What Truly Knowing Oneself Is
Several Paths to Knowing Oneself
In knowing oneself, there are several methods for carrying this out that must be understood clearly. That means you must understand clearly how to know oneself and in what respects a person is able to know himself. To truly know oneself, the most important thing is to reflect on yourself through accepting the judgment and chastisement of God until you have true knowledge of your own corrupt nature. This is the first way. Second, get the result of attaining knowledge about yourself when experiencing pruning and dealing. Pruning and dealing includes criticism, reproach, and fellowship from brothers and sisters. There are many times when we have revealed some corruption, but we have not truly known it ourselves. We just think it is quite ordinary, and think that this is a regular appearance, but it is only through the reproach, assistance, or pruning and dealing from brothers and sisters that we can attain the result of knowing ourselves. Third, reflect on yourself when corruption is being revealed to attain true knowledge of yourself. For most revelations of corruption, people are clear in their own hearts, and are able to know. There are those who say, “How could it be that I don’t know all the things I have done?” It is because your understanding of the truth is too little. If you understand more of the truth, then you can distinguish and know all of your revealed corruption. Fourth, attain knowledge of yourself through revelations from trials, and see your own poverty, pitifulness, and blindness, and see what your own nature and substance is. It is easiest to know yourself through revelations from trials, because at that time your revealed corruption is much clearer and more distinct than usual. Because in trials people have no choice but to reveal their corruption. That is desperation. Without any truth, they could only rely on their flesh to do as it wishes, but they are completely clear in their hearts. Through revelations by trials, what people reveal is the truth of their corruption. It is their true face, without anything tainted in, and even if they wanted to disguise it, there is no way for them to do so. Fifth, reflect on yourself regarding the intentions, desires, and pursuits that are concealed in the depths of your heart, and know your nature and substance. Many things are concealed in the depths of each person’s heart, and the things that are concealed are the truest form of the self. Those things of people’s nature and substance are all concealed in the depths of their hearts. For example, what kind of person an individual wants to be his whole life, what kinds of desires he will have his whole life, what kinds of ambitions he will have his whole life, what goals he wants to reach in his whole life, these things are all concealed in the depths of their hearts. When the environment is conducive to them they are revealed, and those corrupt things and the truth of the old self come out in the open, they will seize the opportunity, and they will bide their time to act. Do people understand clearly for themselves these things that are in the depths of their hearts? There are some which are clear, and some which are concealed. If the opportunity never arises, they are not revealed. Before the opportunity has arisen, people don’t have those thoughts, but one day when the opportunity comes, they will start to have these thoughts. So when a person encounters a specific environment, then whatever he can reveal from inside himself is the thing that is most representative of his nature and substance.
The Demonstrations of People Who Truly Know Themselves
If a person truly knows himself, what kind of situation is he in? At the least, in every matter he lives in a normal state with conscience and reason. The greatest characteristic of people who have the truth and humanity is that they are reasonable and with conscience and are able to deal with any matter in a reasonable way. Dealing with matters reasonably is being able to seek the truth and abandon their own notions and imaginings, and to deal with them either in accordance with the word of God or through praying to and seeking God. These kinds of people are those who have reason, and people who have reason are people who know themselves. So the more a person possesses reason, the more he is able to obey God, and the more he is able to seek the truth. Only this kind of person is someone who truly knows himself. If in knowing himself somebody attains a true result, which is the best result and the highest state a person can reach in knowing himself, then this kind of person changes unconsciously. His conscience and reason will be restored, and his life disposition will begin to change. He will also be principled in the things he does. So someone who truly knows himself is someone whose life disposition changes. From their outer appearance, people who truly know themselves are especially possessed of reason and conscience. They are no longer arrogant and unsubmissive to anyone; rather, they can humble themselves. Because they know what they are and what they are actually capable of doing, they know that they are average, and they know their own limitations. So, these kinds of people have a great deal of reason in whatever they are doing. On the outside, they are not insolent and are very modest in all that they do, but everything they do is very reasonable, and people see that it is very suitable. Only this kind of person is someone who has true knowledge of himself. If a person is truly able to know himself, then he will certainly have changes. If a person sees someone who has truly changed, and they no longer perform their duties perfunctorily, and they don’t need anyone to oversee or manage him to put forth his greatest effort and be loyal to God, then this kind of person is certainly someone who knows himself. No matter what they are faced with, they don’t rely on themselves or their imaginings to act, but rather they seek the truth and pray to God and try to grasp the intention of God. Afterward, they obey God in accordance with His requirements. This kind of person is someone who truly knows himself. When they associate with other people, they keep their word and don’t have any treachery or deception. They can open their hearts to people and speak and act honestly, and these kinds of people are those who truly know themselves. People who truly know themselves are especially possessed of reason and conscience in how they conduct themselves and are able to treat people fairly. No matter what corruption a person reveals, they can respond to him compassionately.