Some new rules to live by

Lynne McTaggart

Since the millennium, commentators of every variety have been trying to get a handle on the collective significance of the continuous crises besetting us in modern times: banking crises, terrorist crises, political crises, sovereign-debt crises, climate-change crises, energy crises, food crises, ecological crises, manmade and otherwise.

But the crises we face on many fronts are symptomatic of a deeper problem, with more potential repercussions than those of any single cataclysmic event.
They are simply a measure of the vast disparity between our definition of ourselves and our truest essence. For hundreds of years we have acted against nature by ignoring our essential connectedness and defining ourselves as separate from our world.
We’ve reached the point where we can no longer live according to this false view of who we really are.
What’s ending the story we’ve been told up until now about who we are and how we’re supposed to live — and in this ending lies the only path to a better future.
Life as war
The leitmotif of our present story is the hero up against it all. We take it for granted that our life’s journey is meant to be a struggle.
No matter how pleasant our lives, the vast majority of us maintain a stance of operating contra mundi, with every encounter some sort of battle to be fought —  against the co-workers who seek to usurp our jobs or promotions, or the students who raise the bell curve against which we are judged; against the people who take our subway seat, the shops that overcharge us, the neighbors who have a Mercedes when we drive a Volvo, and even the husband or wife who has the temerity to insist on maintaining an opinion that is different from ours.
This idea that we operate against the world has its origin in our basic understanding that this self of ours — the thing we call ‘I’ — exists as a separate entity, a unique creation of genetic code that lives apart from everything else out there.
The most enduring statement we make about the human condition, the central fact of our existence is our solitude, our sense of separation from the world. We regard as self-evident that we exist as self-contained, isolated entities, living out our individual dramas, while everything else — other atoms and other cells, other living things, the land masses, the planets, even the air we breathe — exists as something distinct and wholly separate.
Our hearts, we believe, beat finally and painfully alone.
This paradigm of competitive individualism offers us a view life as a heroic struggle for dominion over hostile elements and a share of strictly limited resources. There’s not enough out there and others may be fitter than we, so we have to do our damnedest to get hold of it first.
Consequently, for more than three hundred years our worldview has been shaped by a story that describes isolated beings competing for survival on a lonely planet in an indifferent universe. Life, as defined by modern science, is essentially predatory, self-serving, and solitary.
The individualistic, winner-take-all zeitgeist of modern times is to blame for many of the crises we presently face in our society, particularly the excesses of the financial sector, with its insistence on a bigger and better profit every year, at any cost.
On a personal level it has left most of us with a distinctly hollow feeling, as though something profound — our very humanity — has been trampled over, in our daily wrestle with the world.
We urgently need a new story to live by.
The new rules of the game
For the past two decades, ever since I began pondering the meaning of cutting-edge discoveries in science, I have been struck by how much of scientific theory — and consequently our model of the way things work — is currently going up in smoke.
An entirely new scientific story is emerging that challenges many of our basic Newtonian and Darwinian assumptions, including our most basic premise: the sense of things as separate entities in competition for survival.
The latest evidence from quantum physics offers the extraordinary possibility that all of life exists in a dynamic relationship of cooperation. All matter exists in a vast quantum web of connection, and a living thing at its most elemental is an energy system involved in a constant transfer of information with its environment.
Frontier biologists, psychologists and sociologists have all found evidence that individuals are far less individual than we thought they were.
Between the smallest particles of our being, between our bodies and their environments, between ourselves and all of the people with whom we are in contact, between every member of every societal cluster, there is a Bond — a connection so integral and profound that there is no longer a clear demarcation between the end of one thing and the beginning of another.
These discoveries suggest that the idea of the individual — as in an individual thing distinct from other things — is ultimately a fallacy. There is nothing — from our subatomic molecules to our entire being — that we can define with any certainty as a wholly separate body that can be isolated and ring-fenced.
In every way, individual things live life inextricably attached and bonded to an “other.” Nature’s most basic impulse is not struggle for dominion but a constant and irrepressible drive for wholeness.
These discoveries hold not only vast implications about how we choose to define ourselves, but also vast implications about how we ought to live our lives. They suggest that a drive for cooperation and partnership, not competition or dominance, is fundamental to the physics of life and the biological makeup of all living things.
If we are to reform our society, we first need some new rules to live by, and these must start with the basics: a new definition of what it means to be human.
We need to look at our universe with a fresh pair of eyes.  Applying these new discoveries to every aspect of our lives requires nothing less than making ourselves anew.

Facebook Comments

We embed Facebook Comments plugin to allow you to leave comment at our website using your Facebook account. This plugin may collect your IP address, your web browser User Agent, store and retrieve cookies on your browser, embed additional tracking, and monitor your interaction with the commenting interface, including correlating your Facebook account with whatever action you take within the interface (such as “liking” someone’s comment, replying to other comments), if you are logged into Facebook. For more information about how this data may be used, please see Facebook’s data privacy policy:

Lynne McTaggart

Lynne McTaggart is an award-winning journalist and the author of seven books, including the worldwide international bestsellers The Power of Eight, The Field, The Intention Experiment and The Bond, all considered seminal books of the New Science and now translated into some 30 languages.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

16 comments on “Some new rules to live by”

    1. While it is respectful, compassionate and loving to appreciate and consider the shared commonalities that unite us to our fellow life travelers. We must also extend that same respect, compassion and loving to the uniqueness of the individual.

  1. Well stated Lynne. Thank you for all of your efforts to shine light where darkness once prevailed!

  2. So beautiful and an understanding that is so critical now. Any chance you will be in the US in July, August or September? My siblings and I host a lecture every summer in honor of our Dad and I’d love to have you be our speaker. Truro, Cape Cod.
    We could only pay about 3,000$, but would give you a great place to stay with us by the beach.

  3. I find it wonderful that modern science gives validity to so much ancient spirituality. Neo-Confucianism being shown as resonating with new discoveries- for my mind family and community trump individuality any day.

  4. Lynne, thanks for the inspiring words, and for all you do to make that vision a reality!

  5. Well said , true and fundamentally important. I wonder what the world will look like as we begin to practice living from the stance that we're all in this together.
    Thanks Lynne,

  6. Once we realize that we are ALL fragments of the divine being making our way back to the Source through uniquely different paths, ultimately to become ONE with each other, it helps to put things in perspective.

  7. Any system has both a capacity for interaction with its environment AND a capacity for generating itself and its Identity. It is not either/or. Stressing cooperation without acknowledging the need for identity is foolish.

  8. I appreciate your important review and New Rules of The Game. We live as if we are the greatest and have no regard that an astroid hit the earth millions if years ago and wiped our the planet:dinosaurs, a devastation. Our societies are ego driven the much needed Shift is happening.
    So much doom and gloom, anxiety is the
    curse in both children and adults, God we need you. We need Angels amongst our people who are tearing apart the very fabric of goodness... truth seekers and prayers to Shift Now. I love you L. M. and have so much gratitude for your work in making a difference. ❤️

  9. This is how I teach about the immune system and fever...not a battle, not attack/defend and all the other military words that are used to describe the 'war on virus/bacteria'...but a system of co-operation, community, commensal - eating at the same table as - communicative...a system that is self-healing, self- regenerative when given energetic support when symptoms are the only way to communicate and imbalance.

  10. Dear Lynne, your message is wonderful and true and is what we all need to sign up to. But getting it across to a scientific and materialist world will be difficult.

  11. Yes! We are all one theoretically.
    But experiencially and therefore practically, we are all separate.
    The question is how to bridge this gap collectively , and rapidly!
    Probably, consistent and frequent daily group intentions would work!

Why wait any longer when you’ve already been waiting your entire life?

Sign up and receive FREE GIFTS including The Power of Eight® handbook and a special video from Lynne! 

Top usercarttagbubblemagnifiercrosschevron-down