Books that influenced me
1998 - Theo Löbsack: Trial and error - Mankind, a failure of nature
book is from the 1970s and describes why mankind is NOT the summit of evolution.
It claims that mankind will disappear from earth quite soon, same as the
dinosaurs or the sabre-toothed tiger did when they had something that was too big.
The sabre-toothed tiger had teeth that were too large, he was too much
specialised. For a while it was good, but as the world changed this tiger could
not change, so he had to die. The dinosaurs had a body that was to large, they
could not adapt to the changing circumstances when it was necessary, so they
also died. And the same will happen to mankind, because the human brain is to
large. In the book there are chapters about technological progress, about
religion and ethics, about diseases and about human short-sightedness. In
summary: mankind stepped out of evolution by creating its own world, with high
technology that people can not control anymore. Mankind invented "morals and
ethics", that means mankind can not let people die. We save everyone! An example:
In a society of rabbits sometimes disabled rabbits are born, due to a genetic
defect. Usually this rabbit dies. Only healthy rabbits survive and their
children usually are also healthy rabbits. But with mankind it is different.
Everybody survives, even the people with defect genes and with terrible diseases.
They all get children, so the children also have that damaged genes. Because of
our ethics and moral our genes' quality decreases more and more, people get more
and more sick and the risk of worldwide plagues increases immensely! This is just
one example, in the book I found many more about the fall of mankind! Humans are
the only animals who kill fellows just for economical reasons ("You have what I
want? Bang!!" -- "You took my wife? Bang!!"). Humans brain is so large, creating
things that can not controlled by the creator anymore, so that mankind can not
adapt to changing circumstances. If the conditions on earth change a little bit,
mankind will disappear, and more flexible races like rats and bacteria will be
the new leaders on earth! And one thing is certain: They would never destroy
their own planet as much as we do it now!! I must say: I hope mankind disappears
as fast as possible, before destroying earth! It would be best for the earth if
mankind would be gone! Mankind is like a plague, like a virus for this planet!
Finally the planet will get rid of it. And it will be painful for mankind!
When I read this book, I was 16 years old. I often asked myself: How can I think so terrible about mankind and at the same time, just lead an ordinary human life? I talk about mankind as if I am not part of it. Finally I came to the conclusion that it is OK to see things from two point of views: Regarding the "mankind" as the sum of all human, without any individuals, and regarding myself as an individual that has to make its own way among all the others. I can give my best to safe the environment, donate money for the protection of the rain forest or adapt to the world, but I can not avoid to be part of that race that destroys this planet! For a while I felt very guilty and unhappy, but I think it is just part of evolution. Mankind had to develop into that, and we will leave that planet as soon as we have gone too far! And no one will ever cry any tear about us! Sad but true!
2001 - Daniel Goleman: Emotional intelligence
My 19th birthday. Annika (a very emotional german girl) was my ex-girlfriend at that time. And Hyun-A (an emotionless Korean born in Germany) was my girlfriend. Both give me the same birthday present: a book called "Emotional intelligence" by Daniel Goleman. But they had different intentions. Annika told me "Read this and change yourself!" and Hyun-A said "Read this and stay as you are!". Finally Hyun-A was right. Annika was wrong. Annika thought that in the book it says "Let your emotions go! If you feel something, express it without limitation!". But it was not true. In the book it said "Gain power from the positive emotions and control or solve the negative emotions!", which was Hyun-As statement also. In summary it claims: If you educate your children with emotional intelligence they will be better people! If you go to work with emotional intelligence your colleagues will like you and you will be successful! And more things like this... I could learn much from the book about myself. Since I read this I can really control my bad feelings and let my good feelings grow. I never loose my temper, I am patient, I can cry in a sad movie and I can laugh all day long and be extremely happy and energetic.
Emotional intelligence consists of five parts:
Self-awareness - the ability to read one's emotions and recognize their impact while using feelings to guide decisions.
Self-motivation - enthusiasm at work and daily life, the ability to cheer for oneself.
Self-management - involves controlling one's emotions and impulses and adapting to changing circumstances.
Social awareness - the ability to sense, understand, and react to other's emotions while comprehending social networks.
Empathy (or Relationship management) - the ability to inspire, influence, and develop others while managing conflict.
2004 - Dan Millman: The way of the Peaceful warrior
book was one of the most impressive books I have ever read! It describes the
development of an ordinary man (it is a true story about the author). He was a
sports student in USA, training a lot, leading an ordinary life. One day he met
a very old man at a gas station, that grease seemed to be weird, but they
started talking and that old man told him about the "Peaceful warrior". In the
following days the old man taught the young man how to lead the life of a
peaceful warrior, finding inner balance, fighting against the negative
influences from the environment. He made him change his eating behaviour, showed
him how to meditate, how to gain power from total concentration on the inner
balance and forces, how to reach wisdom and knowledge. That young man was very
doubtful at first, but his life improved very much by following that old mans
advises. He became a very famous athlete in USA and won a gold
medal at 1974 Olympics (it
is really true!). This book made me think a lot about my life. It made me loose
20 kg of weight by changing my attitude towards my own body, I also started to
go swimming regularly. And it was very obvious to me that this book is deeply
buddhistic! I learned more about Buddhism after reading this book and I must say,
my life is better since then! I think I found a way to LEAD my life (instead of
only existing...). I learned to have a sense for beauty and for happiness.
The author Dan Millman wrote more books about the Peaceful warrior concept, but I read only part of it and then really disliked it! While the first one was really helpful and fascinating, the following books were too much esoteric and populist. It is absolutely sufficient to read the first book and then develop one's own thoughts and concepts, one's own Philosophy...
2006 - Erich Fromm: To have or to be
This book is about the two lifestyles of Having and Being. Having, which is found in industrialised countries, is based on possession or ownership, Being - as an example the Asian countries are mentioned - is based on self-development, finding the own abilities and strong points and lead a life in agreement with the environment. Maybe this book is one reason why I like Asia so much and dislike Germany more and more. Here the people get sick because they live in the "Having"-lifestyle, whereas the Asian people are friendly and calm, just like "Being"-people. I read this book while I was in Korea and I must also say, that I recognised a bad development in Korea. Once people lived in the "Being"-lifestyle, it can clearly be seen, but since Korea is developing so very fast, people fall more and more into the "Having"-lifestyle. It is really not necessary, Korean people should avoid that!!! They are going into the wrong direction! In Germany most people noticed the problems of "Having" and many people started to train the "Being"-lifestyle, with Asia as an idol for that!