General Question

dopeguru's avatar

What are the pros and cons of self-examination?

Asked by dopeguru (1917points) October 20th, 2014

Being aware of one’s self and self-examination is essential for most people to the path of ‘good life.’ What are the pros and cons of this opinion?

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6 Answers

Bill1939's avatar

Understanding one’s understanding (that is recognizing how one has acquired their understanding of whatever they think they understand) enables them to filter out the inculcated beliefs that have little or no correlation with the reality existing outside of their mind. However, it is difficult to recognize the difference between what one believes they are observing and what actually exists because expectations direct them to focus on what they are looking for, which will likely exclude what can be known.

elbanditoroso's avatar

If you are examining yourself, how can you be objective?

thorninmud's avatar

As I said here, self-examination leads at first to an examination of one’s own inner processes. There’s a benefit to be had there: observing how one tends to respond to various situational triggers is the first necessary step in disarming unhelpful behaviors. When these mechanisms operate outside of your awareness, you’re powerless to do anything about them.

But there’s a potential pitfall there, too. You can get so absorbed in your head stuff that you become disengaged from others. People who live in their heads tend to be pretty miserable folks.

The great payoff of self-examination involves carrying it so far that notions of self are transcended entirely. The world reveals itself as your own body. This is not easy, and can’t happen as long as you’re limiting your self-examination to head stuff.

Even this culmination of self-examination has its potential pitfalls. It too can be toxic if you cling to it.

filmfann's avatar

An honest and non-partisan assessment would be lost with self-assessment.

Bill1939's avatar

@thorninmud I agree that one can become so absorbed with their sense of self that their awareness of the reality existing around them is diminished. However, as one strips away their inculcated illusions they become increasingly aware that they are connected to others and potentially can extend this recognition to their connection to the universe.

Reality “when seen without preconception” includes the recognition that a self separate from everything else is an illusion. However, few people can totally free themselves from an illusion of individuality, nor should they. It seems to me that the exercise of freewill requires this illusion. A sense of self is necessary for one to act upon their awareness of the needs of other people and their planet.

KNOWITALL's avatar

PRo’s are that you know your worst qualities so you control them. Con’s are we are our worst critics.

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