Friday, 20 October 2017

nosce te ipsum

Despite the prevalence, pedigree and seeming verisimilitude and versatility of the maxim, Know thy Self, Professor Bence Nanay writes it is a potentially dangerous directive, making a pretty persuasive case that we’re wilfully blind to the gradual changes in our personalities, tastes and characters and sticking with the self-same choices and preferences, which are importantly within our control but yet may be misinformed or no longer complimentary to the person we’re becoming, may help perpetuate this delusion.
Not that there are no consistent qualities and abiding principles in our lives, but holding tenaciously on to a self-image that may not be an accurate reflection of oneself is a potential source of tension.  It is also impetus to keep doing things that one does not particularly care for and even resents, because we mentally shroud the contradiction with cognitive dissonance that makes us think our choices are own rather than a resigning to habit because we’ve squandered all of our energies on self-censorship and keeping up appearances. What do you think? We especially liked the quote from André Gide on how “A caterpillar who seeks to know himself would never become a butterfly.” We ought to strive to reacquaint ourselves with ourselves daily to avoid repairing to vanity and pandering.