By Richard Kieninger


Every mentally healthy person seeks a more perfect way of life, and this amounts to a “spiritual” or psychological quest. It is crucial to having a rewarding life that a person perceive his environment and interior self for what they really are and make appropriate responses in his search for sanity as well as find more effective means to meet his ideals and desires. In the last analysis, everyone, even the atheist and nihilist, has a philosophy of life by which he guides his life and makes moral choices. In a manner of speaking, this is his “religion.”


It is a fact that every person’s reality is created by his mental images. In different parts of the world people may or may not believe there are germs, that the world is round, there once were dinosaurs, there is an afterlife, or that women have souls. What an individual believes to be so is his world. How closely his personal view corresponds with ultimate reality is the measure of how effective his decisions and actions will be in meeting his needs. A whole nation or culture has a self-image and makes group decisions on the basis of its aggregate philosophical beliefs, its religious ethics (or lack of them), and its justifications for exercising power in the grand scheme of things. The fact that their assumptions and beliefs may be almost totally at odds with ultimate reality does not prevent them from carrying out national and cultural policies that can eventually destroy them. People everywhere are trying to operate effectively in the face of superstitions, ignorance, state lies, and religious mythologies.


Universal Laws all substantiate the fact that each person is ultimately responsible for the happenings and conditions in his life as a result of his mental attitudes and the actions he initiates toward others; but being totally self-responsible is too much for most people to accept. It is logically more comfortable to blame outside influences for one’s troubles and assume the posture of being a victim rather than the cause.


In addition to your world being what you believe it to be, you yourself are what you believe yourself to be. You live up to and comply with your self-image. If your wants are modest and you have enough money to fulfill those wants with enough left over for a small savings, you could well deem yourself rich even though your income is much below average. Indeed, you could feel prosperous and have an attitude of abundant resources flowing to you. On the other side, were you to be a millionaire yet feel deprived of the wherewithal to accomplish grandiose ambitions and were you to thus feel blocked, frustrated, and miserably wanting in funds, you could easily believe yourself to be poor in spite of having great amounts of money compared to everyone else. This example concerning monetary resources can be applied to all the other departments of life.


One literally becomes what he thinks. His world and the people in it respond to his mental images and help reinforce his beliefs and attitudes. A grouchy misanthrope’s behavior prompts people to respond to him in negative ways that further justify his beliefs; and a cheerful, loving person is responded to in ways which prove his view correct that people and the world are beautiful and loving. One’s success in any area of life depends upon his sense of confidence, self-worth, and belief of entitlement to success in that particular area of life.





On Character Growth