A sprinkling of unusual events may open the door to the hidden world that lays 'hidden' behind a barrier that is language itself, that's how 'it' began to come to my attention. P. D. Ouspensky wrote that a person does not always recognize something new when it happens or one hears about it. I discovered that myself , in a location where 'new things' happened in my own mind and thought, between age 2-1/2 and my present age which is almost 80 years and I didn't notice them myself. They were brought to my attention in an unusual method. I'm sure Emanuel Swedenborg named this 'method' as 'remains installed early in life in states of innocence' for use later in the process he named 'regeneration'. Regeneration is a good word to choose.
A different kind of scene was super-photographed when I was about 9 years old when a Sunday school teacher told her version of the birth of Jesus. I listened to her tell about how the messiah had been expected for so long but 'when it came it did not come as it was expected to come'. I remember thinking that the messiah was not an 'it', she should have said 'he', not it. The internal conversation about the messiah not being an 'it' re-occured for decades before my curiosity was somewhat 'turned on'. Only then I wondered why that memory flashed into my mind. I had never mentioned that memory to any one.
I've read a lot since 1983, when I first came into contact with ideas in psychiatry other than what I had gleaned from the fictions that were my main reading material. I avoided non-fictions unless required in school or at work because they were very boring. They didn't produce any effect or comprehension. I had noticed that about myself when I did read One, Two Three, Infinity by George Gamow after my new husband read it in 1955. Every word was easy to read but I didn't understand what the book was about. That was a small degree of self observation but I didn't think of it as 'self knowledge' then.