Self knowledge and self discipline

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self knowledge and self discipline

The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch

Charles Arrowby, leading light of Englands theatrical set, retires from glittering London to an isolated home by the sea. He plans to write a memoir about his great love affair with Clement Makin, his mentor both professionally and personally, and to amuse himself with Lizzie, an actress he has strung along for many years. None of his plans work out, and his memoir evolves into a riveting chronicle of the strange events and unexpected visitors--some real, some spectral--that disrupt his world and shake his oversized ego to its very core.

In exposing the jumble of motivations that drive Arrowby and the other characters, Iris Murdoch lays bare the truth of untruth--the human vanity, jealousy, and lack of compassion behind the disguises they present to the world. Played out against a vividly rendered landscape and filled with allusions to myth and magic, Charless confrontation with the tidal rips of love and forgiveness is one of Murdochs most moving and powerful novels.
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Self-knowledge is about observing, about being perceptive within our life, about experiencing our life. It is about being aware of our life and its importance. It is about being conscious of our place in life and its possibilities. It is about thinking about our life and wanting to get the most out of life, while wanting to contribute all we can at the same time. Knowing yourself is what self knowledge is really all about. And it is so important.

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But I am also a CEO, with all the bad habits and attitudes that are natural to the species. I am still naturally self-interested, overconfident, full of pride, and eager to control a meeting as any CEO in America. Every day, I struggle with my ego. You can only conquer yourself. There's plenty of movement, but you never know if it's going to be forward, backwards, or sideways. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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But the knowledge of self is as necessary for the Spiritual life as is the knowledge of God. It is at once a condition and an effect of this knowledge. The more we grow in the knowledge of God the deeper our knowledge of self, and if we would attain to any knowledge of God there must be some know ledge of self. When Isaias saw the Lord's Glory in the Temple there was at once a deepening sense of his own sinfulness, Woe is me, because I am a man of unclean lips, and I have seen with my eyes the King, the Lord of hosts. For the soul is created in the Image of God, and it cannot approach His Presence without perceiving how unlike it is to Him in whose Image it was made. To know God is to know self. To have no knowledge of God is to walk in darkness, to have no absolute standard by which to gauge and measure oneself.

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