Welcome to the home page of Infinite Love, a nonprofit social welfare organization founded in the Spring of 2021 by Nathan Buckley. Scroll down to learn more about us, what we're working on, and how you can get involved. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to us — we'll do our best to answer them. :)
The Infinite Love Community
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My name is Nathan Buckley, and I'm the founder of Infinite Love. If you've arrived here you're probably wondering what Infinite Love is. Well, it's many things… on the one hand, it's a non-profit organization and a growing community of people dedicated to creating a world where everyone can flourish. It is also a YouTube/Vimeo channel and a podcast where we talk about various issues the world faces and ways to solve them. However, at its core Infinite Love is a philosophy of life — one that recognizes the strength of our unity through selflessness and compassion; one that encourages collaboration instead of competition; and one which aims to foster a sense of community and universal kinship among all living things.
Unfortunately, to merely tell someone what Infinite Love is in a few sentences doesn't fully capture the full essence of what we're all about. To do that — to really make sure you understand where our hearts are coming from — we have to start from the beginning.
3600 words, ~12m read time, 100% worth it.
The World Today
We live in a rather peculiar and challenging period in the timeline of humanity. Peculiar because the way humanity operates is quite odd — even paradoxical — in many respects, and challenging because the many problems we face are complicated by our distinct lack of unity. Although we generally pride ourselves on our intelligence as the dominant species on our planet, the idea of a formal education for everyone was not widely recognized as important until relatively recently: just 200 years ago almost 90% of the world population aged 15 years and older was illiterate, and today that number is still around 10-15%. The picture gets substantially worse when you look at education levels beyond the mere ability to read and write basic sentences: 1 in 3 children globally will not go beyond an elementary school education, while 1/2 will not go beyond middle school. Although we have come a long way from the barbarism of our prehistoric ancestors in terms of technology, we are still not that far from their savagery and brutality. Though we are capable of great compassion, our societies continue to be structured around selfishness and greed as they have for thousands of years in which the bulk of wealth — and ultimately power — remains concentrated in the hands of a few. Though we have the benefit of a rich and expressive language, many of us fail to use it effectively: one glance at the public discourse on mainstream TV or social media and you'll find near endless amounts of toxic communication. Though we all generally want the same things — to be happy and prosper — we still fight amongst ourselves in war and trade, and even in peace our nations merely pretend to get along while we continue to spy on, hack, and sow discord among each other in secret. This is all especially tragic given that we already have the means to build a world where everyone — and I mean everyone — can prosper. Imagine the wealthiest person alive today and the luxuries they most likely enjoy: the freedom to pursue the life they want and work or not work as they please, to be able to live luxuriously, to be able to have the most delicious foods every day, to be able to access to the best technology and comforts the world can offer — humanity possess the means to provide that and more to every human being on the planet from the moment we are born, but for various reasons people aren't aware that it's possible, so we continue in our old, broken ways.
The central purpose of Infinite Love is to help guide us towards this world where everyone can flourish, and though there may be many paths to reach that goal, in my view it begins by addressing how we structure our lives and how we treat each other.
How We Structure Our Lives:
LIFE AND FREEDOM
“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Have you ever deeply thought about how we live our lives as human beings? We enter the world as infants knowing nothing about living, and so we're educated by our parents, teachers, and those around us on the best ways to have a successful life, and ultimately we are sent into the world to do just that. Many of us are even encouraged to pursue what we're passionate about, but what's not usually mentioned is that you can only realistically do so in a way that fits within the rigid definition of living that is available to us. For me, it was already clear by the time I reached high school what that was: I had to go to school and get good grades, go to a good college and get a degree, get a good job and earn a big salary, work until I've earned enough money, and then I will have had a successful life. Everything boiled down to money, because money is needed for virtually everything, and although it was expected that somewhere in there I would also find a partner, get married, buy a house, and have kids, the goal of all my schooling and the career I was going to have was to reach financial freedom — to be able to live life the way I want, free of financial concerns. Think about that, for a moment: the goal of our lives is to be free; we are not free by default. And indeed, unless we want to live a life of poverty absent of all the comforts we enjoy, we are forced to work (and usually not our first choice of jobs). In other words, we must spend the vast majority of our lives — the prime of our lives, in fact — from childhood throughout adulthood, most of us working jobs we have little real interest in to earn enough money so that at the ripe old age of retirement we are finally free to live our lives the way we want to. Mind you, this is if we're fortunate enough to actually have saved enough to retire comfortably — many are not so fortunate, and the last years of life are not characterized by luxury, comfort, or freedom, but instead by a struggle to make ends meet until old age and frailty remove the last hope of being able to live the life we want.
Why are we okay with this?
It strikes me that for whatever reason, most people must not have seriously considered how we should be spending what precious little time we have on this Earth, because if they had, surely they would have recognized that being forced to work for the vast majority of our lives just to survive — not thrive, mind you, just survive, as even in "rich" countries like the U.S. most people live paycheck to paycheck — so we can hopefully earn enough to be free in old age is not the way of living we should be aiming for. Or perhaps people have thought of it, and have concluded in some warped way that the benefits outweigh the downsides, or worse — that there is no other way available. I think more realistically, however, that most people are just bumbling through life more or less as we were instructed, without really considering the big picture, just as I was most of my life. Although many of us do recognize that a life that revolves around money is not a life we want — indeed we may tell ourselves as I did that we'll focus on having a positive impact in the world through in our career — at the end of the day we still work to live and ultimately we continue to enable the very system that enslaves us In fact, many of us even at this very moment are telling our children — or we fully intend to when we have them someday — that they too need to go to school, get good grades so they can get into a good college, and ultimately get a good job so they can earn money over the course of most of their lives so they can ultimately be happy. It's not wrong, per se — you really do need to earn money to live comfortably today, and being comfortable certainly makes it easier to be happy — but it doesn't have to be this way. We are just blindly continuing this cycle over and over, never stopping to consider if there's a better alternative. The truth is, humanity easily possesses the necessary talent, resources, and industries of scale to create a world of freedom (to pursue our lives the way we want) and abundance (to be able to have all the things we want) for everyone, without the need for money at all — we need only put our minds together and build it. However, before we can truly flourish, we must also take the time to reflect on our attitudes towards each other, because it is these very attitudes that have gotten us to where we are today, and to do that we need to reframe our understanding of life and what — or rather, who — it's all about.
How We Treat Each Other:
From Me To Us
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
– Albert Einstein
Whether we realize it or not, most of us have been conditioned to believe that life is all about the individual — ourselves — and this idea permeates much of our societies and how we behave. From our earliest moments, life is structured as a competition — a way to rank individuals so they can be compared to each other: we compete with each other in school and between schools for the best test scores, grades, and in school sports and activities. We then compete against each other to get into the best colleges, and thereafter to get into the best graduate programs, and thereafter the best jobs, and then for the best promotions, and the best places to live. Even ignoring the absurdity of competition in itself, we hardly stop to reflect that when one of us gets into the college we want, someone else doesn't. When one of us gets the job we want, everyone else has to keep looking. We are so preoccupied with what we can gain for ourselves we've forgotten how much we depend on each other for our success. In fact, our competition with each other has made it such that differences in wealth — the fancy clothing we wear, the cars we drive, the houses we buy — rather than being indicators of shameful levels of inequality, are status symbols: something to proudly display for all to see. The reality is, however, that these differences in equality only demonstrate how naive we are as a species, because the unequal distribution of resources doesn't just hold back those who end up with less — in the long run it holds back everyone.
Imagine if you were tasked to create a single piece of human technology — for simplicity, let's start with a simple metal fork. Of course, most people probably have a general sense of what shape it should be, but how would you actually create it? Do you have any idea how to extract metal ore from rocks? Do you know which metals to look for and where to look for them? Do you know what precise combinations of metals and nonmetals (e.g. carbon) create the right kind of alloy that won't rust? Do you know how to actually forge metal into the shape of a fork and make sure it's smooth? Though relatively simple, a fork still requires a great deal of knowledge to create from start to finish, from geology to metallurgy to blacksmithing — knowledge we've been accumulating and refining over thousands of years. Now imagine if you had to do this yourself for everything you possess: your spoons, your plates, your pencils, your clothing, your bed, your cellphone, your car, your house… you could spend your entire life and only build a handful of items, and virtually none at the same quality as you have today. As individuals we can only do so much, we can only know so much, but together we are able to fill our lives to the brim with technology — and most of it is a lot more complicated than a fork. How is this possible? It is not merely because we have more people to build things, because even with billions of people if everyone still had to make their own fork and spoon and plate and bed and cellphone, we'd still be nowhere close to where we are today. Nor is the answer simply "mass production", because mass production still requires significant human involvement at the very least in the development of the technology, but far more often than not also in the actual manufacturing process. The real answer is synergy: effectively working together to produce something greater than the sum of what we could do independently.
Commonly expressed in the phrase, "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts", synergy is closely related to the concept of emergence in which — when you have things working together in just the right way — you get something new and unique that none of the individual components has or can do. Consider, for example, the human brain: it is made up of various cells (neurons, glia, etc.) which themselves are ultimately composed of biomolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids, which themselves are composed of various atoms. Atoms are microscopic, lifeless chemical elements, and yet when these atoms work together in just the right way, they produce your mind — something completely new and unique that none of the individual components has. The same thing happens when you have a group of individuals who work together in just the right way — you get towns and cities, and when enough towns and cities work together you get civilizations which can produce wonders that far exceed the abilities of any individual or city, and that's how we are able to fill our lives to the brim with technology. We go through life as if it's all about ourselves — we focus on what we want to do as individuals — but in doing so we fail to appreciate that the true source of our strength and the source of all our accomplishments isn't the individual, but the collective. This is not to say that individuals do not matter or that life should only be about the collective, but simply that even if you only care about yourself, you nevertheless benefit the most when everyone else is set up to succeed just as much as you are.
It's especially tragic then that so many people seem to act only in the interest of themselves or those close to them rather than in the interest of everyone, because doing so ultimately hurts them just as much as everyone else in the long run. This is because although there is some synergy in our societies today, it's only a small fraction of the synergy that we could have because synergy is not just an on-off switch — it's not a matter of if we work together, it's a matter of how well we work together. There are degrees of synergy — degrees in the effectiveness of collaboration — and when some people in a society are healthy and happy while others struggle to make ends meet, our synergy is only partially realized. And this is the world we are in today: a world where the primary focus is the individual, where selfish interests like money and power inherently create inequalities between people, and where most people are effectively slaves to their wages for the vast majority of their lives. It's a world full of greed, envy, distrust, manipulation, and so much suffering; where people cooperate only because they're paid to cooperate; where most companies only promote social welfare when there's profit in it; and where societies function not because everyone wants to do their job, but because they have to in order to survive. What's worse, these issues I've highlighted thus far are just the beginning of our problems: Equally troubling is how we continue ignore our climate scientists and devastate the environment through our reckless use of fossil fuels. We are polluting, overfishing, and acidifying our oceans and destroying precious rainforest in exchange for farmland that ultimately saps the land of its fertility and often leads to further damage to our marine resources. We all felt the impact of COVID-19, now consider that air pollution kills more than twice the number of people that have died from COVID-19 every year and takes an average of 3 years off our lives. We continue to generate disgusting amounts of trash and I see no major drive to create a standard for packages and containers to facilitate recycling, or major efforts to educate people on the benefits of composting. Our education systems continue to be based on archaic learning models, focusing on test-taking and cramming technical knowledge which quickly becomes obsolete while spectacularly failing to provide us actually useful life skills such as critical reading & thinking, communicating effectively, dealing with emotions and stress, or forming and nourishing healthy relationships, to name a few. Our healthcare systems in many parts of the world are embarrassingly broken, and on top of all this, our governments are supposed to take the lead and make sure all these problems we face get fixed — but most are so poorly designed that real change is slow, if it happens at all. Our leaders continue to debate pointless issues like how to increase taxes or how to combat inflation when money doesn't even need to exist in the first place. Our election systems are structured in such a way that people who clearly have no interest in anyone but themselves can be elected, even as presidents and prime ministers. Worldwide, the divide between political parties only seems to be deepening and the threats to our democracies increasing, if we're fortunate enough to live in a democracy at all.
Is this the kind of world we want to live in?
[If you're wondering how we got to where we are today, it's complicated — but you may find this article on Modernization enlightening, especially the section on Work and the Family which explains the rise of industrialization, individualism, and the labor economy.]
I Understand Now But…
What Can We Do?
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
– Margaret Mead
With all the problems we face, it's easy to feel overwhelmed or as if there is no hope for the future, but one need not despair: the good news is that by many accounts we are slowly but surely progressing in a positive direction in terms of various indicators such as global education, infant mortality, and world hunger. What's more, even though changing the policies and institutions of entire nations will likely take a long time, we can solve most of the problems almost immediately on a local scale by creating our own communities. Even with minimal resources, a well-designed community could vastly improve the lives of its members through the synergy of effective collaboration combined with the efficiencies brought on by technology, automation, and industries of scale, and we can build that today — all we need is a suitable plot of land and enough people to help design it.
So to sum:
- Today, there is a great deal of suffering we inflict on ourselves which prevents us from living to our full potential as individuals and as a global collective.
We can eliminate virtually all of that suffering by:
- redesigning our flawed institutions and designing and building a world of freedom and abundance for everyone, and by
- recognizing it doesn't make sense to spend our lives focusing on ourselves or what we can do as individuals, because there is so much more to gain in working together.
- Though our goal should always be to help all of humanity flourish, we can implement many changes locally ourselves to drastically and immediately improve our lives and serve as a model for future communities.
By now you should have a clearer understanding of what we're all about, and if you've paid close enough attention to history you probably recognize that the central message of Infinite Love is the same message that has been echoed many times throughout the ages across numerous religions and philosophies, from Stoicism to Christianity to Buddhism, from Kant to Gandhi to the Peace Pilgrim, along with numerous others: It is both the undeniable recognition that virtually everything that we have in life comes from those before us and from those around us — in other words, that we flourish individually only when we flourish collectively — but it is also a deep, personal realization that the only life worth living is one built on the foundations of love and compassion for all. Love is borderless and infinite, and it is the strongest type of bond that can exist between people, for it is only through love that people will go the greatest lengths for each other. It fosters trust and a willingness to be vulnerable, to be open, and honest; it fosters a respect that is indifferent to a person's status or position in life; and perhaps most importantly, it fosters a deep, selfless concern for the well-being of others, the kind only love can impart.
I founded Infinite Love because I want to remind people of the strength and potential of our unity, to raise awareness of the prevailing issues of our time, and to create not only a world of freedom and abundance for everyone, but one of unparalleled human achievement. I don't pretend to have the answers to every problem we face, and like everyone else I'm still figuring things out as I go along — but I know now that I can no longer find fulfillment in spending my waking hours working on things that don't really matter in the face of so much more important work to do. What's more, I realize now that I don't have to do it alone, for I know there are many people out there who see the world as I do and want change just as much as I do — I'm EXCITED to see what we can do!
Is it going to be easy? No, probably not. It will require us to confront very difficult questions about ourselves and how we treat each other. It will require us coming face to face with our flaws, our imperfections, and the darker realities of our current affairs. There will be many obstacles along the way, and many people from all around the world will have to be involved, but I have no doubt that in the end we will succeed, because — as history has already shown us — we can accomplish magnificent things when we work together.
The only question is: Will you help us?
Your Friend and Ally,
Research & Outreach
We believe there are many ways in which the world and our lives can be improved, but it's not enough to simply state that — we must also prove it. That is why research will always be a core part of the Infinite Love mission, and to that end we have created a wiki to house all of our research and publications. We strongly encourage everyone to read through it, and if you see any errors or ways to improve it, we welcome your contributions to it as well. In addition, to spread our ideas to a wider audience, our founder also produces short, easily-digestible videos for our YouTube and Vimeo channels, as well as a podcast.
While raising awareness to issues is crucial, we want to do more than just get people to understand the problems — we actually want to fix them. But changing how nations operate — let alone the entire world — is going to be a slow process, one that's going to involve navigating the complex social and political structures of nations around the world. However, that doesn't mean we should punt the problem down the road, and it doesn't mean we can't fix it for ourselves right away.
That is why one of our first projects as an organization is going to be to design and build a flourishing community ourselves. By doing so we will demonstrate that it's indeed possible to create one to the extent we claim: one where everyone has everything they need and all the comforts they can reasonably ask for; where you can follow your passions without having to concern yourself with money or having to make sure you and your loved ones have all their needs met (that'll be a given); where a day's work is largely as long as you want it to be; where everything is free, and in fact there is no system of currency, or really much of a concept of individual property ownership at all (most things — aside from undergarments, toothbrushes, and other such personal items — can be shared); where education is no longer tedious and test-oriented, but actually fun and relevant; where the structure and operation of everything is always open to question, modification, and improvement; where crime is virtually non-existent; where no one has to concern themselves with anything beyond exactly what they want to, because they are confident that the systems in place to keep everything running smoothly and the people entrusted with the authority to oversee them are always working in the best interest of everyone.
Moreover, by building a community we will then be able to serve as a model for other communities and nations around the world, for once people see that it can be done, no one will want to live the way they do now — not even billionaires — and that's what we are really trying to emphasize here: no one today, not even the most wealthy, most fortunate people in the world flourish to the extent they could if they were to live in a community such as we propose. And as an additional benefit, it will serve as an ideal base of operations with which to continue addressing our goals.
How you can
If you are interested in contributing, the good news is there are many ways you can help, no matter your skill set. There are many volunteer positions that need filling and tasks that need to be worked on We are completely transparent in everything we do, including all our financials, so you can rest assured every penny you send us will be put to good use.
Ways to Contribute
The best way to connect with us is on our forum, which is the primary place for coordinating our collective efforts and thus the best place to go if you have general questions or want to help out. You may also connect with us through our Discord which we use primarily for audio/video conferencing and general chatting, or directly on our social media channels. You may also reach out to our founder directly through any of his contact methods.