The first reason for man’s inner slavery is his ignorance, and above all, his ignorance of himself. Without self-knowledge, without understanding the working and functions of his machine, man cannot be free, he cannot govern himself and he will always remain a slave, and the plaything of the forces acting upon him. This is why in all ancient teaching the first demand at the beginning of the way to liberation was: Know Thyself. –George Gurdjieff


An old friend of my father once reasoned with me, “Ng kired el ‘l olsisechakl er a rengalk, leng diak le metitur. Ngdiak lodengei.”

Palauans are just as any other human beings destined for the blessings of progeny and land possessions. I simply knew where I lived, who my parents and siblings were. My mother said,”Kede chebuul meng mo meduch a rengum”. I never thought about money growing up. I knew we weren’t rich but I never felt like we were missing anything. My father said, “Tial btelum a ududem me ko mekeroul er ngii.” Two values in life I’ve carried throughout my life: work ethics and a sound mind. They didn’t become part of who I am just from hearing. Actually I began to think about them when I found myself in a crisis. It is true that moments of clarity of who we truly are often result from crises, such as illness or loss, that awaken us to what is truly valuable.

Reasoning is sound thinking; it accounts for our understanding of life and our progress in it. Through reasoning, we can discover more about the world and about ourselves and participate in life in endless ways. With the potential depth of our ability to understand (to empathize), we are designed to explore, engage the world, and find solutions to our problems.

Reason is the capacity for consciously making sense of things, for establishing and verifying facts, and changing or justifying practices, institutions, and beliefs based on new or existing information. It is closely associated with such characteristically human activities as our belief system, science, language, mathematics, and art, and is normally considered to be one of definitive attributes of our beings. The concept of reason is sometimes referred to as rationality and sometimes as indirect reason, in opposition to spontaneous reason.

Reason or “reasoning” is associated with thinking, knowledge, and intellect. Reason, like habit or intuition, is one of the ways by which thinking comes from one idea to a related idea. It is the means by which rational beings understand themselves to think about cause and effect, truth and falsehood, and what is good or bad. For example, I chose to believe in Christ at age 41 by reasoning: If I close my eyes and there’s no heaven or hell, I have nothing to lose. But if I close my eyes and there is heaven and hell, I win. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear (cowardice), but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Thus if there is no God I can still choose not to be afraid, knowing I have the power to think and choose, to work hard and develop a sound mind. [/restrict]