‘unexamined life’ . . .
Gee, today, I read a comment in the NYTimes that someone writing about herself was ‘self-absorbed’ because they wrote in the first person. I began to wonder if that’s how I come across in my posts when I ruminate about things that happen in my life. When is a journal or memoir besmirched by the characterization of being ‘self-absorbed?’
There’s also a saying you may have heard, that “an unexamined life is not worth living.” What’s the balance between the two? Here’s what I found online about this line which Socrates penned so long ago:
I’ve always been fascinated by Socrates’ bold statement that “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
He doesn’t mince words. He doesn’t say that the unexamined life is “less meaningful than it could be” or “one of many possible responses to human existence.” He simply and clearly says it’s not even worth living.
Why does he make such strong, unequivocal statement?
Socrates believed that the purpose of human life was personal and spiritual growth. We are unable to grow toward greater understanding of our true nature unless we take the time to examine and reflect upon our life. As another philosopher, Santayana, observed, “He who does not remember the past is condemned to repeat it.”
Examining our life reveals patterns of behavior. Deeper contemplation yields understanding of the subconscious programming, the powerful mental software that runs our life. Unless we become aware of these patterns, much of our life is unconscious repetition.
and finishes with this sentence:
It’s a radical act to stop and contemplate your life. But according to Socrates, it’s the only game that really matters.
Food for thought!