As Within So Without
The subtle lesson Socrates hinted to was that you could not deepen your knowledge of the outside world without deepening your self-knowledge; as within so without. While getting carried away in arbitrary study is quite easy, the wise man prioritizes his acquisition of knowledge by its ability to teach him about himself.
As Within so Without
As within so without ascertains the value of knowledge by the gold standard of self-knowledge. “The very essence of knowledge is self-knowledge,” said Plato, and the volumes of Socratic dialogues he would leave for following generations all sought to reinforce man’s learning by examining the observable world around him.
As Within so Without – a Universal Truth
Confucius taught politics parallel with self-discipline. He left such a powerful legacy that, soon after his death, the Xin emperor would use his precepts to unify China into one of the most powerful and enduring empires in history. The glory of subsequent Chinese dynasties all stemmed from this firm Confucian foundation, instructing the emperor to deal properly without as he dealt honestly within.
As without so within subtly encompasses all wisdom. It empowers analogy and metaphor. It lends relevance to Biblical parables and mythical fairytales. It encapsulates the basic relationship of man to the world, instructing him to use the world as his mirror.