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Know Thyself

Bernard Guenther

The human heart cries out for help; the human soul implores us for deliverance;
but we do not heed their cries, for we neither hear nor understand.

Khalil Gibran

With people presenting solutions everywhere, be it through the political circus, spiritual leaders to more
progressive movements offering self-sustainable solutions, many people seem to have a plan of how to
fix the world. Other say, All is as its supposed to be, and all we need to do is go with the flow, focus on
love and light, and everything will be good. Visionary ideas are good and great to have however hopes
based on ideals can shatter into nothingness when there is no foundation to build them on. The popular
notion is that we must do, act, or vote and it seems that most folks just want someone to tell them what to
do so they dont have to think too much on their own. The question is, What are we really able to do if
we dont even know ourselves? What is humanity? Yes, we are one but are we all truly the same inside
(Hitler vs. Ghandi), seeing, thinking, feeing the same way? Who is to say what is good for the world, and
what is that? The issues the world faces; the destruction, greed, genocide, and economic meltdown
cannot and will not be resolved until man faces himself and does the work to gain self-knowledge beyond
worship of the ego. Humanity is deeply conditioned through the culture, society, religion, media,
nationalism, education, government and all kinds of illusionary beliefs.

Before we can offer any solutions, we need to become aware of this conditioning and do the work
necessary to truly understand ourselves, with our mechanical reactive behaviors, emotional addictions,
and our biases to automatically reject information that conflicts with our world view. Honest self-work
takes effort and courage as one will have to confront the social conditioning and programming as well as
the lies one is telling oneself in order to fit in. If one is sincere with oneself, this process will lead
inevitably to confront the lies of the world, and one starts to see the world more as it is, not as one likes it
or assumes it to be. This results in the rise of consciousness and awareness, moving one from
subjectivity to a more objective view of the world, a letting go of the false conditioned self, and embracing
ones higher self based on truth, knowledge, and essentially, love which is a higher state of being, and not
merely an emotional state. The more we see ourselves and the world objectively, the wiser our choices
become, and our resulting actions will have lasting positive impact.

This work is to be down within and without, for both are interconnected. Much like when Neil woke up in
the film The Matrix, the view is not necessarily pleasant once the illusions and buffers and programs have
been dislodged. Only truth will set us free. Once we can see, especially the unpleasant aspects of our
reality so many people tend to ignore, we will have a better understanding of what to do.

"Awakening is possible only for those who seek it and want it, for those who are ready to struggle
with themselves and work on themselves for a very long time and very persistently to attain it."

G.I. Gurdjieff

The necessity to know thyself has been transmitted through many wise men in ancient teachings
throughout the world for thousands of years. However, the depth of these teachings and the required
work to attain a higher state of consciousness has been distorted and watered down in the New Age
arena and consciousness movements these days, some of it deliberate in order to steer people away
from truth. Disinformation is used by the powers that be to infiltrate not only political parties and
progressive organization but also the New Age movement.

Whats next is the manipulation of spiritual values and tendencies. It is no accident that in the last few
years we have seen a new religious thought. The religion of acquiescence and passivity: trusting in the
process; whatever happens is what needs to happen; everyone is right where they need to be; you dont
resist, you acquiesce; to resist is to be negative, is to be fearful, is to be unconscious. A great prescription
for convincing the native to give over the keys to the kingdom, a very good, clever form of manipulation.
M.V. Summers

Religion (any misrepresentation of universal truth) has been used to control society for ages. The New
Age Movement with its many distorted teachings seems to have become the new global religion,
vectoring some people into complacency and conformity with an over-simplified understanding of we are
all one or all you need is love. Many people already believe that they are awake and aware yet they
are merely dreaming to be awake. As a matter of fact, what we see now in some New Age movements is
similar to followers of dogmatic religions, blind belief, wishful thinking, emotional projections, and lack of
critical thinking.

Effective disinformation always contains a good amount of truth to lure the seeker in but enough lies to
steer the person away and keep them in a kind of subjective tunnel vision. The same can be said about
the many self-help gurus out there, and many others who claim to know the way to heaven as an
abundance, they are here to help you help yourself, giving techniques of how to attract and manifest
money, a fulfilling relationship, the perfect job, lover and so on. While they make millions off the
desperation of the people who seek happiness and a way out.

Man must have results, real results, in his inner and outer life. I do not mean the results which modern
people strive after in their attempts at self-development. These are not results, but only rearrangements
of psychic material, a process the Buddhist call samsara and which our Holy Bible calls dust. Jacob
Needleman

When looking deeper into some of the self-help teachings, one can see that they mostly appeal to the ego
with its conditioned desires and buffers. They promote the push to desire (i.e. I have the best of
everything, or Everything I touch turns to gold without truly trying to understand where they come from
to begin with. In a sense, what is sold today as spirituality and self-work is quite the opposite of what the
classical esoteric traditions have passed down. It is more an escape to stop seeing the world and oneself
as it is. True self-work is not a walk in the park about manifesting ones desires.

The goal of any esoteric work must be that of objectivity, first in our understanding of ourselves, and
then, as our filters and programs are dislodged of the world. A true esoteric teaching will, therefore, not
only focus on Know Thyself, but will also provide knowledge about the reality of our reality. If one or the
other of these aspects is missing from a teaching, then you can be certain that it is incomplete, and an
incomplete teaching, even if through ignorance of the teacher, even if unconscious, is dangerous.
Henry See

That is not to say that all prominent authors and teachers are misleading on purpose. They themselves
can be duped and spread disinformation unknowingly even if their intent is well meant. Most of them
have more knowledge about marketing and selling themselves than understanding of spiritual work. Its
not black and white, but lies are mixed with truth so discernment is key. The truth about our world and
humanity has been suppressed for thousands of years and it certainly wont be revealed on Oprah or any
time soon.

Many become popular because they speak and write with a reductionist style that brings the complex
and disturbing down into canned formulas of what spiritual growth is supposedly all about. Dozens of
such New Age authors could bring their works together into one large volume entitled, How to Become
Aware of the Depths of Your Being Without Disturbing the Routine of Your Comfortable Lifestyle. Lew
Paz

There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order
to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but my
making the darkness conscious.

C.G. Jung

The necessity to see truth in oneself and the world and act upon it has to come from oneself. No one can
do it for another, and no one can push another to do it. Until man himself realizes the precious times we
live in, free will is not really free as long as man acts from his conditioned personality. People who dont
know themselves will continue to live in a self-inflicted prison, a prison without bars and walls, cherishing
their leaders as saviors like in the global Stockholm Syndrome*, worshiping and defending the ones who
keep them imprisoned. They become tools for the matrix thinking that they are free but they are merely
reacting mechanically to external influences and accumulated conditioning. No change is going to
happen by simply following the newest conspiracy videos, questionable New Age teachings and dubious
channeled material, meditating on love and light, striving for sustainable solutions or just protesting with
some banners and slogans. Yes, some of it can trigger and plant seeds of awareness but ultimately
change happens only if we change and separate lies from truth from within and from without. Only then
will we be able to see the world as it is without filters of denial, wishful thinking, false hopes and
misperceptions because of our corrupted state of being. In order to see the truth in the world we need to
see the truth in ourselves and stop lying to ourselves. Only then will we be able to know what to do and
act upon it.

What will bring peace is inward transformation, which will lead to outward action. Inward transformation is
not isolation, is not withdrawal from outward action. On the contrary, there can be right action only when
there is right thinking and there is no right thinking where there is no self-knowledge.

Without knowing yourself, there is no peace. Any ideal is merely an escape, an avoidance of what is, a
contradiction of what is. An ideal prevents direct action upon what is. To have peace, we will have to love; we
will have to begin not to live an ideal life but to see things as they are and act upon them, transform them.

As long as each one of us is seeking psychological security, the physiological security we need; food,
clothing and shelter, is destroyed. Some of you will nod your heads and say, I agree, and go outside and do
exactly the same as you have been doing for the last 10 or 20 years. Your agreement is merely verbal and
has no significance, for the worlds miseries and wars are not going to be stopped by your casual assent.

They will be only stopped when you realize the danger, when you realize your responsibility, when you do
not leave it to somebody else. If you realize the suffering, if you see the urgency of immediate action and do
not postpone, then you will transform yourself.

J. Krishnamurti

During this time of transition there is an awakening happening, no doubt, however we are also in the age
of deception and if people dont know themselves they will mistake reality for illusion and illusion for
reality. The term awakening needs to be carefully looked at because people can awaken to merely
another form of illusion and dream of waking up while still being asleep. On the other hand, self-work can
easily turn into a narcissistic activity if one is too absorbed with oneself or has no network that can give
objective feedback and mirroring. The solutions presented by various consciousness movements these
days, and other people who have good intensions are not bad in themselves however by leaving out the
necessary deeper self-work that is truly needed to be the change nothing will change fundamentally, and
so many of those solutions become just castles in the air.

It is also the prerequisite to seek truth in the world for ones perception needs to be clear in order to
discern lies from truth. Honest self-work goes hand-in-hand with looking at global issues that seem to be
ignored by many self-proclaimed conscious people who want a better world. Be it 9-11, Zionism,
psychopathy and ponerology**, the UFO phenomena and many other secrets present and past, there is
still much we have to come to terms with before any golden age is going to manifest. Suppression of
knowledge is the name of the game. There are traps and dead ends on the path to awakening and there
are forces at work that do their best to keep humanity asleep. It is no coincidence that much of this
crucial esoteric knowledge has been filtered out and is hard to come by in todays spiritual,
consciousness and New Age movements. Knowledge protectsignorance endangers.

Try for a moment to accept the idea that you are not what you believe yourself to be, that you overestimate
yourself, in fact that you lie to yourself. That you always lie to yourself every moment, all day, all your life.
That this lying rules you to such an extent that you cannot control it any more.

You are the pray of lying. You lie, everywhere. Your relations with otherslies. The upbringing you give, the
conventionslies. Your teachinglies. Your theories, your artlies. Your social life, your family lifelies.
And what you think of yourselflies also.

But you never stop yourself in what you are doing or in what you are saying because you believe in
yourself. You must stop inwardly and observe. Observe without preconceptions, accepting for a time this
idea of lying. And if you observe in this way, paying with yourself, without self-pity, giving up all your
supposed riches for a moment of reality, perhaps you will suddenly see something you have never before
seen in yourself until this day.

You will see that you are different from what you think you are. You will see that you are two. One who is
not, but takes the place and plays the role of the other. And one who is, yet so weak, so insubstantial, that he
no sooner appears than he immediately disappears. He cannot endure lies. The least lie makes him faint
away. He does not struggle, he does not resist, he is defeated in advance.

Learn to look until you have seen the difference between your two natures, until you have seen the lies, the
deception in yourself. When you have seen your two natures, that day, in yourself, the truth will be born.

Jeanne de Salzmann