Know thyself

As the bug continues to bug me, one gets a tad more introspective and thinks about what one is to do with one’s life. Not surprising seeing that the energy that I usually expend during my exercise/training sessions in the evenings is not utilised and that causes the brain to work a little more than normal. The title of this post comes from a legendary inscription found on the Temple of Delphi in Greece and tells us that quite often, we don’t know ourselves well enough to actually know others at all.

How well do we really know ourselves? We know what we look like from what we see in the mirror and we think we know our likes and dislikes along with other little foibles that we notice about ourselves. However, do we really know who we are and what we are? Knowing that one likes to eat chocolate is quite different from knowing the innermost workings of the mind and what one truly wants to do with one’s life. Heavy stuff.

The Greeks felt that because it’s nigh impossible to truly know oneself, it’s thus also impossible to know about things in the world because the former would lead to the latter. I’d beg to differ but they do have a pretty compelling point. We use ourselves as reference points to understand things around us and if we’re not quite so sure about what we are, how on earth are we supposed to figure out what’s going on outside? I think it’s best to pre-empt a full-on philosophical discussion about the self and its relation to the world, but I’ll just say one thing – the world around is often a reflection of what we understand about ourselves.

One big portion of the lifeskills classes that we’ve been doing with the students here is on self-awareness. I often drone on so much about it that I forget about its applicability to myself. Guess that’s one of the occupational hazards – teaching something and forgetting to apply that to myself. I always remind them that being self aware is the first step to being successful both in school and in working life – not realising how true that really is. Philosophers through the ages reminded us of this fact as well – knowledge rests with the individual and how we shape this knowledge into something that makes sense to us determines how much we can know.

I believe I’m rambling now. I shall leave this post hanging just because I can. On a different note, loved this article. Warms the cockles of one’s heart.

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3 Responses to “Know thyself”


  1. 1 HL 24 September 2008 at 12:24 12

    Hope you are feeling better! I have not been visiting here for a while cos of work and children being sick…I can totally understand what you are going through…so take care!!!

  2. 2 feli 28 September 2008 at 8:01 08

    i think i’ll quote you at work with slight amendements ‘i’ll leave this undone just because i can…’ yep. hope you feel better soon yeah? drink mint tea. it cures everything. honest.

  3. 3 gymstan 28 September 2008 at 10:18 10

    Thanks for the kind thoughts. I’ve been dosing myself on Masala Tea – the herbs and spices do help. Stronger than Mint I’ll bet.

    Yup. We do do things because we can no?


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about the brushhead

had a head like a brush (it's more like an egg now). seeks to sweep through thought and faith with that brush. tries to wax philosophical but often forgets to wax off. trying to be good brush to all, while discerning what kind of brush he's meant to be.

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