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Do you know who you are?

(in memory of Rice McLeod)

Rice McLeod was a genius. He took all of the big meaning of life stuff and he boiled it down to one statement, in the form of a question: Do you know who you are? A seemingly simple question on its surface; the more you think about it, the more complex and complicated it becomes. It means so many different things. On its surface, as applied to the republic of Texas and peoples choice of government, it means Are you a Texian, or are you a 14th Amendment US Citizen? But there is more to it. In the simplest terms possible it could also mean Are you free, or are you a slave? The beauty of it is though that it makes you think, perhaps its greatest gift of all. It is couched in such simple words as to be of offense to no one. But its a question that gets into your head, it rolls around in there, and it makes you think of those other questions. If you follow the path of reasoning in your own mind, Are you this or are you that, you eventually find yourself asking really big questions. Like: Do you choose to serve the cause of Life, or do you choose to serve the cause of Death? But perhaps I get too far ahead of myself. Let me back up a step and let me restate what the question is really asking you. It is asking you if you understand the law of identity; Do you understand that something is what it is? A is A, not B, or C, or D. Reason is reason, logic is logic, truth is truth. Let me show you an example by just going ahead and showing you the truth about a statement first made by 17th century French philosopher Rene Descartes. It is known as the philosophical proof of existence. However, it overlooks one thing: How can there be philosophy without existence? Evaluate these two statements and tell me which one you think is true: 1. I think, therefore I am. 2. I am, therefore I think. If you said #1, then I imagine this entire article will probably make little sense to you. If #2 is your answer then you have an awareness that the mind is in the brain, and that it is developed quite a bit before birth, and that it is a serious part of your existence, and without it people wouldnt last long. Did it think its way into being? No. It was created by two independent existing minds deciding to get together and pro-create. Indeed, the unborn baby is identifying what everything around it is; the closer baby gets to entering the world, the more baby responds to mothers voice. It is thinking, but it does not independently exist yet. Sorry Descartes, but I think youre busted.

So what does this have to do with the price of tea in China, you say? Well, it is because we recognize truth sometimes without really being consciously aware of the thinking that goes into it. We feel it. But we can at any time slow down and break up the thinking that goes into our recognition of truth. Because it does not take long to think about the question Do you know who you are? And you come to the point of thinking about your rights. So now the question becomes Do you know what a right is? Do you know where it comes from? What is a right? In most basic terms it can be defined as a certain set of conditions required by mankind for his proper survival. There is a perfectly good argument about rights coming from God, now a days it is probably most heard by judges in a desperate plea to the judges morality to do the right thing instead of continuing the financial defrauding of every poor soul who treads before him. Of course there is the much misconceived idea that you can point to the constitutions, codes, statutes, and regulations that promises you your rights. A promise that is broken more often than not now. A right is a moral concept, and morality is a matter of choice. If a man chooses to live a life on this earth, then it is right for him to use is mind. It is right for him to act on his own independent judgment, and it is right for him to work for his values and for him to keep the product of his work. If man choses a living death on earth, he will not use his mind to think and will appear to be dumbed down, he will fall prey to any petty scheme that requires him to give up his judgment, and he will watch the fruits of his labor fly out the window. Any group, or any gang of jack booted thugs, or any government that tries to negate mans rights is wrong, which is to say evil, which is to choose the opposite of life. Just as a human body cannot exist without a heart to pump the blood, so too, no rights can exist without the ability to translate those rights into a physical reality: to think, to work, and to keep the results. This is the right of property.