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.
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.
- Overcoming the fear of death: People subject themselves to great danger in order to feel for a brief moment the indescribable feeling of happiness after surviving the situation. Thereby it is not usually very important whether this risk of death was objectively or only subjectively present. Examples of such activities are free climbing up a rock face (without safety gear), ski descents over vertical rock faces, diving into unknown water from a great height, white-water canoeing, boat trips over waterfalls, bungy-jumping, trips on certain types of ride in pleasure parks, as well as the playing of certain computer games.
- Achieving high performance levels: To be the first, the best, the fastest or the most beautiful, in whatever we have done or are still doing, also leads – at least for a short time – to a feeling of happiness of the sort «I am the greatest or the best». In these activities the public often plays an important role. It is at best necessary to be able to see the respective person so as to be able to identify with him. In this way part of this brief feeling of happiness is also transferred to the spectators. Examples: Top sporting events of all kinds, Miss World or similar competitions, Guinness Book of Records etc.
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.