Know Thyself

It’s rare to Know Thyself. Not because people can’t, but because people won’t, because it’s work or painful or means accepting hard truths about yourself or others or the world, and sometimes it’s more comforting to live in denial, even if it means things never change.

But there’s a point or at least a process of confronting certain struggles and asking yourself if you want to deny they exist, or look them in the eye in an effort to overcome them, to be something not because of them, but in spite of them.

Sometimes this leads to great things. Sometimes it can destroy you, so it’s hard to really say what’s best. Nietzsche said “He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.”

I believe that evolution is necessary for progress, and change is how we measure evolution. You live once. We can live possessed by a single set of ideas and beliefs and identity, or we can fight to change them, and in turn change ourselves, and even the world. I think the pain of change, and the risk of losing yourself, is worth it. There’s honor in that fight. There’s nothing honorable about subsisting day to day and clutching onto superficial ideas that never change, while the world changes all around you.

The creators make the world— the visionaries, the artists, the divine eyes that beholds not what is, but what could be, despite the world’s rejections, their skepticism, their mockery. In short, their fear. The creators shape the minds of men through the process of learning to shape their own mind, to be master of their own world. He who wishes to master the world must first master himself.

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