Lots of things go wrong on our planet!
… the destruction of the environment,
… factory farming,
… climate change, …
We all don’t want that, but we are constantly moving in the same direction – in a direction that many people believe is a dead end and thus the imminent end of the world as we know it today.
We have created a colossal world machine that we no longer control, but in which we are all tiny cogs. We need the concerted effort of all people to turn the colossus in a different direction.
But first of all we need a common view of our problems and a common vision – common values. Perhaps we can stand up for these values together; and then, when we agree, change the direction of the world machine and make the world a better place – for us, for our children and our children’s children, for all living beings.
The Manifest of Life attempts to do just that – create a vision consisting of seven directives, so minimal that all people can understand them and at the same time so comprehensive that they propagate freedom, peace and nature conservancy. And how could that be done better than with a direct reference to LIFE itself?
We live! – Not just us humans, all living beings on this planet. Especially in the last 100 years we have come to understand more and more how fantastic LIFE is – any kind of life. We have all been given this incredible gift. And in all its size and diversity, it is the lowest common denominator that everything on our planet revolves around.
The seven directives emerge directly from what LIFE truthfully is. They are:
1. We live on planet Earth
We want to make life on this planet worth living.
So not just on any part of the earth, not just on land or just in the water, but we look at all life on the entire planet. But we don’t want to go beyond that either. We don’t strive for ways to find a better life on other planets, nor we look for a virtual world as a substitute.
2. Life is diversity
We see humans as a form of life. We respect all forms of life.
That is the core statement of the manifest and the subsequent directives can already be derived from this one sentence. To respect means to understand and accept that others have exactly the same claim to their life as we have to ours. All forms of life? Yes – we respect all people regardless of their origin, skin color, gender and religious beliefs. In addition, we respect all animals, plants and all other forms of life.
As late as the twentieth century we thought humans were the “crown of creation”. With our abilities to think abstractly and to speak, we have gained great power. However, we will become victims of this power ourselves if we do not reflect on what we really are, namely a part of the cycle of life. We are powerful enough to destroy vast tracts of land and wipe out thousands of plant and animal species. But we have to realize that this approach will not make us happy and – on the contrary – even threatens our own existence.
The earth and all life on it could very well get by without humans. It just doesn’t work the other way around. We humans do need the diversity of life for our own continued existence, because we are part of this diversity, we are LIFE.
Our food is also of living origin, regardless of whether we eat meat or are vegetarian or vegan. We should be aware of this, because if we respect all life, then also our food. Of course, we especially respect the animals we kill to eat their meat. Animals have feelings and suffer pain. Not keeping them humanely, torturing them, inflicting pain on them and perhaps all of that on an industrial scale is absolutely unacceptable. Ideally, we avoid eating meat. – Not so long ago, prayers of thanksgiving were said at many tables before each meal. That is not required here, but a comparable basic attitude is required – gratitude and respect for nature and life.
Anopheles mosquitoes, caries bacteria, streptococci, … In the course of evolution, parasites and pests have contributed to the fact that all living things have developed exactly as we find them today. The need to survive against other organisms has been an integral part of life for hundreds of millions of years. And today there are of course countless species that harm people, animals or plants and against which we defend ourselves. It would be nonsensical to put Directive 2 above this evolutionary principle. Nevertheless, we must be aware that human life cannot and must not be separated from other forms of life. Our fight against pests must be carried out with particular care and always strictly locally. This concerns e.g. the use of pesticides and fungicides as well as the administration of antibiotics or the use of disinfectants.
The probability for any form of life in space and time is so vanishingly small that even the smallest, inconspicuous creature represents a galactic lottery win. The fact that it is blooming and sprouting so much on earth belies this circumstance. Let’s realize how amazing LIFE is and give every living being the proper respect.
3. Life is nature
Nature conservation is always part of the basis of our actions.
Of course, respecting LIFE also means respecting nature and thus nature conservation. We must live a humbler life. We have to abdicate unnecessary air travel, far too many car journeys, and ever new consumer goods. We must avoid rubbish. We have to save energy. We need to integrate a more humble self-conception into our everyday lifes.
4. Life is Peace
War is hostile to life. We abhor war.
Nothing is so diametrically opposed to the Manifest of Life as war is. We abhor war.
5. Life is freedom
Freedom means that body and mind are unimpeachable and every living being may decide for their own life.
Yes, that is supposed to mean freedom and yes, we are very far from that. Nevertheless, we want to follow this directive and it is our long-term goal that all living beings regain their freedom – of course primarily all humans – but of course also all animals, which should ideally be able to live in a largely untouched cycle of nature.
So should our children decide for themselves if and when they go to school? No, of course that is not what is meant. The directives are not laws to be followed one-to-one. Rather, they are guidelines. – We have a sense of what freedom means. When chickens are crammed in cages or pigs are kept in such a way that they bite each other until they bleed, then that is wrong. When children are sexually abused or women are forced to veil themselves, then that is wrong. When people are beaten or tortured, when they have a different opinion, or when police officers kill people arbitrarily, then that is wrong. And even if nature is tortured by sacrificing millions of hectares of land, including all of the animal world, for monocultural farming or for oil fracking, then that is wrong.
All this and much more is intended to be expressed by Directive 5.
6. Life is solidarity
We are committed to cooperation to unfurl and protect our individual lifes and to preserve freedom. Cooperation must be based on democratic rules.
Cooperation, be it in packs, in herds, in swarms or in states, is an essential part of LIFE. This also applies to us humans.
Cooperation according to the Manifest means solidarity, i. e. “together for each other”. Democratic rules are the best we have to work together for each other in the long term.
7. Let us live this way!
No state, institution, person or other being shall restrict the freedom of any living being, except it is required within the framework of solidarity.
That’s a proclamation. We don’t just want to explain, we want to achieve that. What is described here in the preceding six directives should also be implemented in the short, medium and long term.
All over planet Earth:
We want diversity!
We want nature!
We want Peace!
We want freedom!
We want to achieve this together for each other!
And we don’t want to be hindered!
Anyway, why do we need the Manifest of Life?
The Manifest of Life wants to close a gap: It wants to create values that are accessible and understandable for ALL people and thus contribute to unite people all over the world. There has never been a better time in human history to publish and distribute a Manifest than now – after all, information that goes viral can reach hundreds of millions of people within days.
The seven directives are neither commandments nor laws. They don’t need to be believed in and they don’t need to be indoctrinated. Because they are an obvious and logical consequence of LIFE itself and as such are suitable for being understood by every human being.
What can I do with it?
Think about it and see if you can make the values yours. If that’s the case, then share the Manifest with others. Use the PDF version of the Manifest or links to manifestoflife.org or tell and discuss with others.
If you want to contribute, e.g. by bringing in an additional language or have ideas for improvements, write to us and we will deal with it.
Live by the Manifest of Life. Notice if others live by it and if not, try to convey the Manifest of Life to them as well.