History indicates that we have an innate tendency for building empires, magnificent, powerful and bigger empires. An empire is paramount to human life; there has always been at least one empire in the world at any one time, a global leader and progressive leader. Progress is the lifeblood of an empire. There exists a common misconception that we build these empires for power and dominance, but the truth is far from it. Our real goal is not the glory of the empire, but rather to advance human progress. Each emerging empire takes the baton from its ageing adversary, and with it undertakes the responsibility to advance our knowledge and pushes human progress to a new level.

There are certain prerequisites that an empire has to fulfil to lure and invite progress. These prerequisites include protection and freedom for the citizens and enterprises as well as the promotion of creativity and inventiveness. Our obsession with creating empires is related to our inner self, our ego; an empire represents the human endeavour for perfection, our instinctive goal to reach for the peak. Our imperfection is only too obvious. We are far from perfect; therefore we are always busy trying to overcome our deficiencies and improve ourselves. I do not think I need to say what our deficiencies are, as each individual is unique and different. But, we all have one thing in common and that is our wish to restore ourselves, our wish to become self-actualized. I publish below Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs; this will help illustrate the logic of my argument.

We are intrinsically programmed to motivate ourselves towards growth and self-actualization. We motivate ourselves to conquer our deficiencies, for the sake of self-actualization. It is self-actualization that we seek and wish to achieve. But self-actualization is not easy to obtain and retain, it is like swimming upstream in a fast-flowing river. There are pressures against us (life events), which make the task of achieving self-actualization almost impossible. In most cases, by the time we reach adulthood, we have been battered so hard by life itself, that we have no choice but to endeavour to restore our battered self. Although, some may argue that our downward spiral starts immediately after birth.

Our weakness is that our brains and minds are undeveloped and inexperienced at birth, thus, we go through trials and tribulations in life to develop our mind. Our minds need experiences for development and growth. Growth and improvement is vital to life – as vital as life itself. Growth is a biological as well as a psychological need. Here I am not referring to physical growth, but the inner growth of the being. I am referring to our inner desire of becoming fully functional beings; where one feels more at ease with the self, content and more satisfied.

There are certain entities in life that play a major role in our growth and our ability to achieve self-actualization. The potential influential power of these entities or characteristics is huge, both negatively and positively. In abundance, these entities or characteristics lead to self-actualization, but a prolonged deprivation of these entities or characteristics breeds illness. I do not have any data as proof to show for the above statement, as I am still researching, but I do know it is true. I do intend to publish data at a later date.

Regardless, these entities on one extreme have the potential to bring self-actualization – a fully functional being; and on the other extreme, due to deprivation or deficiencies pose risks of psychosomatic illness.  Abraham Maslow in his book, Toward a psychology of being, third edition, (WILEY AND SONS, INC., 1999, UK) also emphasises the importance of these characteristics suggesting that:

We spend a lifetime trying to overcome our deficiencies and restore ourselves. We wish to be rejuvenated and totally restored. That is the ultimate prize, it is the ultimate goal. Only then do we become self-actualized; only then do we progress and share that progress with our fellow beings.

An empire, in my view, is at times the only beacon of light, when darkness prevails everywhere else. Progress, invention and innovation inevitably come with an empire and rise with an empire. An empire represents our inner desire for the ideal self. Whatever we want to achieve within us, we also wish to achieve in the outer world; an empire is nothing more than a mirror image of the endeavour for self-actualization in the outer world. An empire is our collective effort to self-actualize the outer world.

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By Khalid

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