You know there are really two ways of being in the world. There is the way of competition and then there is the way of cooperation. We have indicated that the way of competition is based on a person whose fundamental intention is being here to get because a competitive person wants to always win, they want to assert themselves and stand out above everyone else. They are concerned with becoming grand and acquiring as much as possible.
Now, if I want something from you your ability to withhold what I want gives you power over me, makes you dangerous to me and it is precisely because I want something from you that I become dangerous to you. So when the self engages the other on the basis of intent to get something from the other the other becomes dangerous to the self and the self becomes dangerous to the other so these two repel each other, you end up in a situation where these two can’t be in the same space. As soon as the self takes the intention to take or to get into the interaction, the self repels the other and the self is repelled by the other, you then have a competitive world where only one can survive. Only one can be at the same space at the same time, we become territorial; we protect our turf. We have people under our heel and we have people on top of our head.
The way of cooperation is based in a person who is fundamentally here to serve; he is here to give something, he wants to be helpful. In any situation he looks at the situation on the basis of how he can be helpful and because he looks at the world from that point of view, the other is safe from him and he is safe from the other and when you have two people that are fundamentally safe from one another you have harmony, in other words these two can coexist, they don’t repel each other, they attract each other.
So the intent to take produces a competitive world and the intent to give produces a cooperative world. The person who has the intent to take is a person who is always in win loose situations with people, he has to be the winner and the other person has to be the loser. A person who is here to give is basically trying to vacate the space so the other person can inhabit the space.
What has also become apparent in this distinction is that there is an undertone to the internal dialogue of these two people. The person who has good faith in existence, the person who is cooperative has a particular character to his internal discourse. A person who is here to take, a person who doesn’t believe that life looks after him, a person who is trying to get his own out of life also has a particular character to their internal dialogue.
The person who is here to take, the competitive person, their way of looking at the world is based in judgment because they are always trying to work out who is top and who is bottom, who is better and who is worse. So there is always a competition going on between them and the world that they are in. As they are walking through their life, their internal dialogue is a continuous dialogue of judgment. That is good, that is bad, that is better, that is worse, I’m on top of that, I’m below that.
The person who has a cooperative way of being, who is here to serve, does not have a judgmental undertone to their internal dialogue, they are not trying to compete with things as much as understand them. When you are really trying to see something you almost want to stand a little bit away so you can see the whole picture so this person is vacating the space, they are not competing for space they are vacating space because they want to see what’s there. They want to understand what is there. So a cooperative person, a person who is here to serve is a person whose internal character is one of curiosity rather than one of judgment. They are interested in the world that they are in rather than trying to compete with the world that they are in.
Now I would hazard to say that the only person who can make a meaningful and helpful contribution to the world that they’re in is the cooperative person. To make an effective contribution to the world requires the ability to see the world as it is. The competitive person can’t do this. They are too engrossed in hierarchies and significance that they can’t recognise the world as it is independently of their attempt to impose hierarchies. Only the cooperative person has the ability to see the world as it is. They have shut up for long enough, they have loved it for long enough, they have been curious about it for long enough for the true character of the world to reveal itself to them. Their action is wholesome whereas the person who is walking through the world with judgment only ever deals with the world on the basis of their prejudices and the effect of that is that they destroy things around them.