What Do I Mean by Self-Realisation?

Is it narcissistic assertiveness and satisfaction of our desires, without regard for our fellow human beings? Is it the relinquishment of self-assertion in devotion and sacrifice to people or tasks? Can self-realisation arise at all in one of these directions?

Is self-realisation in general a process that only proceeds in one direction, that is, starting from the self, towards realisation? Wouldn’t such a realisation process be a journey down a one-way street that concludes in a dead-end? Can self-realisation be a monologue?

Self-realisation is not an enterprise in the uninhabited space of unlimited opportunities. Self-realisation seems to me to be much more a process that corresponds to an encounter and relationship: it is always about an interrelationship between I and You, between self and world. In such an interrelationship, new experiences and qualities can develop. Self-realisation is a creative process whose creative ideas and motifs come from the self, whose materials and qualities come from the world.

From Markus Treichler, Der überforderte Mensch. Munich 2008.

Image Sofia Lismont
Translation Christian von Arnim

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