Temet Nosce

There are a training self-development programmes out there that help us discover ourselves. We attend such programmes and come rejuvenated with a new-found zest for life, having discovered our true selves.

Interestingly most of these programmes have a set pattern: we pay money for them, usually go out of the environment and the surrounding that we live in, for a short period that is usually inadequate to internalise what we discover. Mostly, the proof of having successfully attended these programmes is the language of the participant. These people are usually: in touch with their inner selves, they are suddenly one with the universe, they sense cosmic intervention and such things. Other choice phrase combinations will use: sharing, bonding, one-ness, peace, simple, growth, and of course love. A spattering of these words mixed with other choice phrases, is a mark of a person just out of a training self-development programme.

Very few of these people ever really get around to knowing themselves. The ones that do, rarely ever choose to use vaguely exotic vocabulary to explain everything that they feel. There is a sense of strength about them that is usually evident.


Mostly, you do not need to pay anyone to know yourself. And being out of the environment and the surrounding that influences who you are – getting out of that the environment – seems almost self-defeating.

Often it is the otherwise innocent remarks, signs and gestures, which we tend to ignore, that provide the insight that you need to know thyself. All our tribulations for self-discovery amount to nothing, if we ignore the signals that people around us keep sending. We’ll of course have to allow ourselves to be open to receive those signals. If we continue to insist on maintaining the belief about who we are, chances are, these signals will only bounce off us. And these signals will always be from the people around you – neglect the signs at your own peril.

Det-Res, recently wrote in her New Year post: “I also hope for our sake that we realize old habits will not get new results.

For those of you who still haven’t remembered, Temet Nosce, is the plaque at the Oracle’s place, in The Matrix. Apparently, it’s non-traditional Latin, and translates to: “thine own self thou must know.”

I’ll leave you with this thought that my friend sent in reply to an email I once wrote to her:

I think people are actually like modelling clay – we assume and blatantly accept our three-dimensionalism, when the truth is that we are multi-dimensional  – and every passing year is just proof of our ever-changing-ness.


8 thoughts on “Temet Nosce

  1. Being out of the environment – that influences who we are, for a brief while, can give a new perspective, a new vantage point. Sometimes that is all that’s needed. A fresh view. One that possibly also tunes us to the signals that we’ve tuned out.


  2. We are so caught up with the situation that we miss the objectivity. Either one can choose to get away from the situation and contemplate or discipline oneself to be in it and yet not. either way the key point is being able to view it holistically.

    Cheers to the thought!


    • Right! More than discipline, it’s just “tuning-in” that’s required. Over a chai at your local tapri, getting out of the parking; we take these as mundane, everyday things and often don’t pay attention to the sights and sounds there – more-so, because we take them for granted.


      • hmmm… I will look at trainings from a team perspective here and sometimes, routine techniques help open up people.. that I like..

        One cannot grow, love, etc in a day or some hours.. 🙂 it takes day in and day out practice of being human.. and keeping human..

        Self development is from the inside.. and has to be realized by self.. LOL..

        and it has been proven to me again and again that no matter what you train for, if one does not practice or understand it, its of no use.. its mere words.. be it Landmark, Art of Living, and many other techniques.
        It could actually have an averse effect..

        Good post..


  3. While I see your point here on the numerous ‘self development’ programmes, I fear you are also being too cynical-bordering-on-harsh! For now, a new environment almost always helps, in more ways than one. For one, you don’t have your routine ‘things’ to take care of. They usually take you to calm places – and it is hard to argue that a the external environment significantly affects the mind. More importantly, a new environment sometimes just might throw up newer perspectives, on ourselves.
    That said, I completely agree with you on discovering ourselves ‘in and through’ our daily lives. Perhaps in order to get to that level of ‘unconscious competence’, one just has to go through the beginnings in much more naive ways? 🙂


    • WRT to your link on FB, where I just wrote “Temet Nosce”, this isn’t relevant. I didn’t post this link to the comments there.

      WRT to this post in absolute terms, I am arguing that it isn’t necessary to pay for a programme to go out of your environment to know yourself. Going outside of an environment is good – we go out for short beaks, holidays and vacations for that reason. I am not against experiencing new environments – I don’t subscribe to paying money to knowyourself. While, some may argue even that helps, since we may have become blind to knowing ourselves.


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