Life In Harmony

Advanced Philosophy for Beginners

This website is the culmination of many years of study and thought - which in reality is a continuous and ever evolving journey that has me searching for new insights. My ultimate aim is simply to have a life full of spiritual growth and learning. If you are on a similar path or have comments about the things on this website I'd love to hear from you.

I appreciate that the menu options at the top of the screen may be difficult to interpret (if they still exist - ongoing technical issues and internal disputes with my technology team have not helped), so here is a very brief explanation. Originally this was a number of differently named websites that had very similar purposes, harmony and growth so I decided to bring them together and hope that the end result is not just a mish mash of unrelated ideas. Also you should not that I got tired of looking after and paying for multiple sites - I'm sure you'll appreciate the effiency of this website in really getting to the heart of the matter, whatever it is for you.

This is Life In Harmony, and I'm really glad you could come to our place for a quick visit. Life In Harmony is really about a story, a very special story about a journey inward to the warm centre of my heart. The reason for sharing it is for the dual benefit of my readers and myself. The benefits I gain are in structuring my philosphy in a way that is meaningful to others which in turn deepens my understanding. My efforts in the spiritual area also beautifully complement my other objectives, indeed there can be no separation if I want to be wholly successful.

The benefit to my reader is that they might just find something of interest that propels their life forward in a positive and loving way. I have already experienced significant benefits from adopting the philosophies described on this site in my own life. I'm very happy to share my story and hope that it can be a service to others.

Life In Harmony is the result of questions I asked myself about where I was going and what I was doing. What exactly was I going to use my life for? So, if you're like me and willing to look inward and learn something new, I think you'll enjoy this site.

If you're wondering where all the photos come from, most are shots I've taken in Victoria Australia and some have been taken by friends who have generously shared their work. For example, the photo at the top of the page shows Mt Buffalo in flood, one the many cascades gushing down the side of the mountain near Bright. The photo directly above shows my two sons and I on an overnight walk near Mt Buangor in Victoria - you'll need to look a little more carefully to see my younger son.

You may also be wondering what the section to the right of this text is - it's a summary of many of the 'self help' books that I've read and may just help you cut out a bit of the reading and get to the heart of the matter.

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Destiny

My own journey has been going several decades now and started with questions. I seemed to have a lot of questions, but no answers and little guidance. In truth, my inexperience and immaturity led me to ask the wrong questions and walk in the wrong direction to see and experience things that were at odds with my underlying values. I wanted to know what my destiny was and what my life was for and why I was feeling the way I was.

I found that understanding my destiny was at the heart of real life change. My destiny is all about me and what I want to achieve. Have you ever found yourself asking any of the following questions? What is the meaning of my life? Does my life have a purpose? Where am I going and who is in control of my life anyway? How can I be happy? Why is it all so difficult? These are common types of questions that I have asked and also that everyone I know has asked of themselves from time to time. Plotting, hatching, thinking, reflecting, experimenting and planning my destiny were essential to changing the way I felt about my life.

Each of us has our own destiny. Defining your destiny is a matter of bringing what is within you to the surface, think about it, write about it, wonder about it, draw it, talk about it, visualise it, dream it, just do it. I suggest you start with a focus on your needs....what exactly are your needs and are they being met? Needs drive feelings or emotions which in turn effects our behaviour. In the sections below you will read about what I did to achieve this, you may have similar needs that can be expressed in different ways, we are all different yet all connected. This might sound obvious, but if you don't know what your needs are it will be very difficult to figure out whether or not they are being met.

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Values

My list of needs is based on a definition of fundamental human needs originally described by Abraham Maslow in 1943 and re-inforced by many others. Indeed, I'm sure that this is nothing particularly new to spiritual men and women from the last 10,000 years. One list that I found (but no longer have the source for) is as follows: the fundamental human needs (which we all share) are subsistence, protection, affection, understanding, participation, leisure, creation, identity and freedom. Some of these words may mean more to you than others. However, what is important that you have a term that has meaning to you, for example, you may use the word 'health' instead of 'subsistence', the words are just a guide.

Importantly, needs give you a framework to draw out what is important to you. This is your foundation. You will notice in the text below that not all of the items listed are strictly needs, some are ideals or dreams or wishes. There is no right or wrong in this line of work. I believe that any positive action is worthwhile. In order to develop momentum and refinement for change, I just need to take the first step. You will also notice in the text below that each need is acknowledged and accompanied by personal thoughts. As you read through this example try and get a sense of the person behind the needs, don't judge, just be. Remember, we all have the same needs, just different ways of thinking and talking about them.

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Meaning

"I need harmony, inner peace and contentment. I need connection with others at a non-superficial level. I need understanding of key questions that I have in my life. Right now is my life, I am now man. Everyday I learn more about myself. My life is a consistent path of spiritual growth. It is through this growth that I am able to better connect with my community."

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Recreation

"I need to laugh, to do nothing every so often, to simply zone out, to play, to just be myself, to be alone, to be with others, to daydream and wonder, to watch comedy and do comedy. I love playing games and pretending. I love remembering things from the past, I love seeing beautiful things (environmentally and creatively) - I love spontenaeity and I need places of tranquility and peace where I can reflect and grow"

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Sustenance

"I need food, water and shelter at a basic level. I hold dearly the thought of eating foood that is free from contamination, drinking water that is clean and pure and breathing air that is fresh and un-polluted. I need my physical health to support me and my endeavours. I believe that the foundation for all these related needs is a clean protected environment where I am connected and immmersed with every other species and the earth itself."

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Creativity

"My need to explore new things and create is significant. I want to use my mind and body in new and different ways. I need to wonder and to daydream, to lay down and imagine possibilities, to be bored, to be busy with ideas, to be bold and curious, to use and build upon the skills that I have. I need to try new things and develop new abilities. I need a space in which to do these things, a space free of all limitations."

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Autonomy

"I need to make my own decisions in my own time and do my own things when I want to. I do not want to be told what to do all the time. I believe in equal rights for all, in all places at all times. I believe in retaining my personal power - keeping it to myself and helping to build the power of others. I am on a path of continual learning - surrounded and infused with passion."

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Safety

"I need to be comfortable about my personal safety and the safety of my family, friends, our community and my country. I care about the health and well being of individuals and property. I support measures to protect our water, our air and our land. I support the tax system and its provision of a safety net via wealth redistribution. I enjoy helping others, it gives me a strong sense of belonging."

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Love

"I need the love of my friends, family and community. I need to feel that I am special and needed in the lives of others. I value my privacy, my desires, my fantasies and my sensuality. I admire generosity of soul and spirit and body. My relationships are important to me and I highly value and need the shared actions of touch, holding, cuddling and making love. I believe that sharing my emotions helps to build intimacy and togetherness. I enjoy taking care of others. "

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Community

"I need to make connection with others to enhance my sense of belonging. I need to be part of something bigger than myself. I need to feel that my efforts are in some way making a contribution to the larger team or community. I need to feel valued and needed. I understand my responsibilities and believe in cooperation, where everyone can have freedom of expression, where dedication, humour and fun go hand in hand. I believe in the meeting of hands and minds to achieve growth for all."

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Empathy

"I need to create a connection with others. I need to be able to understand the needs of others and actively listen to their words. I need to challenge my beliefs and investigate other ways to think and do things. My experience is important, as are my instincts and my curiosity."

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My Values

One definition I found for values is as follows: "core beliefs that guide and motivate attitudes and actions." (Source) I don't think I could have done much better than that, anyway, here is what I came up with for me:

  • "I value my freedom. I place great value on my freedom and the freedom of others around me. The protection and maintenance of this freedom is critical to both ongoing personal growth and community growth."
  • "I value my environment. I believe that every change makes a difference, our natural resources are limited and must be used sustainably. The protection of our environment (water, air and land) is fundamental to maintaining a balance with the natural world."
  • "I value my community. Living in a community is a rich and rewarding experience. I belong in my comunity and while i am able I will assist those in need and make positive contributions toward the spiritual and social enrichment of my community."
  • "I value my friends and family. I am grateful for the energy of love and joy that flows through the people I know closely."
  • "I value my work and the opportunities it gives me to explore and develop my own potential. I want to be of service to as many people as I can through being interested, open and generous."
  • "I value my health. I want my body and mind to be healthy, I want to continually learn new and different things. I support this by eating good nutritious food in moderation and exercising regularly."
  • "I value my creativity. Creativity allows me to relax, to explore the weird and wonderful, to play, to imagine anything is possible, that I am magic, silly, wild, flying, falling, dreaming or just rolling around laughing."
  • "I value my journey, the deeper or higher I get into my life the more I discover about my purpose and how I can assist others in a vast array of ways."
  • "I value my curiosity. I want to continue to learn and develop until my last breath. I exercise my mind by asking questions of myself and others, exploring issues and being curious."

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