As living beings, we share a biological existence with other creatures, and perhaps have most similarities with other mammals, and especially with other primates.

All life exists in an interconnected web with other life and with the environment.  The special bonds that we naturally feel for other people mean that we're 'social' beings.

As with all living beings, our wellbeing (and enjoyment of life) depends upon the healthy and co-ordinated functioning of body, heart and mind.  This state is achieved when our autonomic life-regulation processes are operating smoothly.  We then have available the wisdom and intuition of the emotional brain as well as the capacities for reflection, abstract reasoning and planning of our cognitive brain.  The result is that our experience of life is pleasurable - or at least serene.  We can even feel joyful, 'on top of the world'.

It's facilitated by being aware of, and actively encouraging, pleasurable feelings.  However, this contrasts with the simplistic 'positive thinking' that pervades much of Western culture.  For inner harmony, we need to accommodate all of our emotional experiences.  If we deny or suppress negative emotions, this will cause them to arise outside our consciousness (as 'shadow'), in ways that are damaging to our wellbeing and to our behaviour, including our interactions with others.

It's in the appropriate expression of our feelings - including care for others (and love) - that we achieve inner harmony and wellbeing.  Anger and other supposedly 'negative' feelings can be appropriate - such as when we see someone being harmed, or when our own wellbeing is violated by others.  If we deny our anger at such times, we're no longer acting from our higher self - we actually increase the 'evil' in the world by not responding appropriately to it.

Let's look now at answering the Existential Questions.


Damasio, Antonio (2003). Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow and the Feeling Brain.  London: Vintage (Random House).
Servan-Schreiber, David, MD, PhD (2003).  The Instinct to Heal.  USA: Rodale