In the following essay, the World-Friend Adi Da calls for a new global process, which would, in his words, give “governing force” to the principle of prior unity. How is this to come about? It requires, as he says, “an instrument” that would enable global humanity to become self-organized and self-managed. He names this yet-to-be-realized instrument the “Global Cooperative Forum”.
The necessity for such a Global Cooperative Forum rests on the fact that no presently-existing global organization is equipped to truly deal with the complexity of the world situation. While global organizations, such as the United Nations, were established after the Second World War, they have been unable to function effectively for the well-being of the whole because of the prevailing paradigm—which is that of separate parties negotiating settlements that maximize their own self-interests. The global good (both human and non-human) is thereby subordinated to the aims of the separate parts.
In the current world, human beings are simply suffering this situation, or exploiting it, or both. Therefore, a shift of consciousness is essential, from the mind of separateness and competition to taking responsibility for the whole.
In this essay—and (in more details) in his book Not-Two Is Peace—Adi Da describes how the Global Cooperative Forum would be the expression of “everybody-all-at-once”—meaning the unique force and potential in humankind when it wakes up and becomes aware of itself as one family, even one “system,” existing in unity with (and responsible for) the entire Earth-system.
Such a Global Cooperative Forum would provide an institutional structure capable of bringing the truth of prior unity into life as a working-principle, and, thus, restoring to the Earth-system (both human and non-human) its inherent capability to self-correct and self-organize. In summary, the Global Cooperative Forum would deal with the issues that affect Earthkind as a whole — through a global cooperative process of self-governance on the part of the people of the world.
— Carolyn Lee
The pattern of world politics that has been dramatized with increasing intensity over time—and with the most devastating effects in the twentieth century, with the two devastating world wars and all the other wars right up to the present day—is based on the idea and the pattern of polar opposition. Therefore, the common political method is to have opposites either confront one another or (otherwise) try to work out some kind of a deal with one another.
As Abraham Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” If the world-system is based on opposites, it will inevitably self-destruct—by creating chaos along the lines of division (or mutual opposition).
There have been (and, no doubt, will continue to be) many efforts to create some kind of global resolution (or world peace) by bringing opposites together. But any such effort is inevitably bound to fail. Such an effort cannot succeed. It is simply not possible, in the “physics” of human affairs, for such an approach to succeed.
Unity cannot be achieved by combining opposites. Unity is the prior condition, the condition that is always already the case. Prior unity makes all opposites obsolete. Therefore, it is prior unity that must be enacted, rather than any continuation of the pattern of oppositions.
The world-situation has now developed to the point that there is nothing further to expect but the global collapse that opposition will inevitably produce. Therefore, this is the critical moment to stop the play of opposites in the domain of world politics. The play of opposites must be replaced by the politics of prior unity—through the Global Cooperative Forum of everybody-all-at-once. Such is an absolute necessity. Otherwise, the play of polar opposites is going to become absolute destruction.
The principle of prior unity applies to all human endeavor, even to the integrity of a human body or a human personality. Unity is not the result of a play of opposites. Unity is the prior condition.
It is only when unity (or indivisibility) is the principle of life, of living, of action, that unity results. If division (or opposition) is presumed to be the case, more division will result. This is an absolute law. Once this is understood, it clarifies everything about right action and right life.
My address to all human issues—necessarily including what I am saying about world politics—is based on this fundamental principle: Reality Itself is a prior unity. Reality Itself is indivisible and egoless. Therefore, life must be lived in accordance with that Self-Nature of Reality Itself.
This absolute principle is fundamental to all resolution of human problems. In Gandhi’s language, it is a “soul-force”, or “truth-force”, as he understood it.1 That must be the force behind all political effort—the force of prior unity. The principle of prior unity determines a course of action that is (necessarily) inclusive of everybody-all-at-once. What is required is not a search for unity. Rather, what is required is the enacting of the power of prior unity. That is the principle. And it must be the governing principle of political action.
How should humankind deal with the world-situation? By enacting the principle of prior unity. And an instrument is required in order to do that. That instrument is the Global Cooperative Forum. The Global Cooperative Forum must make obsolete all play-of-opposition in the world, all nation-state conflicts, all effort to size up great units of nation-states over against other such units, in the attempt to achieve victory over one another—one religion over another religion, one nation-state (or group of nation-states) over another nation-state (or group of nation-states), and so forth.
All of this effort to defeat the presumed opponent is insanity. Humankind cannot afford to go on with this. Humankind must stop this.
This is the decisive moment in human history to stop this, because such insanity cannot go on without total devastation being the result. Therefore, there truly is no choice.
Those who hear what I have to say about this will understand: There must be an active embrace of this understanding at every level of human life, including every matter associated with global politics and environmental issues. Everything at the human scale must be addressed on the basis of enacting the principle of prior unity, through instruments that are inclusive of everybody-all-at-once. It is essentially a matter of putting the Truth-principle (or Reality-principle) of prior unity into action. And an instrument is needed to do that—not just words.
It is not a matter of bringing together collectives of different groups—such as governmental organizations and non-governmental organizations—so that they can each have their voice, thereby playing out the chaos of oppositions. There is no time to be doing any such thing. There must be a different instrument—and everybody-all-at-once must volunteer for it and become active within it.
Humankind must wake up to its inherent and intrinsic unity as a whole, and not play on any differences whatsoever. Human beings must grasp this understanding of prior unity—and act on it, through an appropriate instrument that is altogether full of integrity and altogether right. That is the immediate necessity associated with bringing the Global Cooperative Forum into being.
Wherever action is done in opposition to whatever force or entity is considered to be the opponent, wherever there is even a strategy relative to an opponent, the effort will fail. Some kinds of changes may be brought about—but, ultimately, everything stays the same, because the principle is one of division to begin with.
Likewise, every strategy that is developed in opposition to any force whatsoever will inevitably fail. The only principle that can work politically is one in which there is no opponent and no search to defeat an opponent—and, therefore, fundamentally no struggle. Right human politics is simply about enacting—or asserting and carrying out—the principle of prior unity.
That kind of activism does not presume an opponent. It does not involve itself with self-division. Consequently, it will not fail. In contrast, whatever presumes its own self-division will fail. It will only produce more division. Therefore, the only kind of political action that can possibly achieve ultimate success is activism based on (1) the presumption of prior unity and (2) the enactment of prior unity through an appropriate instrument.
There is nobody “else”. There is no opponent. The Global Cooperative Forum is a means for bypassing all oppositions, all opposites, and the entire game that plays upon there being opposites at all. There should be presumed to be no opposites, no enemies, no opponent to be defeated. There is simply the intrinsic fact of prior unity. Right politics is simply about acting on that basis.
That is what the Global Cooperative Forum must do. And that is what the form of global activism I am describing must do. That is how it must function: no enemies, no game in opposition, and (therefore) no strategy in relation to a presumed opponent—none.
That is the profundity at the root of such activism—the intensive presumption of non-separateness, of prior unity, of no opponent, of no self-division. That is the only right and effective strategy. It is not a goal-seeking strategy. It is a matter of enacting a prior reality, rather than seeking a different reality. Such is the unique understanding that is the root of all true wisdom.
When I am speaking about politics, I am looking at it in the context of humankind-as-a-whole—not in terms of any circumstance that is negative, full of opposites, looking to achieve some kind of a victory in relation to an opposite or an opponent or an enemy. The root-presumption of not having an enemy is essential to the Global Cooperative Forum. The Global Cooperative Forum must be intrinsically all-including. And there is a discipline necessary for doing that, because people’s patterning will tend to have them be expressing opposite views, different dispositions, and wanting to just sit around and talk about all of that. There should be absolutely no discussion of that kind. That has nothing to do with anything.
There is nothing but Reality Itself—the prior whole, the indivisible whole. That is the basis for all right action. All right human action must be based on this understanding.
In one of the Upanishads, it is said that wherever there is an “other”, fear arises.2 As soon as “difference” is presumed, as soon as separateness is presumed, as soon as an opponent is presumed, there is fear—or the disposition of separativeness, of self-protectiveness, of self-division. The non-presumption of an “other” is the essential principle that will liberate humankind. Wherever no “other” is presumed, Truth awakens.
That is the significance of the title of the book Not-Two Is Peace. What I describe in that book is not merely a method for seeking peace. All twoness is about a search toward a goal—including the goal of peace, which idealists want to find someday. What I am proposing is not idealism. Rather, it is perfect realism—in relation to politics, and in relation to every other domain of human life. Such realism involves the intensive non-presumption of “other” and “problem”. Such realism is the “not-two” presumption—thoroughly embraced, and become the basis of action. That action is already characterized by unity—not the search for unity, but the Is-ness of unity.
Such is the right basis for all human activism. Indeed, it is the basis for all right action in every domain of human life. And this understanding is how everything can be made right, now and in the future. It is the Wisdom-means that can (and must) be applied in the case of every human process. Therefore, it applies to everything—including the most inclusive of all possibilities, which is the right functioning of humankind-as-a-whole.
This is a call to everyone to be awakened to an intrinsic understanding. It is not about appealing to people as egos, or merely trying to get everybody together, with all their differences, to simply talk things out. It is not about anything like that. It is about completely bypassing all of that. All of that will fail. It is a waste of time—and there is no time to be wasted. Rather, this call to everyone is about presuming the intrinsic Truth-intuition (or Reality-intuition) in everyone, rather than appealing to people as consumer-egos or egos-in-high-places.
The principle of non-violence is an idealistic principle about how to function in relation to an opponent. What I am communicating is not that. The principle of “Not-Two Is Peace” is not a strategy in relation to an opponent. In fact, it is exactly not that. Thus, the principle of “Not-Two Is Peace” is not the principle of non-violence merely, even though it is thoroughly and intrinsically non-violent. Most fundamentally, the principle of “Not-Two Is Peace” is about not using any method that presumes to be in relation to an opponent.
All actions done in relation to an opponent—even if outwardly non-violent—are, in some sense, violent. That needs to be understood. Any struggle with an opponent is a kind of aggression, even if done through the device of non-violence.
The approach of “Not-Two Is Peace” (with the Global Cooperative Forum as its instrument) is not like that. It is not an effort in relation to an opponent. It is simply everybody-all-at-once becoming self-actualizing, self-enforcing, self-governing, self-rightening, self-correcting, self-organizing, not opposing anything. It is the whole-all-at-once putting itself in order, as it will inevitably do when the obstruction that is preventing that self-organizing process from happening is removed.
Thus, it is oppositions that are preventing the self-organizing process from happening. The idea of “difference” is what is preventing humankind from self-organizing and self-correcting and self-rightening itself. That is it. The presumption of “difference”, the presumption of opposites, of opponents, of necessary struggle, of seeking for unity, of winning against some force or other that is the opposite of your own—that is what is wrong.
This is the unique understanding that people must grasp. The lack of that understanding is the reason why humankind is defeating itself. That is why worthy purposes are failing. It is the presumption of “difference”, the presumption of the “other”, the presumption of “not yet—therefore, seeking is required”.
In other words, the presumption of egoity—or the presumption of separateness and the activity of separation—is the fault that makes all human effort fail. Ego is the “difference”-maker. Ego is the separatist (or separative) disposition. Ego ultimately avoids relationship, dissociating itself from the “other”. Therefore, the dissociative principle must be abandoned. It has nothing to do with peace. It has nothing to do with correcting the human situation.
All action based on the presumption of an “other” or of “difference” will inevitably fail. Such action only produces struggle, and not unity. Truly, it could be said that the entire world has engaged in its political efforts at the cost of destroying global unity. The United Nations functions on the basis of opposites or differences. It is based on bringing competitors or opponents together in one place, where they continue to be opponents and competitors in relation to one another. They sit around talking, but such talk has nothing to do with peace, with the unity and well-being of humankind-as-a-whole. Talk will never achieve peace or unity or well-being.
The Global Cooperative Forum is an intrinsically unified body representing everybody-all-at-once. Therefore, there are no differences in it. It is not about a council of nations. It is simply a working-instrument for the priorly unified totality (or whole) of humankind, and it presumes no differences.
Therefore, all name-tags and placards must be abandoned at the door. You do not bring your nation-state labels (or any other labels) inside. There are no “high” persons. There are no differences. There is no status. All are servants of the whole.
This is not mere idealism. This is Reality in action. It is an absolute necessity. It always has been—but it has never been understood in the context of humankind-as-a-whole, because humankind-as-a-whole never came together before. That coming-together is only a recent happening.
Thus, in the Global Cooperative Forum, it cannot be that the different nations, the different religions, the different cultures, the different races are each having their say, trying to “angle” relative to the interests on their side. The basis for coming together must be the principle of the human totality as a prior unity—bringing no differences to the table whatsoever, but simply bringing the subjects of address that are common to all, and collectively solving those issues through action that is appropriate to whatever particular subject.
To do that, all presumptions of “difference” must be abandoned. That is the principle of the Global Cooperative Forum.
As I have already described, the principle of prior unity as a political means is not the same as the strategy of non-violent aggression in relation to an opponent. It is quite different—and that difference must be understood. What I am communicating is something new. It is not in the likeness of anything that has previously been proposed or enacted. Sympathetic associations can be seen in the history of human efforts toward peace, but the principle of prior unity is not the same as any previous principle for establishing peace. What is unique about the principle of prior unity must be thoroughly grasped and intensively applied.
1. Gandhi’s term was “satyagraha”, often translated as “soul-force” or “truth-force”, indicating Gandhi’s insistence that the power of truth can (and should) be used as a non-violent means to effect change.
2. In Radhakrishnan’s translation of the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad, this sentence reads: “Assuredly it is from a second that fear arises,” where “second” is used in the sense of “other”. [S. Radhakrishnan, ed., The Principal Upanishads (Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press, 1992), 164].