knowing self and knowing God | David Benner
People who have never developed a deep personal knowing of God will be limited in the depth of their personal knowing of themselves. Failing to know God, they will be unable to know themselves, as God is the only context in which their being makes sense. Similarly, people who are afraid to look deeply at themselves will of course be equally afraid to look deeply at God.
For such persons, ideas about God provide a substitute for direct experience of God
Knowing God and knowing self are therefore interdependent. Neither can proceed very far without the other. Paradoxically, we come to know God best not by looking at God exclusively, but by
looking at God
and then looking at ourselves
then looking at God
and then again looking at ourselves.
This is also the way we best come to know our selves. Both God and self are mostly fully known in relationship to each other.
- David G. Brenner in The Gift of Being Yourself