“Know Thyself”, the motto captured in this pictured mosaic, is attributed to the ancient Greeks and is echoed throughout time by philosophers, religions, leaders and laypeople alike. First inscribed at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi and possibly attributed to Thales, self-awareness has gripped the human imagination ever since.
Here are some noteworthy examples: Plato took up the know thyself sentiment as did Socrates. Religions, too, have also echoed its importance. Most of us associate self-awareness with Buddhism. In Christianity, Matthew notes “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” Confucius says that to govern others, one must first govern oneself. And in the Hindu Upanisads, “enquiry into the truth of the Self is knowledge”. From Moshe Rabbeinu, Moses in the Jewish faith, we learn that self-awareness literally sets us free. And Avicenna, a 10th-Century Muslim philosopher urges that “self-awareness is essential to the soul and awareness of ourselves is our very existence.”