Know Thyself is a principle… but how do you get to know yourself?

Know thyself is what is one of the 147 maxims (a short, pithy statement expressing a general truth or rule of conduct. Not the same as a principle, but there are many overlaps… Most of these maxims are virtues. My favorites are “Know what you have learned” and “Be/Know yourself”, because they are maybe the most important. Do yourself a favor, and read them, and ponder.) inscribed in Delphi… 1

In fact, it is a principle.

A principle is something to live by, something to get guidance from.

When we talk about principle driven life, any of those 147, and countless other principles will do your life justice.

When I look at people, when I observe them, their lives have no rhyme, no purpose…

Looking good is not a principle.
Wanting to be right is not a principle
I am pretty/smart/stupid is not a principle
I want to be rich is not a principle

All of those are desires. All keep you anchored on the horizontal plane, the Valley of the Shadow of Death.

Principles, on the other hand, can take you all the way to the vertical.

Principles are also not rules.

You have enough rules that keep you stuck and miserable and powerless…

Know Thyself is a guidance, as all the principles.
All principles lead you to the strait and narrow, all rules keep you from it.

The trick is to know the rules that run you, that run your life.

You can’t catch something that you cannot see… So the job is to see your rules, so you can catch them, and let them go… like a butterfly.

Almost all rules are in the Systemic Value range.

koi fish

  • I have to,
  • need to,
  • want to,
  • should… or else.
  • Republicans are the right party.
  • Christianity is
  • God is
  • Jesus is
  • The government is

Catch the “is” in those phrases? It shows a rule (also called myth)

  • I am
  • You are
  • We are
  • They are

are versions of “is”… rule, myth, misery maker.

You are stuck on the lowest level of value, and it is not even the whole horizontal plane!

Principles are in the highest level of value, the intrinsic value, the vertical plane.

Some people (myself included) gets returned to the vertical by just whispering one of those principles…

My favorite is “there is never any hurry on the creative plane”.

It returns me to freedom, to sanity, to coherence, to wide cone of vision, to joy… no matter what was pulling me down. Amazing.

So how do you use a principle? Remember, it’s a guidance, and you use guidance.

The first thing is: don’t take it as a rule. It is a gentle guidance. Rule has a flip side to it: punishment if you don’t keep the rule.

Guidance has no flip side… that is how you know it is NOT systemic value, like a rule. It is part of the billions of facets of a diamond, the intrinsic values.

Depending on where you are on the vibrational scale, you’ll have to work on this: you’ll want a rule… but you have to release its grip on you… and mellow it, allow it to guide you.

Not easy, but possible.

If you want, we could do some workshops where the participant tries on some principles, and I help them release that it’s a rule. I can feel you inside… I can feel if you are obeying, or using, if you are grasping, or allowing. That’s why you want an empath in this with you.

Know Thyself is one of the most difficult guidances, because you don’t.

You don’t know yourself.

This is why you do so many psychological tests, read so many articles, because you don’t know yourself.

You don’t know what is relevant, what isn’t. You think it is good or bad… systemic values.

But it is a lot more interesting than that.

One tool I have found really invaluable is the Spirit Animal 2 book is the guidance.

3 My spirit animal is the skunk 4 . They are your “keep your distance bud, or I’ll spray you” people… Gruff. Often an empath needs to be like a skunk… keep you at bay, because you are bad news. lol.

I am still a “skunk” but I am now conscious of it, and can play it like a musical instrument, not all blunt and hammer-like.

Here is an actual physical book. I am still hunting for a kindle book or pdf or a quiz…

And some links:


Please remember: the power is in the inquiry, the power is in the question… not the answer. The answer will become a rule… a limitation, and not a guidance.

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    1. Follow God
    2. Obey the law
    3. Worship the Gods
    4. Respect your parents
    5. Be overcome by justice
    6. Know what you have learned
    7. Perceive what you have heard
    8. Be/Know yourself
    9. Intend to get married
    10. Know your opportunity
    11. Think as a mortal
    12. If you are a stranger act like one
    13. Honor the hearth (or Hestia)
    14. Control yourself
    15. Help your friends
    16. Control anger
    17. Exercise prudence
    18. Honor providence
    19. Do not use an oath
    20. Love friendship
    21. Cling to discipline
    22. Pursue honor
    23. Long for wisdom
    24. Praise the good
    25. Find fault with no one
    26. Praise virtue
    27. Practice what is just
    28. Be kind to friends
    29. Watch out for your enemies
    30. Exercise nobility of character
    31. Shun evil
    32. Be impartial
    33. Guard what is yours
    34. Shun what belongs to others
    35. Listen to everyone
    36. Be (religiously) silent
    37. Do a favor for a friend
    38. Nothing to excess
    39. Use time sparingly
    40. Foresee the future
    41. Despise insolence
    42. Have respect for suppliants
    43. Be accommodating in everything
    44. Educate your sons
    45. Give what you have
    46. Fear deceit
    47. Speak well of everyone
    48. Be a seeker of wisdom
    49. Choose what is divine
    50. Act when you know
    51. Shun murder
    52. Pray for things possible
    53. Consult the wise
    54. Test the character
    55. Give back what you have received
    56. Down-look no one
    57. Use your skill
    58. Do what you mean to do
    59. Honor a benefaction
    60. Be jealous of no one
    61. Be on your guard
    62. Praise hope
    63. Despise a slanderer
    64. Gain possessions justly
    65. Honor good men
    66. Know the judge
    67. Master wedding-feasts
    68. Recognize fortune
    69. Flee a pledge
    70. Speak plainly
    71. Associate with your peers
    72. Govern your expenses
    73. Be happy with what you have
    74. Revere a sense of shame
    75. Fulfill a favor
    76. Pray for happiness
    77. Be fond of fortune
    78. Observe what you have heard
    79. Work for what you can own
    80. Despise strife
    81. Detest disgrace
    82. Restrain the tongue
    83. Keep yourself from insolence
    84. Make just judgements
    85. Use what you have
    86. Judge incorruptibly
    87. Accuse one who is present
    88. Tell when you know
    89. Do not depend on strength
    90. Live without sorrow
    91. Live together meekly
    92. Finish the race without shrinking back
    93. Deal kindly with everyone
    94. Do not curse your sons
    95. Rule your wife
    96. Benefit yourself
    97. Be courteous
    98. Give a timely response
    99. Struggle with glory
    100. Act without repenting
    101. Repent of sins
    102. Control the eye
    103. Give a timely counsel
    104. Act quickly
    105. Guard friendship
    106. Be grateful
    107. Pursue harmony
    108. Keep deeply the top secret
    109. Fear ruling
    110. Pursue what is profitable
    111. Accept due measure
    112. Do away with enmities
    113. Accept old age
    114. Do not boast in might
    115. Exercise (religious) silence
    116. Flee enmity
    117. Acquire wealth justly
    118. Do not abandon honor
    119. Despise evil
    120. Venture into danger prudently
    121. Do not tire of learning
    122. Do not stop to be thrifty
    123. Admire oracles
    124. Love whom you rear
    125. Do not oppose someone absent
    126. Respect the elder
    127. Teach a youngster
    128. Do not trust wealth
    129. Respect yourself
    130. Do not begin to be insolent
    131. Crown your ancestors
    132. Die for your country
    133. Do not be discontented by life
    134. Do not make fun of the dead
    135. Share the load of the unfortunate
    136. Gratify without harming
    137. Grieve for no one
    138. Beget from noble routes
    139. Make promises to no one
    140. Do not wrong the dead
    141. Be well off as a mortal
    142. Do not trust fortune
    143. As a child be well-behaved
    144. As a youth be self-disciplined
    145. As of middle-age be just
    146. As an old man be sensible
    147. On reaching the end be without sorrow
    148. What is a spirit animal?
      For some, a Spirit Animal is an otherworldly guide who appears to offer love, healing, and support during difficult times. To others, a Spirit Animal is the same as a Totem Animal – it’s who you really are.
    150. The skunk spirit animal may not have the best reputation because of the unpleasant odor that it emits. However, despite is smelly reputation, the skunk symbolism has magical and mystical associations.

      The adorable and feisty little skunk holds a message of great power. It commands respect and admiration, and you will seriously give it a second thought when you get to know the true skunk meaning.
      Common Skunk Spirit Animal Meanings

      The skunk meaning places the emphasis on being distinct. It symbolizes the importance of being who you are and living authentically without caring about other people’s opinions.

      When the skunk spirit animal appears to you, it’s to help you build up your self-confidence. It’s to help you develop your strength and sense of independence.

      It wants you to trust in yourself more and live on your own terms by setting your own boundaries. The skunk symbolism urges you to rely on yourself more.

      Focus on the signals that you are sending to people and what they feel or think about you. Learn to accept the good with the bad and use it to make yourself a better person.

      When you can accept all your strengths and weaknesses, you can then truly express yourself. You can be comfortable in your own skin.

      The skunk spirit animal prefers to do its own thing quietly, so you should do the same. Do not bring attention to yourself just for the sake of gaining popularity or just to get people’s approval.

      Either people like you or they don’t. They will see you and notice you every time, so make sure that you control how they notice you.

      The meaning of the skunk also symbolizes attraction. People are drawn to you for many reasons, even if you keep pushing them away.
      If Your Spirit Animal is the Skunk, read this carefully…

      Sometimes the skunk spirit animal appears in your life to remind you that you can get attention without being annoying, irritating, or arrogant. It also shows up when you no longer know how to deal with people who annoy the hell out of you.

      The meaning of the skunk holds great importance. It awakens you to recognize your abilities and be aware of the power of your sexuality and sensuality.

      Your skunk totem wants you to be prepared for disappointments, setbacks, and obstacles. But you don’t have anything to worry about because they are only temporary.

      You are made of strong stuff. You can easily get back on your feet.

      Just remember that whatever is keeping you from achieving your goals will be sorted sooner rather than later. Trust in the message of the skunk!
      Skunk spirit animals as messengers of change

      Unlike the Dove, the meaning of the skunk seeks to remind you to build up your self-esteem. It symbolizes the need to have more self-respect.

      If in the past you have allowed people to treat you unkindly, your skunk totem urges you to make that change and start respecting yourself. Now is the time to put yourself first and focus on what you need and what makes you happy.

      When there’s happiness within, everything else will follow. You will soon see the changes in your life, and you will be ready to take on the world.

      Positive Traits of the Skunk Spirit Animal

      The skunk totem teaches a thing or two about fearlessness and peace. It’s possible to be brave and aggressive without bringing discord and disharmony into your life.

      You are a beautiful, calm, and steady presence. But when you are provoked, or there’s a threat to your loved ones, you will not just sit down and do nothing.

      Like the skunk spirit animal, you are easily distinguishable because of your distinct characteristics. You are charming and self-confident, humble yet powerful.

      Like your skunk totem, you will only spray an enemy when you are truly left with no choice. You don’t easily blow up, and it takes quite a lot earn your ire.

      But once you do lose your temper, people will regret it. You give a fair amount of warning, but when you’ve had enough, there’s nothing anyone can do about it.
      Negative Traits of the Skunk Spirit Animal

      The meaning of the skunk speaks about how you treat people you like and don’t like. You use your charm and personality to attract those you like, and use it to repel those you don’t.

      You don’t like it when people invade your privacy. You don’t take it particularly well when people cross the line and make you feel exposed or vulnerable.

      There’s also a tendency for you to be conceited and pompous because of all the special traits and talents that you possess. This turns off a lot of people, but if you don’t like them, it also doesn’t matter what they think of you.

      Call on your Skunk Spirit Animal when:

      • You need to build your confidence.
      • Be inspired by your skunk spirit animal. No matter how small you may be feeling right now, know that you can achieve anything that you set your mind on.
      • You need to be your own person.
      • At the end of the day, the only opinion that truly matters about yourself is your own! Don’t focus on the noise and just listen to what your inner voices
      • are telling you.
      • You need to move on.

      The skunk spirit animal is not sentimental and does not dwell on the past. You should be more concerned about what’s waiting for you in the future, and what you should be doing in the present.
      My final thoughts on the Skunk Spirit Animal and its Symbolism

      The skunk meaning is strong in you because you also love to be solitary. You know that there’s a time to be around people, and there’s a time to be by yourself.

      You know where to draw the balance, and that’s good. People who love you don’t end up feeling like you’re pushing them away because you make sure they are loved and well taken care of.

      The skunk meaning encourages you to take care of your reputation and your authentic self. Walk the talk, and this is how you will earn the respect of people.

Author: Sophie Benshitta Maven

True empath, award winning architect, magazine publisher, transformational and spiritual coach and teacher, self declared Avatar

2 thoughts on “Know Thyself is a principle… but how do you get to know yourself?”

  1. I’m trying to remind myself that “there’s nothing wrong in reality” as much as possible. Can that be considered a principle?

  2. no, it is not a principle. Principles are portable, but there is only one reality, so it cannot be portable… lol. But it is true. All wrong comes from the observer saying so.

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