On Self-Knowledge

25 09 2008

Now I have no leisure for such enquiries; shall I tell you why? I must first know myself, as the Delphian inscription says; to be curious about that which is not my concern, while I am still in ignorance of my own self, would be ridiculous. And therefore I bid farewell to all this; the common opinion is enough for me. For, as I was saying, I want to know not about this, but about myself: am I a monster more complicated and swollen with passion than the serpent Typho, or a creature of a gentler and simpler sort, to whom Nature has given a diviner and lowlier destiny?

-Plato, from the Phaedrus dialogue



2 responses

27 09 2008

Indeed, Jacobus.

Better yet, the Augustinian version: “Let me know Thee; let me know myself.”

26 09 2008

Like at the temple at Delphi, the inscription “Know Thyself” might be a good thing to put above the entrances of churches.

Or even better, on the top of computer monitors.

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