The word comes from the Latin frater, meaning brother, but fraternity or brotherhood as a synonym for fraternity is defined as a ‘body of people sharing a common interest or being associated for a common interest or for a common purpose’. It does not imply that they are related to each other nor that they have to be male, though many of the fraternities are for men only.
As a political and social concept in France’s history, and used intermittently as a motto in the French Revolution, it had a rocky start. It took many theoretical discussions and to’s and fro’s before it was indeed included into the French constitution. Since, other nations have developed similar triads for their own foundations.
The problem the French revolutionaries struggled with was that fraternity propagates communal thinking as opposed to the individual’s right on which the emphasis lay and the fight was for. Fortunately the social concept of caring for one’s fellowmen, expressed in the welfare system of a state, made it an acceptable premise. It never was a contradiction, but splitting hair can prevent common sense, as we know.
Fraternities have a long history, preceding by far the French Revolution, and many are in existence right now. Some are secretive, some have only one interest they pursue and some may be even criminal.
However, members associate freely as equals for a mutually beneficial interest. That may not always be in the interest of the ruling head of the state or the community, as Henry VIII demonstrated by banning the guilds of the time or as it is unfolding today with the laws against motorcycle chapters.
On the other hand they may be a political tool as the Union movement showed, for the good of all, or self-invested with attempts to destabilize a ruling government.
It shows how easy it is to make something beneficial to an adverse event, with fronts of “either you are with us or against us”, losing sight of the welfare for the larger community.
Naturally Sozieterna has no problem to accept and apply fraternity to their social practices. In fact, their interest in communal welfare does not end with their own community nor for the fellowmen of any community or race. Their interest in welfare reaches beyond. Sozieterna has the welfare of all living things in mind, from human to animal to plant. Their meaning of fraternity is to share and take interest in the care for all and everything. They feel related to all, and they know that by looking out for the other they ensure their own wellbeing anyway. It is the ultimate egoistic self-love because they do not feel separated from anyone or anything.
“Do to others as you do to yourself”, “Love others as you love yourself”, does that sound familiar to some of the readers?
Sozieterna does not adhere to this statements because of the religious teachings. It is part of their understanding of the universal connectedness.
One may use an analogy. A tree has many leaves, they are leaves individually, but they sit on branches, forming a community as the tree’s canopy. The immediate thing that carries them all is the trunk, but there is something they can’t see, the roots, a system as elaborate as the above spreading wooden fingers to which all the leaves are attached to. The roots are really the anker of their existence, hidden from the view, protected from destructive elements and working continuously to ensure growth. The above is the expression of the beneath, or the other way round, but neither could do without the other. The leaves in fact could be seen as the most dispensable item as some trees shed their leaves being deciduous. Of course, it is just the adjustment to external conditions. The leaves are all important but so are the roots. Without the leaves no energy from the sun could be fed to the roots, without the roots the tree cannot grow. The interdependence exists within the tree and with the tree’s environment. It extends into the earth and above the sky. There is no end to it. Rain, sun, wind, day and night, the earth’s rotation, do you dear reader see any of it being a sole trader? All of it is necessary to have the tree.
To care for your fellowmen is difficult enough or so it seems. To care for an animal is seen as irrational except there is some profit to be made. To care for trees or plants you walk the fine line of being outright called crazy. Cat lady, tree-hugger! What associations come immediately to most people’s mind? None of them convey respect or appreciation.
Fortunately in recent years progress has been made thanks to the efforts of the many animal lovers and plant enthusiasts. Science, technology and in particular the media is spreading the word of the wonders that fauna and flora have harbored for all this time and sometimes the new discoveries are mind boggling at its best and fascinating the least. How is that for the unexpecting mind; listening to the radio while driving along one morning there was a recording of bird twittering or so I thought. It was really quite a mix of twitter and song that some birds are capable, beautiful by any means. However, it turned out to be whale song that was technically altered to a faster speed!!!! There is no wish to elaborate on it right now as it would lead too far away from the topic at hand, but the implications regarding interconnectedness have relevance.
To hear someone say, ‘let’s fight global warming with nuclear energy’ instead of ‘let progress be sustainable’ is astonishing. It is as astonishing as to hear someone say, ‘let’s throw the baby out with the bath water’. If the hunger for economic progress brings us to the brink of global destruction is the solution really to do it so thoroughly that the devastation is complete and really nothing has a chance to survive? Except may be the simplest of organisms.
But then again, if no atmosphere is left it does not matter anyway, or does it? Another dead planet in the universe, who cares? Nobody would know about the stupid creature that brought it all about, because so far no other intelligent life has been discovered in the whole universe that would take notice and ‘Judgment Day’ is not scary, because God loves us all and forgives the sinner.
If anyone considers atomic waste can be stored so safely that there is no chance it could ever see the ‘day of light’ than we are dealing with another deluded mind. A tsunami as evidence that nothing is safe from nature’s forces is no warning for the deluded. It is the definition of delusion, that it is a belief held against all prove to be otherwise. No surprise then that even Japan’s recent disaster damaging one of the nuclear power plants has no success to serve as a warning.
One could argue, if nature cracks the earthy crust, or an asteroid hits the ground, the ensuing devastation would be so big, nothing would matter anymore. Well, that is a pointless debate, because the point is not to speculate about the possible size of natural disaster but what does the human race do to keep the world safe so our children can inherit the best real estate of the solar system instead a wasteland and a waste dump.
However, to get carried away by sadness and resignation is not the solution but a good reason to assess what can be rescued and how. One leaf of the tree is not important? Of course it is. It is not important to measure up against what the other leafs do or don’t. Every single effort measured against one’s own criteria is all that is warranted, but to synchronize it with others is what fraternity is all about. Then the single effort becomes the movement that can shape the future so much faster than a single leaf can.
The question may remain why we should care in the first place. All alone in the universe, banned from paradise, God nowhere to be seen. Death cannot come quick enough to take away the pain.
The answer is simple. If you don’t care the chase for happiness is like trying to chase the rainbow. Indeed death is certain but the goal is never achieved.
If you do care and it does not matter where you start, by and for yourself or as part of a collective, happiness has a real chance to unfold. Paradise can be created, may be not perfectly but close to it anyway. To chase the aliens is to satisfy the curiosity and has adventure written all over it making life even more interesting and the desperation to find God can dissipate, because you may realize he has never left, you did.
For now it is enough to state, that fraternity as Sozieterna sees it, is inclusive in welfare to all with respect for all that nature has to offer. Sozieternas love life in all its shapes and forms as much as they love their own.