We all can recognize a pyramid. The structure is seen throughout history. Pyramids were constructed in Egypt and all over the ancient world. When I was younger I just thought that the reason for their almost omnipresence was simply because of the minimalist structure. If your society had no means to anchor steel beams cased in concrete into the bedrock, but you also had a desire to elevate yourself to new heights, how else would you do it? You would need to build something with a wide base. The wide base is important. It symbolizes stability. It provides the top of the pyramid with security and safety that it will always have something to stand on. This structure of the pyramid is the basis for my own philosophy of life. This particular philosophy was something that I came up with a few years ago. And, I’ve since learned that it has similarities to that of the levels of Hinduism. However, I have constructed this independently not as a societal philosophy, but as a personal one. Also, I don’t know shit about Hinduism. But, let’s back up a few years. I first became enamored with the Pyramids when I was 17. I leafed through Heaven’s Mirror by Graham Hancock and dialed up some internet articles on the discussions of the symbolism and historical unknowns that surround the pyramids. I remember regurgitating the findings of one of the articles at my camp to some friends and suggesting that they may have been built by aliens. It is very likely that I quoted Nostradamus. After years of seemingly ignoring the subject while never really losing curiosity for it, I found myself constantly faced with the pyramids displayed on our money and public buildings. Always with the All Seeing Eye at the top. Maybe this was the seed that drew roots down into the base of this philosophy. See, around 30 years old I started to appreciate the art of self-reflection. I became less self-conscious, more self-aware and more comfortable trying to explore my own mind. I found peace ingesting edible cannabis and doing yoga or going for a long run during the hottest part of the day in the DC summer. I found myself listening to podcasts and lectures by modern gurus, philosophers, and lecturers. I kept notes on my phone when I read an interesting quote, received a book recommendation, or had what I believed to be an original thought. I began to live life more in the moment, take better care of my body and mind and began spending more time trying to figure out the meaning of life. Maybe not the meaning of life . . . But, I was trying to figure something out. One thing that kept repeating itself was advice I’d heard on how to live life to the fullest. Learn, follow your dreams, do what you want, be nice to other people and just be happy and appreciative etc. But, this all gets very confusing when you try and live it. I understand the point of living in the moment. The moment is all we have. And, I understand the process of doing what you love to do. But, I also understand the logistics of living in this modern society with a wife, friends, a job, and a social construct built on consuming things in a free market. I also realize that doing what you love is hard when you can’t figure out what it is you love to do more than anything else because you’re always finding new things to appreciate. I also realized that everything you can do starts and stops at the individual level. In order to be a better friend, brother, husband or person the first order of business is to focus on improving oneself. We can each only control the actions of ourselves, and with the right actions we can become a more complete person. What is a complete person? Well, this is where I came back to the idea of the pyramid. I looked at life (or at least one’s life) as a pyramid. For example I, or my soul, or my mind or whatever we call it will attempt to construct itself like a pyramid. The blueprint is simple. But, making it complete or perfect nearly impossible. The top of the pyramid is enlightenment. The all seeing all knowing, Buddah, Yawei, Jesus, Mohamed or whatever. We can all strive to be Christlike, Godlike, perfect, but we all know that this is not possible. So, let’s just start at the base. The base of the pyramid is critical. It is basic, simple, building blocks aligned in a square. It must be broad and flat. In life these are the blocks represent the golden rule. Treat others as you should be treated. These values are taught at an early age. Share with each other. Don’t steal, don’t hit. We learn these basics as a child. I learned them through good parenting, and a catholic school education that taught the lessons of Jesus. But, as previously stated these lessons are basic and broad and are the lessons learned by most every child on earth. They are the shared views of all religions, races, cultures, humans. This is our foundation as a person with which we build. As we learn and hopefully master the basics, we grow older. We expand a bit further in terms of how to act within our culture. We learn manners. Beyond please and thank you, we hold the door open for people. We take our shoes off. We don’t talk in the theatre. Continuing on we learn how to treat others by making people feel welcomed and how to be a gracious guest. We learn how to function in our own society. We learn how to contribute to the community, to a business, to a friendship. We grow and learn and continue building. As we venture further up the pyramid and further outside of our individual boundaries we begin learn to appreciate other cultures. We must adapt as we begin to understand the true history of humanity. We learn about our place on this planet as it exists and how it once was. We study history, art, science and mathematics. We become more evolved and are able to cross cultural boundaries with reverence and respect. We can operate in different realms of business as we follow the basic rules we’ve grown to master. We learn from the rules we and others follow. We can share moments with strangers in an elevator or a train and put a smile on each other’s faces simply by shooting an almost serendipitous glance that communicates that we are all brothers and sisters and we are all the same while simultaneously living different lives. . . Maybe that’s too advanced. But, we can make small talk as we become educated, learn lessons, make and correct mistakes. With this we become aware of our own personal imperfections, and strive to be better. We study philosophy and metaphysics and search for a philosophy of life. It becomes beautiful as we reach closer to the top of the pyramid. But, the top is unattainable. We can never know it all. We can’t be everywhere at once, and we never know when we will make yet another mistake, slip and need to step back and seriously rebuild. But, for the sake of understanding the pyramid, let’s just assume that we can even begin to understand enlightenment. But, for the sake of getting on with one’s life, let’s just understand that it is always a work in progress. Constantly reaching for that precipice will ensure that we will make mistakes. Mistakes are what keep us in check. They make us double check where we went wrong. Hopefully it is not the base that needs adjustments. That would be a lot of work. But, it is okay to step back and rebuild. It is imperative in order to move forward. This is obviously a work in progress. But so is life.