It is certainly for nobody an easy task to truthfully report what has been lived and experienced. However was I marked over all those years of youth by an almost undefeatable belief that success was only laid away for others, while I was destined to content myself with the frugal and unrewarding existence of the verkannte Genie—a behavior pattern that by the way can be identified in the fractured lives of both of my parents!
In addition, in my own case the complicating condition of this belief system was a terrible fatalism that in world literature I actually only found with Dostojevski and which is not really part of my own nature, was however building itself stronger and stronger in my personality structure through my repeated Don Quitoteries and useless fights against wind mills.
And the reader may believe me or not, but in hindsight, my life experience showed me that when there is such a negative basic worldview combined with fatalism, a stubborn inner constellation, this is worse than any t-squares one may have in one’s brith chart.
Affirmative prayer has helped me to change this fatalism-stricken inner condition to a certain extent and develop rather late in life a consistent positivism based on inner truth rather than outward circumstances.
This book is a retrospection, which is based neither on regret, nor melancholy, and certainly not accusations or the mechanistic piling up of so-called ‘facts.’ The negative side of so many autobiographies is namely that they focus too much on the fact and that their authors are too subjective in their general attitude toward life. We are of course always subjective, when we report about our vécu. I mean that such kind of books seldom let us recognize that the author at least in hindsight became aware that the experience was after all chosen by himself and that otherwise it could not have happened!
Meaning is our spiritual bread, so to speak. An existence that judges itself as meaningless is threatened. Viktor Frankl survived the terrible experience of a Nazi concentration camp only through his being able to give meaning to the experience thereby giving meaning to his life as a whole! It was this meaning (Sinn) alone that secured his survival and it was also the secret recipe for his later success in life as a highly acclaimed psychotherapist in the United States of America.
I remember many talks with my parents and my grandmother about this subject.But they preferred to complain about their lives at a time when they were faring well, moved until their tears by those years of deprivation during WW2 that somehow had provided them with something they now bitterly missed. In those times they still lived with meaning. After the end of the war, the meaning seemed to have glided through their fingers, and they began to alienate themselves from their own better natures! But this self-alienation seemed to never have penetrated their perception and they seemed to be oblivious about the reasons for their feeling impoverished when they were living in abundance, and enriched when living in poverty! The last words of my grandmother on her death bed were:
—I have done everything wrong!
Yet I believe they could have continued to live with meaning, if they had really wanted to, if they had seen the importance of meaning in life. For I have seen that I was not alone in my belief that success can destroy meaning in life, and this is also one of the characteristic beliefs we find in Daoism. There are now more and more books being published that treat precisely this subject: what is true success?
Does it mean to end up in self-destruction while outwardly being rich and glorious? But discussing these matters with student friends during my fist semesters at the law faculty, I saw that they did not share my careful insights in the philosophical perils of social success, and rather considered me being a white elephant. We could not share on other levels either, it was altogether hopeless. And I felt reconfirmed that the best and most comfortable attitude toward group life is to totally avoid it, if ever possible! This explains why I have few friends. Do I suffer then, too, from self-alienation? For it was well so that during challenging times, I did have friends, but in times of wine and roses, I was alone, bitterly alone. Most of those I proposed friendship, refused it. And as I very rarely offer to somebody to become friends, was I always leading a lonely and socially deprivative existence!
It is for that reason so important to educate oneself in the sense of the true meaning of this word: to guide oneself along (lat. educere). That also means to not leave behind the younger self, the inner child energy, the youthful adolescent, or Peter Pan energy. It is through building inner coherence with these split-energies that we are able to lead non-fragmented existences! All the trials we experience in life are in last resort marking our three inner selves which is why it is so essential to build a coherent inner team and become a multidimensional personality. This is also in last resort the ultimate goal of psychotherapy!
Nothing in life is isolated, nothing is split apart, all is somehow part of a greater whole and also interconnected with each other. Of course I am speaking here of people with a basically sane mind, not those with a schizoid condition who suffer from an inner void that they try to fill with endless entertainment, sexual frills and the ‘ultimate luxury’ of a life of abundance. But this abundance must start inside, then the outward abundance will be an enriching and rewarding experience. If it is only a outward enrichment, the danger to lose oneself in inner fragmentation is real!
Many people believe self-development meant to throw their ego overboard and adopt a new one, together with a new life …. a life of meaning that they miss more than money and all the luxuries they surround themselves with. Or they subscribe to sects and daemonic churches as this happened so much in the 1980s in Europe that for a competition I passed for a job in Luxembourg, I had the task to write a white paper about the devastating influence of sects and churches, most of them coming from America, on the young in Europe!
It is also those who remain immature, in a narcissistic condition, and who abound in their talks with black-and-white judgments about life, the world, god and devil, and the assumed dangers of modern life!
There are no good and bad egos and no black-and-white in matters of self-development. There are only probabilities and smooth transitions!
In another book I once wrote that one cannot simply hang up one’s ego on a hanger as one does with one’s coat after entering a restaurant. That is why so many cannot enjoy their social and professional success: the enjoyer has been lost along the way! They forgot to guide themselves along their path toward success because they judged themselves instead of accepting themselves!
They said to themselves:
—Until here and no further!
Because they followed a chimera, not a real goal Of course I do not simply throw ego and self in one pot. We cannot throw our ego in the next garbage bin, we have to carry it along. A psyche with a lacking ego is a psychotic psyche, even though many spiritual seekers do not see this danger when engaging in reckless spiritual pursuits in which they claim to be possessed by a higher will and presence that has invalidated their personal ego. Many of these, which I call New-Age Tourists, are traveling hundreds and thousands of miles to only ask one question to their guru:
—How can I get rid of my ego?
Nobody explained it better than Krishnamurti where we end up if instead of accepting our egos and natural beingness, we follow ideals and spiritual sense-givers. Ideals are sowing conflict, they are not fostering inner peace! Ideals bring about inner strive, conflict between what-is and what-should-be. This in turn leads to the destruction of a homogenous and undivided consciousness! The devil of the ideal decrees the eternal war between to be and to appear. This surely leads to war and in the meantime our self-esteem is severely eroded! What remains is the spiritual tourist who splits life up in a spiritual and a non-spiritual part in order to be ‘united’ with the guru who represents for him the state of wholeness his inner fragmentation was not allowing him to attain and unfold!
My long periods of solitude were and are for me times of learning detachment, times of purification and rejuvenation. They are also times when I diligently study the I Ching, the Runes, or the Tarot. Or enjoy the simplicity of Zen meditation that puts the focus on the inner void, and the silence of the unspoken word!
My contacts with the Krishnamurti circle that I had frequented at the time dissolved. What I heard from friends that had invited me to the circle was that after my departure, the circle seemed to virtually fall apart. I could barely believe that as I really deemed my participation as secondary as the majority of the members were of a generation that allowed them to have known K in person. As it seemed by now, it seems that it had been precisely my difference in questions of worldview that had given me a certain prestige: I had been outspoken for example regarding the question of child sexuality which had been positively evaluated by K but was never practiced in any of the schools in India, Britain and the United States.
It seems that it was my innocent taking the role of the devil’s advocate and my passion to speak for the rights of the child that had some members think of me as a leader of the group. And this engagement for the cause of the child had intensified in my life at the time and I felt it more and more important to give my inner vision and outward appearance and standing by, for example, setting up my art and music school and attracting sponsors for it. My experience however showed me that the true reason why most people do not realize their full potential, and this is definitely valid for the members of my own family as well. ‘Größenwahn’ was the term my mother used to keep me entangled in the world of pettiness and television that was her standard soup of life.
It is not very comfortable to remember these times and the feelings of powerlessness that being subjected under such a tutelary influence brings about in the long run! And yet to simply wipe the past under the carpet also brings no benefit, and the worst is in my opinion to keep completely silent about it all. For without the contorted ways of destiny, we would not really get to know ourselves!
To master the past therefore means to accept the past in the first place, to accept it as it was, without engaging in an inner war when doing retrospection!
To report about one’s own life is perhaps the most difficult in life, in general. For the danger is to fall into the trap of accusations, or to glide into apologetic behaviors.
Life is a mystery and in view of the complexity of the human being, it is often in life not obvious what really represents good and positive action! Moralists always have an easy game, but how do they handle their own lives?
I have met many people who as long as they could think back into their past, they but encountered suspicion and estrangement, and were never recognized as what they truly are! They did not walk the easy path, but the true one, even when the true path was the wrong path!