3.6 THE ART OF SELF EXPLORATION :

" Art is a revolt against fate".......André Malraux

"The self-explorer, whether he wants to or not, becomes the explorer of
everything else. He learns to see himself, but suddenly, provided he
was honest, all the rest appears, and it is as rich as he was, and,
as a final crowning, richer.".............
Elias Canetti

“Self-observation brings man to the realization of the necessity of self-change.
And in observing himself a man notices that self-observation itself brings about
certain changes in his inner processes. He begins to understand that self-
observation is an instrument of self-change, a means of awakening.”
..............G. I. Gurdjieff

"Why am I as I am? To understand that of any person, his whole life, from
Birth must be reviewed. All of our experiences fuse into our personality.
Everything that ever happened to us is an ingredient.”
― Malcolm X, The Autobiography Of Malcolm X

"Once is a man's life, for one mortal moment, he must make a grab for
 immorality; if not, he has not lived."..........Sylvester Stallone

In consonance with the main theme of this work, Personal Validity, that

is, the quest of knowing and applying that which is valid for oneself,

self-exploration is the central process.  By saying here that this is the

central process,  I  mean  that  without  this the concept of   Personal

Validity is of little use. There are no clear - cut steps, and therefore

even self - analysis has to have a personal, artistic touch to it. This

work is therefore to be viewed as an initiator, and once successful

initiation   has  taken  place  on  the  road to self -exploration, the

very process must then reveal the path to be taken ( not without

risks and pitfalls, of that I am sure ! ).

"All that is necessary to break the spell of inertia and frustration is this:
act as if it were impossible to fail. That is the talisman, the formula, the
command of right-about-face that turns us from failure toward success."
....Dorothea Brande

urbbul1a.gif (627 bytes)The goal of the exercise is to go to the very roots, the core or the

substrate  of   the  thought  formation  process,  so that the sub-

conscious control mechanisms are revealed, and thus accessible

to the conscious. The self that starts on a somewhat clean slate

at birth,  becomes fragmented in the process of finding the foot

hold to survive. It is only a sustained and committed effort that

can undo this fragmentation of the self, until a certain

momentum is generated.

Once  that   has  been  accomplished,  the road to integrate the Self

 becomes open, and the totality of the Self will (as Will !) eventually

  be revealed and so also the direction that it has to take,

 project or Intend.urbbul1a.gif (627 bytes)

" The secret of the arts is to correct nature." ........Voltaire


The process is not a formal one and will vary with every individual,

and therefore has been stated as an art in the title of this article, but

as an outline, the steps below serve as a general procedure :

1.The setting up of a conscious command meta-program for the purpose

of evaluating, examining, provoking and observing one's own behavior

patterns in reference to a projected state or purposeful pattern of

behavior.

2. The study and digging up of deeply operating sub-conscious behavior

patterns and underlying control programs, to bring them under the

command of the conscious.

3. The study of one's own concept-belief structure, the hierarchy and

interrelationship of the elements and values of these elements. That is,

a clear identification of the underlying assumptions, the highest value

operating beliefs, the supporting concepts and their applicability.

4. The differentiation of operating beliefs into biologically driven, socially

or culturally driven, general education implanted or generated internally.

This differentiation is useful in order to differentiate between personally

valid and generally valid belief spheres of applicability.

" When you have faults, do not fear to abandon them."....Confucius

"Now it is the question of occupying yourself with yourself for yourself.
It is from this that comes the very important idea of changing one's
attitude towards oneself - the idea of movement in one's existence
by which one turns back on oneself as the ultimate target .
This is the typical platonic theme - the movement by which the soul
turns towards itself is also a movement by which its gaze is attracted
towards light - towards reality - towards essence.
Firstly the critical functions  - not only to get new knowledge but to
get rid of all the bad habits - all false opinion derived from the crowd,
from the 'bad masters' and also from relatives and peers.
This cultivation of the Self is a curative and therapeutic
  function."
...Foucault ( Culture of the Self )

To further this process, the following articles deal in greater depth :

1. The Conscious, sub-conscious and the Supra-Conscious.

2. The art of self analysis and synthesis

 

TO HOLD OR TO DISCARD

TO TAKE OR TO LEAVE

TO BE OR NOT TO BE    Or   TO BE AND NOT TO BE

"I choose a block of marble and chop off whatever I don't need." (...Francois-
Auguste Rodin, when asked how he managed to make his remarkable statues

 

Whatever has been presented here should serve only as a guideline

and not as a hard and fast procedure.  Just as it is being stressed here

that it is vital to repeatedly command oneself to self examine, it is also

being stressed here that at times it is appropriate to just reverse this

command : to plainly drift, to just defocus.

"One must let the play happen to one; one must let the mind loose to
respond as it will, to receive impressions to sense rather than know,
to gather rather than immediately understand".
........Edward Albee

And the time to defocus and drift is definitely there if one feels stuck,

frustrated or just not getting any worthwhile results. And so this art of

self-exploration hinges considerably upon the ability to know when

to focus and when to defocus, when to drift and when to get down

to the nitty-gritty, hen to get down to the nuts and bolts or when to

use the hammer, when to get hold of oneself and when to let go

of oneself, when to wait patiently and when to act fast, when to

go with the flow and when to fight the flow. When and what to

compliment something and when and what to oppose

something.

"To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient
solutions; both dispense with the necessity of reflection"...Henri Poincare

To know when it is the time for action, and when is the time for inaction,

when it is the time for acceptance and when is the time for resistance,

which situation calls for conflict and which situation calls for harmony,

which conditions call for change and which conditions call for stasis,

when a situation demands interaction and when a situation

demands withdrawal,

when a situation demands initiative and when a situation demands

response,

when to begin a new chapter, and when to complete and close

an existing undertaking,

when to start something and when to quit something,

"There's a trick to the Graceful Exit. I begins with the vision to recognize
when a job, a life stage, a relationship is over -- and to let go. It means
leaving what's over without denying its value".....Ellen Goodman

which is the time for quick decision and which is the time for

patient waiting,

which is the knowledge that one has to seek and which is that

one has to avoid,

which is the knowledge that has to be held, and which is redundant,

which is that held knowledge that is useful, and which is useless,

which of one's held knowledge and belief needs further testing

and exposure, and which needs consolidation

which of one's knowledge has reached its limits of usefulness and

which needs further development,

which is the limitation that must be taken as a challenge and which

is a limitation that needs total acceptance,

which of one's resources is an asset to be put to optimum use

and which is a liability to be discarded,

which of one's possessions are really necessary, and which

are redundant,

"Nothing is cheap which is superfluous, for what one does not
need, is dear at a penny"....Plutarch
 

what are those things that are really needed, and what are those that

are a burden and must be quickly rid of

which are those relationships that are fulfilling and which are

those that are draining,

"If people around you aren't going anywhere, if their dreams are no bigger
than hanging out on the corner, or if they're dragging you down, get rid
of them. Negative people can sap your energy so fast, and they can take
your dreams from you, too."....
Earvin "Magic" Johnson

which are the relationships that need to be developed and nurtured,

and which are those that need to be dropped,

when is the time for extreme caution and when is the

time for uncalculated, reckless risk,

when is the time for instinctive action, and which is the time for

thoughtful action,

which situation calls for spontaneous response, and which one calls

for a contemplative response,

when to believe in something and when to believe the opposite,

when to take on a path, and when to leave the path,

which situation calls for a rational, analytic approach, and

which situation demands an intuitive, instinctive response,

and which situation needs a intertwined balance of both,

which is the place and ground for a decisive battle,

and which is best avoided,

which is a battle to be fought within and which is

a battle to be fought without,

which ideas are worth living for and

which ideals are worth dying for,

which are the qualities of others to learn from and which to reject

which qualities of others are worth complimenting and which need

to be opposed, which issue to confront and which to avoid,

When to know that it is the time to do something

and when not to do something.

"The time when you need to do something is when no one else

is willing to do it, when people are saying it can't be done."

...........Mary Frances Berry

That is the art.


 "He ( a first-rate human being) enjoys only what is conducive to him;
 his pleasure, his desire ceases as soon as  the level of what is good
 for him has been overstepped. He divines remedies against injuries,
 he uses serous accidents to his own advantage; ( for ) that which
 does not kill him, makes him stronger.
 He instinctively gathers his sum-total from all that he sees, hears
 and experiences. He honors his choices by acknowledging them,
 by trusting them. He tests the stimuli that meet him head on; no
 compromise is required. He believes in neither misfortune nor guilt.
 He knows when to let go - he is strong enough to turn everything
 to his greatest advantage.
I just described none other than myself."
...... Nietzsche

" Art is a way of recognizing oneself, which is why it will always be
modern."......Louise Bourgeois

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