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The Prime Directive

Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself

There is a drive within our being to explore, to experience, to understand, to create. Different people share this drive to different degrees. And at no time of our lives is this drive more profound, more pronounced, or more evocative, than when we were children. Childhood is a time of our lives when we were very close to expressing our innate natures, with very little inhibition.

This nature of our being tells us something. It tells us that there is something very fundamental about it. That Being is extremely curious, explorative, and in search of understanding. Understanding not in the sense of knowledge, but in tasting, experiencing and even becoming that which we seek to explore, even if vicariously. Think of the millions upon millions of stories that have been written or told, and which have kept us enraptured.

If we take this aspect of Being as a hint, a pointer to a larger scheme of things, then it is possible to address many ‘eternal questions’ that have plagued many of us.  But first let us take a different track for a moment, and ask a question. What is our greatest mystery? What is it that has been our greatest enigma?

Is it the nature of the universe? Is it about what happens after we die? Or is it why anything exists at all? All these are mysteries, and many of them are very profound. If we ponder more, it might occur to us that our greatest mystery is really ourselves! What or who am I? What really is my being? Indeed, what is being?

Is there a way to answer that question? What am I? Can the knower know himself or herself completely? It is somewhat like asking whether the eye can see itself.

If we unravel this question then we may begin to see that all of Life as we know it, from the greatest to the least significant, proceed naturally from exploring and answering this question. For the only way that Being can answer this question is by Becoming the answer.

We are indulging in word play. But wait… Is there any other way for our Being to know itself fully, to understand its nature, abilities, potential… without trying it out? without Becoming?

We will now take this lead further and consider all of Life as an expression of Being - engaged in the process of understanding itself, exploring its natures, possibilities and limits by Becoming them. The understanding we seek is not theoretical knowledge, but experiential.

And this brings us to the first and greatest dictum of life, which may be called the Prime Directive. The Prime Directive of Life says: ‘Being, Know Thyself!’. That is to say, we are here to explore our own Being.

This is among the most esoteric of truths, only because it is so very simple and so very common place - that we ignore it completely. But it is something a child can easily relate to.

And from this Prime Directive everything else follows, as we shall see.

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