Our culture, society, administration, political system, infra-
structure, laws, processes, properties, possessions, and even
money are just a framework. They are the setting, the means
for the essence. These things change and evolve over time.
Technology develops and we gain more knowledge and
understanding, which is reflected in the world around us. Our
collective knowledge changes through the decades and cen-
turies. We call this development.
Still, a framework is not the essence. It only provides the
raw material and the tools for the real action. It is easy to get
confused with means and objectives along the road. The
framework is not important even though it surrounds us. We
need it but we should not get carried away by it.
The framework does not define who we are—it can only
state what we have. Our real reference frame is not vis-à-vis
the framework but relates to other living beings. How we
treat others describes who we are. We cannot live in isolation
and solely with the framework, we need the real point of ref-
erence that defines us. The essential things are universal and
eternal. They are not dependent on the development of the
framework or any particular condition or point in time in the
framework. Throughout the centuries, the writings and
advice about personal ethics and integrity have stayed the
same in essence. They describe the issues about how to live
together and in relation to other living things—despite the
Our surroundings enable us to declare who we are. The
framework sets us into different situations and positions.
Sometimes life is hard and at other moments it is something
else. The essence is that no matter the circumstances, we
should still be the same—the person we declare ourself to be.
Because how can we say we are one way when the circum-
stances are in our favor and yet appear as something else when
they are no longer ideal? We should be able to be who we are
in all cases and at all times—no matter what happens. We
should be like the rock-solid ground that stays put in a storm
as well as in the sunshine and on a beautiful summer day. The
framework makes it possible for us to define and declare who
we are—despite what we have or how we are.
Our challenge is to concentrate on the essence and use the
framework as our means to declare who we are. We do this by
living in the framework and for every moment, stating by our
actions our real nature. The way we treat all other people, who
are facing different circumstances and situations than us, is
the real test onto which we should focus our energies, 24/7.
So, who you are (in relation to other people) and on which
issues have you been focusing today?
This is the original text, and an edited version can be found in the Fragments of Reality -book.