Scientific-Gnosticism Memetic-Shamanism

Altruistic Resonance

Published by under Uncategorized on April 19, 2010

Resonance is a phenomenon in which the strength/energy of a wave becomes larger because a small amount of input at the right time and place. Once you have reached a certain age you will usually have noticed that everything seems to work in trends and waves. Things tend to cycle up or cycle down. This is seen in the phenomenon of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. (paraphrasing the bible) To he who has much, much will be added, but to he who has little, that which he has will be taken away. It’s just the way things work in reality if we do not attempt to interact with trends and alter their course.

Resonance can be seen in a child’s swing. When you give a little push at the right time they go higher and higher. There is another playground toy that demonstrates it even better. I’m not talking about the see-saw but it’s a type of two seated swing called a “glider” in which two children sit facing each other and taking turns pushing on leg pedals to cause the swing to move back and forth. This swing best demonstrates the principle of altruistic resonance.

If one person just rides, the swing does not go as high for either rider. If one decides they want to go forward before the other is done and push when they should wait, the swing does not go as high or can even be slowed to a stop. But if both of the riders work together and stay in tune, there is no limit to the heights they can achieve other than the limit of the swing itself.

Everything from the happiness of a couple to the prosperity of a group is subject to this principle. It requires patience, temporary self-sacrifice, and contentedness with whatever comes. Each must pull his own weight and be ready to give back. If one decides to break the agreement and take when they should give or hold when they should release, the system fails. It’s true that the one will have more than the other by only taking. They will have all of what could be shared but they do not understand that what is shared is less. If they only remained content with half then the resonance would make their half grow and grow and sometimes it becomes larger than all of what was before.

The first problem that most people face is that in an altruistic resonance, one must freely give away what is already had. One must take from their own pool of happiness to give it to another such that they may be temporarily lessened. They must judge their own need as less than an other’s need but be confident that they will eventually receive in return what was given or more.

The second problem that most face is the fact that effort must consistently be put in to one’s self and to others. There must be a constant effort in appreciation of all that is around you. Happiness comes from wanting what you have instead of getting what you want and often happiness is lost attempting to achieve more. Usually happiness evades best those who chase it hardest. Appreciation and satisfaction come from dwelling on the current good. More happiness results from attempting to make others happy who follow the same principle.

The third problem is habituation. When people are in a habit of giving to you, you may begin to believe that the gifts are small, expected or even a sort of payment. You must always be aware of the difficulty of conscious choice to let go of ones own happiness for another. You must always be thankful for every small act of kindness. Every small sacrifice. You must reward goodness. Expectation of the return lessens it.

The fourth problem is the overestimation of personal contribution. We each tend to look into another’s contributions and begin to compare them to our own. We do not realize that what is a small gift from us may be a large gift from another and vice versa. We must always be aware of how few people are really willing to cooperate. Every person who does cooperate must be valued highly. By rewarding them for doing right, you are teaching them them to repeat the behavior and benefiting yourself in the end.

The fifth and worst problem is the fear of being unappreciated. We all instinctively know that people value that which is rare and devalue that which is easily gained. This leads us to hold back and not give when we should. We begin to do that which we fear and become the thing we are trying to avoid. We must instead be confident that sometimes experiencing losses is a price we must pay to achieve a community. We must see that it often happens to the best of us. We must be confident that exploiters will either eventually be healed of their fear of explotation, or we will separate from them when it is necessary.

When others continually withhold, only continue giving until your giving takes so much from you that it reduces your ability to give with others. Only through the willigness to forgive and give even when we are not receiving can we heal the wounds to the system. When the truly evil come in and hurt and do damage, even those who are good and well meaning may become more closed. Once they are closed off they begin to receive without giving back. They do no realize this is the same as taking. They do not know they are exploiting a system of goodness.

If we do not follow a model of forgiving and giving even when nothing is received in return, altruism disappears. Each passing on the sickness and strengthening it. Because hurt and misunderstanding always happens there is a resonance that can begin for it as well. Self centeredness and protection and closing off. A resonance of exploitation and revenge. Someone must start the altruism over again. Someone must forgive. Someone must be willing to take the abuse for a time. To be the bigger man.

Unfortunately, we must have smaller communities that interact with smaller groups of people or the cycle of altruism becomes nearly impossible to restart. Every kindness is overshadowed by thousands of evil deeds. There is too much anonymity to be able to punish the exploiters and takers. There is too large of a pool of people for our good deeds to reflect back to us. Our decisions on how to treat people in small ways is not a conscious thing but an unconscious one that comes from experience. It is very difficult to nearly impossible to control even when we know about it. Each of us is only human and we cannot hold up the entire planet’s hurt and mistrust alone. We need to be rewarded for good. We need to some reassurance that we will not always be diminished in our interactions. The calculating mammal underneath us all must know that it isn’t hopeless and pointless to give.

Evolutionary game theory has proven this out. When there is little or no likelyhood that an interaction will be repeated with an individual the dominant strategy is to always defect. It is only in a closed system that altruism pays off.

When our society is too self-centered we must isolate and rebuild our trust. We must interact with those who can trust. Only those who are not constantly being hurt can trust. In today’s society it’s become more and more difficult to do. We watch the television and see that good guys are crushed and destroyed. We’re all connected daily through twitter and facebook. the pain is passed around on a moment by moment basis. At work we are assaulted with constant attack.

This is the purpose of church: To isolate and rebuild trust in a community. For everyone to agree to forgive and treat each other with trust and openness. For everyone to expose weakness and know they will not be attacked in their weak spots but instead find someone wiling to help them tend their wounds. To create a safe place. To have a specific day on a regular basis where you do your best to give to others and they are all doing the same. This is why churches encourage dissociating with outsiders. So that the altruism doesn’t leak out of the group through contact with exploiters.

Altruism is a method of group competition so we must therefore have a group and it must be fairly small. We need a tribe. Otherwise exploitation and evil truly are the winning strategy. We are not well adapted to being a hive. Revenge and witholding will always return and begin to rot away at community. There is no such thing as maintaining a complex system. it is always getting better or getting worse. Cycling up or down.

When people work together, one and one makes three. What we have gets bigger each time I give to you and you give to me.

Altruistic resonance is a powerful but fragile thing.

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