Self determined or determined from outside or elsewhere
Thoughts towards the “holistic mosaic human”
Some months ago I stepped outside at around eleven at night to feel the atmosphere.
The roads were empty, there was no-one else about, it was ghostly and felt
pretty depressed. I was staying in Leiden in the Netherlands at the time, attending
an editorial meeting about this edition of Topaz magazine. I was aware, of
course, that the Dutch team had played Portugal in their Euro 2004 match that
evening, and from the gloomy atmosphere that was in the air it was obvious
how the match had gone.
I would have hoped for a more cheerful outcome from the match as the next
day was also subject to this melancholy atmosphere that hung like a muggy cloud
in the air, which only began to lift and get clearer as I reached the German
In Germany we had been through this same experience a few days previously,
when our national team had lost their match against the Czechs. Every time
there is a major sporting competition there are millions of people thinking
the same thing and experiencing the same feelings, whether joy at a win or
gloom at a loss, which amplify the energy fields of success or failure. This
pattern is repeated time after time after time.
What a person produces, whether mentally or emotionally, leaves an unseen
echo for a certain length of time, a kind of energy-field, and energy cannot
be destroyed it can only be changed. When we feel such a field of energy it
often translates as a pleasant or unpleasant atmosphere. For example, where
there is stress at work, or things are not running smoothly at home, then the
atmosphere is often described as a feeling of tension in the air. It is likely
that we have experienced going into a room where there has just been a heated
argument and the feeling of the electric charge that vibrates in the air.
If we are not aware of this, then we can identify with this kind of an energy
field and the feelings it produces and think they are our own, and then this
pre-determines how we act in the circumstances, and suddenly you can find yourself
getting annoyed for no good reason.
So my issue here is not about football and
what it causes, but it is to do with a question I have asked myself many
times - how much of my life is determined by myself and how much is determined
by someone or something else? And further, how much is my life subject to influences
that I don't want, that perhaps I don't know about or am not conscious of,
because I am not sensitive to them?
This has led me into asking how to maximise this aspect of self-determination
in one's life, and what the essential ingredients in this would be. My adding
up so far has persuaded me that the holistic human grows out of the sum of
many parts, each part like one stone in a mosaic that all together make a complete
picture, and the art of self-determination is one part of this mosaic.
In former times in our western culture, institutions such as the church or
government or other organisations offered frameworks and guidelines on how
to live, but today many of these guidelines seem out of date and no longer
valid. Many people are looking for alternatives, and often search into eastern
philosophies, looking for an individual ethic and way that is not a licence
It is often said that there is a “crisis of orientation” happening
at the moment, but at the same time this offers a chance for re-orientation,
a possibility of stepping back from already pre-determined programmes and patterns
to try to reach a better way of life. The search to find oneself and to define
oneself in a new way is going on in may people, and is becoming a life pursuit
or personal tasking. This leads to a mosaic of new and old templates, those
things that have become established as true and of use are conserved, while
the rest are obsolete and discarded.
So let's return to the question of being self-determined in life, and how
to become more sensitive to this.
This is not a 'once only' process, if we are going to be real about life.
Part of becoming self-determined is learning to love the path of continually
looking afresh at one's life, carefully chasing, following up and making further
corrections on the journey.
As this must be determined by each person in his or her own way, the questions
- How to approach this in oneself afresh each day?
- How to live each day in as full a way as possible, ethically and in
tune with this self- determination?
- How to live so that we don't lose
the overview or suddenly realise that we have lost our way?
- How to not get
caught by compulsions or fads and fashions that steal our time, money or
One way is a kind of a meditative self-questioning, a pausing in the morning
to think, to feel and to switch on our intuitive senses.
It has to do with questions of a general kind that help us to consider ourselves
and the day afresh, to keep near to our core and to plan time for the important
things in our lives.
Regularly taking this time is a good and efficient way to meet each day in
a stronger and more intact manner, thereby improving our quest to become a “holistic