My first book is a philosophical, some kind of philosophical, spiritual and socio-critical way to question the own desires, backgrounds and also conditions of times like yesterday, today and tomorrow just like judging a book by its cover. Among others, it is about key questions like ‘what to do with my life?’ and ‘how to find the own and true will?’. We are living in a society where it seems more important to answer the question “what can I do good” instead of “what do I want to do”, without beeing aware of answering both questions for oneself simultanously. Often, while we are not able to see or feel our upcoming possibilities because we might have forgotten, or haven’t hardly learned it in our life, it sometimes seems like we are just stepping in previously made footprints produced by the social goings-on and to adapt to it.
Beeing honest to yourself – allow self reflection – sometimes is hard, but might be the only way to see the true own desires and wishes.
This book is not a conventional ‘find your own way’-Book, which can be found in great numbers in any library of this world, as it deals with spiritual and emotional questions, like the origin of the own past, present and potential future, as well as it tries to deal with a philosophical, metaphorical and questioning approach of our hierarchy of needs and desires. On the one hand it is kind of a travel to the origin of our wishes and dreams, on the other hand it can be seen as a book of reflection, trying to give the reader a better understanding of him- or herself.
Every reader will recognise oneself in this book, and also take some precious conclusions with it – I give you my word!
Even if I have been through several pages and chapters of this book and also reflected them, I still don’t know where this will end. For me it is not only the reading, but also the nascent process of this book, which may show some sort of aim or way. This shall be a column for the reader aswell.
The preface and very first pages of the introduction can evoke mind games and imaginations about the things laying behind the curtain, full of socio-critical, spiritual, mythological and philosophical words, poems, rimes and rhetorical devices.
I wish you fun and joy with these few pages of my book, which has no accurate title yet. But mind, that this might not be the final version of the preface and introduction so it is possible that I might update this from time to time.
(Originally German textlanguage – since I feel not able to translate this literature on my own, and I also do not have a translater-partner, the english translation wont be updated very often. The Version you can read here, is not the final anymore, but very close to it.)
Who does not know that one feeling of just wanting to let go, change your routine, just let go and drift to wherever life will take you. But how do you manage to escape parental striving for safety running through your head, when you desire to get carried away just a little bit, but then do not out of fear of what might come from it. How do all of those globetrotters manage to pack just a few clothes and their conviction to search for the next car park and start hitchhiking? Do they just not think of their future? What about their pension, if they do not pay into a pension fund? What about reserves, saving funds, life insurances, that all have to be financed somehow?
„When you grow old, there won’t be any pension anymore…“
Who has not heard this sentence before.
It is things like this that would just fuel the anxiety even more, one might think. So how can it be that these people exist – who just do what they want to do? Who only work enough so that they can get by? The insecurities emerging every day from anew, to be battled time and time again by our society of insurance, do they not slowly eat you up? After all, numbers of mental illness, depression, mania, and other such disorders have spiked in recent years. Is it the societal concepts gnawing on you when you do not accomplish what you wanted to, and were expected to, accomplish, when you have to give up on a dream, because it is inconsistent with a structured and reasonable life plan? Can wanting to suppress this striving for saftey and instead invest in something close to your heart, which you can be proud of having accomplished later on, be a reason for globetrotting, or for just doing what you want to do, the letting go of your day-to-day routine? Can we escape the psychological pressure to keep and keep on functioning by dropping everything and just go where we want to go? And is this feeling we allowed ourselves to have worth more than a secured pension plan? Would you rather live in an insecure world reigned by insurance brokers and subsidised by the state, or would you maybe rather venture into spiritual and emotional finding and find yourself, as the saying goes? Here, you would be exposed to the risk of being consumed by the performance society, because you can never turn back the time impending to run out. Thus, are we maybe much more eligible to choose our part of society with the goal to be happy and secure in old age, much more than previously thought? After all, our world has not only grown into a community of interlocking of information and auction (stock) through globalisation of all of our industrial branches, but also into a society seeming to evoke opportunities as well as nuisances admist our cultures, institutions, social interrelations, and liberal notions. Therefore, one could assume there might be more truth to the saying
„Every man is the artisan of his own fortune“, just a tad more than we have previously admitted this simple figure of speech to have. So can we really create this fortune, this happiness that has to go along with a sense of freedom, by ourselves? Admittedly, we have to feel free, because we could not consider ourselves fortunate if the thirst for our independently imagined freedom has not been quenched. Though this may elicit the question how we could measure and achieve this freedom. And if all this applies and comes to pass, how do you learn to forge this fortune? What means/tool does it need to fabricate a piece of fortune from a piece of life? Through which fire is the forge ignited that is supposed to heat the fortune cast? And, most importantly the question arises: What actually is fortune? These questions about significance, life, freedom, and bliss, that mostly everyone has asked themselves consciously or subconsciously before, bother us a lifetime. While writing, this book served me as an expedition into myself of some sort, to be able to get to the bottom of the forementioned questions, and now it shall also help you on this journey to a more free, more cut-loose life. Where this journey leads, when it starts, and how it proceeds – these are the questions you will drill down on with this book, and maybe get a little bit closer to the answers. For many, we might never find an answer, for some, only with some help, and for some special ones, maybe you can find the answers in this book.
This bridge will only take you halfway there
To those mysterious lands you long to see:
Through gypsy camps and swirling Arab fairs
And moonlit woods where unicorns run free.
So come and walk awhile with me and share
The twisting trails and wondrous worlds I’ve known.
But this bridge will only take you halfway there-
The last few steps you’ll have to take alone.
(The Bridge, Shel Silverstein)
Prologue – „What do I really want?“
Many times before, I have thought about picking at this in all aspects exaggerated societal pressure and write about the true meaning of life. Most people will spend their whole life occupied with the question „what do I really want?“, and, when life has progressed/further down the road with „did I really want all of this?“. The question „what do I actually want?“ surely has passed all of our minds at some time. Whether it was in school, choosing between elective courses – Latin or French, I.T. or biology, social sciences or home economics -, before university, trade school or other, later stages in life with some sort of a break-point character. Early on, we are put on the test. Our whole life is in small parts influenced just by the choice we made in school whether to take religion or philosophy class. But how are we supposed to know what is right for us and what we want right now or in the future? Some call it destiny, when you start to pursue a certain path of life because of a decision or an event. Some others call it luck or misfortune. Oftentimes, you only realise in what kind of obscure yet rational decision-making society we live, that you simply cannot make the decision that is right for your life at the time of the decision, and instead brood afterwards whether it was the right one to make – or not. Do not get me wrong, this will stay the same way because how could we presume to know what is the right and best decision for us, when we can only ever choose one? So when we now have to decide between taking the bicycle or the bus for our commute to work, we can find out lots of information, like the statistical danger of a cyclist compared to the decision to take in a perhaps congested bus and be suspectible to unpleasant body odor. We can also enquire about the weather and assess whether it is worth the risk to get into a shower. Nonetheless, we can never truly know. Even the old Greeks have made this claim:
„I only know that I know nothing for certain.“
Socrate has already made this statement 400 B.C. Concerning us, he is right in the sense that we may never know if the other decision we did not make would have turned out to be the better one. The true opportunities and consequences are usually obscured for we can not clearly see, hear, or feel them. But (to discover) this is exactly the quest I have taken on by writing. To realise what you really want, more is most likely needed than the sole listening into yourself or the rational comparing of decisions and their effects. Rather, it is about truly seeing, feeling and understanding the moment, the recent event, and the emerging feelings. Only after completely knowing something can you make assessments about what seems right and wrong, or understand the feeling in your gut, the thoughts running through your head. Between right and wrong, only the person in question themselves can decide, because as stated before, we all „forge our own fortune“.
I hope you enjoyed the foretaste of what is to come and can’t wait to hold the cased book in your hands as much as I do.