By Isaac Evenson
I got to talking with a friend the other day who is going through a period of self evolution, like myself. He was describing his frustration because it feels like he has boundless energy to create, but can’t find a productive outlet for it all. He told me that he has so much energy he “feels like he wants to build gigantic pyramids”. Then, while thinking about that, it struck me, how weak the idea of monuments really is. Rulers throughout time (including the Egyptian Pharaohs) have enslaved thousands upon thousands of workers and forced them to create gigantic stone monuments in memorial of their lives. Take a step back and think about that… they are using forced labor of others to create something that is supposed to signify their greatness, instead of using their supposed greatness to create something themselves. Well, of course a lone man couldn’t have built the Pyramids of Giza by himself, to prove his mettle, but then again, maybe he wouldn’t have to. I told my friend “You are the Pyramid, build yourself”.
The same idea that the Pharaohs implemented (creating something grand to prove yourself) can be used in our own lives, on an individual basis, to help us become better human beings. In fact, the pyramid itself is a perfect symbol to demonstrate it. When I think about my life, as a creative person I have many interests. I love photography, painting, writing, music, philosophy, staying physically active, being close to nature, etc. The problem with that is, it never seems like I have enough time to achieve things in all of the fields I am interested in, let alone have time for my responsibilities of trying to support myself, doing well in college and being there for the people I care about. I will pick one up, dive headfirst into it for awhile and then move on to the next. This creates a lack of continuity in my life. Using the pyramid of self evolution though, we can simply look at these separate, individual aspects of our lives as the large stone blocks at the very bottom. They are distinct and can exist in their state individually of the other blocks, but when laid in the square shape at the base of the pyramid, they create the foundation of what makes you, you.
Now, think about the next layer of blocks that is laid when building a pyramid. Their elevation is contingent upon the blocks beneath them, and they are laid at a point where two of the blocks from the lower foundation meet, to create structural integrity. This is an important step in our self evolution model as well. When we find ways to bridge our passions and interests in life, it creates a personal continuity, and gives more importance and integrity to those initial founding blocks. For example, I love writing, I love music, and I very much love hiking, especially on wooded paths. When coming up with an idea for a new musical project, I wanted to make the themes personal and important to me. So when I started writing lyrics for a song, I began going on even longer, extensive walks in the woods at night and in doing so, the inspiration began to flow and the songs now have nature based themes. So, in that, I combined my love of writing when creating the lyrics, my love of music when writing the instrumentation for the project and my love of nature, which I turned to for inspiration. I laid the second layer of bricks down in the pyramid of self evolution.
When you have laid that series of bricks that comprised the second layer, the next step is to learn to somehow bridge the division between them and lay another layer and create further continuity in your life. For many, this level is when they find out how to bridge the “interests” portion of their life to the “career” portion of their lives. For example, if someone was very interested in health and wellness, as well as spiritual practice, and also needed to find a career path for themselves, perhaps they could become a Yoga instructor. It combines the health benefits of the practice of Yoga and the spiritual benefits it has given people for thousands of years with a career, to support yourself and meet your responsibilities as an individual.
This process continues on and on, bridging more and more parts of your life, creating more and more individual continuity until you are able to feel satisfied as an individual. When you can feel that you have all aspects of your life in order (a lofty goal, I’ll admit, but not an impossible one), passions, financial responsibilities, spiritual health, socialization, etc., then you have reached the top of the pyramid. The top stone is your true self that you have reached by building yourself, brick by brick, into a strong, happy and content person. You have built a pyramid, but instead of forcing others to build one to prove how powerful you are (like the Pharaoh’s of Egypt did), you have built one yourself, out of yourself, to become the best person you could be. A much nobler goal, that’s much more worth remembering.