Below is a short summary for all articles about the meaning of life. Click on a title in the list to read the full article. To re-sort the list click on a tab above. If you can't find what you are looking for, try Search in the main menu above.
Those who deny those occurrences or characteristics in their lives which cannot be rationally explained, automatically shut themselves off from all considerations about the meaning of life, about the reason for and the objectives of our existence and that of other beings.
The predominant theme is that of economic development. This becomes more and more an end in itself, a spiral, which turns ever faster. We become used to simply consuming, everything can (apparently) be purchased and becomes ever cheaper. What we would really like to do would be to buy pills which we could take over a period of time so that we could automatically develop with respect to the basic rights of existence.
If we were to be able to recognize the stumbling blocks it would often be easier to avoid or recognize them. We would therefore like to suggest some of the reasons why for many people their personal development with respect to the basic rights of existence simply remains just a good intention, or merely a thought, and is at best partially and often not at all converted into reality.
It is naturally the free choice of every person as to whether he would like to develop further towards living the basic rights of existence. If he should affirm that he does, it is again entirely his choice as to how and when and in what way he should start this process. The free choice of everyone is respected but every one of us is also responsible for the consequences of his decision.
In many cases therefore sooner or later arises the desire to convince other people of his path. This person also wants to help others to find the «right» path. This often ends in great disappointment if the closest people such as his life partner, his children, parents, good friends etc. react negatively. Especially if they don’t wish to know anything of the «only correct» way, the best path or goal.
In past chapters we have emphasized again and again how important it is to set your own personal goals for life. In addition of course it is also necessary to carry out regular checks on, or to monitor, whether we are also really getting closer to our goals. In the case of most companies for example objectives and budgets are set for one year and the achievement of these objectives is periodically reviewed, at least once each year. What has proved to be useful for companies can also be very helpful for us personally.
The monitoring of our progress must thereby be adapted to the selected goals. We must be clear about how we want to measure our development, according to which criteria we wish to make the assessment of whether we have got closer to our goal. The goal and the respective assessment criteria for progress on the way to the goal belong closely together. If we have set ourselves the goal of learning to play the piano, then we can for example measure our progress by using pieces of music which we are able to play. Our body weight or the state of our savings account have little to do with this, and are hence unsuitable as assessment criteria for progress in piano playing. What appears so obvious in this example however often leads to difficulties and problems in our daily life.
Although we have previously almost exclusively only considered the development of human beings, the basic rights of existence are valid for all beings. In this we must use the term «being» in a very broad sense: Under this heading – apart from all living beings on the earth (humans, animals, plants) – we also include the earth itself, every stone, all the water, air etc. All other beings as well as humans are in a state of development. In the model of the sphere we can therefore also imagine their abilities with respect to living the basic rights of existence as white spheres around their bodies1.
Could for example someone with a high awareness help other people unnoticed to select the basic rights of existence as their guideline for decisionmaking? Would it not be possible in this way to improve the whole world?
The effect of the mutual activation of tuning bowls and the overlapping of similar-coloured spheres in a group of people as mentioned above can easily be observed in seminars: Many companies and organizations allow their staff - and in particular management staff – to participate in further training courses. It is always amazing that in such seminars moral and ethical aspects are also tackled with great vigour and plans for solving such aspects are drawn up. People resolve to do many things, but later in their daily life back at the workplace, they actually do not translate any of this or at least extremely little of it into action. External forces are very often cited with great regret as reasons for this, which had the effect that the discussed themes could not be implemented by the person concerned. This person naturally hopes that all the other participants in the seminar will not find themselves stuck with such unpleasant constraints.
As we will soon see, we often also make the choice of which objective we will use as a guideline in making a decision in interaction with our surroundings. Other people, institutions, animals, plants, nature etc. can all have an influence on the selection of our goal in making a decision.
Let‘s consider first a group of several people with spheres of the same colour, i.e. all members of the group are pursuing amongst other things the same objective X. Let’s first remind ourselves again of the definition of the model: Inside the sphere are the fully-trained abilities to achieve the goal X. The size of the sphere is a measurement of the already developed ability to achieve this goal X.
In spite of this the question will certainly arise sooner or later whether we can positively or negatively influence our surroundings, i.e. our partner, our children, the neighbours, our work colleagues, nature etc. The question also arises as to what extent our decisions influence our surroundings. Although we alone are responsible for our decisions it is of course possible that in spite of this there will be some influence in one direction or another.
Right at the start of this chapter we established that abilities and objectives clearly mutually influence each other. If expressed according to our two models, we considered the relationship between the light sphere, which represents our abilities and the tuning bowl, which represents the corresponding objective. Apparently the tuning bowl and the light sphere cannot be considered independently of one another. There is mutual influence between them1.
Our own objectives are difficult to hide since in fact we constantly «radiate» our objectives all the time. In reverse we frequently feel the objectives of other people without even knowing anything about that person and without having spoken to them.
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:
Here you can download the complete book "ABC of awareness" in the Adobe pdf-format. All you need to read it is the (free) Adobe Acrobat reader. If the Adobe reader starts up after selecting the file, press on the "SAVE" button to locally save the file. Click here to open the document for reading.
You can then read or print the book offline. This is probably more convenient than reading all chapters online.
BTW: The German version can be found here.
The book «ABC of awareness» was originally published in German with the title «1 x 1 des Bewusst-Seins». The German version is available in bookshops or can be downloaded here as Adobe pdf-file to read or print offline. Click on the file attachment of this message to start the download. If Adobe Acrobat Reader starts up, press the SAVE button to save the file locally on your computer.
The expansion of our awareness is only possible through solving those tasks which are matched to the actual status of our training. The tackling of tasks which are «too difficult» does not lead to any kind of acceleration of our development. In fact it is the opposite, it leads to a slowing down or even to a standstill or to steps backwards. The same is also true where the demands are insufficient.
This is immediately obvious in virtually every other form of training: A music student who learns a piece which is too difficult for him during his training will not make faster progress in his learning process than another musician, who only plays pieces which are matched to his actual abilities. If a good piano player only ever plays quite simple pieces with one hand, in time he loses his ability with the second hand: He takes steps backwards or forgets what he has learned about two-handed piano playing. A car driver who also drives a formula one racing car, will not become a better car driver because of this. A sportsman who trains to run over a length of 5 km will obtain no advantage at all for his 5 km stretch by completing a 42 km marathon, even if he finishes the marathon in a very good time.
To deal with the most important question here first: There are no changes to the responsibilities. Every person is responsible for the consequences of the decisions which correspond with his awareness, or in the case of the model of the sphere, for all those consequences which take place within his awareness sphere. The co-responsibility in a group or in a company therefore does not primarily depend on the individual employee’s position in the hierarchy, but on his personal development. To return again to the example of supplying war equipment components, it would be theoretically conceivable that the cleaning lady carries co-responsibility and the company directors do not – assuming here that the cleaning lady is personally further developed, in other words she has a higher level of awareness than the members of the board of directors.
By carrying out a task which is too demanding, the person carrying it out in the first place impedes his own development. In considering the development of humankind we have seen that further development is only possible in stages. Just as for a pyramid the individual stones and layers must be symmetrically placed on top of one another one layer at a time. If someone is overtaxed by a given task, he is attempting to insert stones into a pyramid in which the lower stones are still missing, or are not correctly fixed. It is not possible to leave out individual building stones and then insert them later! Such an attempt is a pure waste of time.