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KNOW THYSELF: JNANA YOGA
Part I
Know thyself was the maxim inscribed on the pediment of the temple at Delphi. What is this 'self' that we have to know? Is it a question of knowing our own vices and virtues, our strengths and weaknesses? No: to know oneself is to know the different bodies (the physical, etheric, mental, causal, buddhic and atmic bodies) of which we are formed and what each of these bodies needs. If the initiates of old insisted so much on the necessity of self-knowledge it was because this knowledge opens up tremendous possibilibes for growth, progress and success. As long as man is ignorant of the needs of his higher self, he will continue to surfeit his physical body while his soul and spirit suffocate and die of hunger and thirst. "Know Thyself!" All science and all wisdom lie in knowing oneself, in finding oneself, in the fusion of one's lower self with one's higher self. The symbol of the initiate who has succeeded in finding himself is the serpent with its tail in its mouth. In the ordinary way a serpent forms a straight line or wavy line, and a line is finite, limited. But the serpent with its tail in its mouth forms a circle and a circle represents the infinite, the limitless, the eternal. He who succeeds in becoming a circle enters a world without limitations where 'above' and 'below' are no longer separated, because all the powers and all the riches and virtues of the true, higher self have been infused into the lower self. The higher and the lower become one and man becomes a divinity.
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