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.
When I give a hungry person something to eat the direct consequence of this is that afterwards he is not hungry. Therefore I carry the responsibility for this in any case. Possibly however the experience that it is possible to get food «simply in this way» will prevent the hungry person from taking up what would be for him a sensible job as a worker. This would then be an indirect consequence, for which I am responsible (or not) according to my awareness.
If several people in the same situation make the same decision, the extent of the responsibility for the consequences of this decision can be different for each person. Each person is responsible for those consequences which are found within his personal awareness sphere. The higher the awareness of a person, the further in advance he should consider his decisions as a result.
Doesn’t this mean however that people with a high awareness are disadvantaged? Looked at this way is it indeed worthwhile to develop our awareness? Of course it is, for the more responsibility we carry the higher are not only the risks but also the opportunities for our development. That for which we are responsible produces the building blocks of our pyramid of personal development.
In our discussion on the development of humankind, we saw that personal development towards the respecting of the basic rights of existence corresponds with the development of awareness. A yearning within us causes us to strive for harmony and peace. Let us therefore compare the development of mankind with our school system: Looked at objectively we can see that in an examination for a university degree more demanding questions have to be solved than in a primary school test. The school children or students will however subjectively classify their respective tasks as «difficult». Is this fair or not fair? Are the students at the university therefore disadvantaged as opposed to the school children in the primary school?
It would be odd if in our school system we matched the requirements in the way of knowledge and abilities to the schoolchildren, but if we were then to be confronted in our lives with insoluble tasks. Isn’t it particularly reassuring to know that in the «school of learning to live the basic rights of existence» the demands are also raised in steps?
As we develop further our ability to perceive increases. This is a component part of our awareness. We can sense better and better whether something makes sense or not, and this we frequently do without the intellect being able to give us a plausible explanation. We learn how to use our intuitive perception as an additional sense and to trust the information provided by it. A completely normal process as we already know from other activities.
In the following we will consider the consequences arising from the discussed responsibility for the consequences of our decisions.