Meaning of life (most recent articles)

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Consequences from the acceptance of tasks

 Since in principle every conceivable task can (and should) serve the further personal development of a person, in the next section we want to consider the acceptance of tasks from this point of view. Everyone can decide for himself whether he wants to accept and carry out a given task. Before someone accepts a task however, it is essential that he checks that the task is suitable for him, i.e. on the one hand whether it is compatible with his personal goals and on the other hand whether he has the necessary abilities for carrying it out. Here we mean not only manual skills or intellectual abilities but also especially awareness. He who takes up a task is responsible for making sure that he has the abilities to solve it.

This is a consequence of self-responsibility: Everyone must be able to freely and independently decide whether he wants to take on a given task or not. It is after all impossible to force someone to carry out a task and then afterwards to make that person responsible for the consequences!

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.

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:

The principle of self-responsibility

 

Let’s summarize the previous discussion: From the basic rights of existence each being derives the equal right to live, to develop and to carry out its tasks. Every being can thereby decide for itself what it wants to do or not do (the principle of self-determination). He who is free to decide for himself what he should do or not do is naturally also responsible for the consequences of his decisions. Who otherwise would be responsible for the consequences of a decision if someone can freely decide? From the principle of self-determination there follows therefore the principle of self-responsibility:

Carrying responsibility

  Our existence on earth, our deeds, words, thoughts – yes even just our living processes - create a certain effect on our surroundings. For example simply by breathing we are converting oxygen into carbon dioxide, our skin evaporates water, we create a pressure on the soil with our feet. When we purchase groceries in a shop and pay with money we also create a certain effect.

 

We also carry the responsibility for these effects. On the basis of the examples given above it should be clear that «to carry the responsibility» or «to be responsible» is a priori neither posi­tive nor negative. It is simply an impartial statement.

Right of self-determination and self-responsibility

  In considering the foundation of our existence we have seen that the basic rights of existence guarantee personal freedom, we can do or not do exactly what we wish. On the other hand however we are also responsible for the consequences of everything we do or do not do. He who - according to his own discretion – can do or not do what he wants, is naturally fully responsible for everything that he does or does not do.

 

Our activities can moreover trigger a form of chain reaction of other effects (indirect consequences). If we scold a child it will possible hit a fellow schoolchild on the way to school, it may annoy the teacher and do badly in a test. This raises the question therefore of the extent to which we are responsible for the consequences of a causal chain of effects. How much should we consider the possible consequences of our decisions?

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.

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.

 

Tasks

  In the previous chapter we saw that tasks do not simply appear of their own accord. They are not «simply there», but result from a certain objective in the personal or professional area. The tasks can therefore also be just as diverse as the goals. The nature of the tasks correspond with a concrete plan, showing how a goal or partial goal should be reached.

There are usually different options for how to achieve a given goal. In selecting our tasks we plan our personal route to the goal for which we are striving. It will however certainly not be the only possible way of reaching this goal but it will simply be the best way in our own eyes. The criteria we use to select this best route are naturally very individual.

Pursuing your own objectives

  Our goals lead us to the situation where we do certain things in our life and leave other things aside. We can therefore influence other people in a simple way, if we influence their objective or at least the choice of their partial goals. Our deep longing for peace, happiness, calmness and harmony – as described in the highest needs of all beings – is also at the same time our weakness.

In the advertising field this longing, which is deeply embedded in every one of us, is exploited in more and more refined ways: By linking a service or product with a blissfully happy person or a harmonious situation, it is suggested to the viewer that thanks to the use of this product you will become successful, beautiful, desirable, rich or whatever – and this will (also) make you happy. We have already dealt with this briefly in the section on the needs of humankind.

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.

Objectives as self-motivation

  How would you react, if your seven year old daughter declared that she would like to be an airline pilot? Would you immediately order a registration form from the national airline? Move close to the airport so that the daughter could visit it frequently later on? – Probably not. You would certainly be pleased that your daughter has this objective, but you would also explain that she will still have to go to school for a few more years.

And if ten years later your daughter decides upon a course in physics, or training as a gardner, would you be disappointed? – No. Your daughter has developed in the meantime. Perhaps she has even developed thanks to her objective of being a pilot. She knew that «If I want to be a pilot I will have to be attentive at school». She had thus become engaged, and in her own interests – without external pressure – had learned from it.

Concentration of strengths

  We can fundamentally freely divide the energy or strength, which is available for our personal development, between various goals as we wish. For example one person can use 20% for the capability of increasing his material wealth, 50% for the capability of attaining power over others and the remaining 30% for the capability of increasing his personal standing in society. As long as these goals do not contradict one another then he will be able to develop his capabilities according to the amount of energy devoted to each of them.

The glasses model of subjective perception is automa­tically used for every random objective by our subconscious for the development of the corresponding capabilities. It is therefore tremendously important that we set clear priorities for our objectives.

The hierarchy in personal objectives

  At the start of this treatise we considered the needs of humankind and during this we referred particularly to the hierar­chy in human needs using the example of the Maslow theory: At the lowest level were the existential needs of a person and at the highest level the achievement of a state of lasting happiness, self-realization, salvation of the soul, harmony within oneself or whatever we like to call this state. On the basis of these needs the human being sets his own personal goals according to this theory. If for example his existence is assured, he attempts to realize the needs of the next highest level of hierarchy by setting his goals accordingly. The hierarchy of needs, which we have referred to already many times, therefore corresponds with a similar hierarchy of objectives: Our own goals can also be hierarchically arranged.

In other words: According to the needs which we wish to satisfy, we should select our goals from the corresponding hierarchical level. What sounds so simple and logical is however frequently a cause of disappointment in our personal development: Needs and objectives don’t correspond but often even contradict each other in a flagrant way.

Pursuing different types of objectives

  We can naturally pursue several greater objectives. No one forbids us for example from striving for both great financial wealth as well as from living the basic rights of existence. Whether these two goals are compatible with one another depends on the state of our personal development. The closer we get to the goal of permanent harmony the greater the chance that these two goals are not compatible for us. As we have already emphasized many times, we can select our goals for ourselves, but we also have to live with the consequences. The more incompatible are the goals we pursue the more strictly we have to divide our time and energy. Correspondingly the possible progress becomes fundamentally less with the increasing number of incompatible goals. In extreme cases we divide our energies to such an extent that no progress at all is possible – we stay in one place.

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.

Partial objectives

  The further we are from a given goal the more abstract this goal appears to us. We can only imagine with relative difficulty what it must be like when the goal is achieved. It is also correspondingly impossible to plan in detail how we wish to achieve this goal. In such cases it makes sense initially to strive for partial goals, which can be brought to reality more quickly and therefore appear to be more practically attainable. These partial goals can lead us like signposts to the greater goal. In doing so it is entirely possible that we do not reach the greater goal by the most direct route but take certain diversions.

We can compare this with travelling to a far-away destination: If I wish to travel by car from Zürich to Warsaw, I first of all establish on an outline map the stopover points of my journey. There are naturally many ways of getting to Warsaw from Zürich by car. Whether I travel via Germany or Austria is thereby not important. I simply decide on a particular route and then set off.

Definition of objectives

  When we talk about an objective or a goal we mean a state which we would like to achieve in the future. The term state is however interpreted here extremely comprehensively, for example to have emigrated within 10 years to a particular country, to have successfully completed a particular educational course, to have a family with children, to gain certain abilities etc.

In terms of pictures we describe an objective as, where we want to be at a particular time. On the other hand the path to this goal, that is how we wish to achieve this goal as well as the necessary negotiations and decisions, is not a component part of the objective itself.

Objectives

  Sooner or later the question arises as to why we «must» influence our subconscious in order to develop permanent harmony within ourselves. Why «must» we ourselves want this development so that it takes place? If this goal is somehow «somewhere» within us then why doesn’t this development automatically take place towards this goal without our having to do anything and without effort!

The answer to these objections can more or less be found in the goal itself: According to the basic rights of existence each living being has the equal right to live here, to develop and to carry out its tasks. Each can decide for himself toward which goal he wants to develop. No one forces us to live the basic rights of existence, or to strive for our own internal perpetual harmony. We can do what we want or not – however we must also live with the consequences of our decisions.

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.