Apollo’s Admonition, Watson’s Seeing, and Holmes’ Observation (pt 1)

Sherlock Holmes and James Watson captured the imagination of generations of mystery story readers – including me. I love mysteries. And love solving them. Mystery stories speak to the part of us that wants to know, “What’s going on?” To that question, my life represents the ultimate mystery to be solved. So, I turn to those I view as smarter than me – Holmes and Watson – to help me solve the mystery of my life.

“The game is afoot.”

A great mystery story begins simple – Holmes encounters a potential client who hires him to investigate something. In the process of investigation, Holmes and Watson uncover clues, evaluate evidence, interpret data, make hypotheses, and test theories. In the end, it’s usually Watson who triggers Holmes into making the “aha” that solves the case. Can I use their example to solve the mystery of me?

Let’s Start With Apollo

Inscribed in the forecourt of Apollo’s Temple at Delphi, the ancient Greek aphorism, “Gnothi Seauton” (know thyself), applies to me today. How can I ever expect to know truth until I know myself?!!

Within the sanctuary of Apollo’s Temple, the Oracle would pronounce, foresee, and challenge seekers from all walks of life. Apollo’s admonition was not new to anyone then or now – it is the basic credo of all philosophy and the essence of the Aha Zone.

“When you understand yourself, you’ll understand the laws you’ve subjected yourself to.” (Carol, Perspectrum)

Conversely, when you understand the laws you’ve subjected yourself to, you’ll understand yourself.

About Law

Life is how order emerges from entropy. According to the Second Law of thermodynamics, entropy is always working against order. Wherever order exists, laws define and govern its form and function – structure. Let’s consider four types of law governing each of us within the First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble of awareness.

  1. Universal – the structure of order regulates forces that define Cause and Effect. Universal Law defines WHAT CAN BE as a scope of perceptual limitation within wholeness. WHAT IS represents its current condition as I perceive it. Baseline of self-knowing.
  2. Societal – a system of man-made rules that regulate the actions of its members based on reward and punishment. Laws are about rules concerning mutual interests, agreements and interpretations. Regulation by social acceptance.
  3. Interpersonal – a system of rules for personal relationships – agreement based on emotional connection, mutual interests and approval. Regulation by emotional reward and punishment.
  4. Personal – a system of rules based on personal boundaries, where needs dictate a person’s actions, attitudes and values in relation to and separate from those of others. In this case, law is about personal protection and need satisfaction – regulation by wish and manipulation.

I suffer to the degree I misunderstand, work to impose my personal law on, or disregard other types of law.

How might I use law to fulfill Apollo’s admonition?

When I notice I’m suffering, I can investigate the mystery Holmes-style by recognizing that some aspect of me has misunderstood, imposed its will on, or disregarded law. Another part has come to the Oracle within me to ask for assistance in solving the mystery of me. The game of resistance is afoot.

To “get to the bottom of this,” I first set an intention to know my SELF. I then get quiet and focus inward to ask three questions:

  1. What’s happening in my life right now? (What is afoot?)
  2. How do I feel about that?
  3. Why do I feel that way?

…which help me develop the fourth question that I present when I imagine approaching my inner sanctuary where the Oracle, my law-interpreter, resides:

4. Who am I?

This last question is THE essential question Apollo required of his Delphi temple visitors. All of these questions are about my relationship to my perception of natural and man-made laws. By answering the questions above in their order, I might get a glimpse of the elusive “Self” I’ve heard so much about.

Next time, we’ll look into how Holmes’ observation of Watson may help me fulfill Apollo’s admonition to “know thyself.”

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