The classic and enlightening, declaration of the Greek moral philosopher, Socrates that, the “unexamined life” results in a lifetime of no value, was so heretically revolutionary, in the context of the tyrannically ignorant, times in which he lived, that it led to his punishment and execution (for the alleged crime of “corruption of the youth.”) Nevertheless, Socrates, would later, justly and appropriately, be anointed the singular tribute, of being the “First Western Philosopher.”
As the readers of this blogspace are doubtlessly, aware, our ever-present, conceit, viz., “one’s lifelong, inner conversation with himself,” is an analogous, rivulet, flowing pertinently, and cogently, through the contextual stream of all our 826 essays. Its proper flow and direction during one’s lifetime can serve as comforting reassurance that his personal conception of “self,” is consonant, with his empirical one. An inner audit of one’s personal acts and statements, objectively, reviewed in their factual context, is spiritually, analogous, to having available, the critical supervision of a candid, silent partner.
After a requisite number of years have elapsed in the lifetime of the thoughtful and introspective person, he, empirically, becomes enabled, to make privately held and useful, evaluative conclusions about himself; based upon his perceptive consideration of the nature of his past responses to analogous stimuli. Such enduring, inner, “selfie,” might indeed, serve a purpose, in addition to the crucial rendering of the enlightening, revelation of his particular persona; it also has the virtue of providing needed, guidance respecting, esoterically troubling, future choices. The universal contemplative, issue, if it were capable of intimate, expression, would translate to “Am I being really true to myself” One’s candid, retrospective review of his actions and statements, (“the remains of the day”) on a regular and idiomatic event- induced basis, is the key to realistic, self-understanding and essential to personal growth.
With regard to the vital subject of teaching young children the concept and moral value of honesty, we have thoroughly, castigated the usual, thoughtless and atavistic system of “rewards and punishments,” as constituting an irrational, morally, repugnant and ineffective, “tactical” devise for encouragement of secular and religious, morality. We have strongly, emphasized, that the only, rationally, moral and effective encouragement of proper principle and empathic behavior, is the individual’s lifelong awareness of, and desire for compliance with, his established, principled self-image, with which, the performance of an immoral act would be abhorrent and reflexively, rejected.
The development of a stable, sense of inner, privately ratified, self-image, in general, is vitally, essential, to living a contemplative and meaningful, life. It functions as a stable, point of reference, for mature perception and provides the opportunity for the rational attainment of happiness (ultimate, self-fulfillment). It is private, privileged, personally meaningful and essential, in the alignment of a lifetime of, personally examined and objectively appropriate, rational behavior, and therefore, the operational key to successful self-efficacy, security and happiness. The criteria for objective attainment may indeed, be universal, nevertheless, the salutary assurance, of their appropriate application, should be private.
The relevant criteria, despite the possible appearance of exotic, or nuanced, differences in cultural circumstance, and environment, inarguably, are universally and eternally, identical. The measure of honesty, relevant to fair business practices in Denmark, is unmistakably, evaluated by the same principled standards as in Cairo, Belgium or Cancun. The universally, acknowledged, basis of societally, accepted canons of moral human behavior, (which underlie business practices and life in general) are of existential importance, to the ultimate, success of society and to the goals of felt worth, stability, and well-being, of its members. Those who choose to eschew a lifetime of self- reflective, examination, are less likely to evidence the human, aspirational qualities of fairness and plain justice, of good fellowship, empathy and personal growth.
A well-spent, lifetime of internally reviewed and considered, familiarity with the “self,” achieved in dutiful contemplation of the remains of the day, enables stable identification, self-confidence, mature perception, and the wise use, of humankind’s brief franchise of life.
* Apologies for the borrowed title, to the English, Nobel Prize novelist, Kazuo Ishiguro.