Co-operation and aggression can never go together. Co-operation is an absolute necessity in a world which is so splintered by national and religious beliefs, economic differences and intellectual over- and underdevelopment. There is a certain kind of co-operation in very close relationships, as in the family, but beyond that there are always differences of opinion, inclinations and knowledge. These differences become intensified through ambition and envy, and this obviously prevents co-operation.
Traditionally, co-operation meant working together for an ideology or around a dominant individual or for some utopian ideal, but such co-operation ceases or disintegrates when the individual or the ideology disappears. This is the pattern man has followed, hoping to bring about a different condition in the world, or for his own personal profit. Working together for an end, with each individual having his own motive for the achievement of that end, must inevitably breeds conflict. Such working together is for a concept and not a factual necessity. Working together ceases to be a formula when there is not only understanding of the necessity but also when there is that relationship which comes with love. This relationship is denied when there is aggression. Man, by nature, is aggressive; this aggression comes from the animal. This aggressiveness, this violence, is encouraged in the family, in education, in the business world and in religious structures.
Aggression takes the form of ambition, which again is encouraged and respected. Aggression is violence, and to counteract this violence which is so prominent in the world, various forms of ideology have been developed; but this only helps to avoid the actual fact of violence. Violence is not only on the battlefield but it is anger, hate and envy. It is the envy that makes us competitive, which again is a very highly respected thing in society, the very structure of which is based on violence.
Most of us can see the pattern of all this at least intellectually, but what makes us act is not an intellectual grasp but seeing the very truth of the matter. Seeing the truth is the only liberating factor, not all the intellectual arguments, the emotional adjustments or mere rationalizations. To see is to act, and that action is not the outcome of ideation.
Co-operation must exist, and it cannot possibly exist when each individual is in competition with other human beings and is pursuing his own fulfillment. In order to cooperate there can be no such thing as individual, family or national fulfillment, for this fulfillment emphasizes separation, denying co-operation. When you see all this, not as a descriptive idea but as a danger to the total wellbeing of mankind, then that very seeing brings an action that will be non-aggressive and so co-operative. To see is to love and a man who loves is in a state of co-operation. Understanding co-operation, he will also see when not to co-operate.
In the fullness of co-operation, goodness, which is not sentimentality, can flower. It is authority that destroys co-operation, for love cannot possibly exist where there is authority. We have lived so long in the accepted patterns of life that it has become traditional, and freedom, love and co-operation have lost their fundamental meanings. Education is to break down these patterns. In the very breaking down of them is the seeing of the truth of the new.