By the process of “sowing our oats” we find there is no permanent value in self-seeking behavior:
Each man has now a capacity to expend and to receive violence, but he has a mechanism available to alter his mental images that define this capacity – thus, the law does not make man a slave to his past nor to the untried…Using imagination and reasoning power, man may try evil-doing in his mind, both sowing and reaping it upon himself, having done with it if he will follow through in his envisioning to the final harvest, not stopping at the point of momentary gratification in the act. That is, he may exhaust the possibilities and bore himself with evil’s final, empty reward.
But even if we find ourselves bored with evil, it’s a built in part of the deal of life:
But since good and evil interfuse each act, as do the two frequencies of a light wave-group, even if a man could always live by the Golden Rule he would still do evil. Because this is so, however, he may spend his life acting upon the voices of conscience and love, knowing that he expends his quota of evil, which must be expended in order that he be delivered from it – and since every person is a field in which both good seed and tares are sown, his life’s harvest will be of good and evil. The measure he has meted out during this experience, however, constitutes the sowing of a new field, provides a future working capital of memory-images, and the evil that comes back to him in kind will be in attenuated form. The sum of his memory-images both today and tomorrow ad infinitum spell out his empathy and they also spell out his lust: his need to experience, to know.
With each step in experience throughout life, we are building up more empathy:
Eddington says, “Progress of time introduces more and more of the random element into the constitution of the world.” The psychological parallel would read: there will be more empathy in the world tomorrow than there is today – and the question arises, can empathy be complete? Can thermodynamical equilibrium be achieved?
It is these questions we will look at in our next installment. Until then, peace.