How I understand self-realization
- Breakthrough: liberation from artificial limitations
- Self-discovery: re-connecting with the uncompromised essence
- Realization: unfolding our personal and human potential for the benefit of the whole.
Self-realization begins with a breakthrough – breaking through the walls that separate us from our essence. As an ethnologist, I see not only the walls of the ego here, or the defensive psychological barriers we have been erecting since childhood. From my perspective, it is mainly our cultural conditionings that thrust themselves before our perception like walls, make us prey to misunderstandings and time and again bring us into conflict with our true self. According to my observations, conditionings make up at least 90% of our understanding of ourselves and the world.
We human beings find ourselves continually on the move in the force-field between inner and outer reality. We are an entity located between nature and culture. We can use this tension to grow, or we can despair about it. For me, nature in this context is simply what produces us; culture is everything that we produce through our own creativity. The more we remove ourselves from our natural way of being (in the world), the stronger will be the pull towards doing, making, generating, controlling, functioning and mastering, up to and including complex concepts artificial laws and norms, technology and power. Our conditioning is therefore completely different from that of indigenous cultures. Surely the most striking feature of our present “civilization” is that nature and culture are no longer in any sort of harmony at all, that a fundamental and vital set of relations is totally askew.
A large portion of Amo practice consequently revolves around the diagnosis and thorough-going dissolution of these conditionings. This approach has decisive advantages: there are no perpetrators or victims, no guilty parties or personal failure, instead only separating walls that appear before us here and now, that prevent the access to our consciousness’ highest potential and therefore must be pushed aside. Instead of projecting justifications and expecting solutions from without, we take on the responsibility ourselves. We also quickly recognize ourselves as human beings among other human beings. We are all cultural beings and as such confronted with the same challenges. This perspective automatically brings tolerance, empathy and generosity with it. And through this approach, the radius of transformation is ultimately significantly greater. From the outset, our renewal transcends the personal into the social and cultural. It extends from the individual on this path to his living environment. Self-realization becomes world-realization at the same time.
For me, self-realization means discovering the common source and consciousness of everything and drawing vitality, healing, inspiration and creativity from it. For me, self-realization means: having life become more alive by giving it my best. Shaping it more beautifully and productively through my conscious participation. Leaving a positive impression on this whole because everything continues to have effects. And to view my personal path in all this for what it truly is: a never-ending process of balance and growth.
And so I continually grow towards the center while at the same time I learn to embrace the world out there ever more. Until one day I recognize my Self in the whole and the whole in myself. This essential self- and world-realization, seamlessly integrated into every-day life, is the basis of a form of health that we have not known until now: a true wholeness that no longer creates any artificial breaks – between the body, soul and spirit, myself and others, human beings and nature, the individual and society or humanity. A health based on wisdom that opens up the entire spectrum of intelligence in expanding rings: instinct, the body’s intelligence, emotional intelligence, intuition, intellect, social intelligence and cosmic consciousness.
Everything is process. Everything is relational. Our relationships are therefore what is most important. Here, Amo practice is distinguished by an unprecedented cogency, since the Universal Process is the structure of relationality or relationship as such.
It shows us
It shows how our primordial human needs for belonging and growth can be filled without our ending up in dependency of one kind or another (un-free ties).
We are social creatures, a part of nature, inseparably embedded in the whole. With all that we do or fail to do, we move or block life, aliveness and life energy. But only when we have filled our own cup with love, can we enter into a loving exchange with others. Anything other than love is compensation. Only from the loving self can we rise above our petty egoism anew, time and again, and recognize that we ourselves are the source and energy of change.
“Couples working on themselves and their relationship today are moving beyond purely personal concerns. They are doing pioneering work for the leap into a new culture of relationship and culture.”
TRAINING Love Rules >
The world-wide debate on values is simply endless. The reason here as well: we have removed ourselves too far from what is essential. Our either/or thinking has us barking up all the wrong trees. We get caught up in agendas and bogged down in the personal. The new ethics – who shall define it? On what basis shall it arise? The new values no longer need anyone to formulate them. They need no longer arise from man-made ideologies. Any and all moral codes imposed from without place obstacles in the way of an ethics that comes from within, an ethics that is innate in every one of us by nature – as our sense of what is fitting in and for life; our innate sense of virtue; in other words, our innate sense of the force and precision of life itself.
We find real values within ourselves. Real values are qualities of the heart, facets of love.
Heart qualities reflect the stations of the Universal Process and have the power to transcend all opposites. They instantly synchronize us with the order of the cosmos and are the ego-transformers per se. Heart qualities open up gateways to inner space and at the same time are expressions of our inner essence – a direct medium of transformation.
Those who believe that unconditional love involves self-sacrifice are only partly right. What is given up is only the little, isolated ego that holds us back from a life in the whole as long as we identify with it. We gain incomparably more when we let go of our identification with the ego.
An expanded consciousness and the development of true social competence or capacity for relationship are possible for each of us. Today, this no longer has anything to do with being designated in some way or with having special talents. We are all born with the potential to be enlightened heroes and each of us ought to decide to make use of this potential – today rather than tomorrow!
All traditional systems of medicine are rooted in holistic wisdom teachings. But if all these teachings follow the Universal Process, then the Universal Process IS the principle of healing to begin with. It IS the matrix of all therapies.
Each true healing is a healing from the center – a process in which the energies of self-healing are activated and all emotional, mental, spiritual and physical forces are brought into coherence. Those who know the matrix are also able to purposefully go with the flow of life and be guided by the intelligence of their bodies.
In Amo practice, breath plays a special part in addition to heart qualities. Our breath is a direct image of the Universal Process on the physical level, the carrier of vital energy and the ordering impulses of the cosmos, connecting inner and outer, ourselves and the world. In Amo Breathwork it becomes a powerful instrument for breaking through energetic armoring and for reconnecting with the essence.
The Universal Process points up what is missing in contemporary evidence-based, academic medicine and is urgently needed in it, if it intends to reach a new stage of integration. It is at the same time an invitation to the individual to take charge of his own health care, in other words to take responsibility for the cultivation of his own health and well-being. Regeneration, rejuvenation and the unfolding of vitality can be realized to an extent unimagined until now. Quantum leaps are really possible.
TRAINING Amo Breathwork >
„Genuine, lasting and comprehensive healing can only be achieved through the liberation of one’s essential core and life energy.“
While indigenous peoples intended to live in healthy harmony with natural order, western civilization almost completely lost awareness of it.
The 4-Pillar model explains why. It is one of our most important tools for revealing and transforming cultural conditionings and imbalances. Combined with the UP, it enables not only a fail-safe self-check, it also provides a compass for efficient crisis management, intercultural communication and all processes of change.
Western civilization is built upon a paradigm of separation. This paradigm was facilitated by the increasing dominance of rational thought during the last two millennia. Rational thought has a dualistic, divisive structure. It leads to increased concentration on outer reality – on having in place of being, on conceptual understanding in place of personal experience. A materialistic and mechanistic approach to the world was the result. The splitting-off of feminine, connective values and the disparagement of intuition during the patriarchy produced a lop-sided shift towards masculine values. Competition, struggle, conquest, being better than who-or-whatever. The urge towards wholeness anchored in each of us mutated into compulsive perfectionism, to which we have long since become enslaved. Today, we find ourselves collectively under the pressure of having to function and perform. We accordingly cultivate a pronounced individualism, which unfortunately has nothing whatsoever to do with self-realization. Instead we confuse self-realization with an ever-more outré construction of our own personality, mostly for marketing purposes. Self-aggrandizement, more hype than substance characterize our strategies of self-promotion. All of it basically a declaration of bankruptcy – the hallmark of a grave lack of self-confidence rather than the opposite.
The combination of the four pillars has generated a horde of convictions, strategies of conduct and action that systematically barricade off inner space – and all of us have been conditioned by them, one way or another. These conditionings are the actual source of the crisis in which our world currently finds itself.
„The new heroes have solved the problem before it even manifests.“
Francois Jullien, contemporary French philosopher
TRAINING Tiger Leadership
3 weekends, only by arrangement
Some believe that western civilization has reached its high point, now that it has extended itself all over the earth. The truth is that it has come to the end of the road. And it’s high time we admit that this extension for the most part took place ruthlessly; by means of manipulation, exploitation and violence. We are now facing the massive consequences. Renewal is urgently necessary.
Our overarching task lies in the transformation of the ego-based negative feedback loops and patriarchal systems of domination that arose out of the paradigm of separation. The discovery of new forms is of secondary importance, though. The principal issue is to break through the separative conditionings in which we all are imprisoned. I myself do not have much faith in political reforms or activist movements; the situation is too far gone for this. A grass-roots revolution would be far more effective. After all, WE are the system. WE are the change we want to experience in this world. WE are the people we have been waiting for the whole time. I believe that today, genuine transformation can only occur through the self-realization of the individual. But transformation is speeded up many times over if realized people are at the nodal points of society. There, renewal happens starting from the base.
Indeed, our first priority is to reclaim the inner space of the world from which we have been sundered.
Specifically, the integration of:
This integration is the spark that sets alight a new paradigm of life.
This new paradigm is overcoming the either/or of previous history. It enables our human capacity for conscious integration and discernment to play in a manner similar to the way the cosmos itself “practices” it. Only in this way can nature and culture be brought into harmony with each other.
One hallmark of the new culture is Communitas. Ethologist Victor Turner thus described that form of community spirit that succeeds in establishing unity in duality, unity in diversity.
Communitas has nothing to do with an undifferentiated “we.” It represents the synthesis of difference. Communitas is distinguished by creative cooperation and the cultivation of lasting relationships on an equal footing, since these factors are the matrix of collective intelligence (group intelligence, swarm intelligence). Instead of artificial hierarchies, Communitas relies on competence-based hierarchies. Instead of control it practices appreciation and caring. Its goal is not profit for the few, but happiness and growth for all. Bhutan, a small Buddhist kingdom in Asia, shows by its example that this is possible. Its concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH) is an attempt to juxtapose the traditional gross national income (GNI), a measurement defined solely in monetary terms, with a more holistic reference framework. What sounds like a fairy tale is absolutely real.
“I bow down before the place in you where the entire cosmos lives. I bow down before the place of love, light, peace, truth and wisdom in you. I bow down before the place where – when you are in this place in yourself and I am in this place in myself – there is only that one of us”
Mahatma Gandhi to Albert Einstein
Today an immense wealth of knowledge and insight from all cultures and epochs is available to us. Globalization and the revolution in information technologies have reached an entirely new dimension. The danger of our being overwhelmed by these trends is all too evident. Media and Internet promotion of unbridled consumption is so massive that the greater portion of the world’s population is chronically zoned out. Contemporary circumstances increasingly confront the individual with a vital choice: will I become the plaything of a flood of all manner of opinions and agendas, or am I ready to take responsibility for my life?
Self-realization is not an ego trip. It is the spark of a collective transformation, in which both we as human beings and what is truly human as such get back into order. Today, the practice can be perfectly simple: it consists in aligning our personal truth as it is at this moment with transpersonal, cosmic truth. I wish to show through my work that the laws of global transformation are the same laws as those of personal transformation. If we synchronize individual with collective processes of change, we create the basis for a fruitful interaction. The one potentiates the other: in the wake of evolution, we experience the breakthrough to our own center. By changing ourselves we change the world.
Those of us who experience this wholeness and see for themselves how this experience is validated again and again, automatically become bearers of a holistic way of seeing themselves and the world.
Those of us who set out on the path of self-realization are co-creators of a new reality, pioneers of a culture of the heart.