Meaning of life (random order)

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Objectives as an aid to success

  In setting our objectives we instruct our subconscious to help us in realizing our goals. As an example of this we discussed the glasses model in the previous section. The subconscious creates the preconditions so that we can more efficiently achieve the desired goal. In the above example of the daughter we saw that this would also provide for example a good motivation for learning at school. She had considered the learning materials through a pair of glasses which had made them appear interesting.

In top sports events so-called mental training has been used for many years to achieve tremendous levels of performance. In essence this is virtually the same as what we are discussing here: The subconscious helps to focus our strengths and abilities on a concrete objective. Our performance with respect to the goal we are striving for can thereby be tremendously increased.

Missing or incorrect success monitoring

  In a separate chapter we have already referred to the need for the regular monitoring of our progress towards successfully achieving our objectives. Since the lack of this monitoring of our progress or the unsuitability of the decisionmaking criteria are frequently the stumbling blocks to living the basic rights of existence we would like to briefly come back to this point.

It is frequently insufficient to simply take the basic rights of existence as the objective for life. As a rule it is necessary – or at least it is very useful - to consider at the same time how we will assess our personal progress towards living the basic rights of existence. It is especially important to be clear that in letting go of the old objectives it is also important to let go of their assessment criteria.

The benefits of modesty

Does it do any good for Africans suffering from drought if I reduce my personal water consumption? Why should I reduce the CO2 emissions and save energy? Does it reduce starvation anywhere in the world if I eat less?

Living in moderation is «out» because it seems to be full of deprivations and limitations. Read here why it is on the contrary rather full of opportunities for the personal development. It is an indispensable precondition to get in perpetual harmony, joy and (self-)confidence.

The glasses model - perceptive reality

The nice thing about subjectivity is the possibility of influencing the situation ourselves. If my perception is subjective then I – and I alone – have all the options of influencing or being influenced in a given situation. I alone decide whether I feel that something is good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant, cold or hot, beautiful or ugly!

We do not see our environment and the events around us as «objective» or neutral (perceptive reality). Instead it is rather like looking through a pair of glasses, which determines our interpretation of a picture. I hold these glasses myself in front of my eyes. According to the way these glasses change what is really a neutral picture of an event, the picture makes us feel for example fear, joy, anger or it makes us sad. We feel the picture to be good or bad, negative or positive, meaningful or senseless, dark or light, correct or false.

Words are simpler than deeds

  As logical and plausible as development with respect to the basic rights of existence may appear to be, its translation into the practicality of everyday life is not that easy. It is in fact a very serious and demanding undertaking, which demands considerable energy and cannot simply be achieved «on the side».

It is not that difficult to see as an observer what we or others should actually do in order to live the basic rights of existence in a given situation. However it is exactly what we really should do which is generally the main difficulty. The difficulty doesn’t lie in the theory or in the strategy but in carrying it out in practice.

Personal growth as the meaning of life

Primer to the meaning of life

In principle, meaning of life is the same for everybody: As multifaceted as we human beings may be, once our existential needs are covered, we all finally strive for the same thing: We want to be perpetually happy and satisfied and we want to be able to live our lives without worries and cares.

Compatibility of objectives

In the above example we have already indicated that there are many different ways of travelling from Zürich to Warsaw. The closer I get to Warsaw however the more I have to watch out: If for example I take a wrong turning to the east 2 km south of Warsaw, my distance from Warsaw will soon become greater again. I get further from my goal again instead of getting closer to it. Suddenly I am twice the distance from it than I was before!

We therefore distinguish between partial goals, which bring us closer to a goal, and those which take us in another direction. If we aim for a partial goal, which leads us further away from the greater goal, then we are in the process of making a diversion. This still does not mean however that because of this we will not reach the goal.

Advertising responds to our needs

In no other branch of industry are the needs of human beings so intensively investigated than in advertising. If it is known what the potential consumer group which purchases a given product or service really strives for, where these people set their highest priorities, it is possible to respond exactly to these needs in the advertising and hence earn lots of money!

The striving for harmony and happiness, for a life spent in love and peace is therefore frequently exploited in advertising: First we see a suffering person who has an affliction, an illness or a problem, then a product (pill, ointment, food, drink, car, washing powder, software, computer, telephone, holiday place etc.) and finally we see the same person who – thanks to the use of the product shown - is happy. Often too the happy person is shown together with the product. Just try sometime to deliberately observe how frequently the advertising messages are set up in this way regardless of the product on offer.

Objectivity and subjectivity - perceptive reality

Let’s first turn to the question of objectivity: How objective is our perception in reality? A statement is objective if it is neutral and not influenced by prejudices, feelings and interests. An objective statement is consequently independent of the person who makes this statement. The objective statement corresponds with the facts. We often tend to view our own perception of things or events as objectively correct. What others think of the same events or things we frequently categorize as incorrect or subjective (perceptive reality).

A good example is the weather: Two weeks of sunshine, high temperatures and no rain for many people is seen as desirable and good. The farmer however would like some rain in between times because otherwise his fields dry out, older people are not so happy with high air temperatures because it causes breathing difficulties etc. Who is being objective here? Obviously our assessment of the weather depends amongst other things significantly on what we want to do (swimming in an outdoor pool, working in the field, working in an office, travelling, resting etc.), upon our mood and our state of health. Exactly the same weather on a given day gives one person great pleasure and another one annoyance. But even within ourselves the assessment depends strongly on our plans: If we are working in an office three successive days of rain normally would not bother us too much. If however we are on a beach holiday we would want other weather!

Perceptive ability

Now let’s return to the description of human development towards the living of the basic rights of existence so as to achieve internal harmony. As the next step we would like to consider what actually changes in a person when he fulfills the preconditions for the development, in other words he would like to respect – without preconditions and from his own free will - the basic rights of existence and then take the steps necessary for this.

We have seen that we can compare human development with the achievement of virtuosity in a particular activity (for example making music, sport, handcrafts etc.). The basic rights of existence (the equal right of all beings to be on the earth, to develop and to carry out their tasks) must be so strongly internalized that in every situation we automatically act according to these rights without having to think about it. If we wish to pass through this development stage, our subconscious - amongst other things with subjective perception (glasses model) - will help us to eliminate the causes of violating the basic rights of existence. We learn step by step and hence build our own pyramid of human development. Within the scope of our personal development our perceptive ability with respect to everything around us and the important interrelationships in life also increases. In particular our abilities to intuitively perceive and evaluate important information for the respecting of the basic rights of existence also increase.

Responsibility is somewhat individual

  We have called the ability to perceive responsibility the awareness of responsibility. The awareness of responsibility cannot be any greater than our general awareness, since the corresponding awareness (of responsibility) is the basis for our perception of the possible consequences of decisions.

The ability to perceive our responsibility is provided within the awareness sphere. Whether this is also perceived is decided in every case by the respective person himself. It is also possible to ignore the respective information or senses. Even if I look away so as not to have to see the results of my decision, in spite of this I am still naturally responsible for these consequences! For the time being however we will assume that the responsibility is always fully perceived.

Decisions

  Our lives consist of an abundance of decisions: The first thing we do is to choose our goals. As we discussed in the section on objectives in doing this we can also decide to take over the objectives of other people or help other people to achieve their own objectives. If we pursue several incompatible objectives they compete with each other when every decision is made. We therefore choose one of these incompatible objectives as a guideline for our decision. This means that we select an objective and then make the decision on the basis of this objective. When the next decision is made it is naturally possible to use another objective as the guideline. In any case it is always our own decision as to which objectives we strive towards.

 

If I cannot assess the consequences of a decision

We have previously represented awareness with the model of a white sphere around our body. The greater the awareness of a person the greater the diameter of this awareness sphere. With this model we are responsible for all the consequences of our decisions, which take place within our awareness sphere. The light of our awareness is very bright here so that within this sphere we can see or perceive the consequences of our decisions.

 

It is therefore possible to come up with the idea that very far-reaching decisions should be made by people with low awareness, since such people would therefore apparently not be responsible for the consequences. This would not however make sense for several reasons:

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Remarks:

Definition of soul

The soul designates the immortal essence of a being. The soul is the seat of the personality and true character of a person.

Most of the large religions accept the soul as the most important and ethereal substance of a human being. However, there are - depending on the respective religion - different concepts about what happens to the soul after the death of a person.

The best Religion - Self determination

Many people have now and then some doubts whether their own religion is the best or whether it would be better to convert to a different belief. Others turn away from all religions and some even reject any kind of spirituality. Don't we need religions any more? Are they a concept of the past?

There has always been a certain rivalry between many religions because in the end they all care about the same „clients". An increasing number of followers for a religion automatically increases its influence and power and in most cases also its financial resources.

Is nuclear power a global warming solution?

The contribution of nuclear energy to reduce the cause of global warming is only 10%

The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts a strong increase of the carbon dioxide emissions by the year 2030. Additionally, IEA investigated to which extent the above mentioned emissions of CO2 could be prevented if politics applied rigorous measures.

From all measures investigated, nuclear energy was found to have the least effect (only 10%). Almost 80% of the desired effects are due to increasing the energy efficiency.

How to mitigate the cause of global warming

This result is surprising, in particular if you think about how nuclear power is praised as solution to global warming by politicians like George W. Bush and Tony Blair. It seems like they would (again) head into the wrong direction.

Instead of talking about measures to increase the energy efficiency, which accounts for 80% of the effects, some politicians propagandize building nuclear power plants, which according to IEA can only account for 10% of the desired effects. Here the focus is clearly on the wrong subject!

 

The interaction between objectives and abilities

  In our day-to-day lives we find that someone who is already good at playing football in most cases also likes to play football very much and would like to constantly improve his football skills. If a good programmer has the choice between jointly working on a forward-looking software project and working in a vegetable shop the chances are usually significantly greater that the programmer will stay true to his line of business and would like to develop further within it. The same is true for practically all abilities: If we can already do something well the motivation is greater to use this ability and to improve it.

It is therefore worthwhile investigating the relationship between our abilities and the corresponding objective. We have already established earlier that we don’t develop our abilities without reason, but rather we develop them specifically to be able to achieve a certain goal. From the above examples it is however clear that a stimulation also occurs in the reverse direction: Already-existing abilities lead us to continue to pursue the corresponding goal – and under certain circumstances even more strongly than before. We will therefore now introduce a model to demonstrate our objectives:

Cause and effect for global warming

Almost 100% of the observed temperature increase over the last 50 years has been due to the increase in the atmosphere of greenhouse gas concentrations like water vapour, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and ozone. Greenhouse gases are those gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect (see below). The largest contributing source of greenhouse gas is the burning of fossil fuels leading to the emission of carbon dioxide.

Read on and see graphs about the greenhouse effect and global warming caused by the greenhouse effect.

 

 

Nuclear power for you - nuclear waste for the others?

The need for electricity has constantly risen world-wide over the last years. This is not only true for the so-called developing countries but also and in particular for all well-developed countries. In order to fulfil the demand, obviously additional power plants have to be built.

Which technology is best for generating electricity? This question certainly has to be answered on a case by case base. But it is very concerning that nuclear power plants more and more seem to be chosen as "the" technology of the future.