Any activity, product, or enterprise that promotes the Life Principle is part of true culture—anything else is not. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you! Any business that fulfills this ancient Golden Rule is part of human culture—and in this case, so is technology, medicine, sports, nutrition, science, etc.
But what is the Life Principle? We can explain it scientifically. Imagine a stone. Like all inanimate objects, as soon as we drop it, it follows the most direct, that is, the most energy-and time-efficient and therefore predictable path to the ground. This is the manifestation of the Principle of Least Action, the fundamental principle of physics. The Hungarian biologist Ervin Bauer showed that living beings follow a different rule. Imagine a butterfly. Although its movement is unpredictable, yet there is a subtle law demanding to avoid the path of direct fall, and regenerate the thermodynamic height above lethal equilibrium. Why? Because for us, for living beings, reaching the state of thermodynamic equilibrium means death. So we hover above it as high as we can.
Attila Grandpierre, to whom I owe these insights, calls this the Principle of Greatest Action. Only when the butterfly drops dead does it stop investing maximum energy, and thus the fall of its corpse becomes inertial and predictable. Anti-cultural business mimics this Death Principle by influencing the behavior of people and life forms in an increasing rate to follow the inertial path of least resistance.
Our compulsive gamblers at their A.I. stock market slot machines have not yet realized that money cannot be eaten. In nature, all living things feed on each other, but the overall balance of life is never contradicted by the Maximum Life Energy Principle. Will we be able to heal ourselves before it is too late? The Golden Rule was known in ancient Egypt, by Confucius, in Vedic India, and in almost all other ancient societies. Ancient civilizations still have a plethora of traditions, inspirations, and wisdom to share in order to create a healthy and thus long-term sustainable cultural economy. More and more healthy products are appearing, healthy heritages are being protected by including them in modern markets, and more and more decision makers are beginning to see the truth.
There are so many ways to promote and recharge the energies of life instead of doing the opposite. Nature and true culture point to the Life Principle. It shouts all around us: Respect Nature! Promote life in all its forms! Listen to the Life Principle within you and others! We have no time to lose!
The author is a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, Research Institute for Globalization and Cultural Development Strategies at Beijing Normal University at Zhuhai in China and a Researcher at the Budapest Centre for Long-term Sustainability.