I have carried a piece of paper in my wallet for over ten years. The paper has a number of questions listed on it. These questions have been the central questions in my life. During this ten-year period I have lived and worked in California, Switzerland, and North Wales. As I have experienced life’s journey I have searched for answers to these questions. The questions I have carried are:
..What is the true meaning of growth, awareness and harmony?
..What is man?
..What is the purpose of life?
..Is it really possible to help others, and if so, how?
..How do we live and work as individuals and communities such that we are in harmony with ourselves and others and still be a fully alive part of mankind struggling towards finding and fulfilling the purpose of life?
I had asked myself these questions at a point in my life’s journey at which I had achieved a satisfactory level of professional and material success and discovered for myself the empty satisfaction of my achievements. The search for answers to these questions seemed to attract me. I was concerned about the direction Western society was taking. Mankind seemed to be destroying the balance of nature and depleting natural resources in an irresponsible manner. I felt the pull towards understanding myself and my environment and I hoped that in so doing I could find a constructive way to contribute to the health of the society within which I lived.
Each of us has a unique personal perception of reality. This perception provides the framework of understanding upon which we base all our activities. To a large degree we affirm to each other a universal framework within which we co-create.
It is my belief that each step forward in human knowing has required a pioneering step forward from the universal framework of perception accepted by society to something different. Fundamental steps in the evolution of human perception of reality have required courage and faith, Such fundamental steps were pioneered by people such as Galileo, Darwin, and Einstein. Each of them contributed to today’s universal perception a radical new perspective. Each of their contributions was largely accepted in its own time by society because previous theories no longer satisfied current experiences.
My search for answers to my questions has led me to believe that mankind is at a threshold of another step in his perception of reality equally as challenging as any previous step. However this step is particularly threatening to the human psyche as it involves a new perception of our personal identity. It involves a perception of ourselves not separate from but rather as a part of a wider environment. Pioneers of this step from whose ideas I have gained much nourishment, include Jesus of Nazareth, Teilhard de Chardin, and Carl Jung, and of course many, many more.
Each of us must take our own individual steps in consciousness. It is our individual choice if we choose to continue to interpret our experiences from a fixed perception of reality or whether we are willing to modify our perception of reality based on our experiences. I believe that man’s urge to understand himself and his environment will continually provide new knowledge and that the weight of these experiences and knowledge will create the need to revise many areas of our perception of reality. I started the journey to answer my questions because I felt that the answers provided to me by different sections of society seemed inconsistent with my experiences. I felt the need to arrive at answers which satisfied me as I somehow felt that I needed a firmer framework of understanding on which to base my life. I believe that in fundamental terms the perception of reality which resulted from my search is consistent with that of the Christian church, however I have found it necessary to experience and interpret my own faith in order to make it real for me.
When I look back on my journey of exploration I can see a zigzag path through mountains and valleys and I can observe many plateaus of consciousness where I rested before risking moving on to seek further. I now find myself on a wide fertile plain. It seems a fine place to live a while; it is a perspective of reality which I feel pulled to share with others in the hope that it can provide them with some nourishment on their journey.
This book is one method by which I have chosen to share my perception. The book has two sections; the first covers the nature of man and his purpose. The second consists of a series of thoughts and beliefs which I have generated along the journey. It is my belief that the key to man’s search for identity, value, and purpose lies not in achieving a goal but in reaching a state of being on his journey. I am offering the ideas in this book in the belief that man’s search for meaning will be enhanced by the sincere sharing of our inner thoughts and beliefs with each other. The ideas presented are offered with the conviction of faith not as a challenge to the validity of other ideas but as a gift to those who find them of value.
I realize that no state in nature is permanent. However I am encouraged that this place I share in consciousness is somewhere that has value as it has helped me obtain a few glimpses of the peace which passes understanding.