How do you take it when advised to “get to know yourself better?”

Woman Questioning Freewill

What does that mean to you?

Get to know your emotional/mental self better?

Getting to know your material self better sounds pretty silly to most.  Probably not even considered.

But, the fact is that your material makeup is your only sensual connection to the evolving footprint of this reality’s ever-changing transforming presence.


Maybe, if you examine this reality footprint and through tapping into the same media frequency that your emotions radiate, learn to understand its ways. Maybe by learning what, where and how to tune in, you can identify, understand and eliminate the thorn-in-the-side presence of what’s causing the emotional imbalance that prodded you into feeling like you need to get to know your emotional/mental self better in the first place.

That initial inclination to get to know your emotional/mental self better is right. A truth seeker just needs to learn how to attend to the process between that intellectually inspired idea and the intrinsically seeded end result.

Awareness of Emotions

To get to know or better understand your emotional/mental state and how those emotions interrelate with your unique human characteristics to produce your one-of-a-kind personality, an individual needs to develop a conscious understanding of how, when misunderstood, the uncontrollable principles that support this reality disappoint your miscued expectations and trigger your anger or allow a reported feeling of happiness… sadness … joy … fear … etcetera.

If you could only self-train the strain of wisdom that would give you a consciously understood awareness of all of this … well, then you would be in an enlightened state of emotional bliss. Right?


Self Identity

Right after vowing the conviction to take on this loosely defined challenge, a calming effect might follow in its wake … only until another passing thought grabs your cognitive attention not to return to this mental bookmark until some similar situation brings back similar emotional unrest. Then you think to yourself: “Oh yeah … I must get to know myself better.”

For the greater majority, this ignorance-spawned skip-in-the-record cycle continues for a lifetime.

This self-discovery directive is actually very good first-step self-advice, even though it only registers intellectually and is so loosely purposed.


To get to better know your emotional/mental self first involves getting to know and understand the ageless principles that rule this reality … and you. With your regular attention, over time, the fact that the same natural forces also rule your human experience will consciously prove self-evident.

Wisdom Relates to Awareness of Ignorance

It’s your intrinsic unfamiliarity and ignorance of this reality’s timeless principles that rule the flow of its ongoing process of transformation that cause your emotional distress.

Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha) taught that it’s this ignorance that seeds the resulting clinging attachment to the imagined continual unchanging presence of things and ideas coming from not recognizing impermanence that’s the root of all human suffering.

It’s this reality’s unalterable principles of impermanence that define and support its dimensional nature and control the outcome of every cause/effect reaction with everything as time passes.

It’s these whip-cracking principles of nature that keep this passing reality ongoingly lit in full living color animation.


We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.

—The Talmud

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.

—Proverbs 23:7  King James Translation

You’ve been conditioned to behave in certain ways to get what you want or to avoid what you don’t want. Humans are in control of what they think and do.

Humans think and behave as they’ve been conditioned to. We develop the calculated logistics of a defending faith to justify those certain behaviors that work for us to get what we want or to avoid what we don’t want.


Humans are not in control of what comes from their emotional/mind self-generated thoughts and actions. Again, the governing natural principles of this reality are.

At this point in mankind’s species-awareness timeline, only four laws of nature have been realized by mankind’s collective freewill (science) to be self-evident. On the larger realm, the forces of gravitation and electromagnetism rule, while the strong and weak nuclear forces dominate the quantum mechanics whisper of the subatomic world.

Reality's Dimensional Backdrop

These four principles of nature work together in patterns of dimensional harmony. Their patterned influence trickles up from unpredictable, uncontrollable coming and going bits of energy that pump life into the subatomic quantum mechanics world (real-life incarnation of theology’s Holy Spirit?) into the world of human perception.

These patterns are being questioned and tested by mankind’s freewill, science, as I type to increase mankind’s collective awareness of the self-evident truths we as a biological species still stand ignorant to … the various string and wave theories. (With all due respect … you have to wonder if most of the general public’s exposure to this gender of scientific progress is gained listening to the genius theoretical physicist, Sheldon on TV’s “Big Bang Theory”.)?

Newton and the Gravity Apple

Even though these forces evade human perception, they are so very real. When near an apple tree, beware of falling apples. Issac Newton once let his guard down. Maybe Mother Nature had a point to make?

These silent principles, in harmony, work as reality’s tangible man-on-the-throne that rules the outcome of all cause/effect relationships in the impermanent dimensional makeup of this reality that their now self-evident silent backdrop existence defines and supports and their strain of wisdom decodes.

Over time, the slowly emerging knowledge that makes self-evident their existence is one reason that only a few hundred years ago mankind’s collective perspective opened up from ancient superstition to the age of reason.

Benjamin P. Hardy, husband and foster father of three who’s pursuing a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology had published a wonderfully insightful blog in the Huffington Post on Feb. 8, 2017. An excerpt:

You don’t control the outcomes of your life.

You don’t control how other people will respond to you.

You don’t control your health.

You don’t control how much money you make.

Principles control these things.

If you consistently put unhealthy foods in your body, your body will become unhealthy. Your body is a natural system governed by principles.

If you don’t pay the price to develop your mind with consistent learning, your mind will become dull and unclear. Your mind is a natural system governed by principles.

Most people cram for tests while in college. But can you cram if you’re a farmer? Can you forget to plant in the spring, slack-off all summer, and then work hard during the fall?

Of course not. A farm is a natural system governed by principles.

So are you.

You can’t determine how other individuals react to your presence or how your stock market investments fair. You can’t control exactly how your vehicle reacts on icy streets.

You can do your best to influence these outcomes, but your ignorance to the ways of the forces detailing nature’s governing principles leaves you unable to foresee the logistics of the final outcome. It’s out of your control.

Compass Point North

It’s up to nature’s unalterable unbiased principles that support and conform to the timeless fundamental laws defining the nature of this reality’s dimensional backdrop composition. If you open a compass the natural law of electromagnetism will point the needle to the north.


Wisdom and Nature Are Same

To better understand the nature of these cause/effect outcome-setting principles, a truth seeker needs to go to where they can collect the appropriate knowledge to develop the appropriate strain of wisdom that understands and decodes the impermanent nature of this reality. Not the sort of knowledge that develops a strain of wisdom that leads their waking awareness to a dead end of suffering in an awareness state that’s empty of life-understanding like Adam and Eve did in Eden.

Getting to better know the nature of the emotional/mental self takes a truth seeker through the process of collecting the appropriate knowledge to develop an intrinsic familiarity to sensually seed deriving the appropriate strain of life wisdom to decode the nature of the uncontrollable ruling-principle force that determines the outcomes of all the thoughts and energy the human condition invests into its human experience.

This life-truth sensually echoes from the makeup of the material you.


Who understands the world is learned. Who understands the self is enlightened.

Who conquers the world has strength. Who conquers the self has harmony.

—Lau Tzu, Tao Te Ching verse 33 **

Lau Tzu gives Cliff Notes-style insight in the writing Tao Te Ching as to how a strain of wisdom borrowed from book-knowledge, lacking the self-knowledge derived wisdom and intrinsic familiarity founded in experiential history, could very well afford an individual the cognitive strength to conquer the world. But, for those who through engendered mind-into-body harmony tuned-in to sensually witness life manifest, the experientially based wisdom-enriched self-knowledge gained allows them to instead derive the strain of wisdom to identify, understand, own and conquer their self-ego, to become enlightened about the cause of their ignorance-induced emotional suffering.

His wisdom-enriched insight asserts that if you seek the sort of knowledge to merely nurture your mind intellectually to cognitively know this reality, you’ll not develop the infrastructure of knowledge supporting the strain of life wisdom founded in intrinsic familiarity and sensual history.

You’ll not develop a wisdom-enriched enlightened self-understanding that makes sense of what it is that seeds your emotional/mental self enigma.


Confusing Mathematics

When an individual becomes emotionally distraught due to their misunderstanding of the unalterable principled patterns that rule mathematics, they gather the appropriate knowledge to derive the appropriate strain of wisdom to better understand the principles of math.

Likewise, if a truth seeker becomes emotionally distraught due to their misunderstanding of the unalterable principles that rule life emotions, they gather the appropriate knowledge to inspire deriving the appropriate strain of wisdom to better understand the principles that set pattern for life emotions.

An individual visits the theater of mathematics to develop a knowledge history to use to inspire assimilating the appropriate strain of wisdom that decodes the principles governing mathematics. They become more enlightened about their math principle related ignorance.

Self-training Mind Control

A truth seeker visits the theater of life manifest to develop a self-knowledge history to inspire assimilating the appropriate strain of wisdom that decodes the principles governing life’s transforming nature. They become more enlightened about their life principle-related ignorance.

When you want to understand water well enough to swim in it, what do you do? When you want to understand a bicycle well enough to ride one, what do you do?

When you want to understand the principles that determine the outcome of your behaviors, what do you do?

You go to the present moment theater of life-manifest to sensually experience and learn to understand these principles in their only true state … live in the act.  Develop an intrinsic familiarity and sensual history through experientially witnessing their truth.

Collect the self-knowledge and derive the strain of life wisdom to made sense of and understand the principles … the ongoing thorn-in-the-side of your emotional/mental self that inspired your initial inclination to get to know that emotional/mental self better.

Any truth-seeking individual must get to know the nature of what makes up their material self to derive the wisdom-enriched understanding to make sense of what it is that affects their emotional/mental self to restore its balance and to become free of suffering.


Their physical body is an individual’s only intrinsic connection to the sensual media that broadcasts usable wisdom-deriving knowledge about the transforming nature of this ephemeral reality. A truth seeker needs to gain intrinsic familiarity with the truth ticking away in the passage of time. It’s there for free with no credit-claiming middleman.

Mind into Body Meditation

This reality’s story of transformation is sensually coded from within the flesh of the human body. This medium is a human being’s only sensual pre-intellectual pre-lingual connection available to take intrinsic note of those unalterable principles for deriving the life wisdom to get to “know the emotional/mental self better.”

Anything else would merely be intellectually metered, as referenced above by Lau Tzu.


Siddhartha did. He figured out the process of what needed to be done and was able to leave the logistics of how he did it. His last words instructed his followers to get up off the couch and to go figure out why everything rots (changes).

Siddhartha Vipassana Meditation

He figured out how to self-train having a mind calm enough to focus to find and sustain the mind-body harmony (Theravada meditation) to enter this domain of self-deliberation to inspire the right thinking to realize the insightful “aha” wisdom to become enlightened about these mystical principles ruling impermanence as they radiated from his normal-like-your human body.

He self-trained his enlightened conscious understanding of the life principles that his ignorance of had upset his emotional balance and allowed him the imagined attached clinging that caused his suffering throughout his life.

He self-trained the process of consciously understanding the principles of this reality that control the outcomes of all cause/effect interactions that support this reality’s impermanence. Like with humans today, these are nature’s unalterable unbiased principles that controlled the outcomes of his conditioned intentions underwriting his mental and physical actions that he could control.

His conscious awareness coming from the strain of life wisdom he derived from his acquired self-knowledge brought his conscious understanding of these uncontrollable patterns of principles more into sync with his deeper consciousness that knows the ways of impermanence well enough to heal a cut or remind his heart to beat.

Knowing Your Self

These same internal healing tendencies of the deeper consciousness want just as well to be freed up into the conscious awareness to heal a hurting spirit. The negative physiological effects coming from anger, stress and other negative emotions are unhealthy to the individual which goes against the same innate sense of self-preservation that forms a scab over a cut.

By getting to better understand the nature of the makeup of the material self, a truth seeker develops an enlightened conscious understanding awareness of the nature of their emotional/mental self.

They’ve fixed the skip-in-the-record scratch in their human experience record.

Tao Te Ching

**Peter A. Merel has reviewed several of the most popular modern-day translations and synthesized what appears to be the common meaning shared by the translations of Lau Tzu’s recorded insights into his 1995 interpolation of Tao Te Ching.

This document attempts to draw the texts of several popular English translations of Lao Tzu into a consistent and accessible context. It is based on the translations of Robert G. Henricks, Lin Yutang, D. C. Lau, Ch’u Ta-Kao, Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English, Richard Wilhelm and Aleister Crowley.

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