[Monday Message] Know Thyself

The two mottos inscribed on the pediment of the temple of Apollo at Delphi were “know thyself” and “nothing in excess”. The idea was that, by avoiding excess and searching for the essence of one’s life within, one could have a sacred life.

For people who ascribe to the belief that we are created in the image of The Divine, working to better know themselves should help them better understand The Divine.

To kabbalists, the Tree of Life is a blueprint for All That Is. It explains the natures of both God and physics. It allows us to sort information more effectively, and therefore to think more effectively, and further still, to act more effectively. It helps us better know ourselves to that we can grow, expand, and evolve, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. And it shows the pathway back to Source.

If you want to be more empowered, work to know thyself. This will help you know your strengths and your weaknesses, so you can increase one and shift the other. It will help you to see where you are on your path, so that you can adjust your course if you need to.

We forge gradually our greatest instrument for understanding the world – introspection. We discover that humanity may resemble us very considerably – that the best way of knowing the inwardness of our neighbors is to know ourselves.
-Walter Lippmann

How well do you know yourself? Why do you do certain things? What motivates you? What makes your heart sing? Why? What turns you off? Why? How far back do your triggers go? Have you done any work to unravel the baggage you carry?

Humans are really good at complicating simple matters. If you want to know yourself, you can ask yourself five questions on a daily basis and see where those answers take you. I recommend doing this from a meditative space and just writing down the first answer that comes to mind.

Who Am I?

    Interpretations of this question can include:
    Who are you? What is your essence? How do you define yourself? If no one was around, what color would you paint your bedroom? What is your name?

What Am I?

    This can include that you’re human, or a spiritual being having a human experience, or what you do for a living, or any other aspect of your identity that you use to create community or to Other yourself.

Where Do I Come From?

    What is your heritage? Where did you grow up? What is your perspective? What are your intentions when you express yourself? There are all sort of ways to interpret this questions – none of them are wrong.

Where Am I Going?

    What are your goals? What is your five year plan? What do you need to do today or this week or this month? What will happen to your essence after you die? Your interpretation of this question will vary as often, if not more, than your answers.

What Is My Purpose?

    Answering the first 4 questions from a meditative space will enable the answer to this to flow, and there are still a myriad of interpretations of the question. Just see what comes out.

Know thyself.

This post is part of a series called Monday Message, based on that day’s reflection from 365 Days to Enlightenment (authorized versions are currently out of print, working on a new edition). Check back next Monday for another one! You can also sign up for the Daily Message on my mailing list if you’d like to receive a new reflection every day. I also often post them to Instagram and Twitter, if either of those is a medium you enjoy.

This post is written with a deep debt of gratitude to Jack Canfield, Theresa Bullard and the Modern Mystery School, my channeling teachers Robin Johnson and Stephanie Raphael, and my spirit guides.

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