see also "reflection"

The philosophies of the wisest people
that ever existed are mainly derived
from the act of introspection.

William Godwin


But if these years have taught me anything it is this:  you can never run away.  Not ever.  The only way out is in.

Junot Díaz

Study yourself. Find your strong points and make them stronger as well as your weak ones and strengthen them. Study yourself carefully and you will see yourself as you really are.

Theron Q. Dumont

Only by much searching and mining, are gold and diamonds obtained, and people can find every truth connected with their beings, if they will dig deep into the mine of their souls; and that they are the makers of their character, the molders of their lives, and the builders of their own destinies, they may unerringly prove, if they will watch, control, and alter their thoughts, tracing their effects upon themselves, upon others, and upon their lives and circumstances, linking cause and effect by patient practice and investigation, and utilizing their every experience, even to the most trivial, everyday occurrence, as a means of obtaining that knowledge of themselves which is Understanding, Wisdom, Power.

James Allen


Anybody desirous of success should spend some time in introspection and contemplation.

Sam Veda


Again the important point to remember is that you should keep
asking yourself questions.  Do not make statements.  Ask
questions to yourself.  The mind hates that.

Robert Adams


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Who looks outside, dreams.  Who looks inside, awakens.

Carl Jung

We forge gradually our greatest instrument for understanding the
world--introspection.  We discover that humanity may resemble us
very considerably--that the best way of knowing the inwardness of
our neighbours is to know ourselves.

Walter Lippman

The philosophy of the wisest person that ever existed,
is mainly derived from the act of introspection.

William Godwin


Introspection enables one to be free from the influence of negativity.  Introspection means
the desire to be good. Introspection brings the ability to look within and see the true self
in the mirror of the heart, thus enabling one to activate the inner spirituality.  Then all
effort made will be towards activating this inherent goodness.  And slowly one finds that
the behaviour associated with negative traits are no more expressed, as they begin to
lose their hold.  When I am able to introspect and look within, I can find the goodness
that is there within me.  Because of this, I naturally am free from expectations from others
that they should recognise my goodness or consider me good.  Instead I find myself
content with what I am and continue to bring out the best from within me.
I continue to learn from all situations and experience progress.

Brahma Kumaris

Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your
own heart.  Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.

Carl Jung

We search for happiness everywhere, but we are like Tolstoy's fabled beggar
who spent his life sitting on a pot of gold, under him the whole time. Your
treasure--your perfection--is within you already. But to claim it, you must
leave the busy commotion of the mind and abandon the desires
of the ego and enter into the silence of the heart.

Elizabeth Gilbert
Eat, Pray, Love


Many people suffer from the fear of finding oneself
alone, and so they don't find themselves at all.

Rollo May
Man's Search For Himself

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It does not always help to analyze and think about problems with your rational mind.
Sometimes it is far more effective to turn to your inner self, to ask the universe for
help.  Simply sit quietly.  Take a few deep breaths and focus your awareness within.
Ask your wise inner self, either silently or aloud, for guidance or help in understanding
the message.  As you get a sense of what feels right, act on this feeling.

Shakti Gawain

Take time to be quiet.  This is something that we don't do enough
in this busy world of ours.  We rush, rush, rush, and we are constantly
listening to noise all around us.  The human heart was meant for times
of quiet, to peer deep within.  It is when we do this that our hearts
are set free to soar and take flight on the wings of our own dreams!
Schedule some quiet "dream time" this week.  No other people.  No
cell phone.  No computer.  Just you, a pad, a pen, and your thoughts.

Jim Rohn

When you make the decision to look at. . . your own life and the way
you think about it, you do something courageous.  You dare to be yourself.
It may be terrifying to search inward, particularly when it's so easy to look
over someone else's shoulder.  After all, when you peer inside, it's hard to
know if you've made the correct choice.  What if the answers are wrong?
What if you don't know enough?  But even if someone else's answers are
right, they may not be right for you.  Making the distinction may not
always be easy, but once you see the benefits, you'll develop more faith
in what's inside your own heart.

Leslie Levine


The more faithfully you listen to the voice within you,
the better you will hear what is sounding outside.

Dag Hammarskjold

Spending time looking for what is missing in your life is futile; if you
fail to look within yourself. When we challenge everything we believe
we are, we reveal that which we never knew about our own selves.

Nicolas G. Janovsky

It is necessary. . . for one to go away by oneself. . . to sit on a rock. . .
and ask, "Who am I, where have I been, and where am I going?"

Carl Sandburg


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When we start at the center of ourselves, we discover something worthwhile
extending toward the periphery of the circle.  We find again some of the joy
in the now, some of the peace in the here, some of the love in me and thee
which go to make up the kingdom of heaven on earth.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Gift from the Sea


The most excellent and divine counsel, the best and most profitable
advertisement of all others, but the least practiced, is to study and
learn how to know ourselves.  This is the foundation
of wisdom and the highway to whatever is good.

Pierre Charron


The height of all philosophy is to know thyself;
and the end of this knowledge is to know God.

Francis Quarles

People live with themselves. . . and don't know themselves.  "Know thyself"
means:  devote time each day to studying yourself. . . ferreting out your
weakness, working at self-improvement, purifying your immortal soul.

Israel S. Lipkin

Secreted and hidden in the heart of the world and in the heart of the
human is the light which can illuminate all life, the future and the past.
Shall we not search for it?

Mabel Collins


Who am I?  Where have I come from?  Where am I going?--are
not questions with an answer but questions that open us up to new
questions which lead us deeper into the unshakeable mystery of existence.

Henri Nouwen


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Look at your own life.  Has it become overly complex?  Have you
found yourself burdened by too many possessions or responsibilities?
Take a deep breath and ask yourself:  "What steps can I take to
reduce the clutter so that I may live simply and joyously?"

Douglas Bloch

Withdraw into yourself and look.  And if you do not find yourself beautiful
as yet, do as the creator of a statue that is to be made beautiful; the sculptor
cuts away here, smoothes there, makes this line lighter, this other purer,
until he or she has shown a beautiful face upon the statue.



At the end of all religious paths there is the quest "Who am I?"  Until
this question is satisfactorily answered no one can claim to know
what the truth is or what God is.  The ultimate instruction in all
religions should therefore be "Know thyself."


Dwelling inwardly for extended periods, we come to know something
of the poverty of always looking outside ourselves for happiness,
understanding, and wisdom.  It's not that God, the environment, and other
people cannot help us to be happy or to find satisfaction.  It's just that our
happiness, satisfaction, and our understanding, even of God, will be no
deeper than our capacity to know ourselves inwardly, to encounter the
outer world from the deep comfort that comes from being at home in one's
own skin, from an intimate familiarity with the ways of
one's own mind and body.
   Dwelling in stillness and looking inward for some part of each day, we
touch what is most real and reliable in ourselves and more easily overlooked
and undeveloped.  When we can be centered in ourselves, even for brief
periods of time in the face of the pull of the outer world, not having to look
elsewhere for something to fill us up or make us happy, we can be at home
wherever we find ourselves, at peace with things
as they are, moment by moment.

Jon Kabat-Zinn
Wherever You Go, There You Are



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