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.
We can imagine our life as a sort of training camp, a school or a university. Before our birth we resolved to acquire certain capabilities for the consistent living of the basic rights of existence, which we still lack, in this training camp. We select the best-suited environment for this purpose and are born (incarnated). The selected environment will include for example our parents, brothers and sisters, the geographical area, our fellow human beings etc. These are indirectly our trainers and sparring partners. After our birth it is our responsibility to use the training opportunities and to develop the abilities we are striving for. Nothing and no one forces us to do this. By «coincidence» we keep finding ourselves in situations, which are intended to permit us to learn the abilities we are striving for (see below). This is our training camp.
After our death the situation is reassessed and the preparations are made for the next training camp, for our next reincarnation1.
Through this cycle of birth and rebirth the highest of all goals – total harmony with ourselves and the world, can be achieved step by step. He who intensively and deliberately uses the opportunity in the training camp, that is – in our daily life, will inevitably make faster progress than someone who does not concern himself with this training.
Let’s compare this with sport: Assuming we want to improve our stamina and decide to take part in a training camp which is matched to our actual abilities. We look to see who else is attending this camp (perhaps we ask a few friends whether they would like to come along), we then select a camp and eventually we go along. According to the type of camp we have selected we can go running in the open country or on artificial tracks, cycle, walk, climb, swim or whatever. If we profit from this opportunity our sporting stamina will certainly be improved over time. If however we don’t take this opportunity our stamina will not be improved and perhaps even get worse.
If we behave even more extremely and disturb the other participants – for example by creating noise in the accommodation at night – then the others will not be able to achieve such good training results as they would have been able to without our participation!
It is entirely our responsibility as to whether we achieve personal advancement or regression, or even whether we prevent others from achieving their goals!
Personal development towards total harmony is naturally possible in various different ways. There is no specified sequence or time-table of lessons such as is found at school.
According to the basic rights of existence every being is given amongst other things the opportunity and the freedom to develop personally. Therefore each being can choose for himself his personal path and the appropriate speed. It is only the full scope of the learning – to live the basic rights of existence – which is the same for everyone.
The right of self-determination for all beings thereby applies to the extent that each – according to his free judgement – can also strive for other goals in his life, for example for financial riches, fame, power over others, sex, popularity etc. Apart from our own internal drive for the search for permanent harmony and peace, there is no force which forces us to live the basic rights of existence. Our free will is respected. However we must also live with the consequences of this choice.
As in the learning of all abilities (for example performing music, sport etc.) it is only possible to acquire the corresponding automatic mechanisms and characteristics step by step. In the same way that it is not sufficient to read a book about playing the violin in order to learn how to play it, it is also insufficient to read a book about the basic rights of existence in order to actually live this law. «Practice makes perfect» is just as valid here as elsewhere! A good training plan can however significantly improve the efficiency of learning and help to make it more enjoyable. A balanced dose of challenges and intermediate successes is tremendously important to be able to achieve rapid and permanent learning progress. Neither tasks which are too demanding nor those which are continuously insufficiently demanding will get us any further. If in our thoughts we are conscious of the fact that we want to live the basic rights of existence, we will automatically follow our own optimal training plan. We will refer again later, when studying our responsibilities in the adoption of tasks to the importance of solving tasks of the difficulty which match our personal development status and to the need to honestly assess our capabilities.
He who grasps the many opportunities in life as personal chances and courageously tries to live the basic rights of existence in every situation will be able to make great progress. Over several incarnations he will get ever closer to the objective of all living beings, the highest level in the needs hierarchy, and will finally reach his personal goal.
Before every important decision we should therefore ask ourselves what this will mean for us. Not with respect to finances, prestige, power and so on but with respect to our personal development. «Can I on the basis of this activity further develop or practice my ability to live the basic rights of existence?» is a decisive question when we take on tasks. Whoever takes such questions on board and does not shy away from drawing the corresponding consequences from the answers will soon be carrying out tasks in which he can optimally develop.
1 Neither the existence nor the non-existence of reincarnation can be scientifically proved. In making this judgement we are left to our own knowledge, to our inner feelings and our intuition. He who really cannot accept the concept of reincarnation, can perhaps accept as a compromise that we hand on our unsolved problems to our descendants. What we do not achieve in our own lifetime our descendants must consequently solve.