The How and why to know THYSELF?

‘Know thyself’ is the simplest phrase mouthed by all wise preachers in the world of universalism. But, nobody seems adept at simplifying the eternal conundrum –‘ how does one know oneself?’ Let us try to delve deeper into the ageless wisdom distilled over the pages of history passed on to this era where societies largely […]

‘Know thyself’ is the simplest phrase mouthed by all wise preachers in the world of universalism. But, nobody seems adept at simplifying the eternal conundrum –‘ how does one know oneself?’

Let us try to delve deeper into the ageless wisdom distilled over the pages of history passed on to this era where societies largely rely on artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

How to know thyself?
Is it by standing in front of the dressing mirror and admiring oneself after applying a face-mask or any of the countless potions being doled out by marketing agents?
Is it by sleeping over a nagging problem being faced and allowing efflux of time to seemingly let the unattended problem disappear?
Or,is it learnt by diligently jotting down  a few attainments and patting yourself on the back, on a daily basis?

Some others would declare that being seated in a lotus posture before a framed portrait or in a hall built by some philanthropist for a few hours before sunrise or after dusk would enable you to see the light within your being.
Not to forget the ones who vehemently oppose any worship of Nature in its myriad forms but do not let go of any opportunity to click selfies on the smartphone,in gay abandon,day in and day out.

After years of pursuit of spiritual lifestyle,one invariably would fumble when confronted with the question -’ define yourself in five words!’
For,it is well nigh impossible to ‘know oneself’ despite a long innings on earth, by anyone – be it one who is illiterate or wealthy and others who might be poor economically or has been adjudged as winner at a beauty pageant contest.
Thus,it becomes necessary to traverse through motions of self-analysis and an honest,peaceful introspection to ascertain the degree and depth of knowledge one has about oneself : is an individual good or bad, a miser or a spendthrift,a cruel and devious fellow or is on the other hand,a wise and quiet person? Am I kind or am I an unscrupulous businessman ? Am I ethical or immoral by habit? Am I a human or am I the inhuman beast in  human form?

To know oneself,one has to firstly shed the trappings of falsification, anger, self-obsession,hatred,pride and prejudices.
What have I done in life’s journey so far? Have I achieved my personal goals? Has it always been only about gaining wealth, fame, possessions and self-aggrandizement. Or, has it been a saga of sacrifices, kindnesses and compassion? Has it been a mix of ‘inner engineering’ and ‘art of living’ and if yes, have you any compunctions in blindly saying that you are a ‘saint’ with no history of ‘sins’ ? The cascade of feelings which overwhelms you whenever you weigh ‘morality’ with ‘legality’ is definitely a safe indicator of ‘knowing yourself quotient’.

There are those who complain of not being ‘taught’ meditation and then there are others that animatedly eulogise long about how ‘evolved’ and ‘aware’ they had become when some enlightened soul indoctrinated to his or her belief-system by ‘ grant of initiation’.
However, it is noteworthy, if anachronistic,that in order to know oneself,one is required to ‘shut out the self’ and blot out your ‘persona’ from the picture under review.
A dispassionate evaluation alone would help you to assess and determine whether you have been ‘conscious’ and  consciously been leading life or living out life sub- consciously,automatically and ‘senselessly’.
What is being ‘conscious’ and ‘aware of oneself’ differs from person to person,situation to situation and from one phase of life to another stage in lifetime.

What is achieved by ‘knowing yourself’ ?
Several benefits are derived such as –
= Course-correction
= Self-realization
= Contentment
= Peace of mind
= Right decision-making

At this juncture, it will be apt to examine if mediation is a medicine for worries and a panacea for pernicious the evil of egotism.
There is a set concept or thought that closing one’s eyes would help shut the mind and such an exercise constitutes ‘meditation’. Many believe that any chosen pathway or the various forms bandied about (either free of cost or for a market-competitive price ) are the pathway to salvation, moksha,nirvana and a long life.
If breathing exercises can prolong life and physical matters do not matter, why then is there a metaphysical science overruling all arts and multi-faceted scientific pursuits of mankind? Such posers from inquiring minds provoked further thoughts and the need to differentiate ‘meditation’.  from ‘mediation between God and devotee’ and a mid-life crisis which plagues disgruntled folks.

As a poster screamed at the congregation of ‘men of all religions’ -’ your entire life is spent in meeting others but have you met yourself?’
Let us draw some safe conclusions at the end of this effort at ‘knowing thyself ‘ –
i . You do not need any mediator to know your real ‘self’.
ii . Meditation is actually the process of total submission to ‘state of nothingness’.
iii . The sublime ‘self’ constitutes consciousness and not ‘sub-conscious’ ( dreams or apparitions of thoughts which plague the mind, either by invitation or even uninvited ).
iv . To know oneself is to enable re-inventing one’s destiny.
v . The Soul is the witness to the existing life of a person.

To know oneself means that one must never ignore or overlook the resident soul who watches each and every action,activity and response of the ‘being’ or ‘person’ incessantly. Not only one should not disregard but instead fully honour and follow the direction of the soul as is being reflected in the litmus test of a ‘good conscience ‘.
Morality more than legality or societal norms determines the extent of knowledge of knowing oneself.

Life is in a constant state of flux. So- called ‘moods’ ought not to steer the behavioral pattern and manners of the individual.
A safe corollary to the theory of ‘knowing thyself ‘ is that one’s actions and responses to a statement or situation reflect character of the individual : rude,rash and rough behaviour as well as arrogant attitude can never be compared with the extremes of innocence and ignorance.
When a person indulges in vices and self-destructive habits, it is evident that he or she is a lost soul. Atheists and weaker minds would pooh-pooh all talk which may condemn the bohemian lifestyle as it terminates all better sense of reasoning and good  life.
To know oneself means ‘ to be alive’ and ‘ to be exercising the faculty of mind’  endowed only to humans.

All those who do not care to honour the edict -’know thyself ‘ are arguably beasts in human form. Thus can it be gainsaid that to ‘know oneself’ is to ‘ be ‘ human.