When the early Greeks went to the Oracle in Delphi to ask questions about life and the future, the Oracle often gave enigmatic answers. But behind all the answers was the ages old dictum, 'Man, Know Thyself,' for which the Oracle is remembered.
All questions that we may have about life arise from this one fundamental question: Who Am I? All problems begin with not knowing this answer. The answer changes with time and with changes in consciousness. Our joy comes from an insight into this question. All fulfillment and all healing must address explicitly or implicitly this question. The answer is not information, although information or concepts might be formulated. The answer is always a soul connection. It is an identification with the expression of Spirit within us, which is in part what soul is.
Throughout the ages, the issue of self knowledge has been the most basic teaching of every path of development or expansion of consciousness. It appears to be deceptively simple. Obviously there must be more to it than at first seems apparent, or we would not have to be constantly reminded of it.
When you buy a new car you get an owner's manual to tell you all about it and how it functions. When we come into this life we do not get an owner's manual and don't know very much about how we function. We have to write our own manual - and it will be unique and different from that of everyone else. How are you doing so far with yours?
Does it not seem odd to you that our educational system teaches us about how the physical world is, but does not teach us how we are? This education is left up to each of us to pursue. We have to learn not only about our physical body, but also about our emotional life and our mental life. Without this knowledge we do not take responsibility for our physical well-being, and our thoughts and especially our emotions control us. Personal growth systems, self-help books and courses, and modern psychology to some extent deal with these dimensions of our personality.
But there is much more to self-knowledge. The 'self' is not the self-image we have, but our essence, the soul, of who we are. And without knowing who we are in our essence we cannot be ourselves. We then live superficially, with our 'power' but a temporary illusion and our love conditional. Without self-knowledge we become victims of circumstances. Through the Soul Journey, we find our unique essence, and become adept at expressing ourselves from a very powerful, intelligent and loving center within us.