Cooperative Community Training Test
The Unity and the Individual
"Since we are not ourselves ultimates, we cannot know ultimate Purpose. The present purpose seems to be evolution by means of functioning. The objective of evolution is twofold. On the one hand it is the development of the independent individual. On the other it is the coordination of the individuals so developed into a functioning Unity.
"Your responsibility as a component part of the greater whole is primarily yourself, and only secondarily that which you accomplish outside yourself. That the secondary may be important is acknowledged, but it is impossible that it should be aught but ephemeral if the primary is not a solid reality.
"The individual man . . . is a member of not one narrow group only, such as the family. He is also a member of a succession of ever more inclusive groups, until he is to be considered eventually a member of that which comprises the sum total of earthly incarnations. Each of these groups has its own type of problems, good and evil, to be worked out. And all of these problems have the same characteristic of being beyond the scope and power of individual solution. They have also the characteristic in common that they are the individual problem and responsibility.
"From this it follows that if an individual works out his own development, he automatically also works out, as far as the individual can, the group problem. And consequently, if the group problem is by so much carried out, there is so much less of it to weigh upon the other members of the group. In that thought you may glimpse the interrelations of effort, and the value to others of whatever real progress you make for yourself. You may also, perhaps, glimpse the reverse, and perceive how imposing additional limitations on yourself through inertia and indifference does likewise to others. This is for the automatic relationships.
"There enters also a semi-automatic relationship, as one might say. If the individual works out within himself his own portion of the group Impetus, he will in the process, by a universal law, have produced something which manifests that bit of development in the external world. It may be a concrete thing, or a bit of practical knowledge, or merely an externalized spiritual attitude. But whatever its form, it is there existent in an appropriatable shape for those who can reach out for it and utilize it. And whenever such an appropriation is made by another, not only does the utilization aid further in the solving of that group problem, but also in repercussion it renders stable the advancement of the one first attaining.
"One forgets that the building of one's self is but for the purpose of contributing one's self-contributing one's self COMPLETELY. That may sound out of reach, impractical, even undesirable. And maybe it is--for the present. Nevertheless it is an eventuality to be faced, for the things we hold back are what keep us from participation in the greater Whole."
Betty White and Stewart Edward White, With Folded Wings