Know Thyself?

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kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 29 Aug, 2009 02:51 pm
@Twistedgypsychil,
Twistedgypsychil;86669 wrote:
Know Thyself

It is said that Socrates once visited the oracle of Delphi, where he was told the most important task in his life was to know his real self. To know the real self is perhaps the ultimate goal of philosophy. If we don't know who we are, how can we solve the mysteries of life and help other people?For Socrates knowing thyself was more than a mere intellectual quest. It was an idea that shaped his life and inner attitude. He was never satisfied with accepting outer appearances and conventional wisdom, but always strove for a deeper understanding of his real Self.Above all, Socrates taught us not accept our existing thoughts as true. Step back and reevaluate the truth and veracity of your opinions and beliefs. Seek to know your real self and seek truth. It is a lofty philosophy, but one that has retained an enduring appeal and fascination through the ages.Tejvan Pettinger is a member of the Sri Chinmoy Meditation Centre. He lives in Oxford where he works as a teacher. He also offers mediation classes as a community service and updates a blog at Sri Chinmoy Inspiration a collection of articles on meditation and self improvement.


Read More Here: Philosophy of Socrates - PickTheBrain | Motivation and Self Improvement

---------- Post added 08-29-2009 at 03:44 PM ----------

- Socrates' guiding rule was, "Know Thyself." These words are of eternal significance. No better advice has ever been give to man or woman. When one begins to explore this dictate it leads to profound understandings about all of creation. It makes unhappiness, fear, sadness, doubt, and all the negative emotions meaningless.

Read More Here:
Know Thyself


Where or when did Socrates say, "know thyself"? Have you any citation for that? The words, "Know thyself" (in Greek) were inscribed on the portico of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. They were there long before Socrates was even born.
 
Twistedgypsychil
 
Reply Sat 29 Aug, 2009 03:06 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;86674 wrote:
Where or when did Socrates say, "know thyself"? Have you any citation for that? The words, "Know thyself" (in Greek) were inscribed on the portico of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. They were there long before Socrates was even born.


He did not coin the term, "Gnothi Seauton", however he used it in his teachings. I will have to look for a quote from him, but his general idea was to get to know the self.

Jamie
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 29 Aug, 2009 03:08 pm
@Twistedgypsychil,
Twistedgypsychil;86682 wrote:
He did not coin the term, "Gnothi Seauton", however he used it in his teachings. I will have to look for a quote from him, but his general idea was to get to know the self.

Jamie


He did not coin it, and, so far as I know, he never said it.
 
Twistedgypsychil
 
Reply Sat 29 Aug, 2009 03:31 pm
@richrf,
Moshe Feldenkrais knew that moment of impasse. He knew how to set it up. And he gloried in its ramifications. More than once Feldenkrais echoed Socrates', "Know thyself." It wasn't through the mere mouthing of words that Feldenkrais linked himself to the founder of Western thought. It was how that impasse could be made to appear, how one acted in the face of it and what one learned from it that made Feldenkrais's connection to the Greek philosopher an intimate one. The peculiar emergence of an impasse, that loss of way, within the field of a lesson is not incidental to a lesson's construct. The Socratic method and Socratic dialogue at the beginning of Western thought utilized their particular approach to answering the need of how to 'Know Thyself.'

aporia or awareness of an impasse in thought: subjectively, a bewilderment or puzzlement." [1]


In other words, Socrates wasn't arguing to either refute a position or clarify an alternative position. He wanted to negate the holding of positions. He wanted the person to realize that the holding of contradictory positions was based upon no more certainty than the ignorance of those contradictions. So to speak, the certainty of the conflict is taken as a surrogate for the certainty which comes through self understanding.


Read More Here: SemioPhysics Articles - KNOW THYSELF: The Risk of Serious Inquiry

I cannot find it in any of his dialogues, however, he must have said it if numerous people have quoted him saying it dealing with philosophy. I have scanned numerous articles in my college archive of peer reviewd articles and scholoarly publications and there are various quotes of socrates saying "know thyself".

Jamie
 
mister kitten
 
Reply Sat 29 Aug, 2009 03:52 pm
@richrf,
richrf;80381 wrote:
But how does one increase awareness of oneself?

I meditate, pray (although very rarely), and keep a journal. The regular practice of these things help me understand myself. Meditation helps me reflect on what I'm doing and where I'm going in life. Prayer helps me learn my wishes, for others and myself. Keeping a journal is a great way to reflect, and to see how and who I was in the past and how and who I am today.

That's what works for me. Hope this helped. Smile
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 29 Aug, 2009 04:51 pm
@Twistedgypsychil,
Twistedgypsychil;86691 wrote:
Moshe Feldenkrais knew that moment of impasse. He knew how to set it up. And he gloried in its ramifications. More than once Feldenkrais echoed Socrates', "Know thyself." It wasn't through the mere mouthing of words that Feldenkrais linked himself to the founder of Western thought. It was how that impasse could be made to appear, how one acted in the face of it and what one learned from it that made Feldenkrais's connection to the Greek philosopher an intimate one. The peculiar emergence of an impasse, that loss of way, within the field of a lesson is not incidental to a lesson's construct. The Socratic method and Socratic dialogue at the beginning of Western thought utilized their particular approach to answering the need of how to 'Know Thyself.'

aporia or awareness of an impasse in thought: subjectively, a bewilderment or puzzlement." [1]


In other words, Socrates wasn't arguing to either refute a position or clarify an alternative position. He wanted to negate the holding of positions. He wanted the person to realize that the holding of contradictory positions was based upon no more certainty than the ignorance of those contradictions. So to speak, the certainty of the conflict is taken as a surrogate for the certainty which comes through self understanding.


Read More Here: SemioPhysics Articles - KNOW THYSELF: The Risk of Serious Inquiry

I cannot find it in any of his dialogues, however, he must have said it if numerous people have quoted him saying it dealing with philosophy. I have scanned numerous articles in my college archive of peer reviewd articles and scholoarly publications and there are various quotes of socrates saying "know thyself".

Jamie


There are? If they say it, they are wrong. But who says it? Any names?
 
Twistedgypsychil
 
Reply Sat 29 Aug, 2009 08:24 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;86710 wrote:
There are? If they say it, they are wrong. But who says it? Any names?


After a search I came up with Plato's Republic where he quotes Socrates saying "Know thyself" and continues on with Socrates' general idea of knowing thyself.

Hereupon Socrates exclaimed: "Tell me, Euthydemus, have you ever been to Delphi?"
"Yes, certainly; twice."
"Then did you notice somewhere on the temple the inscription 'Know Thyself'?"
"I did."
"And did you pay no heed to the inscription, or did you attend to it and try to consider who you were?"
"Indeed I did not; because I felt sure that I knew that already; for I could hardly know anything else if I did not even know myself."
[25] "And what do you suppose a man must know to know himself, his own name merely? Or must he consider what sort of creature he is ..." (Tr. E. C. Marchant)


If you goto socratean quote pages, It lists socrates as saying "know thyself".

Jamie
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 29 Aug, 2009 11:08 pm
@Twistedgypsychil,
Twistedgypsychil;86784 wrote:
After a search I came up with Plato's Republic where he quotes Socrates saying "Know thyself" and continues on with Socrates' general idea of knowing thyself.

Hereupon Socrates exclaimed: "Tell me, Euthydemus, have you ever been to Delphi?"
"Yes, certainly; twice."
"Then did you notice somewhere on the temple the inscription 'Know Thyself'?"
"I did."
"And did you pay no heed to the inscription, or did you attend to it and try to consider who you were?"
"Indeed I did not; because I felt sure that I knew that already; for I could hardly know anything else if I did not even know myself."
[25] "And what do you suppose a man must know to know himself, his own name merely? Or must he consider what sort of creature he is ..." (Tr. E. C. Marchant)


If you goto socratean quote pages, It lists socrates as saying "know thyself".

Jamie


Socrates was quoting the inscription on the portico of the Temple. But that is interesting. Thanks.
 
Pathfinder
 
Reply Sun 30 Aug, 2009 05:29 am
@richrf,
i believe that knowing oneself and nurturing and enhancing your character is the ultimate goal of life and that it is an integral part of the evolution of the human race as a species. In this creation we are unique in that ability.
 
Paracelsus
 
Reply Mon 31 Aug, 2009 04:20 am
@Pathfinder,
Know Thyself. The prime directive of philosophy: in understanding the life one leads one can then plumb the depths of the human condition.

Life can be improved and developed.Being reflexive and examining the motivation behind ones actions. To comprehend why I do what I do. I came across a quote the other night 'the mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be ignited.' And by bringing light to one's life you can open up consciousness to explored examined and speculated upon.
 
gaz7224
 
Reply Mon 31 Aug, 2009 07:55 am
@richrf,
Quote:
Is knowing yourself worthwhile? Why or why not? Do you try to know yourself? How do you inquire? What have you learned? Has it changed as you grew older?


I feel it is. It allows you to re-integrate energy, rather than project it onto other people. It allows you to be more in control of your emotions, rather that letting others push your buttons and control how you feel. You become aware of your inner gold, as well as your shadow side. You see others for who they are, instead of seeing yourself superimposed on them.

The most effective method is acknowledging how you feel about others - what about them do you admire and what is it about them that irritates you? Dreams are also insightful if you understand how to interpret them. Arguments are helpful too as we are usually arguing with our shadow self when we argue with others. It's good to argue both sides as this can be insightful and gives the shadow an opportunity to express itself.

Question one's beliefs. Are they just ego beliefs? Who we think we are may not be who we truly are. The ego is small and short sighted - it cannot comprehend our Trueself and all of its many facets.

Knowing Thyself is a hard, never-ending journey, but IMO a worthwhile journey.

Gaz
 
Pathfinder
 
Reply Mon 31 Aug, 2009 08:00 am
@richrf,
Does knowing thyself simply mean becoming aware of what and who you are, or does it imply an obligation to actually make an effort to become who and what you are?

What if a person gets to know their self and discovers darkness and cruelty there.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Mon 31 Aug, 2009 08:25 am
@Pathfinder,
Pathfinder;87104 wrote:
Does knowing thyself simply mean becoming aware of what and who you are, or does it imply an obligation to actually make an effort to become who and what you are?

What if a person gets to know their self and discovers darkness and cruelty there.


Nice prods,

I'd say that becoming aware is a graduating level of knowledge and understanding - that awareness itself. No, I don't think the awareness itself implies any obligation per say - though depending on one's ethics and moral standards, such a thing could likely follow (as in the example of your 2nd question).

Thanks
 
richrf
 
Reply Mon 31 Aug, 2009 08:28 am
@Pathfinder,
Pathfinder;87104 wrote:
What if a person gets to know their self and discovers darkness and cruelty there.


I believe that we all have opposites within us. They manifest together. I also believe that the extreme of one will manifest in the extreme of the other - like a pendulum. So, I try to be aware of those things that I may be extreme about and try to moderate them. I try not to want or desire too much of anything by simply being aware of it. But even this notion I am aware of. Being aware seems to moderate.

Rich
 
Pathfinder
 
Reply Mon 31 Aug, 2009 09:41 am
@richrf,
richrf;87112 wrote:
I believe that we all have opposites within us. They manifest together. I also believe that the extreme of one will manifest in the extreme of the other - like a pendulum. So, I try to be aware of those things that I may be extreme about and try to moderate them. I try not to want or desire too much of anything by simply being aware of it. But even this notion I am aware of. Being aware seems to moderate.

Rich


I agree with the notion that we all have both light and darkness within us but I don't agree with the extremity views.

I see the extremes as the exact opposites of each other instead of a blend. I sort of take the stand that there is a middle blend of the two and it is up to us which direction that pendulum tends to swing from there. And I do think that it matters which way we strive to make it swing.

It is the xtremes of either that create more imbalance, and although I would say that there should be more of a swing toward the light, that also does not tend toward a good balance either. So I am not sure how the balancing act plays into this scenario.

What I do know is that extreme darkness is not a good environment or state for the human soul or the human species.
 
richrf
 
Reply Mon 31 Aug, 2009 10:19 am
@Pathfinder,
Pathfinder;87119 wrote:
I agree with the notion that we all have both light and darkness within us but I don't agree with the extremity views.

I see the extremes as the exact opposites of each other instead of a blend. I sort of take the stand that there is a middle blend of the two and it is up to us which direction that pendulum tends to swing from there. And I do think that it matters which way we strive to make it swing.

It is the xtremes of either that create more imbalance, and although I would say that there should be more of a swing toward the light, that also does not tend toward a good balance either. So I am not sure how the balancing act plays into this scenario.

What I do know is that extreme darkness is not a good environment or state for the human soul or the human species.


As you know, I take more of a Daoist view that everything naturally balances each other out. So more of one side creates more of the other. This is symbolized by the natural balance of the Taiji symbol. Pouring in one will pour more into the other.

http://deepesthealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/sun_tai_ji_yin_yang1.gif
 
Pathfinder
 
Reply Mon 31 Aug, 2009 11:15 am
@richrf,
yeah I am more in line with that portrayal than the swinging pendulum.
 
richrf
 
Reply Mon 31 Aug, 2009 11:27 am
@Pathfinder,
Pathfinder;87144 wrote:
yeah I am more in line with that portrayal than the swinging pendulum.


A pendulum does carve out a very nice spiral in 3D.

Pendulum Photography


http://bulbphotography.com/_images/usuff/pendulum-image1.jpg

It is very nice, how everything fits together.

Rich
 
Subjectivity9
 
Reply Tue 15 Sep, 2009 12:03 pm
@gaz7224,
I may be coming at the idea of "Know Thyself" from another angle than many of the others speaking to this here, more of a metaphysical angle if you will.

In my way of seeing this we have two selves, one being the finite self that changes and adapts constantly over time, or the ego self, and another more constant or infinite Self that never changes or is not becoming.

Subjectivity9
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 15 Sep, 2009 01:23 pm
@Subjectivity9,
Subjectivity9;90361 wrote:
I may be coming at the idea of "Know Thyself" from another angle than many of the others speaking to this here, more of a metaphysical angle if you will.

In my way of seeing this we have two selves, one being the finite self that changes and adapts constantly over time, or the ego self, and another more constant or infinite Self that never changes or is not becoming.

Subjectivity9


Could be. For all anyone knows. But have you any reasons for thinking this? It seem clear that I am the same person I was yesterday, and 20 years ago, but, of course, there have been changes. After all, a leaf is the same leaf it was ten days ago, only, it has changed color. Things remain the same object, even when they change. It is not for philosophy to deny it. Rather, philosophy should try to explain it.
 
 

 
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