The Power of Cooperation

“We are born for cooperation, as are the feet, the hands, the eyelids, and the upper and lower jaws,” 

Marcus Aurelius

Failure to make that observation and to accept that truth accounts for a large share of the misery and unhappiness among humanity to this day.

The egocentric people of this world honestly believe that others are placed around them as subordinates and as a convenience.

The egocentric believes that others are here to give, while he or she is here to receive and take.

When performance obviously fails to match such expectation, friction and hostility result. Sooner or later humanity must learn that each of us must give as well as take. We must serve as well as be served, and do it voluntarily and enthusiastically.

Reciprocity and cooperation are the law.

Consider the entire universe, for a moment, as contained within a huge circle; nothing exists or can exist outside that circle. We know that “Nature abhors a vacuum,” and that Nature is constantly seeking balance or rest, as water seeks its own level.

Now, if something is taken or moved within the great circle, something must be given to reciprocate, or something will be drawn into the place, for “Nature abhors a vacuum.”

Stress is the temporary condition during which something has been taken or moved but the reciprocal giving or movement has not yet occurred.

That stress is what the world and humanity are so often suffering from. It need not be but is because humanity has not yet accepted the truth of the necessity for reciprocity and cooperation.

We might do well to be ever mindful of the “great circle of containment.”

When we steal from another in any way, we create stress which must be relieved. On the other hand, when we give to others generously and without thought of reward—and this, too, is within the great circle of containment—we soon find generous blessings coming to us beyond our dreams, for this is also reciprocity.

Mystics call this the “Law of AMRA.”

The magnificence of creation will always work toward the restoration of balance and rest.

“As we give, so shall we receive.”

“What goes up must come down.”

“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

We have so many sayings and proverbs which we have created to remind us of this great law, but we tend not to heed or take seriously even our very own teachings.

Always the egocentric, we thinks of these things as being intended for others, not ourselves.

But everything is included within the great circle of containment, even us.

Fortunately, humanity has not been charged with responsibility for the operation of the laws of nature.

Being selfish as well as self-centred, we would, indeed, in some moment of weakness or desperation cause the sun to “stand still.” We might succeed in avenging ourselves upon our enemies, but what of our friends and the rest of the world who depend upon the absolutely certain and normal “movement” of the sun?

If humanity is to live in peace, health, and happiness in this world, we must accept the world as we find it, controlled in an orderly fashion by inviolable natural laws, and we must cooperate with those laws and our fellow person.

Over a period of thousands of years of evolving human society, we are slowly learning that, whether we like it or not, we are dependent upon one another, and only by cooperating with each other can we hope to advance further.

No one person can possibly evolve and reach the mastery of life on his or her own and without the help of others.

We receive most of our inspiration and spiritual strength from within, but from that point onward we need the encouragement, assistance, and friendship of as many others as possible.

The child needs the parent; the student needs the teacher; the employee needs the employer, and vice versa; the buyer needs the seller; the positive needs the negative.

 All are within the great circle of containment! All of us need each other, ad infinitum!

Selfishness is the opposite of cooperation. The selfish person wants all things for themselves; they give neither of themselves nor their possessions voluntarily. They try to do most things for themselves to avoid obligation to others.

They rarely succeed, for this is contrary to natural law.

The cooperative person lives not only for themselves but especially for others. Thus, they share in the joys and sorrows of others and so broaden their own experience with theirs.

They never think and plan in terms of “me” but always in terms of “us.” They never consider themselves as an island or a universe apart but rather as an integral part of the whole of humanity, which in fact he or she is.

They have mastered the rules of teamwork always subduing the urgings of ego and individuality, and blend his or her talents with the talents and strengths of his or her teammates for greater and better performance.

In times of war and disaster, each of us is brought into more intimate awareness of the need for cooperation.

The best qualities of the human spirit are made evident; we then work for each other, sacrifice for each other, and die for each other.

This proves that we do know the law and how to use it.

But why must we return to our selfishness as soon as the perils are no more? The rewards of cooperation would be even greater in times of peace and prosperity.

Think how bright the world could be if we were to practice cooperation toward all of humanity at all times!

The emotionally inspired service and help we give in perilous times is equally effective at all times. Remember, all of humanity is a part of us and included in the great circle.

We are born for cooperation.


Adaptation of “Cooperation” by Chris R Warnken, from the Rosicrucian Digest December 1974


3 thoughts on “The Power of Cooperation

  1. I had the pleasure of briefly meeting the author at a function soon after he penned this article. He was a large, genial American who insisted on shaking everybody’s hand. Vigorously. A less egocentric person it would hard to meet. This was written from the heart.


  2. I agree. I feel we have become obsessed with what is in it for me instead How can we all benefit. We need to give and receive.


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