The great Aristotle, the man who made significant contributions to every aspect of human knowledge once said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom” and one would be foolish to disagree. Aristotle’s work revolves around the idea that wisdom is practical and not theoretical. He stressed that man is a rational animal, and that virtue comes with proper exercise of reason.
The relationship you have with yourself is one of the most important relationships you will create throughout your lifetime. Without a fruitful relationship with thyself, how can you expect others to understand or know you? The essence of a happy, fulfilling life begins with a proper understanding of who you are. Besides the empowerment and freedom that come with self-knowledge - it allows you to be the master of your opinions, thoughts, and feelings. True knowledge of the self is the most beautiful and useful accomplishment you will master in this life and will determine your actions and trajectory. Despite this, we oftentimes are infatuated with others, neglecting the beauty and individuality of our own minds. The sooner we embark on our journey of pure introspection - consciously examining and acknowledging our faults and weaknesses - the sooner we turn our weaknesses into strengths.
Increasing knowledge of the self requires reflection, distancing, experience, contemplation, and suffering. One must push their mind past perceivable limits by challenging conventional wisdom, debating for the sake of debating, and indulging in books regarding the human condition.
The journey is indeed a humbling one; by unearthing your innermost thoughts, one loses the sense of entitlement while realizing they are but a speck in the universe. One realizes how little they know about the world and how their accumulated knowledge amounts to nothing. Despite these fears, knowing thyself is the essence of reality and the start of the journey to wisdom.
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