'The ideas are a summons, a summons towards
another world, a call from one who knows and who is able to
show us the way.'
- Jeanne de Salzmann
'I suggest that, in order to understand better what I mean,
each of you should now ask himself the question "What am I?" I
am certain that 95 percent of you will be puzzled by this
question and will answer with another one: "What do you mean?"
And this will prove that a man has lived all his life without
asking himself this question, has taken for granted, as
axiomatic, that he is "something", even something very
valuable, something he has never questioned. At the same time
he is unable to explain to another what this something is. Is
the reason he does not know because, in fact, this "something"
does not exist but is merely assumed to exist? Is it not
strange that people pay so little attention to themselves in
the sense of self-knowledge?
True, this is not always so. Not everyone looks at himself so
superficially. There do exist enquiring minds, which long for
the truth of the heart, seek it, strive to solve the problems
set by life, try to penetrate to the essence of things and
phenomena and to penetrate into themselves. If a man reasons
and thinks soundly, no matter what path he follows in solving
these problems, he must inevitably arrive back at himself, and
begin with the solution of the problem of what he is himself
and what his place is in the world around him. For without
this knowledge, he will have no focal point in his search.
Socrates' words "Know thyself" remain for all those who seek
true knowledge and being.'
'Your "appreciation of yourself" blinds you. It is the biggest
obstacle to a new life. You must be able to get over this
obstacle, this threshold, before going further. This test
divides men into two kinds: the "wheat" and the "chaff". No
matter how intelligent, how gifted, how brilliant a man may
be, if he does not change his appreciation of himself, there
will be no hope for an inner development, for a work toward
self-knowledge, for a true becoming. He will remain such as he
is all his life. The first requirement, the first condition,
the first test for one who wishes to work on himself is to
change his appreciation of himself. He must not imagine, not
simply believe or think, but see things in himself which he
has never seen before, see them actually. His appreciation
will never be able to change as long as he sees nothing in
himself. And in order to see, he must learn to see; this is
the first initiation of man into self-knowledge.'
- Jeanne de Salzmann