The prioritizing of cooperation as an individual and collective value is a core component of self-actualization in the age of crisis because it bridges the gap between imagination and action. It supports the self-interest of all by creating environments that encourage innovative thought and practice, providing more opportunities for experimental creation. Applying cooperation to our lives through the lens of the single truth rejects the established systems and hierarchies as ideal arrangements. Embracing cooperation as a spiritual philosophy empowers us to leverage systems as a method of organization and creates a perpetual feedback loop of progress. The further we pursue this path, the more the universe shapes itself toward the alignment of individual and system as a unified self. It is often said that change in society happens from the ground up. This accurately describes organizing local power to shift community focus and energy to new directions. However, the cooperative experimentalism necessary for both individual and systemic actualization is a top-down approach. The individual must decide first because each of us inhabits a unique time experience that takes place in a space none other can occupy. Nothing is more important than our personal choice to embrace the single truth as the fullest extent of our universal knowledge. If we are unwilling to reevaluate the narratives taught us by obsolete systems of meaning and value, then there is no hope of crafting a universe in alignment with nature.
Our exploration of cooperation and competition has avoided definitive statements on what cooperation must be in favor of illustrating possible alternatives. The only way to truly embrace cooperation for ourselves and others is to align it with the single truth. For both the individual and the group, our ways of framing how we cooperate are infinitely flexible because they rely on human imagination to reshape themselves. They are what we decide them to be. In each moment, we are aware of our ability to adjust the course of our actions and interactions according to the objectives we seek to accomplish. The ability to direct the flow of our individual time experience is a divinity available to all. It’s a perpetual process with no end or objective. We build new systems that empower deeper cooperation between us, creating better systems. The flywheel moves forward, continuously gaining momentum. Cooperation at its core is a recognition and embrace of our individual time experience as relational to all else.
Experimentalism is our innate curiosity, an aspect of our being that leverages the inner infinity we all possess. Human beings are extraordinarily curious creatures, as evidenced by any infant navigating the world in a safe and loving space. We want to understand the world around us and tinker with it to make it more in our image. It is a biological trait in high alignment with the single truth and the relational universe, one that has withered in many individuals whose experience has been dictated by the systems surrounding them. Our experimentalism is tempered by our education, our forms of productivity and participation, and especially by the spiritual philosophies presently available. We are born a tongue-tied prophet, but society shapes us into passive and powerless observers who can only wonder at how others embody such greatness. Cooperative experimentalism is the spiritual value of reclaiming and reenergizing human curiosity in the individual and collective. We hold it dear to our hearts because we understand that it is the key to self-actualization in the age of crisis. To encourage the development of experimental individuals in a world of access and agency is to empower human divinity within the moment. It provides the individual a path toward happiness and wholeness unavailable within the present systems.
There is a phrase often uttered throughout American start-up culture used to describe the rapid redirection that often occurs within active strategies: “Building a plane while flying.” It refers to the continuous revision of objectives and understandings in response to new knowledge gained. It is a process without beginning or end that questions existing bias at each turn. Is what we know accurate? This philosophy of persistent iterations calls into question the dogmas that drive us to assume that something built within a time experience long ago would be ideal within the immediate present. Seeking a return to past beliefs, understandings, and actions is little more than philosophical masturbation and sits in direct contrast with the single truth. The maintenance of rigid hierarchies has always been about subjugation, or the power to control another.
More and more awaken to the cruelty of it all, yet some lust for suffering. Dreams of the weak fade rapidly as our connections deepen. Our unwillingness to let go of ways of thinking about the world and each other actively diminishes us. Accurate for the individual through their habits and routine, accurate for the organization in its cooperative practice. Yet we find ourselves in a world where our systems draw from long histories of meaning and value encouraged by hierarchical spiritual frameworks. It bleeds into our culture and values and shapes how we view ourselves and others. It distorts losers and winners alike. All who participate are harmed in some way. Birth lotteries tightly bind us to experiences defined by rules we had no say in writing. Cooperative experimentalism frees society from the present-day caste systems of social and economic hierarchies. We reject philosophies of organization and meaning that determine individual value as measured by digits in a bank account. These ideas have brought us to the immediate present at significant cost to our humanity, but now only offer oblivion. It is said that success often comes down to knowing when to leap. The same may be said for survival. We embrace an awareness of our humanity that extends well beyond our circumstances. It is a commitment to be flexible in defining our relationships with ourselves, others, and the outside world.
The present arrangements that prioritize competition over cooperation as the root value embedded into our systems have brought us to the age of crisis. They are socially exclusive by design, favoring birth lottery above all else. Maintaining these systems is the path of least resistance but defers our fate to the individuals and systems that have brought us to the age of crisis. Our embrace of the single truth and the rejection of eternal life after death leaves us with only one alternative: manifesting our visions of greatness. Resisting the established orders of meaning, value, and hierarchy forces us to be what we have always hoped we would become. The blueprints for systemic actualization exist, which is why it falls to the individual to embrace new philosophies of being that free us from the ideological prisons we have inherited. Cooperation as a source of meaning infuses the individual with the capacity to transcend self-interest as the primary motivator of existence, to become an active and aware part of the whole. Cooperation is, in many respects, an extreme form of love for oneself and others, opening doors to some of life’s most rewarding experiences. Experimentalism is the manifestation of this love in a variety of directions, to be shared and explored with others.
The vision of reshaping ourselves to reshape society within meaningful frameworks of cooperation may seem so distant from the immediate present that you may think it impossible. This is a result of the information systems we have been surrounded by our entire lives. The purpose of embracing cooperation as a core aspect of meaning is to develop a vision of ourselves that will pull our imagination and action toward it. A process of determining a new destination that directs our focus and energy. All great happenings begin with a clear vision of where we must be, followed by the active ideation and evaluation of where we are. The difference between these two moments fuels our imagination to develop experimental action. Each step brings us closer to a more robust understanding of ourselves and our humanity.