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 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.Our society discourages self-awareness with its never-ending cycle of working and consuming that keeps us too busy to slow down for self-reflection.As a psychotherapist, I see so many tragic examples of the effect of an unexamined life. I remember Melissa, a sensitive, attractive woman in her late forties who realized that a series of… Read full this story
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