personal growth

human development, personal development, personal improvement

Carrying responsibility

  Our existence on earth, our deeds, words, thoughts – yes even just our living processes – create a certain effect on our surroundings. For example simply by breathing we are converting oxygen into carbon dioxide, our skin evaporates water, we create a pressure on the soil with our feet. When we purchase groceries in a shop and pay with money we also create a certain effect.

 

We also carry the responsibility for these effects. On the basis of the examples given above it should be clear that «to carry the responsibility» or «to be responsible» is a priori neither posi­tive nor negative. It is simply an impartial statement.

The model of the awareness sphere

We can use the model of a bright lamp to represent our level of awareness or level of higher consciousness: Our body represents the lamp which is lit ever more brightly as our awareness increases (higher consciousness). The brightness of our awareness lights up our surroundings so that we can see and hence perceive additional aspects of ourselves and our surroundings.

The model of the awareness sphere is extremely appropriate for discussing some of the characteristics of our personal development or spiritual growth:

Objectives as self-motivation

  How would you react, if your seven year old daughter declared that she would like to be an airline pilot? Would you immediately order a registration form from the national airline? Move close to the airport so that the daughter could visit it frequently later on? – Probably not. You would certainly be pleased that your daughter has this objective, but you would also explain that she will still have to go to school for a few more years.

And if ten years later your daughter decides upon a course in physics, or training as a gardner, would you be disappointed? – No. Your daughter has developed in the meantime. Perhaps she has even developed thanks to her objective of being a pilot. She knew that «If I want to be a pilot I will have to be attentive at school». She had thus become engaged, and in her own interests – without external pressure – had learned from it.

Objectives

  Sooner or later the question arises as to why we «must» influence our subconscious in order to develop permanent harmony within ourselves. Why «must» we ourselves want this development so that it takes place? If this goal is somehow «somewhere» within us then why doesn’t this development automatically take place towards this goal without our having to do anything and without effort!

The answer to these objections can more or less be found in the goal itself: According to the basic rights of existence each living being has the equal right to live here, to develop and to carry out its tasks. Each can decide for himself toward which goal he wants to develop. No one forces us to live the basic rights of existence, or to strive for our own internal perpetual harmony. We can do what we want or not – however we must also live with the consequences of our decisions.

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 virtuoso in the element

 

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.

Automatic mechanisms

  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.

The pyramid as a symbol of human development

We can compare a person‘s development, as has already been touched on, by using as a model the construction of a high pyramid. There are an astonishing number of common features:

 

the pyramid as a symbol of human development

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.

Learning to live the basic rights of existence

 

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.