• Search

    Search The Teal Swan Article Library

  • How Did We Get Like This?


    Human beings are so profoundly alone.  The way we live today is like roommates on the planet earth.  Some roommates we get along with and some we want to avoid or kill.  But we do not live one life together. Instead, we live out our separate lives in the same vicinity as other people.  We lack emotional connection even when we are surrounded by other people. This feeling of being profoundly alone is the root cause of unhappiness in the human race.  It is the root cause of addictions. It is the root cause of suicide. It is the root cause of acts of terror. And it is the root of the dysfunction in the way society is structured.  But we weren’t always this way. So how did it get like this?

    Humans used to live in a state of emotional connection.  Ironically, one of our greatest strengths is what ultimately removed us from that state of connection.  And that is our intellect.  All that an ego is, is a self concept.  Our intellect gives us the capacity to form a concept of self.  This makes us embody the concept of the thought of “I”. We saw ourselves as different from and divisible from others.  “I” is a thought that acts like a cancer, separating everything. If you would like to understand more about this, watch my video titled: Oneness is not the ultimate truth of the universe.   But it is important to understand that this is the first intellectual advancement that would be as detrimental as it ever was beneficial to us.

    It used to be that our survival was completely dependent on each other.  Our basic physical survival was based on interdependence. We could not afford for any member of our group to not be seen, felt, heard and understood.  We could not afford to be out of alignment with one another. That was a huge liability. If your life depends on something, you remain very perceptive to the actuality as well as the wellbeing of that thing.  The scary thing about being dependent on anything is that you’re at the mercy of it being provided. For example, if your main source of food were corn, you’d be dependent on corn. But if there was a drought and no corn grew, you would suffer.  Or if you were dependent on someone hunting for your food, but they never came back from the hunt, you’d starve to death. So, naturally, we used our intellect to seek to improve our lives by finding ways to be less powerless as individuals. We found ways to get away from being dependent.  We removed ourselves from interdependence with just about everything and took control of everything instead.

    For example, we used our intellect to create clothes and houses to not depend on the seasons and elements.  We started planting crops to not depend on what the earth naturally provided in a given year. We created money to not depend on another person liking our trade.  Even though this had many benefits, it also came with a monumental downside.

    The idea of “I” automatically gave rise to the idea of “mine”.  This further separated us in that we began to treat people upon whom our survival no longer depended as things belonging to us or things opposing us.  As we became less and less dependent on other things, including each other, our basic survival no longer depended on the wellbeing of others.  Instead, other people were seen as either resources for us to use for our own benefit (slavery is an example of this) or as threats to our wellbeing.  We started to control them and eradicate them and only add to their wellbeing conditionally if they complied to our wishes. We lost our motive to stay connected.  We became more and more independent. We lost survival as our motive to perceive one another and to treat their wellbeing as indivisible from our own.  For the first time, we could look at someone whose wellbeing asked something of us and we could say “no… it doesn’t affect me if you’re feeling that way, it doesn’t threaten my survival.  It has no impact on me.” This is the origin of war.

    Wars simply made matters much worse.  They rendered so many people hurt that they placed everyone in the kind of survival situation where survival was not dependent on the capacity to become interdependent, but instead on one’s ability to be completely self centered in nature. Due to their pain and the survival situations they were put in, they became completely self-focused. Pain has a tendency of doing that to a person. They were unable to really feed the wellbeing of the people around them, including their children.  

    Children growing up in the kind of emotional environment where parents are just trying to survive and where they were treated as objects belonging to their parents, learn that their parent’s wellbeing has nothing to do with their wellbeing.  This is a household of emotional neglect and even abuse. To understand emotional neglect, watch my video titled: Today’s Great Epidemic and How to Cure It. Children raised in this environment grow up with the idea that their wellbeing is dependent upon not being dependent on anyone else for their wellbeing. They become narcissistic in that life is about everyone being out for themselves.  And they develop several adaptive strategies to ensure they will be able to meet their individual needs in a way that does not depend on anyone taking them into consideration in a loving way.  This is the foundation of the dysfunctional family system. These children will in turn grow up to treat their children like this. It is like a cancer that passes from generation to generation.  A cancer of non-consideration. “ I cannot perceive your feelings, thoughts, desires, needs etc. because that does nothing for me. You only exist in so far as what you can do for me.”

    Gradually, we lost our motive and thereafter ability to really perceive one another at an emotional level.  We learned to live individual lives on planet earth side by side. And the less we depend on each other, the less connected we become.  The structure of our society is one that continues to separate people further and further. We have become completely attachment and relationship disordered in nature.  And we continue to propagate the idea that independence, being alone and meeting our needs completely for ourselves is something to develop and take pride in.

    By thinking our way out of interdependence in terms of physical survival, life for people on earth became a zero sum game.  You vs. me. A game in which people perceived it to be possible for you to lose and me to win or vice versa. Ultimately it is not actually possible.  The very thing we thought up for our survival is the very thing that will damn it. It is the very thing that is making our world unsafe and painful today.  

    We are in a phase of human evolution today where we are going to reverse this process completely.  And ironically, it is not going to be done by getting rid of the ego initially.  It is going to be done by the ego understanding that its survival depends on others.  We must gain back our motive to be connected and interdependent and therefore attuned to another person.  We must gain back the complete embodied understanding that the wellbeing of other things, whether they be human or non-human, is indivisible from our own wellbeing.  When we fully realize this, we will choose to be connected in a way where we can fully perceive them. There will no longer be emotional neglect. There will no longer be a void within people.  There will no longer be abuse. There will no longer be war. There will no longer be any form of disconnection between us.

    We must choose to be dependent.  There is nothing powerless about the choice to be dependent and it is safe assuming that both people realize that their wellbeing is inseparable from the other person.  This is the foundation of interdependence.

    From here, we will realize that there is no “other”.  That is an illusion. This is when the thought “I” and all concepts connected to it like “mine” will dissipate.  So will our sense of isolation along with it. It will no longer be a thought kept alive by the minds of men. Our survival as a species is completely dependent upon the conscious choice to be interdependent.