Input from SPIRIT: "Why are we here ?" and some more basic positions
A very personal chapter: "The whole (all) must grow through learning".
Receiving the gift (as I see it) of an answer to the key question "Why...?" was deeply touching. It took some time to digest. Growing up with the ideal to be as rational as possible, working as a management-trainer and in business, it also created a shift in my believe-system. For a critical, rational mind, such message seems to open up a different dimension of learning.
What I consider to be "SPIRIT's answer" - in other words: GOD's answer - to my basic question "Why are we - why am I - here?", came totally unexpected. It happened in March 1989 in the middle of an otherwise insignificant night in a hotel. It was not a dream. It was different. It was totally clear and precise. I knew that it was important. Still not fully woken up, but not sleeping anymore, I had to write it down, not to loose it again. Luckily, I found some paper and a pen. Here is the beginning - the guiding part - of the message:
"All (clearly meaning: the whole) must grow (in a qualitative sense) through learning. LOVE helps thereby. I must do/contribute (but only) what I can."
I made my notes in German and I clearly remember the content and its meaning. The message might be considered to be some logical conclusion from my own mind. But I know for sure: The answer was not coming from my brain, but from some inner source directly connected to some divine origin. This might sound strange, but I simply know it. - Or maybe more humble: I firmly believe it. - I also believe that everybody who seriously asks such inner questions will somehow receive a comparable answer. I further believe that such answers are genuine gifts of LOVE = GOD.
I am deeply grateful for receiving a guiding answer to my basic question. I now feel safe and comforted, learning that I am not expected to do more than I can - but "only what I can".
If ALL (the whole) must grow through learning, this seems to include all creation - all forms in the biosphere as well as in higher spheres on earth and in the entire cosmos. It seems absolute. Could it be some ultimate truth, an ultimate "reason for being" ?
Starting to read recently what "professional thinkers" are saying, tends to suggest that it might predominantly be consciousness of us human beings that must evolve. This seems to fit the message which I received. - But what about nature "below" the development status of human beings? What about animals, plants etc.? Respect and protection seems to be a minimum requirement. But to what extent do we have a right (or obligation?) to co-create? - A difficult question in times of possible gene-manipulations ! All I know for sure is that I received the gift of a guiding answer to my basic question. Of course, I am wondering, what answers are given to other seekers. I am thinking - or better - feeling: Why should I be given a different truth than others who are also praying for it? Why should such personal guidance not include some ultimate, total, truth?
Lots of open questions concerning ALL remain - and develop after such a message. Since, however, human development creates enough problems and (in my view) seems most urgent, I continue concentrating on human development-questions in my learning and activities. I do believe that such development should, however, not be considered to be only or predominantly physical/material. Mental and spiritual development - especially the early "learning" of values - seem equally important. Engagement for spiritual development in "ONE world in diversity" is still the "reserve" of only a few devoted human beings who reject dogmatic ownership of some exclusive truth. I wonder how many politicians even think about such questions.
For me it is now simply a fact that we are "ONE in diversity" - even if we do not yet act accordingly. Until recently, I still believed that "ONE in diversity" might be "only" a vision of some distant future. It, however, remains a vision that we develop our consciousness in this direction - and act accordingly.
As a humble human who tries to understand "the whole/all", but has only very limited capacities for action, I found it useful to concentrate and work on one specific development aspect: Children's starting chance in life.
Having learned how tremendous the learning capacity of young children from (or even before) birth to about the age of 6 to 7 is, this age-group became the focus of practical action - in my work in Haiti and beyond. In retrospective I see it as guidance from SPIRIT to be lead into this working field. It just happened "naturally" in the learning process.
It is a shame for humanity how little importance is seen in this age-group when it comes to allocation of funds - and not just lip-service. Children in deprived parts of ONE world, whose early development is not helped and protected by suitable supporting framework-conditions like information and help for parents - or good quality Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCD) - will most likely not fully catch up in their physical and mental development later in life. ONE just and peaceful world requires much more care and attention to this aspect of needed solidarity.
There is no excuse. It can be done, as we have been able to prove in most adverse situations for the age-group 3 to 6 - even with limited funds - in Haiti. What we finally achieved in Haiti - mainly thanks to the endurance and gentle persistence of Carol Guy-James Barratt - is important for Haiti. But it is only one important piece in a development-puzzle: It is a basically self-sustaining, widely accepted Early-Childhood-Education system. It demonstrates through its functioning that deprived children can get a decent starting chance in life. Of course, I have no illusions that such a better starting chance automatically guaranties a child's positive development. In my long years of learning and doing in Haiti it became obvious that No one can BE developed! But solidarity is needed to help those who try to help themselves. The central section of the development puzzle is clearly the task of those who want to develop themselves. We, who want to help in this global process, must first learn humbly "how" - and than "do what we can".
In every developing situation some framework-conditions are vital to complete the puzzle:
- "The people", state, groups and individuals must be motivated and act for their own development. People must take initiatives, participate, work together.
- There must be a functioning law-system.
- Especially all human rights must be respected and protected by the state.
- A socially and environmentally responsible free market-system (a worldwide Śco-social market-system) seems vital to avoid monopolizing concentration of power, exploitation and to reduce corruption.
Besides the classical "basic needs": clean air and water, sufficient food, basic health-care and protection from nature's and people's dangers, all people should have opportunities for creative action. And - most important for a holistic life in dignity: opportunities for life-long learning. Starting to acquire positive values and attitudes and to learn how to learn early in life is most important - but not sufficient as an isolated development-tool. - Precondition for all of this is of-course: Peace.
The reality in our "ONE world in diversity" demonstrates daily how far away we still are from those essentials - not only in Haiti. However: Giving up and just trying to peacefully live one's own life cannot be the solution. I believe in our collective responsibility to first become conscious about our sad global reality, learn "how to" and then act together - wherever possible and everyone in the framework of his or her personal capacity ("I must do/contribute what I can").
On a global level we need a fair, accepted and enforced rule of law - installed democratically by the world's citizens. We need a strong, non-bureaucratic United Nations, permanently improving its functioning quality through widest possible participation of all sections of society: governments (if possible democratic), "civil-society", business and - last, not least - the world's religions (as long as there is no renewed true spirituality in ONE LOVE). (Please see the more recently developed Vision of a reformed UN above).
As there is a natural obligation for parents to protect and assist their children in their development - without imposing their personal attitudes on them - there is a global responsibility. There is a global obligation of the stronger nations and states to assist the weaker, younger nations and states in their own development - without imposing value-systems. I also see a collective responsibility to protect people, wherever they live, from oppression and exploitation through misuse of power. This might necessitate intrusion. Such intrusion must be ruled and restricted by global law to safeguard freedom - including the freedom to make mistakes.
We are still far away from having a United Nations capable to be the ideal loving global "parent", safeguarding peace and freedom - without domination. We have no choice but to further develop our vision of a global civilization living in peace, freedom and dignity - enabled and protected by ONE LOVE, solidarity and justice. And in the meantime we must help to materialize such vision. We all have to simply do/contribute what we can.
It may be a utopian idea to believe in global development in which every human being contributes to ONE world in peace and liberty, in self-determined loving and tolerant diversity, consciously respecting his/her social and natural environment. This seemingly utopian idea must, however, transmute into a real vision to be pursued. Even the smallest step in this direction is progress.
Peter Hesse (first formulated in 2001 for the Peter Hesse Foundation "18-Year"-birthday brochure).
Journey inward and the search for „truth”
8 pages PDF from VISION WORKS
Reaching for global change as the path widens
4 pages PDF from VISION WORKS