ASSIGNMENT >> 9. Read “Determining Optimum Solutions”


An optimum solution of life takes into account the maximum survival for everything concerned in the problem.

This does not mean that one cannot destroy. It so happens that if we didn’t have destruction as one of the operating methods of existence, we would be in pretty bad shape. Do you realize that every fern tree that was growing back in the earliest ages would still be growing and this would be in addition to every tree that had grown since? And we would have live, growing trees on the face of the Earth until we would probably be walking about eight hundred feet above the soil. Death, destruction, has to come in there and clear the way for advances and improvements. And destruction, when used in that way, is very legitimate.

For instance, you can’t build an apartment house without knocking down the tenement that stood there before. Somebody comes along and says, “Oh, that’s very bad, you’re destroying something. You’re destroying an old landmark.”

“We’re trying to put up an apartment house here, lady.”

“Yes, but that’s a famous old landmark.”

“Lady, that thing is about ready to fall into the street.”

“Oh, it’s very bad to destroy things.”

That is pretty aberrated (not supported by reason, departing from rational thought or behavior), because you have to destroy something once in a while. Just think what would happen, for instance, if every piece of paper that had ever been given you in your lifetime was still in your possession and then you had to move. And it was very bad to destroy things, so you had to keep on lugging all these things around with you. You can see how ridiculous it would get.

There is an actual equation involved in this: one must not destroy beyond the necessity required in construction.

If one starts to destroy beyond the necessity required in construction, one gets into pretty bad shape very hurriedly. One gets into the shape Nazi Germany was in. They destroyed everything; they said, “Now Austria, now Czechoslovakia, now let’s knock apart Stalingrad!” So they did and Stalingrad was an awful mess. So was Germany.

There is an old self-evident truth, “Do not send to find for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.” Nothing is truer. People start looking at this and they get superstitions about it. They say, “Well, I don’t dare harm anybody else, because then I would be harmed someplace or other.” This is not necessarily true. But on the overall equation of life and existence, the willful destruction of something can upset the survival of the other entities in its vicinity. It can upset and overbalance things to a point where, for example, we don’t have any more passenger pigeons. People didn’t stop and think, back there over a hundred years ago, that one of these fine days there wouldn’t be any. Obviously, there were all kinds of them all over the sky. So Man has had to go into a tremendous game-conservation program in order to restore the wildlife which his grandfathers wiped out. Man will do this quite instinctively.

The dynamics mean, simply, how many forms of survival are there? How does an individual survive? You can work this out that the individual survives solely because of himself and cooperates only because of selfishness. But you can also work it out that he survives only for future generations and prove it all very beautifully that way. You can work it out, as they did in Russia, that the individual survives solely for the state and is only part of an ant society, a collectivist, one who lives in a system where all property is owned or controlled by the state. And so it goes, one right after the other. You can take these ways he survives and you can make each one it. But when you put it to the test, you find out that you need all of the dynamics.

The number of dynamics merely add up to the number of fields or entities a man has to be in cooperation with in order to get along.

The optimum solution to any problem would be that solution which did the maximum construction or creation along the maximum number of dynamics pertinent to the problem.

Solutions which injure one dynamic for the benefit of another dynamic result in eventual chaos. However, optimum solutions are almost possible to attain and human thinking seeks, at its highest level, only to bring the greatest order and the least chaos.

When an individual is in a low emotional tone, he will stress one or two dynamics at the expense of the rest and so lives a very disorderly existence and is productive of much chaos for those around him.

The soldier, flinging away his life in battle, is operating on the Third Dynamic (his company, his nation) at the expense of his First Dynamic, the Fourth and all the rest. The religionist, someone devoted to religion, may live on the Eighth, Seventh, Fifth and Fourth at the expense of the First and Sixth. The “selfish” person may be living only on the First Dynamic, a very chaotic effort.

There is nothing particularly wrong with bad emphasis on these dynamics until such emphasis begins to endanger them broadly, as in the case of a Hitler or a Genghis Khan or the use of atomic fission for destruction. Then all Man begins to turn on the destroyers.

The whole of SURVIVAL is a dynamic, the only dynamic. But SURVIVE breaks down into these eight.

The abilities and shortcomings of individuals can be understood by viewing their participation in the various dynamics.

The Equation of the Optimum Solution would be that a problem has been well resolved which portends (signifies or means) the maximum good for the maximum number of dynamics. That is to say that any solution, modified by the time available to put the solution into effect, should be creative or constructive for the greatest possible number of dynamics. The optimum solution for any problem would be a solution which achieved the maximum benefit in all the dynamics.

It is through application of these principles by oneself and by assisting others to understand and apply them that an individual can attain an increased level of survival for himself, those with whom he associates and, indeed, all life.

affected by aberration: a departure from rational thought or behavior; not sane. From Latin, aberrare, to wander from; ab, away, errare, to wander.

a mathematics term showing that two things are of the same value or equal each other. Also, by extension, any situation or problem with several variable factors that has been calculated and proven with mathematical precision.

from 1933 to 1945, Germany was under the control of the National Socialist Workers’ Party (Nazi Party). Under Adolf Hitler they also took over Austria and Czechoslovakia and in 1939, invaded Poland starting World War II (1939–1945). In 1942 the failed German attack on Stalingrad, Russia (now Volgograd) resulted in hundreds of thousands dead, the city almost completely destroyed. By the end of the war, Nazi policies had brought Germany to economic and political ruin, with cities and major industries devastated.

from a religious essay by English poet and clergyman John Donne (1572–1631) which discusses the subjects of death and human relationships. This section of the essay reads: “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; . . . any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” Historically, church bells have been tolled to announce deaths.

a North American pigeon, formerly abundant and noted for its exceptional powers of long and sustained flight; extinct since 1914.

the momentary or continuing emotional state of the person.