Even a monotonously undeviating path of self-examination does not necessarily lead to a mountain of self-knowledge.
The first step to self-knowledge is self-distrust. Nor can we attain to any kind of knowledge, except by a like process.
If most of us remain ignorant of ourselves, it is because self-knowledge is painful and we prefer the pleasures of illusion.
Self-knowledge leading to self-hatred and humility, is the condition of the love and knowledge of God. Spiritual exercises that make use of distractions have this great merit, that they increase self-knowledge. Every soul that approaches God must be aware of who and what it is. To practice a form of mental or vocal prayer that is, so to speak, above one’s moral station is to act a lie: and the consequences of such lying are wrong notions about God, idolatrous worship of private and unrealistic phantasies and (for lack of the humility of self-knowledge) spiritual pride.
Without self-knowledge there can be no true humility.
Self-knowledge is the primary step in conscious evolutionary change. When people confront and integrate their individual fears and limitations, they facilitate the confrontation and integration of our racial, national, and planetary fears. Lasting social change is only possible when individual consciousness has first been changed.
Self-knowledge brings tranquillity to the mind, and then only can truth come into being. Truth cannot be sought after. Truth is the unknown, and that which you seek is already known. Truth comes into being unsought when the mind is without prejudice, when there is the understanding of the whole process of ourselves.
What is important is to free ourselves from ideas, from nationalism, from all religious beliefs and dogmas, so that we can act, not according to a pattern or an ideology, but as needs demand... It is only when the mind is free of idea and belief that it can act rightly... and freedom from ideas can take place only through self-awareness and self-knowledge.
Man gains freedom only through the use of his highest faculties. Materialism makes him more and more a slave to the forces of the phenomenal world... Our present-day materialism points in this direction - that is, in the direction of the enslavement of man by mechanisation and by its direct results, by state organisations, uniformity, the sacrifice of independent intelligence, the sweeping away of individual differences, local customs, local diversity, and all the infinite branchings of humanity that enrich life... Man is made free by ‘truth’. The truth spoken here is equated with mind. This kind of truth begins with self-knowledge.
We ourselves possess beauty when we are true to our own being; our ugliness is in going over to another order; our self-knowledge, that is to say, is our beauty; in self-ignorance we are ugly.
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 if poison, shrink from the fetid vapors of evil impressions.
Failure changes to success when one acquires self-knowledge.
It is my belief no man ever understands quite his own artful dodges to escape from the grim shadow of self-knowledge.
You are surprised at your imperfections, why? I should infer from that, that your self-knowledge is small.
Self-knowledge is that acquaintance with ourselves which shows us what we are, and what we ought to be, in order to our living comfortably and usefully here, and happily thereafter.
Man only knows that there exists something more in the things than perception gives because this other element lives in his inner being. Thus world knowledge and self-knowledge are inseparable.
The pain that gives us self-knowledge, willingly sought and moved through, is at the heart of repentance of any kind. Pain is… the open space - one meaning of the ancient Hebrew word for salvation - the point of intersection and integration of our selves with one another and all the Creation.
Self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control. These three alone lead life to sovereign power.
Self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control; these three alone lead to sovereign power.
Class is an aura of confidence that is being sure without being cocky. Class has nothing to do with money. Class never runs scared. It is self-discipline and self-knowledge. It's the sure footedness that comes with having proved you can meet life.