“Know Thyself” is one of three maxims inscribed in the forecourt of the Temple to Apollo at Delphi, Greece. It has been attributed to over half a dozen ancient Greek writers – Plato, Pythagoras, Thales, Heraclitus, and so on. The essence of this directive is that we should better know ourselves and our place in the great order of things.
When we search for meaning outside of ourselves, we may latch on to the latest shiny object and think “there, nailed it.” Not so. Meaning comes from within, and it is there we must look and listen. For many of us, discovery comes from letting the Voice of the Holy Spirit guide us in our prayer life and meditation practice. We all have a purpose and a meaning in the grand scheme of things. That North Star is inscribed in our hearts, and once we discover it for ourselves our lives take on more meaning.
After we reach this higher state, we don’t have anything to prove anymore. Why should life be a struggle when it can be an experience of inner peace and outer joy? Finally we can admire and love our friends for who they are, and rest easy in the knowledge of our own purpose.
Patrick J. Wood