January 19, 2017 Daniel Pleșa

On introspection and going within

What is introspection or reflection time?

One would say it is the process in which one person examines their past actions, behaviors and their efects with the evenutal purpose of adjusting where needed.

This implies several aspects:
1. first that there is a you separate from your thoughts
2. second that this you can control the actions whenever it wants
3. third, that thoughts can be controled by comand.
4. fourth, that there is an actual outside/inside, and introspection implies a you going inside purposefully.

What if what we call “introspection” is nothing more than a thought interpreting other thoughts/memories?
For example, the thought of “me” interprets the last memories and lables them with “this was good” or “I was productive”. And then followed by another sequence of thoughts, for example: “based on this, i will change like this” or “i will stop doing this”.

A lot of things don’t change after reflection because life just goes on, regardles of how a thought interprets it. Some things do change though, but not as a result of the reflection and taking action, but because it is part of the life process.

And finally, the going inside or within aspect.
Imagine there is a room and you stay inside. If there is an inside, there has to be an outside. But then the wall separating inside from outside is 10cm thick. Suppose someone sits right in between, on the doorstep. Is he/she in or out? if there was no wall, would we say there is no inside/outside?
What if regardless of the wall and the doorstep, there is only one space?

Same might be true for going within for introspection. What do we mean by within? What is the wall separating the outside from inside in our case? Is it the body or the skin? Or is everything happening in the same place?
There is awareness, and for awareness, the presence of a body, a desk and a thought is all the same apearance. There is no inside/outside.
Only if we think we are the body, then there comes the concept of inside the body and outside the body. Without this concept, it’s all one thing.

In conclusion, introspection might be a conforting practice, because it reinforces our sense of progress and control, 2 very dear aspects of each of us, but in fact, it might be just the same as thinking about tomorrow, or yesterday.