self-determination

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?

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.

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.

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.

Training camp

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.

The plausibility of the basic rights of existence

   It is not possible for us as human beings to prove the validity of this law either by logic or certainly not by mathematics. It is simply true! Vice-versa however it is also not possible to prove that the basic rights of existence are not valid (which naturally also cannot be interpreted as proof of the validity). Especially in natural sciences and technology we have become accustomed to the fact that we cannot mathematically derive or prove the basic laws. It is true that we can test these basic laws by means of experiments – however this is certainly no real proof of their validity.

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.

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