... How can we examine our life? And you will, as you feel more in alignment with the creative energy that produced you and wants you to experience the metamorphosis of your personal shining soul purpose, a life of passion and love. Learning to pay deep attention to your physical self gives you an acute and vibrant connection to the world of sensations and emotions. We can think about how our actions effect others. If I … I might therefore be living someone else’s life, someone else’s set of priorities, or running from them. We have much information, even knowledge, but little wisdom regarding the power of these influences. If you want to make informed decisions about buying a car, you should have some knowledge about the type of car you’d like to buy. But it’ll choke you, slowly. We observe our thoughts, emotions, sensations, perceptions, memories, behaviors, habits, and whatever else is relevant to our experience. January’s book is Stephen Grosz’s The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves; a brilliantly told compilation of accounts from a psychotherapist about his patients and the journeys they made together through their sessions, focusing on the importance of sharing our stories and having someone listen. What do you mean by choosing enlargement? We are often unconsciously directed by physical experiences that we are unaware we are even having. Go learn about yourself! If one is not enquiring, “Who am I apart from my history and roles,” good or bad as they may be, then such a person is much more likely to be living on automatic pilot, serving archaic stimulus/response demands. A noble task is to live an examined life. That is not something a young person is ready, or capable, of doing—yet. To begin addressing our enormous issues we need people who are physically and energetically healthy. Share on print. If you want to make informed decisions about changing yourself, you should have some knowledge about the self you’d like to change. Where is fear making choices for me?” Growing up means attaining personal authority over received authority, and having the courage to live it with consistency. Our species needs you and I to strive toward growth. The “second half” of our journey is not a chronological moment but a psychological stage of awareness. But somewhere else we have another appointment with ourselves, in which we ask other questions: What is my life about, really? When one is living an examined life they live a transparent life. Personal development is the movement toward our holistic potential. If you don’t examine your life, you will live a random life, like a feather in the wind. If we are ever to get unstuck, we have to ferret out what archaic anxiety we will have to take on to move forward. It's a mere force of nature, no more meaningful than a hurricane. So, to live a meaningful life, one must first claim it as their own, and actively author the rest of the story. Socrates was a Greek philosopher who lived in Athens in 4th century BC during the infancy of democracy as we know it today. This is an incredible article, thank you so much for sharing your insights. Socrates is clearly saying that learning and philosophy consists of asking questions but he is also saying that the daily investigation of virtue or morality is a central aspect of the examined life. Living life is an art, most important art, difficult and complex, which is not taught in school and like every art, it takes time to learn. Download books for free. We all have to walk into the gigantic necessary mistakes of the first half of life, fall on our faces, and then get up and begin to take life on in the light of what we need to learn for ourselves. “The unexamined life is not worth living.” - Socrates. Either has the power to shut down intentionality and resolve. An Alternative Theory of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Adult ADHD, Perfectionism, and Procrastination, Psychology Today © 2020 Sussex Publishers, LLC, 4 Diet Choices That Could Improve Cognition and Coping, Personal Growth and the Mystery of the Self, Soulwork: What Makes Jungian Analysis Different, The Things We Carry: What Our Ancestors Didn't Tell Us, The Problem With “Experts” in the Age of Influencers, Soulwork: Why Dreams Are So Important in Jungian Analysis. I had never used my mornings as action-taking time. So I decided to try it out in the afternoon. (“Soul” is, of course, a metaphor for what is most truly us, as opposed to those thousand, thousand adaptations the world asks of us). What's up! After using my mornings as time to do nothing for so long, I had become adjusted to my mornings being like this. Then the summons is to choose the larger, however intimidating it may be, or we live shallow, fugitive lives. In the second half of life, we have a different question: What does the soul ask of me. To avoid the discomfort associated with the change, I kept putting off doing the thing I knew I needed to do. Print this lesson. Usually I would watch TV, use the computer, or otherwise pass time doing nothing of consequence. What I mean is applying a scientific lens to our experience. In a 1921 letter to Countess M., Rilke wrote, “Everyone, in the last analysis, … The more you learn about yourself the better you will be at growing on purpose. You are an endless territory. We use cookies and other similar technologies to improve your browsing experience and the functionality of our site. Press the button to print this lesson. I live for long walks in the woods and hanging out with my girlfriend + our cat Pascal. Time to stop being afraid, and time to show up as yourself. I’d also suggest checking out The Feldenkrais Method, as well as practicing mindfulness meditation with physical sensations as your object of focus. You are perfectly capable of observing your direct experience and learning about yourself, and you damn well should do it! We all need to study ourselves because it is by far the most effective way to facilitate personal development. What becomes different in the second half? Alex Clark shares with us his views on Grosz's book: I discovered that I do poorly keeping up with habits without enough structure, so I had to do yoga at the same time each morning. In conclusion, when he speaks of the importance of living an examined life he is of the mind that such examination will allow one to discover an objective meaning in life. I mean, that just makes sense. I am asked all the time by well-meaning parents how they might spare their children their parents’ heartaches. A big thank you! But studying the self is not a pursuit solely for scientists in lab coats with advanced degrees. Kripalu Yoga: A Guide to Practice On and Off the Mat is an incredible resource for starting your own yoga practice. Usually one does not begin to become conscious of the magnitude of these internalized messages until one is stunned into reflection upon them. When you study yourself you expand your self-knowledge. I’m not saying observing and analyzing will turn you into a psychopath but hear me when I say that it is like putting a fishbowl over your head. If not, here are my suggestions about where to begin: Mindfulness meditation practice is the best way I know to study yourself. Mindfulness meditation is about non-judgmentally paying attention to your experience in the present moment. What is an examined life? I thought it would be a good re-energizer after finishing my college classes and work. What’s important is that the key field of experimentation was the timing of my routine. Living an examined life is a call to constant consciousness and awareness of your immediate environment, challenges of life, society, social behavior, behavioral patterns, economics and all aspects of life that affects an individual, positively or negatively. I’ve told you enough. I am a morning person and have my best energy right as I get out of bed. What if Everything You Believed About Love Were Wrong? From your own experience and that of your clients, what do you find it takes to feel “grown up”? And what we don’t know will in fact show up in our lives and hit us in the face. It gives clear directions on how a beginner can design their own routine, explains everything you need to know about basic yoga posture technique, and goes into yoga’s larger philosophy and lifestyle practice. Examined Life pulls philosophy out of academic journals and classrooms, and puts it back on the streets.In Examined Life, filmmaker Astra Taylor accompanies some of today's most influential thinkers on a series of unique excursions through places and spaces that … The examined life does not need to be the life of the sage, removed from society in order to evaluate it impartially. At first I told myself I would do yoga every day, but I didn’t set a specific time of day to do it. If you want to learn about the science of habits and habit change, The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg is the must-read. It is important to live an examined life so you reach a true good life full of virtue, happiness, piety, and to you what you wanted your life to be and if people remember you the way you wanted to be remember. Trying to create a morning habit that took effort disrupted my deeply-set routine, and this was psychologically uncomfortable. You learn about yourself. Humans have done a lot of research in physiology, biology, chemistry, psychology, etc. To understand and know the path we are choosing to embark on after careful … The project draws on the wisdom of academics, artists, activists and politicians from across the globe. I don’t believe we ever perfect ourselves. Let us make it as luminous and as meaningful as we can. But if we have sufficient will, what is the problem? We can become aware of patterns in our thoughts and emotions. Essentially a time for sitting around until the responsibilities of the day began. We can speculate on why Socrates values the examined life so highly if we understand Socrates’ other beliefs about virtue and knowledge, namely that virtue is knowledge, that no one does wrong willingly and that it is better to die than to live an evil life. As long as I persist in blaming others, I continue to remain dependent and avoidant and a reluctant player in the unfolding of my journey. Starting a daily yoga practice is my top recommendation for connecting with and learning from your body. Learning about what you do repetitively with your life, and why you continue to do it, will give you some serious perspective on yourself. Don’t people in the second half of life have enough wisdom to guide their lives? Examined life stipulates that one has to be careful with his or her aims and the way one executes the aims (Kagan). Have a comment? And out of that engagement ego-consciousness has to make its most courageous choice. It changes one's life. If you want to change yourself for the better the best possible knowledge to have is self-knowledge. About THE AUTHOR SPEAKS: Selected authors, in their own words, reveal the story behind the story. That's why the unexamined life is not worth living. The same cycle of slipping out of the habit would happen again. If you had one piece of advice for older adults, what would it be? It is naïve to think we leave our history, with its primal promptings, behind. What life demands of us changes somewhere along the way. But an unexamined life has no author. I had known all along that morning was the best time to do yoga. A few months ago I began subscribing to Leo Babauta’s habit change program. The list goes on…. Go start studying yourself! The amount of data in a human brain is expansive. Personal development is the movement toward our holistic potential. We look at ourselves as something to be learned from — as something to be studied. I needed to observe how my motivation related to my energy level and the structuring of my routine. The more you engage with meaningful life, not only does it grow with time, it also provides you with a happy, fulfilling life. We can connect the dots when we eat something shitty and then feel shitty a half hour later. What pattern do I see in my responses? Do you agree with Socrates that the “unexamined life is not worth living”? The Examined or Unexamined Life Socrates was a classical Greek philosopher who lived from 470 BC to 399 BC. Because, teachers have the responsibility of the world on their shoulders and they need to be allotted the essential tools to be their very best. Somewhat of the same way Buddhist look for an spiritual path with in and not out there. If you and I grow in any of life’s frontiers we can be more helpful to the world. For example, I needed to undergo many failed experiments before I finally established a consistent yoga routine. Socrates examined life revolved around the idea of soul, this soul can have either a positive or negative state depending on the action one takes in their lives, whether their actions are pious or impious, learning truth then enriches the soul and gives life meaning. Everything that makes one happy, and a happy life should most definitely be lived whether its examined or not. Habit is such a compelling force in life, and understanding how it functions is crucial to any form of success. What you may not have considered, though, is the benefit of applying that self-knowledge. An examined life is worth living for both the past and future events, putting us in a situation to get the most out of our current Examples Of Socrates Value Of Life Quan Truc Socrates Wisdom of Life It is a normal act for human beings to live their life and still not exist in this world. I needed to observe how my energy level related to the time of day. And, why is this important? I can’t recommend it enough. I just did it when I felt like it. I struggled with many aspects of forming this habit, and I won’t talk about every struggle here. Across many fields of science people are learning how the mind and body function. We all have to find an internal source of guidance that we can trust and that always knows what is right for us, and to live it in the world with as much courage and fidelity as one can. Humanity needs more people functioning at their optimal potential. What led you to write your book on wisdom for the second half of life? So there was a lot of internal inertia to overcome. One has opened oneself up to examination, or the scrutiny of others. As you go deeper, and see why certain habits stick and others don’t, you’ll come to know how you can re-wire the habits in your life. It is striving to better ourselves across many dimensions of human life and capability. You’ll be behind the glass, you’ll be able to see, hear and smile. And I needed to try a new experiment following every new observation. Going any way the wind blows. We do our best to objectively analyze the results. The second half of the journey is when we truly become grown up—and must own up to responsibility for the way things are turning out. Exercise Self-Control. What do I need to do to live in good faith with my own soul? They never go away, but where they once dominated ego-consciousness and directed our choices, they later become only noisome advisors. 1-9, what is the “examined life”, and why is it important? In life’s many junctures of choice we all have to decide this simple, challenging question: Does this path make me larger, or smaller? We all can, we all need, to study our own selves. If you’re already feeling drawn to something then that direction will likely be fruitful for you. I would say to them, as I say to myself as an old person: Whatever wishes to grow within you—a curiosity, a talent, an interest—is life seeking its expression through you. This process of self-study helped me learn what I needed to know about myself in order to firmly root my healthy habit. The idea that stuckness is really about something else suggests that we have to ask what deep, deep anxiety or threat will arise from our getting unstuck. From: Twitter, @DalaiLama This gives you the power to take the reins of your life. The examined life, as Socrates articulated millennia ago, entails looking into the root causes of my behaviors, and the patterns and consequences I am piling up. But we absolutely need people who are growing. Essentially, we choose an aspect of our lives to study and then treat that part of life like a science experiment. Why is it important meaning allows you to Write your book on wisdom for the second half of in... Into reflection upon them a nicely done interview with an articulate, soulful.! When my routine, even knowledge, but just in time to do yoga in the moment IGNORANCE is.... How long one lives life but how quality the life of the same time every day it... 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