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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!
We have so far mentioned many times that we are confronted «by life» with situations which permit us to learn the ability to live the basic rights of existence. If for example we are to learn to let things go, then we are constantly put into situations where we have to decide whether we want to cling on to something or let it go. In reality these things could be for example articles, money, dear friends or relations, or the results of current or earlier activities. It is in no way necessary for us to know ourselves on which lesson we are currently working. «Life» already knows!
Returning to the question put at the outset as to how the respect for the basic rights of existence can best be learned. Actually we are all ready to practise this – however we are not normally aware of it. Let us therefore consider the development of human beings:
In our everyday life we are confronted with many situations in which we can observe or violate the basic rights of existence and the resulting laws. It is not necessary to look very far for such situations, every action, even every thought offers us this opportunity: What shall we buy, how do we cook, how do we treat our fellow human beings (partner, children, colleagues, boss), how do we treat animals and plants, nature etc.
There is yet another explanation as to why the basic rights of existence really have to be lived and that it is insufficient to simply not violate this law:
If we always have to watch out that we don’t violate the basic rights of existence in order to reach the permanent state of total harmony, we live in continual fear that we will violate the law in spite of trying not to. This would be a negative form of motivation: I learn swimming so that I don’t drown; I take part in a dancing course so that I don’t step on my dancing partner’s toes; I practise a musical instrument, so that I don’t produce wrong notes etc.
In the previous section we compared human development with the building of a pyramid where each stone must be set in place one after the other. The question is therefore now posed as to how the observance of the basic rights of existence can be practised in order to reach the desired state of total harmony and happiness as quickly as possible and in particular how to remain in this state. How do we build on our pyramid of personal development in the most efficient way possible? Can we attend courses on it or is special training offered?
The good news is: Yes; there are lots opportunities for such training, they do not cost money and are on offer always and at any time – these opportunities arise in nothing other than our daily life! In that we live, we automatically participate in such training. We will come back to this again below.
Figure 1: The pyramid of personal development
The pyramid represents the sense of harmony and unity within ourselves and with the environment to which we aspire. The individual building blocks of the pyramid are lessons we have already successfully completed, i.e. the ability we have already learned of how to live the basic rights of existence. As soon as the top of the pyramid has been built to the necessary height and the whole structure has been cleanly rendered the highest goal can be said to have been reached: The respective person is then in perpetual harmony with himself and his environment.
In the first chapter we saw that a human being strives for a state of total happiness, of perfection. An inner force drives him to do this as soon as the existential needs are secured. With the most diverse escapades, for example by accomplishing extreme physical performances, putting himself in great danger, tests of courage, drugs, certain spiritual rituals and activities, he succeeds in feeling this highest of all states for a given few moments. In reality however the human being is really seeking to experience this feeling of happiness and inner calm permanently afterwards.
From the above thoughts we can conclude that the desired state of harmony on the earth can only be achieved if the basic rights of existence are followed one hundred percent. The less frequently we violate the basic rights of existence, or the better we live a life of unconditional love, the closer we find ourselves to our highest of all goals, internal harmony as well as harmony with our environment. If other beings violate the basic rights of existence, this only influences us indirectly at the most. We can decide for ourselves whether we wish to respect the basic rights of existence in a given situation or not, therefore the achievement of lasting harmony for ourselves and for the environment depends entirely on us! It is entirely us alone who can control how quickly, or whether, we wish to achieve the highest objective of all people. We will come back to this in later chapters.
The foregoing discussion calls in the question as to who then establishes this law if it «may» or must not be established by human beings. Who disciplines the «wrongdoers»? This question is all the more interesting because we all presumably violate this law several times a day. Let us leave open this question of a judge and consider what happens when a being violates this law:
In observing the needs of people we have seen that first we try to safeguard our physical existence and only at the highest level do we seek total happiness, self-fulfilment, internal harmony and peace - or whatever one may consider the highest objective of all. We can probably assume that there is an analogous needs hierarchy amongst animals and plants, in other words that they too aim for a state of total fulfilment.
To examine the validity of the basic rules of existence we can also carry out certain experiments. We will go through such experiments in our thinking quite soon. Another test option for us as human beings is that each one of us tries for himself to feel whether the basic laws of being are valid. Since we too are part of the cosmos, this truth must be known to each of us. Through your intuition try to feel whether the abovementioned basic rights of existence are valid or not.
Sooner or later – and at the latest shortly before death – everyone will ponder about why we are here, what keeps life going on the earth, how life started, what happens after death, why a plant grows from a seed, whether there are other «inhabited» planets etc. Perhaps we will also concern ourselves with the future of the earth and pose the question of how the many and diverse problems on our planet can ever be solved.
In order – at least to a small extent - to be able to answer such questions, it is important to know what is the actual basis for our being. The answer to this question is astonishingly simple:
As can be seen from the above examples, very many of us are – as a rule unconsciously – looking for ways of achieving personal harmony, the top step in the priority list of human needs. Something draws us, we want to «find ourselves», «experience something» often without really knowing ourselves what we mean by this.
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.
What drives us as human beings? Why do we exist? What do we strive for?
Personal development as the meaning of life
What drives us as human beings? Why do we exist? What do we strive for?
On the pages which follow we would like to offer subjects for thought and information on these and other questions. We set out the bases for all existence on the earth and discuss the consequences for life in private and business areas.
Amongst other things we describe how we can achieve constant harmony and inner peace. The right choice and deliberate pursuing of our own, self-selected goals take on a key role in this so that we can achieve our own goals and not let ourselves be manipulated by others.
It often happens that we get caught in a cul-de-sac with our thoughts or we would like to discuss a particular decision or plan with a neutral person. Do you think that we could be of help to you here? If so then simply make contact with us – without obligation. We will make every effort to get involved in your concern in the sense that we will help you to help yourself and hence find a sensible solution together.
The range of our consultative themes is wide and extends from the treatment of bodily or psychological disorders, advice in the case of important personal or business decisions, advice on ethically-correct behaviour in everyday commercial life up to the integration of different teams following company mergers or acquisitions. As an illustration of this there follows an incomplete selection of our activities in the past:
At present we are offering our public seminars only in German-speaking areas. For more detailed information please turn to our Swiss Homepage http://www.Wendezeit.ch.
We will however be happy to provide internal company or closed seminars in English, Swedish and Danish. The subject areas for seminars and lectures include amongst others:
If you think that we can be of help to you then why not make contact with us - without any obligation. You can reach us either by e-mail or by means of the traditional letter, telephone or fax. All enquiries will of course be handled in strict confidence. You can find our address here.
As many and diverse as we human beings may be once our existential needs are satisfied we all strive for the same thing: We want to feel happy and satisfied the whole time and to be able to live our lives without fear and worries. This search for harmony and inner peace, for self-fulfilment, for calmness, or however we may wish to describe this condition, is indisputably the top goal in the case of virtually all models of human needs.