In “King Lear,” Regan remarked about her father:
He hath ever but slenderly known himself. (Act I, Scene 1)
Regan said this after Lear disowned Cordelia, the daughter who loved him the most, in a fit of rage.
Cordelia had refused to pay Lear lavish compliments like her sisters. “I love your majesty according to my bond; nor more nor less.”
“He hath ever but slenderly known himself.”
In commenting on Luke 6:41, Saint Basil pointed this out.
In truth, self-knowledge seems the most important of all.
For the eye, looking at outward things, fails to exercise the sight upon itself.
Our understanding also, though very quick in apprehending the the sin of another, is slow to perceive its own defects.
Accusing oneself of sin is painful and difficult. It is also the most liberating thing we can do.
Once we have accused ourselves of sin, we can cry out to God for mercy. He will forgive.