Know yourself / Know thyselfKnow yourself or Know thyself is a translation of Greek words γνῶθι σεαυτόν. It can be written as ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΑΥΤΟΝ in capital letter. Its transliteration or Greek pronunciation is “gnōthi sauton” or “gnōthi seauton”. Gnōthi is a verb, which can be translated as “get to know”, “know” or “learn”. However, the phrase had the influence in ancient Egypt before Socrates. Also, during the Western philosophy era in Greece the maxim attributed to many philosophers, including Socrates. One of the Vedic of Hinduism called Samaveda (melody of knowledge), which is believed to written in Sanskrit by circa BC 1700, also center the knowledge of know yourself. Likewise, the aphorism was born in various places. However, Greek language and Socrates became the icon of this aphorism.
Meaning of know yourselfThere is a local lyric. It goes “if you know they self, you can fight in the world. Whether you rise or fall, you can live without bow down”. Yes, knowing ourselves is most important than knowing others or other stuff. It would teach us who we are. What are our weaknesses and strengths? If we know ourselves thoroughly, we can have a successful journey in the world. If we fail know, we would struck in the middle of the journey. Knowing ourselves is like prepare a car for long journey. Image, how would you prepare. If we plan and prepare well for a limited journey in order to avoid break down, delay, etc, how seriously we must prepare live journey. Therefore, the first step is “know yourself”.
My limitation could influence me to know myself. Mostly, my blind spot could be a barrier. If I have lack of self-knowledge, I could get distraction. If you know Johari window, you could analysis your known area and try to know there is blind spot in every one of us. Improve the knowledge of know yourself. I know that I know nothing is another quote of Socrates. If you have positive approach on this quote, you could start your starting point (Know thyself) from “nothing”.
- Hymns of the Samaveda
- Plato in Twelve Volumes - Volume 9; translated by Harold N. Fowler