Wednesday, October 18th 2017

Spiritual Surf: The Mystery of You

Know thyself” is much easier to say than to do. Pursuing a knowledge of self is the fundamental basis of all psychology. It also forms the basis of many spiritual pursuits. Yet so many are unwilling to pursue this path.

As John Gardner writes in “Self-Renewal:”

“Human beings have always employed an enormous variety of clever devices for running away from themselves, and the modern world is particularly rich in such stratagems. We can keep ourselves so busy, fill our lives with so many diversions, stuff our heads with so much knowledge, involve ourselves with so many people and cover so much ground that we never have time to probe the fearful and wonderful world within. More often than not we don’t want to know ourselves, don’t want to depend on ourselves, don’t want to live with ourselves. By middle life most of us are accomplished fugitives from ourselves.”

It’s just easier NOT to walk the path toward self-understanding. Sometimes we turn away from the path because we encounter things we don’t like or are unwilling to accept. Consider the findings of Dr. Phillip Zimbardo. You’ll remember him as the author of the famous Stanford Prison Study, which segregated students into “inmates” and “guards” and watched how the two groups interacted. His study had to be stopped six days into the planned two weeks because the guards abused the inmates to a level that was appalling. In many ways, his work presaged the atrocities U.S. soldiers perpetrated in Abu Ghraib. He’s capitalizing on that with a new book called “The Lucifer Effect” [via Viviane's blog]. Had the U.S. government been more aware of the evil that lives in all of us, it might have been able to nip this type of behavior before it budded. so important to come to grips with human nature. And knowledge of what is relatively fixed will make us more flexible and able to improve.” Guy Kawasaki has an interesting Q&A with Zimbardo.

Scientists are, of course, working toward understanding more of the brain, and what each of its various paths and configurations lead to. Still, some Neuroscientists believe we will never know ourselves from this endeavor [via MindHacks]. Maybe the answer lies in the field of genetics. Martin Varavsky writes about a tech start-up that’s looking to become the Google of your DNA. The database its building will someday help us understand ourselves, he posits.

Got any tips on how to tap into yourself and deal with what you see there? Drop us a line or leave a comment.

If this spoke to you, here are five similar articles.

Related Posts

One Comment on “Spiritual Surf: The Mystery of You”

  1. [...] Read–The Mystery of You (Part 1) [...]