What does it mean to you to KNOW THYSELF

How do you define knowing yourself?

Does it mean to realize your own potential?

And, can realizing your own potential be done without action?

I don’t think of knowing yourself as necessarily knowing just your potential, but knowing your strengths, weaknesses, and understanding your motivations, actions, and feelings.

And yes, I do think you can realize your own potential without action.

I can only be said to know myself when I can honestly answer the question, who or what is it that indetifies itself as ‘I’ in all my communication.

It means you can ring yourself up at 4am in the morning and be sure of an answer.

It’s a paradoxical cliche primarily used to try to justify feckless selfishness - i.e. ‘I know myself, you don’t, so what right do you have to tell me what to do?’

It involves the knower and the known occupying the same logical-metaphysical space at the same time. Which is ridiculous.

In answer to Tab’s comment - for me, it’s more like being able to phone myself any time of day and always get an ‘engaged’ tone…


oh what is the altruistic redhead to do?


(flippin freckles… mumble…)

To me, it speaks of knowing yourself first before you even begin to understand others. The more you know yourself and admit to your foibles, the less you are apt to judge the other guy. When you finally realize that you are marinating in your own bullshit, the more tolerant you are of another’s shortcomings.

Yup. Know thyself.

Well, people say be yourself. I say that I do not know myself. I would like to find myself. Then I think that the way I’ve always been really is myself. Maybe I have been ignoring the signs and trying to repress them. My self is unacceptable to others, and I also think myself is unacceptable. Can you ever change yourself?

I am a biologically defective human being destined for loneliness and genetic extinction. And on top of all this, I’m not even fit to philosophize.

Oh what has the universe done to me! Maybe the one thing that I recognize is the way of the universe. It surely is not an idealistic fantasy!

Those idealistic fantasies seem impossible for me to believe in, at least at this time. I do not think they can lift up my spirits. Only other’s interesting beliefs give me some short respite. I am not profound enough to create my own. I cannot recall others’ and have not the writing ability to even write voluminous paragraphs on the wonders of other’s ideas.

A genetic defect, unfit for selection in every aspect. That is what I am.

Well, in the Biblical sense, to know thyself means that I just couldn’t resist, being between periods and boyfriends at the time.

In the psychological sense, it means that I don’t mentally masturbate to run from my difficult realities and their associated unpleasant feelings.

I think the proposition “know thyself” makes more sense when you look at “know” as a verb.

As a side, what is “know” anyway? verb, noun, predicate? hmm…?


I take “know yourself” to understanding the justifications and axioms of your behaviour and feelings. Someone who knows himself well can give an answer to anyone who asks him why he does what he does.

Someone who knows themselves can rationalize and justify their actions - although not necessarily in the heat of the moment.

It is said that stars in the sky are departed souls. An ordinary star is a five point star. Man in a way is a 5 point star. The summit is the head, and the 2 hands and feet. We have a pole (skeletal) the north and the south, from head to feet. We have 7 doors, 3 which are double and the central door. Do you know where our doors are located? They point east and west. They are passive for they receive. Except the central door which can both receive and give. I am talking about your face with the two eyes and two ears and two nostrils and the central door which is the mouth. Our senses of sight/taste/hearing/touch/smell are found in our face. The face opens to the outer world into our inner world. We are like mini universes there is a “sun” in our body that directs the “planets” (various organs). Without sun, nothing lives, without this “sun” in our body, we cannot survive. Our doors receive impressions and absorbed by our brain. Same as our stomach, it receives food and absorbed by the small intestines. This “sun” can be also likened to a central government, there’s a ruler and everybody works together. Do you know where your “sun” is located?
When a person dies, or the process that changed the body into a corpse, there are two possibilities: either there remains a body whose activity (movement and air) was annihilated or there was something that came out of it. Do you want to look for what left the body or is death final, what is it to you. If it is final, then of what use is knowledge? If death is final, then why do you want to KNOW THYSELF?

Nothingness, man, what exactly is wrong with you? I have strong admiration for you in that you do not take the cop out on life and turn to Christianity as most sick people do.

For me, ‘know thyself’ means ‘become aware of what you do and why you do it’.

Having a grasp on the past decisions you’ve made, then thinking that you can predict your future ones.

No. Some people might think they know themselves and feel that they are worthless and have no potential. They might feel that that is what they know of themselves.

realizing or believing in? Potential is something that hasn’t happened yet. The is a lot of “good” potential and “bad” potential too. Potential isn’t necessarily positive. I don’t know… Just some ill-conceived thoughts.

I think Sartre’s conception of “authenticity” is a pretty good explication of it.

This is the most similar one to what I think which I’ve seen so far here.

I think that fully “knowing oneself” is about knowing how you’d react and conduct yourself in all possible future situations, realistic or otherwise.

I don’t think that’s what Socrates had in mind.

I come to know myself through experience and reflection. In self-knowledge, I am both the reflecting subject and the object reflected upon. I am a microcosm. As subject, my inner life is the key to the depth dimension of the universe. As an object, I am a finite being in the world of beings. Through empathy and inference, I learn that all other beings are the same as me. Meditating I become one with myself. Practicing understanding and compassion, I experience peace with the world.

Without breathing lungs, without a pumping heart?
Is death your potential?