Self-knowledge

To understand yourself is to understand the giver of values. Without understanding yourself, there is no renunciation of the world; without self-knowledge there can be only escape, called renunciation, which gives birth to endless problems and miseries.

To comprehend the whole we must first understand ourselves. The root of understanding lies in oneself, and without the understanding of oneself, there is no comprehension of the world; for the world is oneself. The other - the friend, the relation, the enemy, the neighbor, near or far - is yourself. Self-knowledge is the beginning of right thinking, and in the process of self-knowledge, the infinite is discovered.

Without self-knowledge there is no individuality.

A mind that has self-knowledge is learning, whereas a mind that merely applies acquired knowledge to itself and thinks it is self-knowledge is merely accumulating. A mind that accumulates can never learn.

Right thinking alone can bring about right action; self-knowledge yields right thinking.

The first step to self-knowledge is self-distrust. Nor can we attain to any kind of knowledge, except by a like process.

You are surprised at your imperfections, why? I should infer from that, that your self-knowledge is small.

If self-knowledge be a path to virtue, virtue is a much better one to self-knowledge. The more pure the soul becomes, it will, like certain precious stones that are sensible to the contact of poison, shrink from the fetid vapors of evil impressions.

Fear is a question: What are you afraid of and why? Just as the seed of health is in illness, because illness contains information, our fears are a treasure house of self-knowledge if we explore them.

Say, "I do not want any-thing," and be happy. The continuous realization of the futility of wants will eventually lead you to Knowledge. This Self-knowledge will give you the freedom from wants to the road to abiding happiness.

I have met a thousand scamps; but I never met one who considered himself so. Self-knowledge isn't so common.

In a drama of the highest order there is little food for censure or hatred; it teaches rather self-knowledge and self-respect.

The description of the method that gave me what I had been seeking throughout my life – namely, an approach to self-knowledge by which my own life history would be revealed to me – has by now been published in many languages, so that many people have already been able to help themselves by applying it. This self-therapy method, enacted in four steps, is devoted solely to the truth and therefore dispenses with all mystification and ideology.

For what is faith unless it is to believe what you do not see?

Only noise makes mistakes. Silence never makes mistakes.

It is in vain to torment oneself over sufferings that one cannot alleviate.

We saw that there really was no way to overcome the real dilemma of existence, the one of the mortal animal who at the same time is conscious of his mortality. A person spends years coming into his own, developing his talent, his unique gifts, perfecting his discriminations about the world, broadening and sharpening his appetite, learning to bear the disappointments of life, becoming mature, seasoned—finally a unique creature in nature, standing with some dignity and nobility and transcending the animal condition; no longer driven, no longer a complete reflex, not stamped out of any mold. And then the real tragedy, as Andre Malraux wrote in The Human Condition: that it takes sixty years of incredible suffer­ing and effort to make such an individual, and then he is good only for dying. This painful paradox is not lost on the person himself—least of all himself. He feels agonizingly unique, and yet he knows that this doesn't make any difference as far as ultimates are concerned. He has to go the way of the grasshopper, even though it takes longer.

When rogues go in procession the devil carries the cross.