Formation in rightly ordered love involves formation in authenticity based on a deep knowledge of self and of one’s place in the design of God. This is what scholars have come to call Augustinian interiority (or inwardness7). It is enshrined in the Augustinian imperative: Redi in te ipsum --Transcende te ipsum (Return into yourself -- Transcend /Go beyond yourself). It involves, then, two movements, one negative and the other positive, that should make the person be ‘at home’ with his/her true nature as imago Dei, an image of God. Negatively, it involves a movement away from a mode of existence that is overly preoccupied with ‘having’ and ‘doing.’ Positively, it is attachment to Being itself, God, who is discovered in the depths of one’ own being.
"Return into yourself."
The first step in the process is a turning inward. The object is to encounter the self in its nakedness, symbolized by the heart. The "heart" is the place within me where I can truly say "I" -- away from the masks I daily wear, away from my pretensions, away from the preoccupations which distract me from seeing myself as I truly am... The heart is the place where I ask the big questions of life: "Who am I? What am I here for? What is the meaning of my life?" It is also the place where I evaluate myself, my acts (e.g. "What have I done? What am I to do?"), the veracity of things learned ("How true is this assertion?), etc. But this return into oneself is not like introspection, or even self-analysis, since it is but a preparation for the second step: transcendence.
The second step in the process is a move upwards. When I enter the realms of the ‘heart,’ I discover God’s image in me. It is this image which provides the focal point for my self-concept and of my concept of the world and of others. I am an image of God, and therefore God alone can provide the horizon of my life. To know myself, I must come into contact with the one who created me.
In a different way, Augustine would speak of the Interior Teacher: "Enter into yourself for there you find the Interior Teacher." This is one way by which he popularizes a philosophical insight: "Truth illumines the mind from within." Truth, for Augustine, is ultimately God in whose light all things -- the world, others, myself -- become intelligible. It is thus that through interiority, with its inward -- upward movement, that the individual is helped to be at-home with him/herself, in a process that will end only when the I is revealed to him/herself in the full splendor of that Day without end. (see "Inner Teacher" below)