I AM ARCHITEKTON
The Architekton: A Time-Tested And Demonstrated Mentality As A Key To Human Advancement
There once began the journey of the single-celled amoeba’s burning desire to depart from the waters of the ocean and walk the soils of the land. From that epic moment forward, mankind has reached for guiding stewardship to and over their individual and collective existence.
It’s in the very cells of our DNA to go beyond what has been known before, and we have always achieved something greater in the having done so.
The Master-Builder Commands Decisive Authority
Millions of years into this journey, there was also once known a select group of individuals positioned in the highest regards of social status. These individuals were known as the Master-Builders; an artisan with the educated talents and supporting mental structures to consciously create physical environments.
These Master-Builders positioned themselves to have total decisive authority over their creations, and in return they persevered all odds of opposition to achieve elevated levels of personal greatness.
Unwavering Personal Responsibility And Accountability
With unwavering personal responsibility and accountability inherent in the fundamental values of the Master-Builder, ancient Greek culture imparted the Master-Builder with the name ảpxitέktwv or architekton, a name from which Roman culture derived the Latin name, architectus. Each of the Greek and Roman names literally translated to ‘Master-Builder’.
Void Of Its Historic Origins Remains A Shadow And Not Reality
Today modern English mutated the definition of architekton and architectus to formulate the word ‘architect’, a position outlined to be the person who designs and supervises construction; supervises, yet rarely is hands-on in the construction. Void of its historical origins, the modern architect and the actual construction process became separated responsibilities, often implemented by two or more individuals, one rarely connected to the other.
1st century BC Roman writer, Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, respected as one of history’s most preeminent architects, penned in his De Architectura about the architectus saying that “His personal service consists in craftsmanship and theory.” And also goes on to warn that the architectus who relies solely on theory and ignores the craftsmanship skill of building with his own hands follows “a shadow and not reality.”
Sustainability, Service, And Beauty As Life Components
Furthermore, Vitruvius establishes a triad of guiding principles of good architecture, which can accurately be translated to also be three guiding principles of living a rewarding life.
First, of the three principles is that architecture shall contain “firmatis,” implied to have solidity and strength, having the components to withstand the tests of time. Otherwise be sustainable to the natural elements of life.
Such sustainability is also accurate thinking for the structural principles of living a quality life.
Second, of the Vitruvius triad of principles is that of “utilitas,” or containing the ability to retain over extended periods its usefulness and service to those which come in contact with that which has been consciously constructed.
Such awareness of interaction is also accurate thinking for the structural principles of living a quality life.
Third, of the Vitruvius triad of principles is that of “venustas,” or beauty and that the architecture's relationship to a standard of aesthetics shall be pleasing to the observer’s visual interpretations.
Such standards of beauty is also accurate thinking for the structural principles of living a quality life.
As we create our lives to the best of our abilities to reflect the beauty inherent in all of us; we construct life experiences in harmony with our true nature.
A Life Of Sustained Power
The biblical story in Matthew 7:24-27 of The Wise Man and the Foolish Man emphasizes the importance of building upon a solid foundation, not upon the shadow:
24“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
And so the story is told …
There were once two men, and each needed to build a house.
The first man was foolish and chose to build on sandy soil
where it was easy to access and easy to dig the foundations.
In a few short weeks, he was almost finished.
The second man was wise, and chose to build his house on a rocky hill,
where it was very hard to access and to dig the foundation.
He spent many months building his house.
As time passed a huge storm broke upon the houses of these men.
After much rain, a flood swept through the valley
and the man's house that was built on the sand was swept away.
But the second man who had built on the rocky hill was safe.
No matter how hard it rained or how fierce the floods were
his house remained solid and immovable.
Let us ask ourselves the question: What is the foundation of our life built upon?
Are we like the foolish man (woman), and are our lives built on sand? Or are we the wise man (woman), for whom first built their house on bedrock
and set in motion a life of sustained power?
In every place among the ancients, the Master-Builder’s life is described as one in which both conscious choice and constructive action reside. With the physical demonstration of such knowledge, we alone make the choice to apply this wisdom to the elevated habits and inspired actions leading us to new heights of personal achievements.
Knowledge Is Conceptual
Wisdom Is The Demonstration Of Knowledge
Within the foundational mentality of the Master-Builder, defined within this story as the courageous individual for whom commands decisive authority of and over the thoughts, inspired actions and subsequent creations of their life, there exists the following attributes:
- To humbly rise above the status quo of social norms and assume 100% responsibility for the stewardship of their personal life and all the contained creations along the path.
- Responsibility for demonstrating expert craftsmanship in the conscious building of their lives; knowledge about beauty gained from actual experience, leadership, organization, supervision, financial accountability, and artistic discernment.
- The knowledge that there exists an inclusive, not exclusive, nature to all creation. Nothing exists separate from the whole.
When considering these things, one is able to see why this highly trained individual, the Master-Builder, was so favorably respected in ancient society. They differ greatly from today’s stewards, in breadth, scope, and depth of personal responsibilities over their created lives.
For thousands of years, the ancient Master-Builder held influence as the distinguished skilled individual responsible for the built environments for which surrounded them.
Architecture Reflects The Path Of Man
But this status began to erode in the Renaissance period, when acclaimed artists such as Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, having categorically little comprehension of the building arts, started taking on architectural commissions and fragmenting the individual components of responsiblity.
Thus began a movement in a series of events spanning over a four-hundred-year time period, which eventually culminated in the astonishing disappearance of the Master-Builder in the 20th century. This disappearance was especially brought on by the emergence in 19th century England of two very influential figures: a new kind of businessman known as "the general contractor" and a man named Sir John Soane, father of the modern architecture profession, who condescendingly insisted that the architect completely separate himself from the building activity.
Mankind Believes They Are Separate From Their Creations
To great harm of a responsible society, by the 1900s the ancient Master-Builder was nearly lost in the yellowing pages of history. To replace the Master-Builder was fabricated two inventions of the modern age: 1) the architect; responsible for design only, but having no authentic experience about how a building is really built; and 2) the general contractor; responsible for construction only, but having no genuine knowledge about the necessary design aesthetics required for quality and beauty.
For thousands of years prior to this, design and construction were understood as united in one and the same person and work. But the architect-contractor system did away with all of this, ushering into society a host of problems.
Conditions today that may be witnessed in the common man for whom believe they are separate from their creations, and not a part of the creation and building process reflected as their lives.
We Are Both Architect And Builder
The predicament of the modern man is this: when life building skills do not reside in the creator, then one's outcomes tend to descend to the level of mere vain, unrealistic, and completely unresponsive to the real needs of people's lives. We become the anonymous casualty to what Vitruvius warned against by becoming a follower of "a shadow and not reality."
Dwelling In The Shadows Of Success Is Not Success
Today the things we strive for as the prize of the victor have come to be the definition know as modern man, or modern life. Representing a meaningless, unsustainable and many times even immoral preoccupation with a world of pretense and appearance. These outcomes bring a false and illusionary sense of happiness; yet continues, year after year, as we each attempt to impress one another, and ourselves, with new definitions and distractions that only live within the shadows of success, but know nothing of true success.
Throughout History We Have Falsely Redefined Meaning
There was once a simple meaning that constitutes the definition of a life well lived. It is based in unconditional love and respect for all living beings. Throughout the course of our human journey, we have misplaced this meaning and have attempted to construct our lives in some form of resemblance to this foundational truth.
Attributed to a variety of originating sources, one reminder of this forgotten meaning may have been adopted from Ancient Egypt and the ancient Luxor Temple, an adaptation aligning with the story herein of "I Am Architekton."
Contained within the External Temple at Luxor, where the individual was only allowed entrance after proven worthy and ready to acquire additional knowledge and insights, was found the ancient proverb, “The body is the house of God.” Going further into the Internal Temple, one of many proverbs stated, “Man (woman), know thyself, and you are going to know the gods.”
A key to the living a life well lived, is the self-awareness and observation of the external temple in harmonic relationship to the internal temple. This translates to the understanding of living a balanced expression between the outer game of materialism and the inner game of self.
For the adaptations to our story herein, we expand the wisdom of the ancients from To Know Thyself, to To Be Thyself. Arcing the bridge between ‘knowing’ or that of having knowledge, to ‘being’ or that of physical demonstration.
We Resist The Reflection Witnessed Within The Mirror
Yet by our own choosing we unconsciously refuse to look into our own reflection for this forgotten value, and even have the overconfidence of our egos to justify our exceedingly synthetic existence. We claim through inaccurate metrics that the modern man requires something additional to enhance increased meaning to our lives, by virtue that we are lacking in some form.
Mankind has become detached from the self-responsibility of the co-creation process of their lives. In divergence from the skills of the Master-Builder, many have fallen off course, now grasping at distracting forms to catch any possible resemblance to live a life of fulfillment. Yet failure is but guaranteed without first defining a sustainable foundation of accurate thought.
Forgotten Purpose Breeds Discontentment
Within the forgotten mind detached of the powerful beliefs once demonstrated by the ancient Master-Builder, and now replaced by the discontenting pursuit of a materialistic-only itinerary, the modern individual is primarily dependent upon outside stimuli to achieve a satisfying life. An existence that excludes the foundational components of health, prosperity, and genuine peace of mind.
During the ancient times of the Master-Builder, this individual persevered to master necessary skills and yielded the tools to emerge as the expert craftsman of and over their lives. Subsequently, all they consciously chose to create through their inspired endeavors would be accomplished through the best of their abilities and to the best of their known knowledge.
Life was embraced as a never-ending mysterious work of individualized artistic expressions, as the Master-Builder contained the wisdom that they were not separate, but an intricate and valuable part of the interconnected whole of humanity. All they experienced through life, was simply an outer reflection of the inner beliefs for which they held as a powerful truth.
Remaining Is The Shadow Of Reality
Increasingly these skills and tools have been lost in the winds of time. Remaining is a shadow of reality all consumed through means of fear, dishonesty, criticism, poor workmanship, victimhood, blame, distractions, inaccurate thought, and increasing scarcity, to name only a few of the struggles experienced when off-course for the values and wisdom of the ancient Master-Builder.
Thus life demonstrations have produced the current state of affairs that have constructed unsustainable life structures arising from a weakened foundation, one built on the shifting of the unstable sands, instead of the stability of solid bedrock known by the Master-Builder.
The Biggest Question
The moment has indeed dawned as to ask the single question that has plagued humanities journey: who am I?
What percentages of individuals over the course of human evolution have mastered the wisdom to embody and demonstrate the answer? Who has walked amongst mankind from the times of the first single-celled amoeba’s desire to walk, can you recall have found the answer to the question?
Out of the countless billions of souls that have graced the physical world, the answer is clear: very few.
Yet prior to modern times, and stretching back through the ticking hands of times to the period of the ancient Master-Builder, one might recall the names plentiful of those defined as masters of their trades.
All Is Lost To The Pessimistic Mind
To the mind of the pessimistic, it would be concluded that the Master-Builder is but a lost and forgotten mentality of the ancient world. A possible myth, and one that never even existed. A creation whose mystical legend has been twisted away by the darkened desperate cries of the wandering soul.
From this perspective, all is indeed lost.
It Is Only The Beginning To The Optimistic Mind
Yet, from within the heart of the optimistic, it is concluded that we are only just beginning and that the mentality of the ancient Master-Builder is offered as a realistic example. An echoing call from our ancestors to be the greatest versions of ourselves as we create our life into being. To truly know thyself, is to humbly be thyself. This higher perspective is only seen from the heights of greatness found within our true nature.
The Master-Builder is favorably seen as an opportunity to be another way, to live another way. To create another life for ourselves through the examples of history’s Master-Builders, is but a platform for us to build upon. As we consciously chose to become even greater than what was once known as the ancient Master-Builder, we by creed of natures force become the living expression of the modern Master-Builder.
The Architekton: A Mentality Tried And Perfected For Thousands Of Years
We are the modern Master-Builders. We are the Creatives who command decisive authority of and over the experiences of our lives. We are guided by the metric of accepting full responsibility for the co-creation of our individual and collective stories.
From here forward, there is nothing to change, only something to create.
And so if we knew our success existed, a single question remains; who are we willing to create into being in order to live an extraordinarily creative life?