Nothing is more helpful to reduce pride than the actual experience of self-knowledge. If we are discouraged by it, we have misunderstood its meaning.
- Thomas Keating, American Trappist monk, Founder of the Centering Prayer movement [1923- ]
The essence of knowledge is self-knowledge.
- Plato, Greek philosopher, student of Socrates
[ca. 424 BCE - 347 BCE]
Enquiry into the truth of the Self is knowledge.
- Ramayana, Hindu Epic, Indian classic literature [ca. 5th - 4th century BCE]
When we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.
- Confucius, Chinese Philosopher [551 BCE - 479 BCE]
There are three Things extremely hard, Steel, a Diamond, and to know one’s self.
- Benjamin Franklin, American statesman, politician, printer, scientist, author, etc.
Of all knowledge, the wise and good seek most to know themselves.
- Shakespeare, English playwright, poet [1564-1616]
Note to my Higher Power:
It seems that across the centuries and cultures, there is agreement about the importance of knowing myself. How do I really do that? Even Benjamin Franklin said that it's really hard. I already know that I can be my own best friend and my own worst enemy, well at least my harshest critic. And I do wonder, from time to time, what makes me think about things the way I do, and who and what influences me.
I could start thinking about basic questions such as: What gives me more energy - staying in alone, or being with a crowd? How do I get information that helps with decision making - just by my intuition or by gathering concrete information? And when I am making a decision, do I rely on what "my gut" tells me subjectively, or do I analyze the facts objectively? How much serious organization do I require in my life or am I more likely to "go with the flow"?
Please inspire my willingness to find ways to know more about who I am and to seek helpful advice and companionship in the process. And, please remind me to take a few moments regularly to center myself in You, to breathe slowly in and out, and let myself be known better by me and by You. amen.
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