In Ancient Greece, when the philosopher Socrates was asked to sum up what all philosophical commandments could be reduced to, he replied: ‘Know yourself.’
Self-knowledge matters so much because it is only on the basis of an accurate sense of who one is that one can make reliable decisions - particularly around love and work.
Unfortunately, self-awareness is devilishly hard to acquire. Our minds are hugely skilled at hiding the truth about ourselves from our conscious grasp. We start off as children fathoming very little of who we might be and then must spend a share of our adults lives attempting to understand the often garbled legacy of childhood.
This class gives us the keys to self-knowledge. It teaches us techniques to explore our own minds and clarify vague and almost-out-of-reach emotions and thoughts. It helps us to understand the emotional dynamics of childhood, how we must appear to others and what we are not able easily to see about ourselves.
We realise the extent to which our minds are squeamish about ideas that challenge our existing comfortable view of ourselves - and acquire tools that combat the tendency to avoid important insights about who we are.
How to Develop Self-Knowledge takes us on one of the most exciting journeys: into our deepest, most elusive selves. We come away armed with a newly clarified sense of the distinctive nature of our personalities, what we need to watch out for and what our priorities and potential might be.
This class is in a sequence with How to be Sociable and How to be Serene , which together cover The School of Life’s ideas on self and others.
Our classes have been designed to give useful insights around the big themes in life. You’ll be challenged to think deeply about the issues that matter most, and provided with a space to share your thoughts, ideas and experiences with other curious, open-minded individuals.
These sessions are designed by experts and taught by members of our faculty. They include a mix of lecture, conversation and group activity. Optional homework is provided for those interested in further study.
An Introduction to The School of Life
To get an idea of what to expect from classes, workshops and events in our classroom, watch this short film.