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"Gnothi Seauton"/Know Thyself/Self-Awareness

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posted on Sep, 10 2009 @ 10:34 AM
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Psychology doesn't push this simple idea in many areas of study.
From a paper by Timothy D. Wilson. University of Virginia

The list illustrates some interesting gaps in research. For example, one might think that self-knowledge would be a central topic in personality psychology, but there has not been much research on how people come to discern their own traits and the accuracy of this knowledge—possibly because doing so would be admitting that people can have traits of which they are unaware


During my coursework in psychology it became obvious to me that the Freudian Excuses Theory for our behaviour allowed much study to stop there. If we don't understand it, it must be our unconscious at work.
I believe that is not the case, I believe our unconscious is telling us to look much more closely at our behaviour, and that clues to knowing oneself leak through this important form of communication. It dares us to look.


These theories suggest that Freud may have been too conservative in his characterization of the unconscious. The architecture of the mind is such that a great deal of mental processing occurs outside of conscious awareness, not because thoughts and feelings are threatening to people, but because that is how the mind has evolved to work. The specific theories differ in their descriptions of the exact nature of the two systems


We don't understand our unconscious nature because we are taught to fear it, ignore it, and make excuses for it. Sometimes even blaming it on demons.
The ancient mystery schools hid that important information right in plain sight. Know Thyself.
Today it is called Self-Awareness.
When we cannot express our truth, our natural self, we subdue our nature and force our truth to the underground.
There are many many things designed to keep us from our own self knowing. Our own power, and understanding are shadowed under laws, rules, religion, science, and authority.




posted on Sep, 10 2009 @ 10:41 AM
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The saying "Know thyself" may refer by extension to the ideal of understanding human behavior, morals, and thought, because ultimately to understand oneself is to understand other humans as well. However, the ancient Greek philosophers thought that no man can ever comprehend the human spirit and thought thoroughly, so it would have been almost inconceivable to know oneself fully. Therefore, the saying may refer to a less ambitious ideal, such as knowing one's own habits, morals, temperament, ability to control anger, and other aspects of human behavior that we struggle with on a daily basis.
wiki

Inconceivable to know oneself fully? And yet self awareness can lead to peace and serenity. Understanding and compassion and love.
It seems a conspiracy to keep one from knowing oneself, and that is exactly why we are depressed and confused and angry most of the time. We cannot express our true natures, so we meditate, seek guidance from others, look to gods for explanations and give ourselves up for judgment.


Article on the Oracle of Delphi


know thyself is the only one order given by every master, prophet and avatar in this world.Knowing thyself is the objective of our life . When we know ourselves, we know entire universe and we may command it too. Simple definitions, explantions of the concepts handed over by masters is provided here with day to day examples and analysis.
Resources/books on Self-Awareness

[edit on 10-9-2009 by seagrass]



posted on Sep, 10 2009 @ 10:54 AM
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Know Thyself Quotes

We all know it deep down, that we have ideas and beliefs that are not conforming with the status quo. Sometimes it is exhilarating to go against them. Sometimes we can only be sneaky. Sometimes we are proud to go against them. Sometimes we are grateful to find others who are also self-aware. We find relief in it.



posted on Sep, 10 2009 @ 11:05 AM
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The most famous example, imo, of someone who knew themselves and lived a sincere life is Oscar Wilde. I am overwhelmed by his understanding of people, his outrageous honesty in his writings and quotes. His sorrowful punishment for it. He was a genius, and I admire him greatly. Just take a look at how much he knew....11 pages of quotes

[edit on 10-9-2009 by seagrass]



posted on Sep, 10 2009 @ 11:11 AM
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reply to post by seagrass
 


Yeah, it almost seems like a conspiracy.

I wonder why modern psychology embraces theories of Freud (fraud
) and regards it higher in value, than for example, works of C.G.Jung, even tho they were colleaques, and pretty much talked about same things with some - yet fundamental - distinctions.

C.G.Jung precisely emphasized the 'knowing thyself' in order to be in balance with the subconscious. I think all these concepts about knowing oneself were perfectly familiar for Jung, as he was familiar with alchemical texts that usually emphasizes these things.

Anyway, good post. Thanks.

-v



posted on Sep, 10 2009 @ 11:18 AM
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A very interesting topic and one that people often contemplate but seldom discuss.

I like these particular points you made..




Originally posted by seagrass

When we cannot express our truth, our natural self, we subdue our nature and force our truth to the underground.
.



Very true, we make compromises with ourselves all the time, in many different ways, some subtle and some obvious.
But yes, we often keep our most profound thoughts and feelings inside and often either are not willing to discuss or can't seem to put into words, some of the things that are floating around in our heads or that we have been trying to figure out all our lives.






Sometimes we are grateful to find others who are also self-aware. We find relief in it.



Definitely.
You get on with people for a variety of reasons and more often than not, can't approach them with many of the subjects of the mind or with the real questions... perhaps it's fear or often it's being able to word it properly or be able to explain it.

But i love talking to somebody who just gets it.
Someone who is, as you say, self aware and tuned in to things.

Those people are quite rare and it is comforting and a relief when you do find them.



posted on Sep, 10 2009 @ 11:19 AM
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reply to post by v01i0
 


Mindful awareness is central to the enlightenment traditions of the Far East, where it is the central component of meditation. Contemplation, or the training of awareness on essential matters, has a rich tradition in Christian mysticism. These are just a few examples to demonstrate that throughout history, enhancing awareness is recognized as a fundamental value. Knowing oneself is the start of a healing process. With self-observation, we encounter discrepancies between our ideal selves and the lives we are living. This challenges us to develop the capacity to remain aware despite strong emotions, so we can respond in ways that better promote wellbeing and personal integrity. With increased capacity to remain aware, we build a sense of continuity. Our sense of self is a more consistent narrative, and we find more inner stability when navigating a turbulent world. When challenged, the ability to fall back into basic awareness of ourselves and our surroundings can even improve our chances of survival. Even if we’ve gone off the beaten track, once we’ve found ourselves, we may still be in the woods, but we’re no longer lost. We’re more able to objectively witness our surroundings and better cope with what our situation requires.
from an article on psychotherapy/awareness
The theory is valid, but HOW? What are the steps to take? Real practical steps to take?
Be this, be that.... blah blah
We need a real tangible way. Not,
Remain aware.... remain aware....
I believe it is a lot harder than this in a world designed against it.



posted on Sep, 10 2009 @ 11:28 AM
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reply to post by blupblup
 
The more honest we try to be with ourselves the more we attract those who are also on the same path. Living lies perpetuates the lie. Opening up to truth invites more opportunities to find them. Like you Blup, and many others I have found here at ATS. The more we open and risk, the more we find the gifts and secrets. But also the more the lies and the people entangled in those lies fall away from our lives. It is scary, the process of self awareness. You find yourself on a river without a paddle.
I am crafting my paddle as we speak, but initially it feels like a crazy river rafting ride until you get the hang of it. It is nice to know there are others on that river doing the same thing.



posted on Sep, 10 2009 @ 11:47 AM
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Buddhists employ mindfulness techniques to find wisdom. Psychologist employ mindfulness techniques in psychotherapy.
What are we looking for, paying attention to?
Seems we need to be paying attention to every single thought, movement, impulse and desire we have. Thinking on everything. Letting it express itself and not hold it back. Not judge it before it has a chance to express. Following our nose like a dog. Trusting it.
I like the idea of thinking without the commentary. Sounds peaceful enough.

Buddhists hold that over 2500 years ago, Buddha provided guidance on establishing mindfulness. Right mindfulness (often termed Right meditation) involves bringing one's awareness to focus on experience within the mind at the present moment (from the past, the future, or some disconnected train of thought). By paying close attention to the present experience, practitioners begin to see both inner and outer aspects of reality as aspects of the mind. Internally, one sees that the mind is continually full of chattering with commentary or judgment. By noticing that the mind is continually making commentary, one has the ability to carefully observe those thoughts, seeing them for what they are without aversion or judgment. Those practicing mindfulness realize that "thoughts are just thoughts." One is free to release a thought ("let it go") when one realizes that the thought may not be concrete reality or absolute truth. Thus, one is free to observe life without getting caught in the commentary. Many "voices" or messages may speak to one within the "vocal" (discursive) mind. It is important to be aware that the messages one hears during "thinking" are simply discursive habit and that the real point of practice is distinguishing different types of experience from the context (mind) within which they occur.
wiki

[edit on 10-9-2009 by seagrass]

[edit on 10-9-2009 by seagrass]



posted on Sep, 10 2009 @ 11:52 AM
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The problem with Self-Awareness or Knowledge of Self is that it is a Life-long endeavour. It is not something that you can sit down for an hour or two in a single evening to gain. It requires a conscious, dedicated effort not only on a daily basis, but in every single second one is alive. It is the casting off of our routine, our somnambulistic daze, to instead repeatedly make a never-ending choice to act instead of react to every stimulus in our life. It requires that we approach the way that we live our lives entirely different than we are accustomed to. However, all that consistent conscious effort is more than worth it.

The second difficulty is the Ego. The Ego is self-preservationist. When one begins the quest for Knowledge of Self it instantly becomes the antagonist, and it is a wily and formidable foe. One must be always vigilant and aware of the Ego and it's tactics, eventually seeking to subjugate the Ego to the Conscious Will rather than be enslaved by it. This is no easy task. The history of literature is full of examples where many have tried and tragically failed. Even the Bible has plenty of examples of men who have failed in this attempt.

Facing the Darkness that is within each of us is a difficult thing for many to do. The ability to admit that each of us is capable, under the right circumstances, in a fraction of a heartbeat, to become the greatest monster that ever existed, is frightening enough of a proposition to deter most people away from ever seeking Self-Knowledge. To confess that we are the sum of a mountain of mistakes and regrets and to take ownership of those to become empowered by them rather than bound by them is even more difficult for most.

Raising a child is one of the best ways to achieve Self-Knowledge, as raising a child is a Selfless act that circumvents the Ego's control, and you come to learn far more about yourself and what made you who you are, for better or for worse. It allows you to remove yourself from the defensiveness that comes in response to seeking Self-Knowledge as you are able to project your analysis unto your child, and later able to associate those same behavioral patterns within you.

It has been suggested many times before by some very wise individuals that everyone desiring Self-Knowledge begin with taking Psychotherapy. Seeing a shrink isn't something you just do when you have problems. It can be a useful tool in just getting an honest, unattached, Third-Person perspective into who you are. Every Psychologist has to undergo Psychotherapy for themselves. If you find a good Psychologist, it can be a very casual weekly or bi-weekly thing that can be beneficial for both of you (do you realize how refreshing it is for Psychologists who have a client who isn't mentally ill or messed up?). There is nothing shameful in seeing a Psychologist, and it can be the easy button to starting on the path to Self-Knowledge for many in the Western World who are too strapped for time to spend hours meditating or in introspection.



posted on Sep, 10 2009 @ 11:59 AM
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reply to post by v01i0
 
CJ used metaphysical principles that's why. A big no no in science.
Yet his theories ring true to us, especially the hierarchy, archetypes, synchronicity, collective unconscious etc. We know those are truth.
Freud/Fraud
based his theories on sexual guilt. Most likely his own.



posted on Sep, 10 2009 @ 12:09 PM
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reply to post by fraterormus
 

Thank you.
I agree with you about children. They teach us back tenfold.
They, I believe are more highly evolved than their parents with each successive generation, and it is inaccurate for a parent to believe they are the only ones to teach them. It is a mutual agreement and yet we hold on to the idea that the parent has all the answers the child must learn. Our first lessons in fear of authority begin there.
It takes a village to raise a child. This was something I held on to when I was raising my first daughter alone. I let myself not have all the responsibility on how she would turn out. She had many people teach her and take her under their wing.
I have learned more about myself from my children than my parents, teachers and friends combined. I think because we take the responsibility so seriously.



posted on Sep, 10 2009 @ 12:15 PM
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reply to post by fraterormus
 

"Dark night of the soul" sounds like a threatening and much to be avoided experience. Yet perhaps a quarter of the seekers on the road to higher consciousness will pass through the dark night. In fact, they may pass through several until they experience the profound joy of their true nature. Many seekers would encourage the dark night experience if they knew what it was. However, to one engaged in the dark night, suffering seems unending.
source
I have had a few.
It is sad how it is necessary in order to see light again.



posted on Sep, 10 2009 @ 12:38 PM
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Originally posted by seagrass
reply to post by fraterormus
 

"Dark night of the soul" sounds like a threatening and much to be avoided experience. Yet perhaps a quarter of the seekers on the road to higher consciousness will pass through the dark night. In fact, they may pass through several until they experience the profound joy of their true nature. Many seekers would encourage the dark night experience if they knew what it was. However, to one engaged in the dark night, suffering seems unending.
source
I have had a few.
It is sad how it is necessary in order to see light again.


The Dark Night of the Soul by St John of the Cross is a magnificent read, even if you are not Christian. The Spiritual Guide of Michael de Molinos is another of the same vein that covers the same topic.

Making it through the Dark Night of the Soul is a grueling ordeal, but in my personal experience it is far better if one makes that journey into the Dark Night as a conscious effort, on your own terms, at a time of your own choosing, rather than it hit you blind-sides and unaware.

There are many Jewish Hekhalot, Merkavah, and Kabbalistic texts that deal with this task. Although these texts are woefully incomplete and filled with blinds and traps for the unwitting and unknowing, I found the Book of Abramelin by Rabbi Yaakov Moelin (Maharil) to be more approachable.

There are of course legions of books on the topic by Hindi and Buddhist authors, as the basis of their religious beliefs and culture is rooted in the quest for Self-Awareness and Knowledge of Self.

As for Psychological studies, the entire field of Depth Psychology devotedly explores this entire realm. There is also the The Dark Night of the Soul: A Psychiatrist Explores the Connection Between Darkness and Spiritual Growth by Gerald May that is a good one.

On a side-note: Astrologers believe in a Saturn Return that begins in everyone's life approximately 27-30 years after their birth (and roughly every 30 years after that). During a Saturn Return everything that one has in their life that is not necessary towards their Life's Quest for Self-Awareness is torn away, oftentimes forcefully, from their lives. Although many who may experience this Life Cycle may consider it to be a Dark Night of the Soul, it isn't quite the same, although it is equally as shaking to one's foundation. However, that isn't to say that one cannot go through the Dark Night of the Soul multiple times in one's life. Self-Awareness can be fleetingly evasive, and just because you have obtained it once doesn't mean that you won't lose sight of it again and have to reclaim it by undergoing the same trials and tribulations you once did to obtain it the first time.



posted on Sep, 10 2009 @ 12:44 PM
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reply to post by fraterormus
 

Kindred spirit you are.
I have had my Saturn Return. Currently I have Uranus conjuncting my Ascendant, Saturn conjuncting my Descendant, Pluto conjuncting my MC. And Saturn opposing Saturn as it is natally on my Ascendant. Yeah me.



posted on Sep, 10 2009 @ 12:45 PM
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I was just looking at those books on Amazon.

CJ's synchronicity.



posted on Sep, 10 2009 @ 01:07 PM
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The dark night can happen suddenly whilst you are unprepared and unaware, but the opposite can also happen. I am not sure what it's name is, but I have experienced seeing light without it. Such "light" that it makes you dizzy and confused and dazed. Like being on drugs. Pure joy.
I would much rather learn that way, but the darkness sometimes makes us value the light that much more, experience it that much more.
I had that experience here at ATS. One which I intend to write about once I feel I know what to say.

When I was seven I had a profound moment that I would never forget while walking to school.
I turned and looked over my left shoulder, sensing something in the distance. I thought to myself that there was a big black building where people knew the secrets. I wanted to find that building one day. I assumed my brother and mom and everyone else could go there and that is why they were so much smarter than me.
When I got to ATS and started to read what I had always thought was true being written all over this place, I suddenly realized I had found the big black building. I will never be the same person I was then. And then many things about my life began to change. Are changing.



posted on Sep, 10 2009 @ 01:17 PM
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I found a site that proclaims to be an authentic mystery school.

It says

The MMS is an authentic mystery school in the lineage of King Salomon. The school conducts teachings of the great mysteries and the old magick of the ages. The school has the lineage and the authority that is needed for such a school of power and it has opened its doors for all to receive this knowledge in accordance with the new law of the universe, NO MORE SECRETS !
interesting read Suspicious yet? New law of the universe?

Their reading list looks interesting too.

[edit on 10-9-2009 by seagrass]

[edit on 10-9-2009 by seagrass]



posted on Sep, 10 2009 @ 02:53 PM
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Self-awareness is all there is, I believe. Characterizing it as an achievement, a state of being, implies that we can be aware of others while not being aware of ourselves. As I've found it, the truth is that we are only ever truly aware of ourselves with every relationship and interaction applying back to self.

We understand others only so far as we understand ourselves. We have empathy for others, understand how they feel, because we have felt something comparable, not because we feel their feelings. We feel our own feelings, our own sense of being and relate that to others.

A simple, practical place to begin is to begin at the point we see separation. Why does one person make us feel angry and another sad? One makes us sick the other joyous?

It isn't necessary at first to understand the why of another person's behavior or attitude, but only to understand our own reactions to those behaviors and attitudes. Seek out the source of the emotion we feel. Fear, guilt, shame are the well-springs of loathing and human conflict.

The heart of love beats with acceptance and understanding and lies within each of us to live or die by our own choosing.



posted on Sep, 10 2009 @ 03:02 PM
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reply to post by TravelerintheDark
 


I believe we aren't here to understand others, not exactly.
I believe we are here to understand ourselves primarily, and people are placed and chosen to help us do exactly that. Mirrors that reflect us. We choose how we feel about others for the purpose of knowing the self.
If I am disgusted by a person, I need to look at why. Not that the person is actually disgusting and treat them so, but I need to just look at why. Ask myself questions. And objectively let the knowledge be what it is. Knowledge of self. Not something that needs to be acted on.
But then there are levels of complexity and conflict which we must investigate which require more extensive relationships to learn from. Parent/Child, Husband/Wife etc.
But the principle remains the same. Learning about self, by interaction in the most honest way possible. Sometimes the lies tell us our real truth.



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