Someone once said "Know Thyself". Is This Important: What Does it Mean

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  1. AdsenseStrategies profile image63
    AdsenseStrategiesposted 13 years ago

    Not sure, possibly Aristotle.

    Is it the cornerstone to all other knowledge, or are there other aspects of knowing about the world that are more important.

    Can you really be said to be in control of yourself if you do not understand yourself.

    1. profile image0
      cosetteposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      smilesmile you're so introspective today. and a little sad ;_;

      i know myself really well. scarily well, actually.

      1. AdsenseStrategies profile image63
        AdsenseStrategiesposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Actually I am not really sad, today. Well a little sad that my Internet connection is so damn slow at the moment sad . I've been clearing away some stuff from my brain, and it's left room for questions that were sitting there, waiting to be kicked into action again... if you happen to be back online later, feel free to come on back to this, or any of the other threads I started today... I seemed to have started more than usual for me, for some reason, today.......

      2. Messenger_of_god8 profile image61
        Messenger_of_god8posted 13 years agoin reply to this

        i know myself but it is hard to control my weaknesses even when i know i can prevent something from happening it all depends on my emotions and how much i care in the moment.

    2. profile image0
      Millionheirposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      ABSOLUTELY NOT! If you don't know what you stand for you will fall for my experiences this certainly was true!

      1. Shahid Bukhari profile image60
        Shahid Bukhariposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        A lot has already been said, preceding this Saying, some correctly, some incorrectly.


        To Know, one's self, means, the knowing of ones True Identity.
        And True Identity means, the Distinct Fact of Being one, that one claims, to be.
        And to Claim, means, to State, as, the Fact of Reality.

        But. It is next to "Impossible" to know, who we are, by means; of the Rational, or the Empirical, or the Philosophical.

        Humans can only Know who they are, In, The Creator's Stated Fact, Defining, Human Creation, hence, Existence, within the Noble 'Purpose' of our Being ... Stipulated, in Al Quran, Governing, Islamic Belief.

        The Physiologist, the Psychologist, the Nuclear Physicist, the Historian, the Dramatist, the King, the Slave, the Men, the Women, the Transvestites, the Gays, the Lesbians.

        And, the Chemist, the Botanist, the Genius, the Idiot, the Mythologist, the Realist, The Fanatic, the Extremist, the Racist ... the This, and, the That, etc. etc. ...

        All have their own Definitives, and Concepts, of what they "Think" we are, but such Thinking, is not the Truth, defining, our Existential Reality.

        Because. The Lord Creator, Hath Created Humans, in the Best, of Symmetries ... The Humen; meaning us, In, The Creator's Ordination, are, the Noblest, of His Creations.

        Is it not enough, to Believe, in the Fact of Reality, that Nothing can Exist, Beyond the Human Mind, and Experiential ?

        Is it not enough, to Know, that, the Totality ... Universe, only Exists, in the Human Awareness of its Being ?

        Is it not enough, to Understand, that it is only us humans, who have been Granted, the Ability to Speak ... and our Conveying by Writing ... Coherently ?

        Is it not enough, to Believe, that it is us humans, who are Required, to Believe ... and that we do Believe ?

        Is it not enough, to Believe, that The Lord hath granted us the Knowledge of the Totality ?

        Those who are to Believe, shall Believe, upon Knowing this far of their True Identity ...

        1. spiderspun profile image61
          spiderspunposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          It means to know that you are created by God and will learn about true the creation. As You explore you will learn happiness and be able to release negative feelings. It will lead to self love and control. Once this has been realized you will see the good in others and the things around you.

          I like to look a things positively, even bad things. No matter how bad something is, if you know that you will never be delt things you can not handle you will be able to work through the smaall and large stresses in life.
          Look back at how you delt with your last stressful event and how it was worked out. Then look at that same situation and think if it changed someone for the good or a valuable lesson was learned from it. This helps you know yourself and how to cope. The more good you can seein life situations the less negative you will carry on your shoulders


    3. vox vocis profile image81
      vox vocisposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      ''Know thyself'' is an ancient Greek aphorism inscribed in the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi according to Pausanias (Greek writer). The aphorism was attributed to: Chilon of Sparta, Heraclitus, Pythagoras, Socrates, Solon of Athens, Thales of Miletus,, the authorship is uncertain.
      The meaning, I guess, is get to know yourself - if you don't know yourself and you are unpredictable to yourself, you are an enemy to yourself! Knowing yourself you'll be able to know everybody and everything else!

      1. Jewels profile image83
        Jewelsposted 13 years agoin reply to this


    4. LeslieAdrienne profile image72
      LeslieAdrienneposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      to know yourself means to tell the truth about yourself to yourself....

      You know that you are jealous, but you try and hide it so you can deceive yourself into thinking that "it is the other person".   Stop lying and get free....

      Most people won't tell the truth about themselves because they don't want to see the ugly and they think there is no way to escape that, they lie and get mad if others don't agree with them in that lie.....

      You can never be more than just a bunch of descriptive words if you never tell the truth about yourself..... wink

      1. Seafarer Mama profile image80
        Seafarer Mamaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I tend to agree with you the most, LeslieAdrienne.

        Knowing oneself has so much to do with being able to see yourself clearly, and accept yourself. It also means listening to your own connection to the wisdom of the universe, and to weigh that against what you hear.

        There is a saying I have heard; "Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see." Appearances can be deceiving. Keeping close to one's center, and thinking with reason, instead of listening to what everyone else is saying or advising, will help us know ourselves and "do the right thing," the wisest thing,  which may not be the most popular thing.

        Knowing yourself helps you live a life of integrity.

  2. Shadesbreath profile image77
    Shadesbreathposted 13 years ago

    If you know yourself, you can understand your drives and motivations, which allows you to evaluate your decisions both in advance and in retrospect.  It's the ability to be realistic with yourself, empowering you to make goals that are attainable and recognize limits and liabilities.

    1. profile image0
      R.G. San Ramonposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Well said.

    2. profile image0
      shazwellynposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Its is only through these methods that you can achieve self actualisation (Maslow).. self actualisation = happiness, contentment, acceptance x

      1. Mrfflid profile image60
        Mrfflidposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I cannot agree with this. Living within the boundries of what seems attainable. I'd rather reach for the sun, because even if I missed, I'd still hit the stars.

    3. seanorjohn profile image72
      seanorjohnposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Shades, you disappoint me. This is a very serious and sensible reply. Have you been drinking?
      Surely when you sober up you will see the utter madness of KNOWING THYSELF.

      It would destroy the very foundations of the greedy, materialistic and hypocritical world we live in. I beg you to come to your senses.... before it is too late.

  3. WriteAngled profile image74
    WriteAngledposted 13 years ago

    "Gnothi seauton"

    It was inscribed in gold at the entrance to the temple of Apollo at Delphi.

    In 512 BC, Pythagoras wrote: "Man Know thyself and thou shalt know the universe and god."

    Thales of Miletus (approx. 625-545 BC)when asked what was most difficult, answered,"to know one's self ",

    Clement of Alexandria (150-215) said, "The greatest of all lessons is to know oneself; for if someone knows himself, he will know God; and if he knows God, he will become like God."

    The Gospel of Thomas from Nag Hammadi has Jesus saying "He who has not known himself has known nothing, but he who has known himself has at the same time already achieved knowledge about the depth of all."

    And Buddha (568-488 BC) said "Look within Thou art the Buddha"

    1. AdsenseStrategies profile image63
      AdsenseStrategiesposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      The oracle at Delphi. Right, I knew this somewhere in the recesses of my mind... totally forgot.

      Also feel like I've got egg on my face, "quoting" Aristotle... Never mind, hardly a major crime...!

      How's business today for you WriteAngled?

  4. WriteAngled profile image74
    WriteAngledposted 13 years ago

    Ha! I've got several deadlines looming and I seem to have mislaid my work ethic somewhere over the holidays...

    1. AdsenseStrategies profile image63
      AdsenseStrategiesposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, well, work ethic does not mix with Christmas when you work for yourself. I'm hoping for a more productive January, Feb,,,

  5. Cagsil profile image73
    Cagsilposted 13 years ago

    And, I'll be glad to agree to disagree with everything you just posted. However, I'm not about to start a debate about it, simply because I really don't have the energy at this time.

    But, I have to say, it was an interesting read. smile

  6. WriteAngled profile image74
    WriteAngledposted 13 years ago

    The saying reflects a mystical outlook that predates Christianity, although it has also been expressed by some Christian mystics.

    Of those I quoted above:

    Pythagoras believed in reincarnation and developed his own religious system, which in some respects foreshadowed some of the ideas of Gnosticism.

    Thales spoke of everything being filled with the gods.

    Both Thales and Pythagoras visited and were strongly influenced by Egypt.

    Clement of Alexandria united Greek philosophy with Christian theology. He would have been exposed to the openness and questioning that existed within Alexandria at that time, when scholarly people of all beliefs debated between themselves and sought to find common principles.

    The Gospel of Thomas is part of the Gnostic tradition.

    Buddha founded a major world religion that has nothing to do with Christianity.

    I have no doubt that if I searched around, I would find similar sayings in other mystical traditions. To add just one, the Sufi Ibn al-‘Arabi said “When you know yourself, your ‘I’ness vanishes and you know that you and Allah are one and the same.”

    Mystics find commonality beyond the limitations of dogma. That is why they have been persecuted through the ages by representatives of organised religion. Please do not put their thoughts into the straightjackets of dogma.

  7. fullofwisdom profile image60
    fullofwisdomposted 13 years ago

    Socrates indicated, "The unexamined life is not worth living." He's right. If one doesn't look to their own self as they are traversing through life and come to know themselves, then what purpose does life serve? The reality is that we are always questioning, from the world around us to the interactions we have...but all that questioning is really to answer one greater question...who we are? In doing so we are able to discover and know ourselves which often times becomes a life-long journey.

    1. seanorjohn profile image72
      seanorjohnposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Fullofwisdom. You are full of s...   Only joking.

  8. gyangroup profile image40
    gyangroupposted 13 years ago

    Yep that's right!

  9. TimeHealsAll profile image61
    TimeHealsAllposted 13 years ago

    Knowing your strengths and weakness's and your goals. Knowing if you have inner peace or problem areas you need to work on.

  10. Jewels profile image83
    Jewelsposted 13 years ago

    Know Thyself goes beyond surface familiarities.  Self Awareness is to know what is YOU and what is NOT you, meaning what are you conditioned to believe.
    Are your actions a result of your upbringing. Are your actions a learned response to conform to a certain behavior?
    Does this behavior serve YOU as an individual or your parents, your teachers, your peers, your employer?

    Are you a robot or a person with freewill untainted by conditioning?

    Do you know the difference?

    YourSELF is underneath all the conditioning.  Is it important then to know yourself - extremely important. Yet most people don't even question why they do what they do and are oblivious to the forces that control their every action.

  11. Death2theBarExam profile image61
    Death2theBarExamposted 13 years ago

    Yes, this is extremely important...extremely important to disregard.  If you TRULY want to KNOW THYSELF then you have to confront shit that is better off left unconfronted.  Some shit is better off left behind that wall you've built in order to block it out.  Maybe your wall is built of liquor...good for you.  You've found a way to avoid dealing w/that which you don't prefer to deal with.  Nobody should have to dissect  EVERY aspect of their life- their shortcomings/failures/misspent youth/etc.  If you've found a way to avoid dealing w/that shit-CONGRATS.  Don't let anyone tell you that you have to obsess over every detail of every shortcoming you have.  The people that tell you that are in the psychology field and make a living off you divulging and examining every detail of your life to them in return for you paying them to 'listen' to you.  FUCK that.  If you can self medicate through alcohol/prescription drugs/hugging trees/whatever and you can do it in a recreational way, you are your own therapist. I don't know everything about myself and I sure as fuck don't want to.  There are things I've decided to forget about for a reason.  I'm no worse off for forgetting them than the asshole that's paying thousands to a shrink to remember them.  PS- I do go to a shrink, but it's only to get the drugs I need to help facilitate the denial of events that I desire to forget.

    1. Jewels profile image83
      Jewelsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Oh dear! lol

    2. Izzy Anne profile image60
      Izzy Anneposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      There is a kernel of truth there, but a lot of assumptions about psychology that need examining.  Selective forgetting is fine when it comes to forgiving, but escapism is just that - escaping from your problems and yourself and your possibilities.  That said, I guess many people who navelgaze so much, will find more happiness in helping others.

      1. Death2theBarExam profile image61
        Death2theBarExamposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Navelgaze was a new one to me, Izzy.  Had to wiki that one.  You wanna know why I feel the way I do? Actually you probably don't, but I'm telling anyways. 1)I have a minor in psych- which gives me 0 real world knowledge of psychological techniques, but I did have to take 5 WHOLE psych classes to obtain this minor.  The most important thing it taught me was regarding Pavlov's QBs- if you put the game in the hands of a QB  who's a gunslinger and repeatedly  put him in 3'rd down situations w/the game on the line enough years in a row,  he WILL throw a pick EVERY time. 2) Escapism isn't a disorder--it's called a fuckin VACATION.  Some people go on vacation from their general lives for a week.  Some people go on vacation from a specific experience FOREVER.  If you don't want to dwell on something....DON'T.   I'd rather move on from an unpleasant experience than rehash it in perpetuity. 3) Navelgazing- God, I love this new addition to my vernacular!   I'm summarizing the defs I found online as 'self absorption' or 'excessive introspection'.  If your commas are placed correctly than you believe that 'navelgazers' will find more happiness helping others.  HUH?  Based on the definitions I've found, 'navelgazers' are too busy examining their own lives vs forgetting their own immaterial  problems and heading over to Haiti and trying to find some poor sob that Mother Nature has forced into an unfortunate spelunking situation.  In summation- no offense is intended to you, Izzy Anne.  Izzy Anne- Are you Izzy Stradlin or Anne Boleyn?  Either one is awesome in my book!  You're either invoking the power of one of the greatest songwriters/rhythm guitarists of all time or you're invoking the the possibility of having 6 fingers on one hand.  OMG- I realize what you've done!!!  You've combined the genius and talent of Izzy Stradlin with the extra finger of Anne Boleyn resulting in the ability of Izzy to play guitar w/all 10 fingers AND his c*ck!  That's better than curing herpes.  I love you Izzy.

    3. profile image50
      Kaylaparis35posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      First, I would like to let you know that I am sorry to know that you are going through so much emotional pain.  I think you have a lot of anger dealing with and if you really focus on whatever you have being through especially undesirable experiences you can surely free yourself. Learning new strategies to overcome and deal with life problems will be helpful, so   taking medications to avoid whatever you have being through will surely have a long term effect on your overall health, including your emotional health. Most importantly, whatever you had to experience in your life will definately resurface in your relationships, especially intimate ones.   It's best to learn how to come to terms with past issues so you really know yourself.

    4. seanorjohn profile image72
      seanorjohnposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      This is excellent advice.
      Where would we all be if we followed this KNOW THYSELF nonsense.

      Imagine a world where politicians came onto our tv screens and admitted to being lying, hypocritical,deviant, egotistical sociopaths.

      Investment bankers admitting to being selfish greedy b......s.

      The clergy owning up to being  secret atheists and sexual deviants.

      No, no , no - it would turn our world upside down

  12. SparklingJewel profile image67
    SparklingJewelposted 13 years ago

    there is so much to know !   not just what is in the subconscious, conscious and unconscious...but also the superconscious...the wisdom of knowing that we are not just human beings having a spiritual experience, but truly, a spiritual being having human

  13. profile image0
    lyricsingrayposted 13 years ago

    I'm blank.

    1. profile image0
      A Texanposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I'm scared

      1. profile image0
        lyricsingrayposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I'm stoned, may be the reason

    2. fashlon profile image60
      fashlonposted 13 years ago

      to oneself is to understand your capability, limitations and possibilities. this will make you a balance and normal person.but it is not really possible to know onesslf fully because man is social being , we react base on the perticular stimuli that come to us. therefore some action are not premediated , therefore i will say live your life as it comes to hyou.

    3. kephrira profile image60
      kephriraposted 13 years ago

      Good question, but if you don't know yourself I'm not going to tell you.

    4. lilidauphin profile image59
      lilidauphinposted 13 years ago

      Self-awareness is the key to survival. If we don't know who we are how can we understand ourselves and the world around us? Knowing ourselves will help us to understand who we are and why we make certain choices.  It will also help us to evaluate ourselves so we can  take appropriate steps toward self-amelioration. In the absence of self-awareness, we may make too many mistakes that may contribute to  our own defeat.

    5. Fashion Conscious profile image60
      Fashion Consciousposted 13 years ago

      Knowing one's self is enabling one to fully understand, accept and love thy self. Without the aspect of knowing one's self, we waste precious time wandering.

    6. cheaptrick profile image73
      cheaptrickposted 13 years ago

      You've heard all the educated answers...Here's the street version.
      It's OK to bullshit other people...But when you start bullshit-in your self...the game's Over...

    7. TruthDebater profile image53
      TruthDebaterposted 13 years ago

      The mind controls self, so to know yourself, you have to know your mind. The more you know your mind, the more you control your mind. But can anyone truly know their mind when none of us know the source of our minds?

    8. paradigmsearch profile image62
      paradigmsearchposted 13 years ago

      “Someone once said "Know Thyself". Is This Important: What Does it Mean”

      It means that for those of us who have self-awareness (most of us): yes, it is important; it means use it to improve oneself.

    9. _cheryl_ profile image83
      _cheryl_posted 13 years ago

      I was just talking to my 14yr. old about this exact subject. He's finding new interests and wanting to check out a lot of different activites such as jujitsu, boxing, etc. Which I'm all for, except I've stressed to him the importance of learning and understanding what his sole motivation is that drives him to be the best he can be in anything he strives to learn. Right now, he's playing football. He's learning the mindsets of competitiveness and drive and hardwork. It is such a motivation for him, but I explain to him that all lessons learned through sports can be applied to life in general. Not only are they useful, but even more priceless is the fact that you know yourself above all things. One can be taught work ethic, and values, but those teachings only go so far if that individual is limited in their self knowledge. It's the most powerful thing to learn about yourself personally and what it is that drives you, motivates you, inspires you. It's also a continuing learning process because we change over time. But to be ahead of the game in life, being responsible for being an expert on yourself and living life to it's fullest to your abilities is the best way to continually strive and improve who you are. Unless you truly "know thyself", life becomes complicated. Most problems in life can be solved when dealing with yourself first. So in my opinion, knowing yourself is a treasure!

      1. seanorjohn profile image72
        seanorjohnposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Cheryl, your poor unsuspecting, impressionable teenager will suffer agonies beyond our imaginnings if he follows this path.

        Why should he be the only person in this world who follows this KNOW THYSELF doctrine. To live in our times and thrive you need to be selfish, materialistic, devious and duplicitous. He would be committing social suicide in all the key professions.

        He can never become President, that's for sure.

        What would happen to the American Dream.

    10. profile image0
      klarawieckposted 13 years ago

      We never truly know what we are capable of doing until the circumstance arises.

      1. puebloman profile image60
        pueblomanposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        The aphorism "Know thyself" is indeed inscribed on the Delphic oracle and means exactly what is says. Know who you are and who you are not.

        The greatest sin is the sin of pride. (This is where Christians got it from) and leads to overreaching and misinterpretation.

        The other aphorism on the Delphic Oracle is always forgotten and is just as important. It reads "Don't exaggerate".

        The greatest sin is the sin of pride. It leads to overreaching and misinterpretation. Like "Know thyself", "Don't exagerrate" is very hard to live by.

    11. profile image56
      starreviewerposted 13 years ago

      "Know thyself" - means to know your limitations and to work within those boundaries to excel. I know it goes against the concept of break the rules or "to come out of the well". But that's what the phrase means.

    12. pjk_artist profile image62
      pjk_artistposted 13 years ago

      Know thyself to be God.
      Know there is only one consciousness in the world and that is yours. God's.
      Know this truth and you are set free brother.

      1. couturepopcafe profile image61
        couturepopcafeposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Amen, brother.

    13. surfsurd profile image54
      surfsurdposted 13 years ago

      what a wonderful thread to start!


      we spend so much time exploring the world outside the magic of us, all that treasure inside us is left to rot.

      know thyself.

      let me try and break it down:

      1. what motivates you?
      2. What makes you happy?
      3. what is your purpose?
      4. What do people expect from you?
      5. What is your weakness?
      6. What are your strengths?
      7. What are you morally made of?

      Answer these and maybe you could atleast begin to know yourself.


      prabhjot bedi
      ideator, Author

    14. couturepopcafe profile image61
      couturepopcafeposted 13 years ago

      "When the voice and the vision on the inside become more clear and profound and loud than the opinions on the outside, you've mastered your life."  - John DeMartini

      This is what I think knowing yourself is.

    15. profile image50
      ricksonposted 13 years ago



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