a comprehensive investigation

A comprehensive investigation of ourselves is essential, I believe, at this stage of our inquiry. We can discuss the buying of pants and the playing of football matches up until a certain point, but then it is unavoidable. We must turn our attention to ourselves, for we are the cause of our concern and the source of our troubles. The name of this process, if you wish to give it a name and a grand title, is MORAL INVENTORY. It requires that we set aside all likely impediments to an honest appraisal of our life so far. There are three. Firstly, ignorance, which is being wrong about something and not knowing it. Secondly, hypocrisy. This is being wrong and knowing it, but obstinately refusing to admit so publicly. Third, self-deception. Self-deception is being wrong, suspecting that we might be, but insisting that we’re not because we are scared.

There is much that we may recognise of ourselves in reading about the grasping for hope and the yearning for solace, in the wish for contentment and the striving for success. These are aspirations and needs common to us all, though the course of our path through life is a singularly unique one despite all that we share. At whatever point you are at in life right now, whatever your age, your personal and intimate situation, and your social and professional status, you have lived your life to get here.

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