“The Greatest Journey Is Self Discovery,
There Will We Find The Pearl We Seek.
For The Pearl You Seek Is You, Yourself.
As You Are Infinite Light and Love. Beyond Imagination.”
– Anonymous

Much of our lives, and for some – all our lives, is spent without knowing what or who we are, and looking for answers outside of ourselves instead of within. Below are a few gems on the subject by some of the great thinkers in history..

“At last, in a flash, understanding blazes up, and the mind, as it exerts all its powers to the limit of human capacity, is flooded with light.”
– Plato

“If the doors of perception were cleansed,
everything would appear to humankind as it is, infinite.
For humankind has closed itself up,
till it sees all things through narrow chinks of its cavern.”
– William Blake

“The trick, according to Chiang, was for Jonathon to stop seeing himself as trapped inside a limited body
that had a forty two inch wingspan and a performance that could be plotted on a chart.
The trick was to know that his true nature lived, as perfect as an unwritten number, everywhere at once across space and time.
– Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

“Look within. Within is the fountain of good, and it will ever bubble up, if thou wilt ever dig.”
– Marcus Aurelius

People travel to wonder at the height of mountains,
at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers,
at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars;
and they pass by themselves without wondering.
– St. Augustine

“I think self-awareness is probably the most important thing towards being a champion.”
– Billie Jean King

“I know everything except myself”
– Francois Villon

“Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.”
– Benjamin Spock

“Self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control – these three alone lead to power”
– Lord Alfred Tennyson

“How much more infinite a sea is man? Be not so childish as to measure him from head to foot and think you have found his borders.”
– Mikhail Naimy

“Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.-”
– Buddhist Quote

“A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart.
We know so many things, but we don’t know ourselves!
Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there.”
– Meister Eckhart

If most of us remain ignorant of ourselves, it is because self-knowledge is painful and we prefer the pleasures of illusion.
– Aldous Huxley

Know then thyself; the proper study of Mankind is Man.
Alexander Pope

Man, know thyself, and thou shalt know the Gods.
The body is the temple of the God within you; therefore it is said, ‘Man: know thyself.
Ancient Egyptian Sayings:

“It is on your own self-knowledge and experience that the knowledge and experience of everything else depend.”
– From The Cloud of Unknowing, Anonymous English Monk

If while living you fail to find your self, to know your self, how will you be able to understand the secret of your existence when you die?
– Attar of Nishapur

There are three Things extremely hard, Steel, a Diamond, and to know one’s self.
– Benjamin Franklin

In spirit is my true self to be found.
– Bernard of Clairvaux

The only real poverty is lack of self-knowledge.
– Beryl Pogson

Wake up! Be thyself!
The glory of the Self is beheld by few.
The Self is unmanifested, beyond all thought, beyond all change.
This is true knowledge, to seek the Self as the true end of wisdom always. To seek anything else is ignorance.
– Bhagavad-Gita

Who am I? is the only question worth asking and the only one never answered.
– Deepak Chopra

Know, first, who you are, and then adorn yourself accordingly.
In contemplating thyself, never include the body which surrounds you.
Poor wretch, you carry about a god within you, and know nothing of it.
– Epictetus

The crown of wisdom is that you know yourself.
– Erasmus

People tell me to be frank, but how can I when I don’t dare to know myself?
– Finley Peter Dunne

I know all except myself.
– Francois Villon

The remedy for Pride is Humility or true self-knowledge.
– Geoffrey Chaucer

The first reason for man’s inner slavery is his ignorance of himself.
Without self-knowledge, man cannot be free, he cannot govern himself and he will always remain a slave.
This is why in all ancient teachings the first demand at the beginning of the way to liberation was: ‘Know thyself’.
– George Gurdjieff

What a mystery I am to myself!
– Hans Christian Andersen

All men have the capacity of knowing themselves.
– Heraclitus of Ephesus

Nothing in the world is so distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself.
I wanted only to try to live in accord with the promptings which came from my true self. Why was that so very difficult?
– Herman Hesse

When you enter into His Paradise you enter into yourself.
My voyage was only in myself, and only pointed to myself.
This is a journey to increase knowledge and open the eye of understanding
– Ib’n Arabi

Who am I in the midst of all this thought traffic?
– Jalalludin Rumi

Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.
– Lao Tsu

Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.
– Lewis Carroll

Study the heart and the mind of man, and begin with your own
– Lord Chesterfield

To know reality is to become it.
According to the law that governs the universe, all sufferings are your labor of love to unveil your real self.
The ‘I’ has to get rid of the falseness before it can realize who it is in reality.
The mind creates false impressions and makes the real “I” think itself false.
When you surrender all falseness you inherit the Truth that you really are.
– Meher Baba

Thou must keep in view what thou art, striving to know thyself, the most difficult thing to know that the mind can imagine.
If thou knowest thyself, it will follow thou wilt not puff thyself up like the frog that strove to make himself as large as the ox.
– Miguel de Cervantes

Pride settles into a man when he does not yet know himself perfectly.
– Nazarius of Valaam

Our ambition should be to rule ourselves, the true kingdom for each one of us; and true progress is to know more, and do more, and be more.
‘Know Thyself’ was written over the portal of the antique world. Over the portal of the new world, ‘Be Thyself’ shall be written.
– Oscar Wilde

The ego is not your real self; the ego is a false entity, arbitrary. It is the ego that is your sleep, that surrounds you like darkness, like a cloud.
Hidden behind this darkness is your real self, your real being, which wants to wake up,
which wants to get out of all this smoke, out of all this darkness, which wants to get out of the prison of the ego.
– Osho

Our uncertainty about ourselves is at the base of our uncertainty of all things.
– Paracelsus

To know oneself—this was the first principle and the first demand of old psychological schools. We still remember these words, but have lost their meaning.
We think that to know ourselves, means to know our peculiarities, our desires, our tastes, our capacities and our intentions.
The most fundamental thing is to know oneself, although if certain things do not change you cannot know yourself.
– Peter Ouspensky

I shall be content, if I succeed in knowing myself. To reach this end I strain my eyes. I never loose sight of it, nor do I cease praying the Gods,
that they may teach me to know myself, and grant, as the wise ought to desire, that I always be mindful of my goal.
– Petrarch

Learn what you are, and be such.
– Pindar

In every man there is an eye of the soul which is more precious than ten thousand bodily eyes.
At last, in a flash, understanding blazes up, and the mind, as it exerts all its powers to the limit of human capacity, is flooded with light.
I must first know myself, as the Delphian inscription says.
To be curious about that which is not my concern, while I am still in ignorance of my own self would be ridiculous.
I may be a simpleton, but in my opinion, only that knowledge which is of being and of the unseen, can make the soul look upwards.
– Plato

I have an inner self of which I was ignorant.
– Rainer Maria Rilke

Wherever we go, whatever we do, self is the sole subject we study and learn.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

First get an absolute conquest over thyself.
– Thomas Fuller

I am not yet able, as the Delphic inscription has it, to know myself;
So it seems to me ridiculous, when I do not yet know that, to investigate irrelevant things.
– Socrates

The high peak of knowledge is perfect self-knowledge.
– Richard of Saint Victor

If you do not know yourselves, then you are in poverty and you are poverty.
– Gospel of St. Thomas

The Self is the goal of life; attain this goal.
Those who know the Self become the Self.
Zen Masters and Proverbs

Of all knowledge, the wise and good seek most to know themselves.
Thou sleep’st: awake, and see thyself.
The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
I know myself now, and I feel within me A peace above all earthly dignities,
A still and quiet conscience.
William Shakespear

The Self lies beyond the senses and can only be understood by him who knows It is.
Those who realize the Self are forever free from the jaws of death.
Katha Upanishad:

A sage withdrew his senses from the world
Of change and, seeking immortality,
Looked within and beheld the deathless Self.
The Self is the goal of life; attain this goal.
Those who know the Self become the Self.