a global totality, and over mankind
as a global totality.

In any case, since civilization has (itself) become so
enlarged and universalized that it can, in its present dominant mode, already
be described as global (and is becoming more so with each passing day),
it is inevitable that (as a necessary result of that largest possible expansion)
the negative tendencies of civilization itself would also be presently
(and tending more and more in the future to be) in clear evidence. And
this evidence is certainly clear—globally, and in every sector, and especially
in those sectors most dominated by the effects of the present dominant
mode of civilization.

The negative evidence of the present global civilization
is obvious at every physical and human level of the world—so much so that
mankind has now clearly entered into a “dark” and “darkening” phase, with
great potential for every kind of disaster, and yet (if truly humanizing
Wisdom and real Divine Grace are accepted) with an equally great (and even
greater) potential for a Divine (and more and more En-Light-ening) transformation.
It is not necessary that I describe all the negative signs and mixed signs
of the present civilization. Let each one enumerate the signs for himself
or herself, and feel the human wound at heart. What I will indicate here
is the summary result of these signs. Indeed, as I have already indicated,
the principal progressive result of the enlarging and universalizing of
any civilization is de-humanization, achieved by means of the progressive
elimination of the principal and necessary context of life that humanizes
mankind. Thus, mankind is, at the present time, dominated by a globally
enlarged and globally universalized state of civilization, in which cooperative,
human-scale community has, in most sectors, either been eliminated or become
profoundly minimized. And, as a result, the principal characteristic of
human living at the present (and would-be-future) time is not cooperative,
human-scale community (and its characteristic virtues, extended to the
larger civilized order) but competitive individualism (dramatized by nations,
groups, and individuals).

Civilization always originates as an expression of the
ideals of cooperative, human-scale community. Therefore, whatever the present-time
particular, distinguishing characteristics of any civilization may be,
the principal characteristics that stand at the root of any civilization
(and, therefore, of the present civilization) are those of cooperative,
human-scale community itself. And those characteristics are, basically,
the political, social, and cultural motives and practices of cooperation,
interrelatedness, interdependence, non-competitiveness, true (or positive,
rather than merely insipid) harmlessness, and positive (or ego-transcending,
and other-serving, rather than merely self-negating) self-sacrifice—and,
altogether (and most basically), those characteristics are the political,
social, and cultural motives and practices of even all the virtues of self-transcendence
(including tolerance, compassion, love, service, self-discipline, and one-pointed
devotion to That Sacred Reality and Authority Which Inherently Transcends—and
even requires the transcending of—the ego-self and even all limitations).

In the present (globally expanded) state of civilization,
the principal sign of civilization itself is that it has, in the largest
number of its sectors, effectively destroyed (or, at least, profoundly
minimized) the root-motives, root-practices, and root-virtues of human
life in its humanizing (or cooperative, human-scale community) mode—and,
indeed, the principal sign of present-time civilization is, in general,
that of the absence of cooperative, human-scale (and truly humanizing)
community itself.

The motive and practice of competitive individualism is
itself the very motive and practice (or method) of egoity itself (or the
separate and separative effort of existence). Therefore, civilization,
in its present global achievement, is profoundly dissociated from its roots
in the relational (or non-separative) virtues and practices inherent in
cooperative, human-scale community—and it has (thus) “progressed” from
its foundation in the cooperative, human-scale community politic, society,
and culture (of cooperation, non-competitiveness, tolerance, positive harmlessness,
self-transcendence, and sacred endeavor) to an “advanced” state wherein
individual life (and, also, lesser collective life) is devoted to ego-based
and ego-serving competitiveness within a thoroughly secularized and materialistic
milieu of ends and means.

An ego-based civilization, like any ego-based individual,
is suffering, seeking, and indulging in every kind of separate and separative
effort toward mere survival and conditional satisfaction. Therefore, just
as any individual who has become sunk in the patterns and results of egoity
must become reformed (or released from the patterns and results of egoity,
and, Ultimately, Most Perfectly Awakened To and In and As the Self-Evidently
Divine Truth That Is Reality Itself)—just so, any civilization
that has become sunk in the patterns and results of egoity must become
likewise reformed (and, Ultimately, likewise Most Perfectly Awakened).
And the struggle by individuals and groups to practically re-establish
human-scale, cooperative, and truly sacred community living is the necessary
and principal revolution (or inherently benign and counter-egoic political,
social, and cultural effort) whereby all human beings (even those under
the most ordinary and limited circumstances) can, at the practical (political,
social, and cultural) human level, purify themselves (and, more and more,
even civilization itself) from the negative effects (including, ultimately,
the loss of individual and collective integrity) that come (and have now
come) with the expansion and universalization of civilization.

Of course, some have, in the present context of civilization,
already tried to revolutionize their “civilized” lives by engaging efforts
toward human-scale community. Those efforts or experiments have met with
varying degrees of practical and human success to date. However, far more
is required to achieve cooperative, human-scale, and truly humanizing community
than present and past experimenters generally suppose or have supposed.
For example, in the present ego-bound context of global civilization, there
is a general tendency for community experimenters to try to create community
on the basis of the same egoic principles that otherwise characterize the
present civilization itself. Thus, present-time community experimenters
generally try to create community on the (supposedly egalitarian) basis
of the motives of competitive individualism (or egoity itself), even though
they also want to establish cooperative principles and cooperative structures.
As a result, experimental community efforts often are degraded and defeated
by competitiveness, the tendency to pander to egoic preferences and egoic
dramatizations (often in the name of egalitarian idealism), and a characteristic
fear of (or a rather adolescent rebellion against) authority, hierarchy,
and the hierarchical culture of respect (which are necessary to any truly
human and cooperative community order).

There is a profound difference between true (and, necessarily,
sacred) community and mere practical (political, social, and cultural)
communalism (whether such is viewed to be religious or, otherwise, secular
in its nature and intention). A truly cooperative, truly human-scale, and
truly humanizing community is necessarily and truly sacred (and even truly
religious, and, at least potentially, Spiritually oriented, and, Ultimately,
purposed toward the Most Perfect Realization of Real God, or Truth, or
Reality Itself), rather than merely secular (or not truly sacred, religious,
Spiritual, or purposed toward the Most Perfect Realization of Real God,
or Truth, or Reality Itself). That is to say, a truly cooperative, truly
human-scale, and truly humanizing community is necessarily based on the
motive of ego-transcendence (rather than on the motive of ego-fulfillment)—and,
therefore, it is not based on the search to satisfy the ego-“I” and the
egoic motives of any of its members, but it is based on the devotion of
each and all of its members to That Which Inherently Transcends each and

The human being is an apparently individual manifestation
within a Totality that is an interdependent Unity. And the apparently individual
human being, as well as all of the Totality-Unity in which he or she is
appearing, is a merely apparent modification of That Which Is All-and-all-Transcending,
One, and (Self-Evidently) Divine. Therefore, in his or her depth (and altogether),
the human being, unless he or she becomes utterly self-contracted and (thereby)
utterly ego-possessed, is inherently moved to transcend the ego-“I” (or
all separateness and separativeness) in the Unity and, Ultimately, the
One (or the Divine Source-Condition) In Which he or she, and all, is arising.
And, because that is the case, the right and true human being is necessarily,
in the right and true sense, religious (and politics, society, and culture,
in order to be right and true, and in order to support and serve right
and true human living, must, necessarily, also be, in the right and true
sense, religious).

True religion is, at the level of its human interactive
(political, social, and cultural) demonstration, necessarily a collective
and communal (rather than a merely subjective, or internal, and private)
exercise and process—and true religion must, therefore, be politically,
socially, and culturally permitted to be so demonstrated. Therefore, one
of the principal faults of the present “civilized” trend toward individualistic
and materialistic democracy (or a political, social, and cultural “order”
based upon competitive individualism, ego-glorification, anti-authority,
anti-hierarchy, anti-unity, and anti-Wisdom) is that individualistic and
materialistic democracy tends to individualize, secularize, and (at last)
suppress religion itself—and, therefore, individualistic and materialistic
democracy tends also to individualize, secularize, and (at last) suppress
the necessarily collective and communal aspect of the exercise and process
of religion. And, as a result of the “democratic” individualizing, secularizing,
and (at last) suppressing of religion (and especially the collective, communal,
and otherwise public exercise of religion), the enterprise of true community
(truly cooperative, truly human-scale, and truly humanizing) is itself
suppressed (or, in principle, excluded) in so-called “democratic” (or “egalitarian”)

True community is necessarily sacred, religious, and one-pointed.
That is to say, it is not focused in service to (and fulfillment of) egos
(or whatever is many and separate), but in service to (and Realization
of) That Oneness and Singleness Which Inherently Transcends egoity and
every limitation. The Real does not rotate around each and all, but each
and all are Called and Obliged to surrender egoic self and to forget egoic
self in participatory Communion with the All-and-all-Embracing, All-and-all-Pervading,
All-and-all-Transcending, and Self-Evidently Divine Truth and Reality.
And it is only the devotional response to this Call and Obligation that
can purify and restore mankind—one by one, each and all—by means of the
benign and truly humanizing political, social, and cultural revolution
that is the establishment of truly sacred and truly cooperative human-scale
communities (and, by extension, the transformation of even the entire global
civilization itself into a cooperative, rather than a merely competitive,

And love is the key to this necessary change. Love is
ego-surrendering, ego-forgetting, and (always more and more) ego-transcending
participation in the Indivisible Oneness and Wholeness and Singleness That
Real God, and Real Truth, and Reality Itself. Therefore, love is also right
living. And that love which is right living is not ego-based, independent,
separative, competitive, and non-cooperative. Therefore, that love which
is right living is the active (and co-operative) aspiration toward
egoless (or non-separative) participation in Real God (or Truth, or Reality
Itself), and in relational humanity, and in even all the all (and All)
there is.




The Da Love-Ananda Samrajya Pty

as trustee for The Da Love-Ananda

claims perpetual copyright
to all photographs and

the entire Written (and otherwise recorded)

Wisdom-Teaching of Avatar Adi Da Samraj and

the Way of the Heart, or Adidam.

© 2000 The Da Love-Ananda
Samrajya Pty Ltd.,

as trustee for The Da Love-Ananda

All rights reserved.

Used in DAbase by permission.

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