“The science of the mind can only have for its proper goal
the understanding of human nature by every human being, and through
its use, brings peace to every human soul”.
Alfred Adler (Australian psychiatrist 1870-1937)
This is a book about understanding our human nature.
If you ask anyone to try and explain what they know about human nature, be prepared to receive a blank stare and possibly some incoherent babble. It is such an enormous and mysterious subject that virtually no one will know where to begin. If you look up its definition, encyclopedias define human nature as the distinguishing characteristics, including ways of thinking, feeling, and acting that humans tend to do naturally. But what do any of us really know about this subject?
It isn’t taught in school. There aren’t many books about human nature to read and learn from. It isn’t discussed on TV or radio talk shows. I’ll bet most people can’t remember ever talking about it. But for cripes sakes, isn’t it the most fundamental aspect of our lives? Most of us can’t really and truly understand ourselves. And we don’t have a clue why others do what they do.
And why don’t we as humans learn from past mistakes and pass on knowledge so others don’t repeat them? Other than our technology, mankind’s behavior seems like it hasn’t really changed much in the thousands of years of recorded history. Doesn’t that disturb you just a bit? I know it does me. I would think that we would have evolved a little.
Life is truly a mystery here on planet earth, where the billions of people live their lives day to day, most not knowing what their purpose is. We can’t figure out life’s answers because we don’t even know the questions to ask. It’s all so confusing. Sometimes even a bit maddening.
In our present day world, human interaction on all levels is something that we can clearly acknowledge could be improved. Just read the papers or watch the news. There is so much chaos, turmoil, and confusion in the world today. It is easy to see that there is much frustration and exasperation with our inabilities to work through it all.
The world seems ready and ripe for new solutions to overcome the problems that are facing us as individuals, as families, as communities, and as nations. Maybe now is the time for some of us to discover an improved way of thinking and feeling about ourselves and our relationships with others. I believe some of these solutions are presented here in this book.
I don’t claim authorship to most of the principles that will be presented. I am just organizing them in such a way that hopefully will make sense. I promise you that the material will be non judgmental. No preaching or telling you how to live your life, just some solid information that might enhance it.
You might note that each chapter of this book is called a lesson. Learning life’s lessons is mandatory for its mastery. There will be no homework or formal tests given as life already does that perfectly for us. Life is our classroom with never ending problems given to us as our assignments. We can stubbornly refuse to do our work, but a flunking grade seems to always mean we have to repeat our lessons. Learning about our human nature will hopefully help to move you to the front of the class.
At the end of each lesson there is an attempt to summarize its messages with a poem. Never having written poetry before, my intention is that you will be able to grasp the subject matter in a more subjective way. It was done to create a feeling for what is written in each lesson.
I hope this book helps you in whatever way that is right for you. There is so much to cover. Let’s begin...
“We have pretty well finished the geographic exploration of the earth; we have pushed the scientific exploration of nature, both lifeless and living, to a point at which its main outlines have become clear; but the exploration of human nature and its possibilities has scarcely begun. A vast New World and its possibilities awaits its Columbus.”
Julian Huxley (1887 - 1975)
You are about to enter a sphere of knowledge that has up to now been largely foreign to anyone outside scientific and academic circles. This is unfortunate because once you understand some basics of human nature, you will understand yourself, others, and life as never before. Further, if it was to become common knowledge (and that is the aim of this book) we would all benefit in ways too far reaching to even contemplate.
Yet, it is easy to predict what it can do for your world. And as just stated, if you will read what you see on the pages that follow, you will indeed gain a new appreciation of human nature and why you and I do what we do. And some critically important pathways will be discussed which can lead to an enhanced and happier way of being. If you decide to act upon the knowledge in this book, I can flat out guarantee that you will be much better for it. Doing that, your benefits can include:
Understanding the roots of all human conflicts that plague us all
Learning where you and others fit in this world
Discovering secrets of successful relationships
Recognizing the paradox of life that has entrapped humanity for eons
How to rise above it all and have a happier, more productive life
With the proven information presented in this book, things that used to be a mystery to you will suddenly make sense. You’ll discover that there is an order to our human nature. The mystical will become practical. The nonsensical will become clear.
Very likely you will experience a sense of calm and freedom in recognizing the beauty and wonder of how our human nature reflects the balance of powers in our world.
If all this sounds like too much to swallow, please hold judgment at this time. I ask that you open your mind and set aside your cynicism for now. As you will soon see, applying the basic principles set forth in this book can be a huge blessing for you and those around you.
A word of warning: Some of what will be covered might seem at first glance to be oversimplification or totally obvious. I ask that you bear with me in these cases because I have found some of these things that appear that way are more profound than you might think.
This book is going to help you to rediscover some of the wisdom of the ages that will be presented in a new way. There is a lot of information to process that will go against some of our present day conventional thinking. Some of it may even be unsettling to ponder.
Please consider what Albert Einstein, a rather bright individual, had to say about the present state of our human experience and the direction we need to go to overcome it. I believe that in just a few sentences he has encapsulated everything that will be covered in this book.
“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of the consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few people nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
If you read this quote very carefully, you may understand the genius in his message and very likely you will nod in agreement. But the problem with Einstein’s observation is that he tells us what we need to do, but doesn’t offer any suggestions as to how we go about doing it. It is all theoretical with no practical applications. We need some real help here Mr. Einstein, right now!