Thursday, August 29, 2019

"Give Heed To Thyself" (A Homily of St. Basil the Great)

For St. Basil, "Know Thyself" (Gnothi Seauton) is closely connected with "Give Heed to Thyself" (Proseche Seauton), for you cannot know yourself unless you guard yourself, and you cannot guard yourself unless you know yourself. The origins of this saying is in Deuteronomy 4:9, which says: "Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life." Know Thyself and Give Heed to Thyself are so closely connected, that some Church Fathers believed the ancient Greek maxim had its origins in Moses and in Solomon, who says: "If thou know not thyself, thou fair one among women, go thou forth by the footsteps of the flocks, and feed thy kids by the shepherd’s tents" (Song of Songs 1:8).