Posted tagged ‘self knowledge’

It Is Never Too Late

April 4, 2010

Too late I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient and ever new! Too late I loved you! And, behold, you were within me, and I out of myself, and there I searched for you.

~ St. Augustine

Oh, let us see now that the Beauty we search for is within us.  Let us come home to ourselves, tired and worn out from the searching, and find that that which was sought was here the whole time.  Oh, that we may see now the truth within, that we too do not find ourselves lamenting on our way out of this world: “Too late I loved you!  And behold, you were within me…”

Know Thyself?

May 7, 2009

Know thyself! A maxim as pernicious as it is ugly. Whoever observes himself arrests his own development. A caterpillar who wanted to know itself well would never become a butterfly.

– Andre Gide, French writer

I find this a very interesting quote.  I like it because it contracts so much popular sentiment and shows an elegance of independent thought.  However, I don’t think I entirely agree.

Yes, the caterpillar must look beyond what he now is to become something more.  BUT he must first observe what he currently is and, more importantly, the potential that already lies within him.  Knowing oneself is not just about knowing who one currently is, but knowing who one wants to and is capable of being.

Therefore, know thyself indeed – but include in that knowing the knowledge not just of where you are but where you are going.  Be the caterpillar who beholds his green skin with love, yet holding within himself joyfully the image of a butterfly.