An excerpt from Chapter III/”The Same Boat Theory” – of a Glimpse of Heaven: The Philosophy of True Health…
“The Same Boat Theory is another central feature of the Bright School of Thought. In some ways it is similar to the Golden Rule of Christianity, e.g., “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Even so, the former is traditionally associated with notions pertinent to health and wellness (inclusive of emotional, physical, and spiritual facets thereof). The key thesis of the ‘same boat theory’ asserts that…the primary fault of humankind is the notion that you are there and I am here; it will likely be obvious to most, that many if not all of the problems of humankind are rooted in thinking which is not displaying of an awareness of any such philosophy. That is the true health issue within this healthful ‘way-of-life’ philosophy: Our healthful motivation or unhealthful lack of motivation to interact with others in a fashion congruent with the notion that we ARE all in the same boat is a gauge of the quality of our health and wellness status – emotionally, physically, and spiritually (and as per these traditions, there really is no true or clear separation of these three measures).
According to this theory, each of us inwardly suffers emotionally and spiritually from wars and famines which are reflected to and from the greater world. A significant portion of this suffering is rooted in our most significant/common human flaw, e.g., the faulty notion that you are there and I am here. In this theory, this learned disconnection is not unlike, unto itself, a malady/illness.
In the first chapter I focused on one facet of the Bright School notion of ‘true responsibility’ – the displaying of dignity, decency, goodness, and grace in our interaction with others (as a measure of true health). The same boat theory goes a step further: It relates that the only way which humankind will ever elevate itself to a higher level of true health, is when at least an initial slight majority is raised to do the right thing for the right sake, e.g., Acting Without Acting (as portrayed in the preceding chapter). The theory of ‘acting without acting’ sets forth the notion that all good acts are just that – a good thing. Albeit, a measure of true health is the ability to do so without the need for selfish recognition – an intrinsic element in the following notion: It is much more difficult to feel a need for ‘selfish recognition’ if one is endeavoring to realize practical application of the true health ideal that ‘we are all in the same boat’ – as the analogy conveys.
It is evident that the practical application of the philosophy herein in one’s daily life is not a simple matter. Albeit, the issue is not that we perfect such practices (as the sayings go, ‘there is nothing perfect on this Earth,’ and ‘there is always room for improvement’). The issue is that we try – that we try not to rock the boat in a fashion which jeopardizes wellbeing. Such effort is a vital key to true health, and it may be said, that at its best, this is what life is about.
*The notions of acting without acting and the same boat theory pose a strong fellowship with the budding contemporary movement of social entrepreneurship (social enterprise and risk literacy), albeit more obviously on a micro scale. Even so, the micro level has a profound, if not greater effect on the macro level – likely not the other way around. Without individuals willing to embrace healthful change, then large movements manifest stagnicity. Healthful change must go in both directions – yin begets yang, and yang yin.” — Dr. Glen Hepker
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