“Know thyself,” Socrates said. When I was in college, this is one of my class report in philosophy. At that time internet had not yet been heard of in our city. Thus our references are based solely on textbooks from the university library.
“Know thyself” was then for me an academic thing, part of the subject matter that I have to learn. It seems inapplicable to daily living. Or, if it can, only in matters when my personality is in question. I have to defend myself by saying, I know myself far better than others do.
Fast forward to today when everybody has an internet access, these words are a common thing. Even made simpler by others who have gone through with it and were able to apply the practice in their daily lives.
Blessed be those people. I find it difficult to apply it in myself. All because knowing thyself is being mindful of everything we do and every thought we think. This is mindful living. If it would be easier, most of us would have been happier by now. There would be less pain, less hatred and fewer conflicts within and without of us. But truth is, the number of unawakened people is great compared with the awakened ones. Why is it?
Perhaps people have only certain knowledge of themselves but are unable to understand their very selves and the reasons why they do what they do. Still, we need to know our self in the most authentic way as possible. We must be mindful of our thoughts every second if we could. Moreover, we must be mindful of how we relate to others. The way we handle our self reflects the way we handle others.
As the wise gurus have said, everything starts in the mind. It wouldn’t hurt if by the end of the day before we put our self into slumber, we will give time to reflect on what thoughts have occurred in our mind. If it falls short of our expectations, there is still another day. If it does, then let’s give our self a pat on the back and say, til next time.