The ART Of SELF-ANALYSIS
"One fact which must be appreciated for applying this theory is the essential
individual uniqueness of each of our minds, of each of our brains. It is no easy
work to analyze either one's self or someone else. This theory is not, cannot be, a
miracle key to a given human mind. It is devilishly hard work digging up enough of
the basic facts and enough of the basic programs and metaprograms controlling
each mind from within to change its poor operations into better ones"
........Dr John C Lilly
" The Buddha
invites us to be mindful of the mind - to be aware of the constant
inner dialog, the stream of thoughts and images. It is possible, says the Buddha
to observe the mind with the mind. Because the mind can be observed with the
mind, we can begin to become free. To be aware of the thought stream is to
step out of the bureaucracy of the ego.".....J Kornfield
“Nothing can harm you as much as your own thoughts unguarded.” ..Buddha
I seek strength,
not to be greater than my brother, but to fight my greatest
enemy—myself.......American Indian Prayer (As Long as the Rivers Shall Flow,
War Resisters League, 1974.)
" When you
introspect, when you examine yourself, there is a kind of
loop in which you are out of yourself and then into yourself, and what
you perceive is yourself, your own consciousness. When we think on
ourselves, when we reflect on ourselves, what we are doing is turning
all of our perceptual and conceptual apparatus into a kind of loop and
taking our self as the object of our perception and consciousness."
.........R. Solomon TTC
"The gods approve of the depth, and not the tumult, of the soul." .....Wordsworth
It follows from the previous workout on the sub, supra and normal consciousness that
the goal of Self-Analysis should be to analyze or stalk one's sub-conscious behavior
patterns and their influence on the conscious patterns, and thereby bring about an
integral or unified behavior at a conscious level, and once is is accomplished to a
sufficient stage, the process of Self-Synthesis of one's conscious self with the Supra
conscious self and beyond self can be attempted - a far more difficult, sensitive and
tricky process. Thus as the analytic, rational process is indispensable for the
integration of the subconscious with the conscious, similarly the synthesis,
creative process is indispensable for the integration with the supra-conscious.
"It is the
individual who knows how little they know about themselves
who stands the most reasonable chance of finding out something about
themselves before they die"....S. I. Hayakawa
In the last
analysis every life is the realization of a whole, that is, of a self,
for which reason this realization can also be called “individuation.~Carl Jung
What exactly this means or will mean is dependent upon one's own uniqueness,
purpose and Will, whether these are primary, that is, of the supra-conscious or
the secondary ; of the conscious. The realization and development of the Will
and its acquisition of potency depends greatly upon the manifestation of the
supra-conscious at crucial turning points.
The sub-conscious here is assumed to have been transcended and integrated into
the conscious without which neither is one's uniqueness nor one's Will realized,
but remains obscured and suppressed by the sub-conscious in varying degrees
or becomes subject or subservient to the norms and demands of
Society or Culture.
"The Shadow is a moral
problem that challenges the whole ego-personality,
for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral
effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the
personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any
kind of self-knowledge, and it therefore, as a rule, meets with considerable
resistance. Indeed, self-knowledge as a psychotherapuetic measure frequently
requires much painstaking work extending over a long period of time."...Jung
2.8.1 SELF ANALYSIS : The Necessity For
" Art is most
pernicious when it poses as a spiritual achievement
and inhibits serious reflection and self-criticism. Enjoyment of art is
soothing, and may persuade us that we 'understand' ( life, people,
morality ) and need make no further efforts. We feel that we are
already wise and good." ....Iris Murdoch
"The man who can
put himself in the place of other men, who can
understand the workings of their minds, need never worry about
what the future has in store for him.".....Owen Young
As it has been pointed out above, the synthesis process which is essential
for any creative, artistic activity is crucial for the supra-conscious to be active,
however its manifestation is not likely to be powerful enough or effective
enough if the sub-conscious has not been mastered. That is why it is being
insisted here that self-analysis must be the initial process for the exploration
into one's own depths, and it must be initiated and carried out by one's own
"But how shall I
get ideas? "Keep your wits open! Observe! Observe!
Study! Study! But above all, Think! Think! And when a noble image is
indelibly impressed upon the mind -- Act!"....Orison S Marden
So we see here that the process of self-analysis is the most basic and crucial
restructuring process. Unfortunately, many or rather, most practices just bypass
this process, through meditative and similar practices that result in reducing the
structure to its bare minimal size. This concept-belief structure is considered by
these type of practitioners to be a hindrance, ( not a challenge ) and all concepts
are taken as illusory rather than tools of understanding, which have potential
applicability in comprehension as well as expression.
'In contrast to the
meditation found in yoga practice, the psychoanalytic aim
is to observe the shadowy presentation whether in the form of images
or of feelings that are spontaneously evolved in the unconscious psyche
and appear without his bidding to the man who looks within. In this way we
find once more things that we have repressed or forgotten. Painful though it
may be, this is in itself a gain for what is inferior or even worthless belongs
to me as my Shadow and gives me substance and mass. How can I be
substantial if I fail to cast a Shadow? I must have a dark side also if I am to
be whole; and insasmuch as I become conscious of my Shadow I also
remember that I am a human being like any other".....Jung
"The man whose
whole activity is diverted to inner meditation becomes
insensible to all his surroundings. His passions are mere appearances,
being sterile. They are dissipated in futile imaginings, producing
nothing external to themselves.".................Emile Durkheim
In this method ( meditation ) there is the additional danger that strong elements
of this structure remain embedded in the sub-conscious, since this structure
having been built on and around the survival and reward-punishment
systems, remains operative till the death of an individual being.
It is only rigorous analysis that reveals the sub-consciously
hidden control programs and their sources or roots.
This fact is however denied by such practitioners simply because that most of such
practices operate from the belief that there is no such thing as the self - its all
an illusion, they insist, and therefore there can be no self-analysis. In this manner
therefore they deny the most appropriate use of one of our most powerful
faculties and an entire aspect of human activity is thus invalidated.
There is thus a loss of vital functionality with methods like meditation,
that suppress the development of the structure of one's mind, or
worse, prevent deep self analysis.
This is not to say that such practices have no value.
Meditation does have stress reducing and other physiological benefits,
however the cost paid in terms of loss of rational, analytical and intellectual
functionality must always be weighed against the benefits.
boils down to what is valid for oneself.
"Life is a short day.
But it is also a working day. Activity may lead to evil.
But inactivity cannot lead to good".....Hannah More
For people who are not self-analytical and self-exploring types, perhaps meditation
is the best path for longevity, peace of mind, efficiency etc. But for people who have a
self-analytical nature or intellectually oriented predilection, suppressing or dissolving
stress, anger, irritability can be counterproductive because these are vital indicators
of deeply operating beliefs and control programs that may need to be exposed, or
if dealt with, and under conscious control, then anger and irritability can be
powerful creative forces. Particularly for the analytic knife.
"The goal of catharsis
is full confession - no merely intellectual acknow-
ledgement of the facts, but their confirmation by the heart and the actual
release of suppressed emotions."........C. G. Jung
The value of the conscious internal use of the analytic process to study its own
operating mechanism lies in digging up deeply hidden sub-conscious control programs
that determine the choices we make without second thought, because these hidden
sub-conscious programs by their control over our choices made, suppresses the
manifestation, as well as the potential development of our true nature.
"Get the habit of
analysis- analysis will in time enable synthesis to
become your habit of mind".....Frank Lloyd Wright
Once a basic analysis process has been setup and is operational at the conscious
level, the aperture for the manifestation of the Supra-conscious opens up at
the conscious control level. Thus the road towards the integration with one's
core nature opens up and the end result should be : to be able to access one's
core nature and act upon its command whenever required ; to be able to develop
and maintain a state of fluidity ; to consolidate and bring into an efficient order
- one's held knowledge ; to get rid of all that is redundant.
All this is not impossible if one is able to overcome initial hurdles, and that
is where it all starts, for the hurdles and difficulties are themselves the
challenges that have to be successfully tackled. To give up, be defeated
at the very first step is the most common human tragedy.
"To dare is
to lose one's footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose
oneself " ( all-together ).....Soren Aabye Kierkegaard
The analytic knife, if properly directed, is a very powerful tool for cutting one's own self,
particularly the known self, to pieces in order to gain access and observe the underlying
operating mechanisms of one's sub conscious mind and their influence. By this process
one gains control over these mechanisms so as to unify these with the conscious.
How and when the analytic knife is used is an art that needs to be developed, and
its usefulness grows as one gets even the slightest toehold of success. One must
be at least somewhat conscious of the motivating force (the hand that holds and
thrusts the knife), how it is handled and balanced ( the handle and art of gripping
the handle), towards what and when it is pointed or directed at, or the purpose
of the exercise ( the blade and the point ).
Once this is clear, i.e., the motivation, the timing and the purpose, then the further
part will depend upon how the cut up pieces are utilized or handled ( the depth
and style of the cut, i.e., the post cut analysis and sub analysis) without losing sight
of the overall picture. The pieces are then experimented with for their properties,
attributes, combinations and interrelationships ( the post cut synthesis).
"Defining myself, as opposed
to being defined by others, is one of
the most difficult challenges I face".......Carol Moseley-Braun
3.8.1 THE DARK SIDE
One of the foremost goals of self - analysis is to bring into the
conscious observation level the dark, destructive side of one's
nature, and behavior. Especially in one's relationship with
other beings. This is one area which needs constant effort.
But first and foremost should be the acknowledgement that
each one of us human beings has a dark, destructive aspect.
Rather, the truth, if fully acknowledged, is scary : our nature
is on the whole more destructive than creative, but this is
sadly nowhere to be acknowledged, neither in religion and
far less in the sciences.
" How can I be
substantial if I fail to cast a shadow ? I must have a
dark side also if I am to be whole. Human nature has also a black
side, and not man alone possesses this side ; but his works, his
institutions and his convictions. Even our purest and holiest beliefs
can be traced to the crudest origins ; we build our houses from the
foundation up.".......C. G. Jung
3.8.2 THE UN-ANALYSABLE
When one comes to the point that a thorough and sufficient self-analysis has been
done, one is bound to encounter that which defies further analysis. These can be
strange unaccounted emotions, feelings, vague memories, un-analyzable tendencies
or preferences or interests. These are indicative of the unknown self, the supra-
conscious, the deeply hidden motivations and moving forces of one's own Will.
In critical situations of self-analysis, self-observation, in an
unusual or crisis situation, these subtle forces can be realized
by the conscious.
It is important to observe and realize these, because these are the indicators of one's
Will and core predilections. The Will can only be developed further if it is realized and
nurtured by the conscious. The whole exercise of self-analysis becomes fruitless if
one cannot discover and develop one's Will, predilection, purpose and uniqueness.
3.8.3 THE DYNAMICS OF A CRISIS
"Artists go through
periodic crises in which they feel an urge to destroy
themselves. This is important, because if we succeed in mastering the
crisis we rise again, as if reborn, from our own ashes"......Antoni Tàpies
struggle, no progress and no result. Every breaking of habit
produces a change in the machine.”...Gurdjieff
“In fact, once he
is motivated no one can change more completely than the
man who has been at the bottom. I call myself the best example of that.”
― Malcolm X, The Autobiography of Malcolm X
"You don't know who you are until you are under stress. You don't know
who you are until you are placed in situations that finds you out. They
make you visible, readable ( to yourself ). You can't do it yourself, it
happens because you are in a situation that is scrutinizing you, self-
scrutiny ( without the situation) is not going to get the job done. This
is the existential Conrad - that you don't know until you have been
tested.".....TTC A. Weinstein
"A good scare is
worth more to a man than good advice."
- Edgar Watson Howe
“Failure isn’t a
necessary evil. In fact, it isn’t evil at all. It is a necessary
consequence of doing something new.”
― Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces
That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
126.96.36.199 THE KNOCK OF THE UNKNOWN
A crisis is an unusual situation of tension and conflict. It is a situation loaded
with unforeseen possibilities as well as risks. A crisis may resolve in a creative
outcome ( breakthrough) or result in a breakdown. Either outcome is
indicative of the course to be taken, possibilities to be explored, forces
to be tackled or unknowns to be realized. A crisis is a potent, explosive
situation ; a turning point, a critical crossroad. The unexpected, the
unknown knocking on the door, demanding action.
A crisis is a condition that forces itself upon someone, and hence its
Because a crisis, despite its potency, is never sought by anyone, because
human nature by default not only prefers a state of stability, tranquility,
and peace or bliss, but also positively seeks a placid, undisturbed, state.
Rather, people spend most of their time and energy to avoid a crisis
from developing. All kinds of contingent measures are taken to avoid
a crisis, for a crisis means change, upsets and instability.
"Each of us guards a
gate of change that can only be opened from the
inside. We cannot open the gate of another, either by argument or by
emotional appeal"..........Marilyn Ferguson
“We must remember
that failure gives us chances to grow, and we
ignore those chances at our own peril.”
― Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces
That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
CHANGE : Expectations and Unexpected
A crisis is a rapidly changing situation that cannot be dealt with
by the available routines. A state of flux that cannot be handled
by the currently held concepts and beliefs.
Most people shun any change and instability. But the exceptional
ones who do seek change, do so mostly because of expected and
anticipated positive outcomes in terms of health and wealth.
Only those changes are sought that do not imply a personal crisis,
only anticipated personal benefits. When a crisis looms up, only
then such a change is shunned, or an escape route sought.
Within these exceptional ones there are still further exceptions who
seek change because they MUST, without anticipation of positive
outcome, and disregarding the risks involved. Without knowing
the reasons to do so.
CRISIS as CHALLENGE
"Virtue is a
state of war, and to live in it, we have always
to combat with ourselves".......Rousseau
An unknown, un-analyzable force or motivation compels them to seek
change, because they are not satisfied with what they already know
or behold or have accomplished. And if the change leads to a crisis,
then the crisis itself is recognized as a challenge. And therein lies the
potential of a crisis : a crisis throws up the toughest challenges.
Especially challenges that involve a life and death situation. It is only
in such situations that one can find remarkable hidden resources,
capabilities and abilities within oneself. These are never brought
out and tested in normal, routine conditions, only when a crisis
condition arises. A routine, mundane situation can never
push a being to the limits to which a being can go to,
only exceptional situations that demand exceptional
" There is the
despair of not being conscious of having a self - that
there is this integrated narrative that you call your life. Not just a
scene by scene or event by event narrative but rather a connected
narrative - a connecting thread in the story. That's the despair which
fills you with emptiness when you go ' what does my life mean ?', and
there is no narrative to fill it into. What is more it may never even occur
to you. Some people die without ever being aware of being alive.
The most severe form of despair is that you are unaware that you are
in despair - that's the incurable kind. The reason that it's incurable is
that there is no crisis that can make one aware of despair. A crisis
will make you face despair - and while the crisis won't cure it - you
will know more about what you are as a self."
……..Rick Roderick ( TTC – Philosophy and Human Values)
A Crisis is therefore an opportunity for an explorer in the following
A crisis invariably points out the direction of one's Will.
It reveals hidden resources and faculties that cannot be revealed
in ordinary circumstances.
It forces marshalling and consolidation of resources and faculties.
And so brings a being close to the totality of one's Self.
It brings forth the best out of one's individuality and uniqueness.
It puts to test the applicability of one's knowledge.
It reveals what part of one's learning is redundant, and what
is not. Therefore it is an indicator of what one needs to keep
and what to get rid of.
It is the only way that one's weaknesses and limitations are
exposed ( if one has provided for a provision to stalk one's
weaknesses and limitations, without which a crisis will only
turn out to be an avoidance and escape exercise, and most
people by default opt for this ).
"For a typically healthy being, illness
can even be a strong stimulus
to life, for an even richer life. This is indeed how I now regard my
long period of illness: I discovered life afresh, as it were, myself
included; I tasted all good and even trifling things in such a way that
others cannot easily do - I created my philosophy from my will for
health, for life.....
For I must ask you to take note of this; it was during those years when
my life force was at its lowest ebb that I ceased being a pessimist; the
instinct of self-recovery forbade me to adopt a philosophy of poverty
and discouragement." .....Nietzsche
APPROACHING ONE'S LIMITS
The limitations are further pointers of one's will, and thus the
importance of reaching out and realizing one's limits, to be
accepted as one's fate or to be challenged. ( taken as a
challenge). Which course of action to take is the most
crucial decision or choice that an individual makes.
One of the most crucial choices that have to be made in a
crisis situation is to first correctly analyze the possible
causes, errors in judgment, earlier choices made and
action taken that has led to the crisis.
" Rejection, derision,
poverty, failure, the constant struggle against
one's own limitations - these are the chief events in the lives of
most artists"........Stephen Vizinczey
A crisis in short, definitely calls for examination and revaluation
of closely held beliefs. Critically, it may also call for the reversal
of overvalued beliefs, wrong choices earlier made, or for change
of course, as the current course is not likely in the direction
of one's Will or at least is a pointer for the future.
It is an excellent opportunity to bring out and make use of the
dark emotions like tension, stress, anger and irritability.
It is the only condition where one's valued and overvalued
beliefs are tested for their usefulness ( real value ). It helps
in breaking through the limitations of long held beliefs. It also
helps in showing up that beliefs also have counter-beliefs
or opposing beliefs that also can be just as true or valid.
It provides an opportunity to reorder and integrate one's structure
of beliefs and concepts.( mind )
It forces reconcepualization of learned concepts or generates
new conceptions to deal with a situation that does not fit
well with the existing concepts. But only for those who have
the inclination and gumption to do so.
( The default tendency to seek justifications to defend one's
past actions, or to pretend to be a victim, to drown in pity,
to assumed that one is fatally trapped in circumstances,
all these escape routes or easy ways out, are taboo for the
A TEST OF MORAL INTEGRITY
"If a man is endowed
with an ethical sense and is convinced of the sanctity
of ethical values, he is on the surest road to a conflict of duty. And although
this looks desperately like a moral catastrophe, it alone makes possible a
higher differentiation of ethics and a broadening of consciousness.
A conflict of duty forces us to examine our conscience and
thereby to discover the shadow."........Jung
Finally and most importantly, a crisis tests the integrity, especially
the MORAL integrity of a person. A crisis is a turning point for
the Moral integrity of a being, that is, the outcome of crisis then
determines the direction that the Moral integrity of the being will
take, in a downward spiral or upward spiral, depending upon
how the being handles the crisis and the crucial choices
made during the crisis.
Specifically, moral integrity is a function of both Spirit as
well as one's own developed knowledge through the
exercise of one's Will.
3.8.4 SELF - SYNTHESIS
"The poet knows
himself only on the condition that things resound
in him, and that in him, at a single awakening, they and he come
forth together out of sleep".......Jacques Maritain
The synthesis or intuitive process is indispensable for filling in the spaces left
open or exposed by the analytic, linear operations. It is also essential for
the balancing required after the analytic probe, when the analysis leads to
new territories, new revelations or results in an emotional or rational
breakdown or creative breakthrough.
most artists create out of despair. The very nature of
creation is not a performing glory on the outside, it's a painful,
difficult search within".....Louise Nevelson
Self synthesis must follow self analysis, in order to complete the cycle
of exploration, in order to retract, retrace and to reorder and revalue the
elements ( beliefs and concepts) of the structure to incorporate and
integrate the results of the exercise.
This exercise may be initiated by the synthesis process, and analysis follows
in a different kind of cycle, but in that case it is pertinent to note that the
synthesis process needs special indefinable conditions to spontaneously
initiate ( for example dreams ). There also is the difficulty in analyzing
meaningfully, deep synthesis experiences.
The path of least
resistance is the path of the loser.
H. G. Wells
THE COMPLIMENTARY COMBINATION
In the examination of the reality of one's own experience therefore
both these tools of analysis and synthesis are indispensable to the
process of bringing the subconscious processes under conscious
control or observation, and then to allow for the conscious to
relinquish control for the operation of the supra-conscious to
take over control when the situation demands just that.
The two processes and their operations have to be inter - twined
to compliment and correct each other.
However it must be understood quite clearly that the linear process
being the vital process that maintains the stability and survivability
of the operating structure of one's mind, is the dominant process for
this purpose of stalking one's self. In the other process of integration
with the supra-conscious, the synthesis process has to dominate and
the linear process has to relinquish primary control.
After all this hard work, the next two articles are easy : its like a
simple quiz after a whole three semesters and loads of courses.
NEXT PAGE 19 : 3.9 Evaluate your Personal Validity
epistemology, philosophy, metaphysics,
religion, belief, system, social, cultural, paradigm, knowledge,
ontology, power, moral, fundamental, force, Will, Spirit, Intent, knowing, Heart, Mind, reason, intuition,
autonomous, unique, being, existence, space, time, meaning, purpose
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