Self vs. Other
How do you think about yourself and others? What is your philosophy about your relationships to other people? Are your needs more important than others needs? Are you in competition with others? Do you need to fight for survival? Answers to these questions will point to your basic worldview – how you see the way the world works and how you need to be in it.
There are people who see the world as you do and there are plenty of people who see it differently. In fact some researchers have discovered that there are various patterns or structures of worldview that people have in common. Interestingly, these different worldview structures also have different ways of weeing the ‘self’ and ‘other’. One way to categorize these structures is by using the following terms: egocentric, ethnocentric, worldcentric, and kosmocentric worldviews.
- Egocentric worldview – self vs. all others
- Ethnocentric worldview – self + our group (family, ethic, nation) vs. all others
- Worldcentric worldview – self + all others (inclusion, pluralistic)
- Kosmocentric worldview – self + all others + all sentient beings (inclusion)
Economic logic says that ‘more for you is less for me’. But the evolutionary impulse knows that more for you is more for me too. If you truly have a non-judgmental perspective then when somebody has happiness it is your happiness too. And your sense of self will begin to expand even to include other species.
Look at it this way. Every being in nature has in important role in the universe. And the same is true for each person; each of us has a necessary and important part to play; something unique to offer the world. The vast majority of people traditionally believe that it’s crazy to live according to what we can offer to the universe. But what if in fact we are here to give our unique gifts and talents? More and more people are waking up to this possibility. This shift of worldview, a consciousness that understands that all beings have an important role, and values the potential in everybody is aligned with the evolutionary impulse.
It’s a different kind of evolution. There is no “other” in this evolution because everything and everyone is an integral part of the whole. Everybody has a unique contribution and there has never been a more crucial time in history to give careful consideration to this truth. It’s what the future is crying our for and we are all being called to get ready for it, contribute to it, and make it happen.