Other people’s eyes
Reading time: 2 min.
Translation: Régine Paradis
« L’enfer, c’est les autres. » (Hell is other people.) – Jean-Paul Sartre
Recent media events have conveyed a message that could be harmful to the Raelian Movement, even damaging its reputation. “The horror of rumors is upon us,“1 Rael once said. How can we avoid being affected by such agitation? How can we protect ourselves from the effects of this tumult?
Jean-Paul Sartre’s quote (Hell is other people) leads us to believe that others are the cause of our suffering. He explains2 that it is dependence on the judgment of others that’s hell, especially if the relationship with the other is flawed or twisted. Giving greater value to the judgement of others than to our own judgement of ourselves has the effect of leaving them the task of defining us, in other words, of characterizing us.
Judging the other is a tendency, if not a permanence, of the human being to freeze the other in order to recognize him or her as a fellow human being. The unfortunate consequence of this subjectivity is misunderstanding. In reality, to freeze the other in a judgment is to deny human nature: we are constantly changing.
“We are changing every instant. Each sentence that I pronounce modifies you; each moment of silence, each movement inside your body changes you; each movement that you make modifiers you, every molecular and chemical rearrangement of your body changes you in the infinity of time and space. Be conscious of this movement that modifies you second by second.“3 – Rael
Albert Jacquard emphasized that the gaze of others, because they are different, contributes to our development. “The person I am becoming… could only be built by being at the center of other people’s eyes.“4 In this sense, we influence or are influenced, i.e. we have a “contagious” effect on others, or we allow ourselves to be “contaminated“.5 However, the other person’s gaze is welcome if it’s done respectfully. If lies or bad faith are present, this becomes manipulation, in the sense of influencing someone by devious means to get them to do what you want.
What’s the difference between influencing and depending on the judgment of others?
In a word, integrity.
Integrity is a moral value that guides us in our choices and actions. It implies a notion of honesty and probity.6 A person of integrity recognizes that he or she is accountable for his or her actions and behaviors. They do not seek to blame others, to victimize themselves or to gain impunity. Because the person is an individual who can be counted on, he or she generates credibility by being recognized as having the right intention.
Integrity is a value we give to ourselves, that is, to be true to who we really are and what we want to become. This commitment to ourselves is the foundation of our personal development, and even our fulfillment. If we ignore this commitment to ourselves, but also to others, it becomes meaningless, and we lose our human dignity.7 In this sense, we cannot LOVE. “… our greatness will be revealed by the amount of love we have given… Love your enemies… Love your everyday people…” – Rael8
Rachel Bluteau, columnist
2Video from 1:15 to 2:17 (in French only) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJIM41TnDHI&ab_channel=LePr%C3%A9cepteur
3Words of Maitreya https://raelcanada.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Maitreyas-words-70-a.H.-EN.pdf, p. 3
4Jacquard A.; Petite philosophie à l’usage des non-philosophes, Québec-Livres, 1997. p. 16 (in French only – “A little philosophy for non-philosophers“)
5Author’s note: The meaning of the words contagious and contaminated is to give or receive information.
6Probity: The rightness to respect a natural sense of justice.
7Human dignity is the most fundamental ethical principle. It can be summed up in the famous words of the Enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant: Every person exists as an end in himself, and not merely as a means to be used at will. https://vivredignite.org/sinformer/quest-ce-que-la-dignite/ (in French only)