Laws of Destiny by Herman Meyer

These are the main ideas explained by the author:

The unconscious remains mostly unnoticed and rarely influences our decisions. Life as a whole however can only be understood if we include the unconscious. Each of us has the task to develop specific skills such as assertiveness, setting boundaries, communication skills, technical skills, the ability to discover our own identity, independence, analytical skills, ability to develop our own life program and to implement it, and the ability to overcome traditional and established rules that are outdated.

Each skill in the patriarchic culture is divided into two poles – a negative pole and positive pole.

Negative pole: Skills in the negative pole are inhibited; Meyer characterizes people who have their skills in the negative pole as people who play the role of a child. These are people who are constantly attacked, manipulated, exploited, or need a shepherd. People like that repeatedly react to situations and follow rules. Because they react instead of acting they don’t live their own lives and other people determine how they have to live.

Plus pole: Meyer characterizes people, who have most of their skills in the plus pole as people who play the role of a parent. The skills of these people are to a certain extent also inhibited, but they compensate this inhibition by trying to embody these skills as ideal. Those people have not developed their own identity either because they try to develop those skills based on cultural norms.

Adult: Meyer calls people who develop their skills inherent to their own nature as adults. In his opinion these adults can perceive both poles and can grasp the entirety of life. Because these people have an understanding of both poles, they can broaden their perspective and develop their own identity.

He explains further that everybody’s laws of destiny are neutral and cannot be influenced unless we learn to integrate them into our lives.

He continues by going over the development cycles of humanity and pointing out that we are currently in the patriarchic (anal) phase and that this phase is coming to an end (this phase is equivalent to the mental structure of consciousness described by Gebser) . We are developing currently equal rights; women up till now have been oppressed, as well as everything feminine such as nature and wholeness, which has been leading to lifelessness (living without a soul). This can be seen in our current ideology in all areas of life – in academic medicine (the human being is not seen as a whole), in pedagogy (by demanding obedience), in religion, in agriculture (by using pesticides) and in politics (by damaging the environment).

In all areas of life everything concerning our soul, everything that’s lively and natural is devalued. In this respect illness is an attempt to compensateSee also Heal Thyself by E. Bach under spiritual development and depicts a recovery process. Politics preaches constant economic growth and destroys the environment, which in turn endangers our health. Patriarchs think everything is doable and they pay no attention to problems.

We have to change on an individual as well as a collective level. We should not fight and be reactive but instead create something new.

In psychology we have to understand how the soul functions and the “new” person must be concerned on a personal level with every aspect of life, among them nutrition, religion, politics, medicine, economy, ecology, and gardening.

He also addresses in this book the laws of harmony. The “new” people have to find balance between work and leisure. Health means leading a balanced life. He also points out that being good as determined by the moral people means often that one is bad towards the laws of life.

The author believes that everybody who can find his own identity will feel safe. People who are afraid to express themselves through their work will never find fulfillment in what they do.

In his opinion we live in a collective neurosis and must free ourselves from it and the patriarchic system. Patriarchy in the form of divided and pre-determined roles between women and men leads to developing different sets of skills. He explains that partnerships have a crisis if the original positions or roles “played” are changing. In addition, if we try to reach an “ideal” we supress the energies of the physical, mental and spiritual plane and that makes sick and leads to addiction.

If we do not find ourselves and take advantage of the right to live our own lives, we give other people the permission to run our lives. Whoever wants to be “good” by living his live based on the rules established by others, is “bad” against himselfCompare with The Four Agreements by Ruiz and will be punished.

Among the examples he provides are people who develop illnesses or develop a crisis because they play sports that are “in” or part of the countries culture instead of choosing sport activities that fit their personality; people who choose jobs, partners and houses for materialistic reasons; people who only buy designer clothes; people who don’t listen to their inner voice; people who pick furniture from magazines instead of developing their own taste.

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