On Being Human: An Operator’s Manual


If you have asked yourself questions like “How should I live?” “On what shall I base my decisions?” or “What is truly important?” On Being Human will be a source of help and guidance.

Modern thought tends to divide life into categories, but in the process of living, all the currents mix and mingle, and worthwhile answers only come from finding a harmonious relation to the whole. Seeking holistic understanding, this book ranges through psychology, art, science, religion, relationships, culture, mythology, philosophy, and the world’s wisdom traditions.

Although no one can be expert in all these areas, the living of life does not offer the choice of avoiding any of them. Whether expert or not, each of us must come to terms with the full scope of human questions, emotions, and possibilities. This wide-ranging book will provide assistance for those who wish to bring all these currents together in a coherent way.

Retiring at the age of 35 after successful involvement in business, politics, and education, David began to consider more carefully what was truly important in his life. Following several years of study, travel, practice, and experiences of many kinds, there came a deepening sense of what it means to live a human life. His understanding developed further through dialogue with hundreds of participants in seminars and workshops he has presented during the past twenty years. In this book, he shares the insights gained in the process of his personal exploration and exchange with others.

About The Author

After a busy early life, at the age of 35 I started spending more time exploring some basic questions such as: “What are we doing here, alive, on this planet?” “What is truly important?” “What is worth doing with the limited amount of time we have available for a human life?”

After a number of years of this personal exploration, I began giving workshops to share what I had been discovering. For 22 years I have had the privilege of refining my understanding in the crucible of hard questions and active engagement with many bright and sometimes skeptical folks. In the process, I have developed several methods for helping those interested in the journey to think about and engage in the inner journey themselves.

Sharing with others has helped me discover the weaknesses and fallacies in my own living and thinking. Additionally, it has become a primary practice in my journey, a way to shift my attention from personal concerns and desires toward care and concern for others.

Finding the best way to interact with other people is one of life’s most important tasks. For me, sharing what I am learning, especially when I can do so without expectations, is one of the primary ways I find meaning and experience my humanity.

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