The word Synergy has been used in all kinds of ways, from descriptions of corporate mergers that destroy jobs, to claims that it justifies the theory of evolution of the human species from a primordial soup. To be useful, its meaning needs to be clarified.
One of the more helpful explanations is contained in an essay by Tom Atlee entitled “Using Synergy, Diversity and Wholeness to Create a Wisdom Culture”
Stephen Coveys’ book “The 3rd Alternative“ is also helpful because it provides many actual examples of 3rd alternative or synergistic solutions — at Work, at Home, at School, in the Law, in Society and in the World.
The writings of Tom Atlee, Stephen Covey and many others serve to advance the intellectual understanding of synergy, but as we pointed out in the section on Win-Win, there also needs to be an ethical aspect that overcomes the a-moral view of life that makes Win-Lose so difficult to overcome.
The universal principles revealed by Jesus through Reverend Sun Myung Moon provide precisely what is needed at this juncture in history.
There are six principles, that together express the divinity or nature of God who loves all people and all things.
- the principle of dual characteristics.
- the principle of give and take action
- the principle of development through origin division union action
- the principle of the four position foundation
- the principle of completion through three stages of growth
- the principle of human growth through shared responsibility
The first principle explains how we can understand the character of the invisible God by studying the created universe. This is similar to the way we can understand the mind of an artist by studying the paintings or sculptures he has made.
The second principle explains how and why everything in the universe exists with dual characteristics of invisible and visible, positive and negative, male and female aspects. Everything that exists also has dual purposes, an individual purpose and a purpose for a greater whole.
These first two principles validate the view of major world religions that God is infinite invisible spirit which indwells, animates and gives purpose to all things, just as our mind exists within our physical body giving it purpose and direction. Since God also exists within all things simultaneously in the moment and has done so throughout time, then God is also transcendent of time and space.
These first two principles also provide us with the ethical foundation for our lives. When the give and take action between any corresponding pair is selfless, the parties come closer together and all the forces needed for existence, action and multiplication are generated. When give and take action is self-centered, the parties draw apart and the forces decrease. This is eminently true in human relationships and it is also true of God’s relationship with man and all created things.
The third principle incorporates the first two principles and also explains how all the things of the created world, the world of result, originate in God (the first cause, creator, origin).
We can see this principle in action, as we observe humans, as created or resultant beings, pursuing scientific knowledge through our intellect, emotional satisfaction through art, the mastery of our will through disciplines and seek joy and happiness through love using our heart. These desires we pursue because we are created in Gods’ image, who has the same qualities of intellect, emotion, will and heart as ourselves.
The fourth principle, explains how God’s eternal power can be expressed eternally on the earth through;
- the four position foundation of the mind and body of men or women centered on God,
- the four position foundation of husband and wife centered on God,
- the four position foundation of perfected people and all the things in creation centered on God, .
The fourth position only comes into existence when the subject and object fulfill Gods’ purpose in creating them. For example a husband and wife can only form an ideal couple that can stand in the position of God as parents to their children when they both live to serve God and one another in every aspect of their life together.
The fifth principle explains how everything, from the creation of the universe to the growth of plants and animals takes time and develops through three orderly stages of formation, growth and completion. For example a person develops physically through the stages of childhood, teenage and adulthood. In adulthood a person has the ability to procreate and begin another cycle of life.
During their growing period human beings are raised by their physical parents in the virtues which become “good” character which is expressed through three levels of love, the passive love of a child, the mutual love of the adolescent and finally the unconditional love of a mature adult. .
Just as parents encourage their children whenever they act virtuously, likewise God as our spiritual parent, rewards virtuous behavior with encounters with His Divine love. This is called synergy. Synergistic encounters are what enable us to know when we are behaving acceptably to God who is leading us along the path to oneness in heart with Him.
Once a man or a woman comes to resemble the heart and love of God it means that God dwells within them 100% and this stage is called the direct dominion of Gods’ love. This is the relationship that Jesus had with God his heavenly father. Having reached the level of direct dominion, Jesus was able to experience the love, the concerns about other people, the power to heal because he was one in heart with God. God actually can work through such a person 24/7. This is the destiny of every person. This is why God sent Jesus, to establish His ideal of oneness with all people on the earth.
The sixth principle explains that an individuals’ development of mature love and character depends upon fulfilling what is called our individual portion of responsibility. During this time, God can help us, but does not interfere with our portion of responsibility. We must make 100% effort to live rightly. God helps us through educating us through our physical parents, teachers and spiritual leaders like Jesus, Buddha, Confucius, Mohammed etc. He also encourages us directly by giving us synergetic experiences.
During our growing period, before we reach the direct dominion, humans progress through the three stages of growth spiritually. During this period while we develop from self-centeredness to unconditional love, of course we don’t resemble God or Jesus fully. It is only when we fulfill our responsibility in some way that we can experience Divine love or synergy. At first these synergistic experiences are few and far between but gradually with the guidance of our parents, teachers and spiritual leaders, they increase in frequency and duration until we actually become one with God as Jesus was.
This same path of education and responsibility must be carried out by groups, communities, nations and cultures who are all extensions of the individual.
Over the course of time, human culture has developed through the immature stage of Win-Lose, to the relatively more mature stage of Win-Win and now we are entering the stage of synergy. On a world wide scale this does not happen monolithically for all families in a community or all communities in a nation transitioning from one stage to the next at one time. Rather God follows the principles of development, enlightening one individual in a family and leaving that person to multiply the fulfillment of responsibility to other individuals, families, nations and cultures.
These Principles are incredibly helpful in understanding the course of human history and why certain events have occurred. It also helps us understand that the myriad problems facing us today can and will be overcome as mankind learns what responsibilities are required.
By studying the six Principles we come to understand the nature of God and what kind of relationships He longs for us to achieve amongst ourselves, with the environment and with God Himself. God did not simply come up with an ideal, create people and things and then just wait, rather He has been intervening in human affairs daily since the first human ancestors were created.
For example, because physical human parents are raised in the realm of Win-Lose, it is difficult for them to raise their children to have a Win-Win mentality. To help us, God has educated mankind in the responsibilities of raising of His children, by raising up exemplary spiritual leaders like Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, Mohammed, etc, to guide people in the ways of true character and love.
God also raises up other special people like artists, mathematicians, scientists, philosophers, politicians who also serve and love others, who love the creatures of the earth and sea. Their inspirations too, often arose out of synergistic experiences and are also meant to be passed on to benefit as many others as possible.
All of these are examples of God fulfilling His portion of responsibility to expedite our path to maturity. The only thing that human beings have to do is recognize truth when we hear it and then apply it in our day to day life. This is our portion of responsibility. But an intellectual understanding of truth and what is our responsibility cannot always move us to fulfill it, humans need to be motivated by emotion not only logic.
For example the followers of many Faith Traditions believe that they have the truth and that any other interpretation must be wrong. How then can we discern Gods’ truth?
In order to recognize truth we must employ our emotions through empathy with other people. This is accomplished by pursuing Win-Win-Win which means not only striving for mutual understanding and agreement between two people with different opinions, interpretations, but also we must make sure that our “mutual a-deux” understanding can be expanded to all others. The phrase all others must include people of different religions, cultures, nationalities, different ages even future generations, nature and planet earth. When all others are not considered then decisions based upon a truth decided by two people or two groups can and often do result in unintended consequences, in other words instead of Win-Win-Win we get Win-Win-Lose.
What is the justification for this? – It stems from the six Principles that show us that God dwells in every person and within the created natural world and will dwell within our unborn children. Or as Albert Einstein said;
A human being is part of a whole, called by us the “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest -a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us.
Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Only a life lived for others is worth living.
There is much more to these six principles than can be written about in a few short lines, but even with this brief introduction, we can look back in history and find Gods footprints as He has been working ceaselessly to raise mankind from our immature Win-Lose mentality into a more productive Win-Win way of relating to one another. Eventually we will be able to reach emergence which will be the Ideal World.
Once we realize that the absolute God has an even greater parental desire to see His children grow and mature than we have for our own children, we can understand how frustrating and sad He must feel when we fail to fulfill our human portion of responsibility. Human history takes on a new significance. It is not just about us, it is Gods’ history too, we are not alone.
In order to gain the emotional power to change ourselves we must first know how to recognize Gods’ feelings. The way is simple.
When I strive for loving relationships with other people, seeing them as Gods children, as my brother or sister, synergy appears, but the moment I allow a Win-Lose mentality to take over my thinking, synergy disappears or cannot appear. Synergy is the emotional force, rooted in Gods’ love which allows us to recognize Gods feeling associated with an emotion in ourselves. When we recognize this we can either continue doing the good that results in synergy or we can reflect and correct ourselves. It is like having an in-built compass that always points towards love of your fellow man.
Synergy is elusive if it is pursued only from an intellectual understanding of the principles. To really understand synergy one needs to actually experience it in ethical relationship with other people. When anyone experiences synergy it is unforgettable, you long to repeat the experience which is what is needed if we are to grow.
I believe that this was what Albert Einstein meant when he said;
There are only two ways to live your life:
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.
In everyday life it is impossible to live this way consistently, unless we can surround ourselves with others seeking the same experience of synergy.
The mission of the New World Co-op is to facilitate people to experience the miracle of synergy through face-to-face relationships with real people.
Please continue on to About Connect Groups to learn how.