“Understand who you are; know yourself.”
Before you find where you want to go on the map, you need to know where you are.
Excerpted from the video of Prem Rawat in Paris. Full audio or video also available in the Events section of the app and website.
So, what is the importance of knowing yourself? I can give you the most beautiful map, very well illustrated; everything is there; everything is marked—and there is a very beautiful place on the map that you want to go to.
But what is the most important thing you need to have on that map? And that is, "Where are you on that map?" Because, "turn left, turn right, and go straight" is all relevant to where you are. But if you don't know where you are, what is "left?" What is "right?" What is "go straight?" What is "go around the roundabout"—it doesn’t mean anything.
And we forget! People are writing books; people are making lectures, and they’re telling everybody, "You know, we have to turn left; we have to turn left." And then, "Oh no, now we have to turn right." Whose "right?" Whose "left?" Which "left?" Where are we going? Which "straight?" Because it’s all relative.
Unless you know who you are, living in this world is going to be very different. Because one of the things is going to be disorientation because you don't know where you are. You're lost. That feeling of—yeah, somewhere here—"What I am about to do, is that right? Do people like me? Am I popular?"
This is all before you ever get to loving yourself. You are more interested in whether other people love you. You're not even interested in whether you love yourself. And it's disorienting; look at what's—what is social media all about? Approval from other people.
So, now I am bringing this message—it's not my message. Socrates said this a long time ago. Some of the hieroglyphs that were deciphered from Egypt also said the same thing: "Understand who you are; know yourself." Socrates echoes that—"Know yourself. Know thyself." Because the importance of knowing yourself is so important.
- Prem Rawat