The most essential things that we hold on to, of course, are the precious ideas we have about who we are, what we are, and how we think other people might see us.
I can quite willing agree to any host of propositions, but the challenge is in the willing acceptance of it if it threatens the whole preconception I have of myself.
There are many aspects of our character and numerous events in our past that we just do not want to face. We might declare that we don’t see the necessity of it, or the reason for it.
This is the greatest power that can possibly be granted us; the capacity and the means by which to change ourselves. The gift that it gives is the precious insight to see the active and sometimes debilitating role we have played in our own lives.
An inventory of those relationships about which we feel most discomfort will reveal to us the true nature of our world as we have constructed it. It is predicated on a simple idea.
Our history doesn’t just plot the journey we have taken. Even more interestingly, it reveals the foundations, the structure, and the very nature of the domain we have built.
In our inability to even acknowledge the existence of two compelling but conflicting realities we turn our ire and vent our frustration on those who inhabit – and represent – the structure of the real world and not the one of our own devising.
The world and our experience of it is in so many myriad ways truly not what we think it is, and neither are we. The architecture of the world is one of our own devising and construction.
We all make mistakes. What I believe is important is to have the humility and honesty to learn from them. Alexander Pope said it even more profoundly; “To err is human; to forgive, divine.”
Neurologists have studied what is called “moral cognition” in the choices we make and the given reasons for them. They identify four categories in all human action.
Much is often made of the circumstances of our birth and childhood in the forming of character and personality.
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.