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Annalisa Coliva
  1. Benefits of self-awareness
  2. Beginner's Guide - Self-knowledge for humans
  3. Bibliographic Information
  4. Self-knowledge (psychology)

It was as if I was knowingly and happily living a lie.

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Some part of me did not want to be found out, even by myself—especially by myself. But mostly, I consented to this false pretense since I had no idea where the vague sense of deception was to be found. As we each showed our images that had been made with care and as much technical expertise as we could muster—work that emulated the great photographs of the day—Nicholas was visibly unmoved and quiet.

Performing Therapy On Yourself: Self-Knowledge and Self-Realization

Nicholas finally started leafing through the prints and proofs scattered throughout the room, shown in relief against the dark oriental rug. Recognition gradually dawned in him as we observed a growing clarity and sparkle in his eyes. He gathered up all of our finished prints and casually placed them in a pile beyond the reach of our eyes.

Benefits of self-awareness

Several small proofs and stray images, tangential to our serious efforts, remained in the center of the room. They were an accurate reflection and struck a note of truth. They were not about ambition or polish or future greatness. They were about reality, a genuine portrayal of the present, and they reflected our authentic selves. As a result, they were unimpeachable—and remarkable—in precisely the way that we wished and hoped that our other images might become.

This experience gave us something to aim toward. The other set of images were full of the strivings of our ego to be good, to be admired, to be like the masters, and to be applauded. In a moment we saw and deeply appreciated the difference. For the very first time, I caught a glimpse of my youthful, bombastic ego and its desire to be liked and recognized. And, with clarity, I saw something of my true nature. It was a small glimpse, to be sure, but it rang of integrity and not false pretense. Can we bring to light what is really our own—in truth, he said, not in imagination?

I made a picture of a floating window on a Spanish-style house that was later double-printed, combined with a negative of light reflections on ice. It came as a revelation, the strength of my connection to the image. It honestly felt like my own—one of the first decisive moments to find its way through my camera aligned with my heart and mind. When I drove home later that day, I felt that something had changed in me, a significant inner measure had been uncovered for the very first time—an experience that has never left me.

I have come to understand that authenticity is not a permanent state; rather, it is a direction —something to aim towards. Our conditioning is very strong; our egos are inwardly dictatorial, wanting to be liked and admired. Our self-image often goes to extremes, towards either congratulatory inner adulation or to scathing self-recrimination. Our essence, what is real in us, speaks in whispers. It is often hidden beneath well-constructed personalities. We are a mixture of essence and personality. He first looks at different approaches to the self and how the different modes of self-inquiry lead to some problems.

Then he leads into a discussion on self-detachment and self-knowledge including transparency and reflective detachment borrowed from Hampshire's work. Jopling includes some excellent references to psychology while also developing the philosophical overview. Jopling then moves to the grittier questions of being versus identity.

His discussion of Sartre's work, particularly the contrast with previous philosophers is very informative and interesting.

Beginner's Guide - Self-knowledge for humans

Then Jopling moves to the post-modern view epitomized by Rorty. The problems associated with the infinite spiral of narratives is laid bare.

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Jopling's final chapter focuses on dialogic self-knowing. Interestingly enough, Jopling uses Margaret Laurence's "The Stone Angel" to draw in the threads of self-knowledge theory and psychology. I enjoyed the use of literature to illustrate the fact that self-knowledge "takes the form of injunction, attestation, and avowal".

An excellent companion to Faber's work. See the review. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway. This item: Self-Knowledge and the Self. Set up a giveaway. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Learn more about Amazon Prime.

Bibliographic Information

Get fast, free delivery with Amazon Prime. Back to top. Get to Know Us. FAQ Policy. About this book This book explores the idea that self-knowledge comes in many varieties.

Self-knowledge (psychology)

Show all. Varieties of Self-knowledge Pages Coliva, Annalisa. Constitutive Theories Pages Coliva, Annalisa. Show next xx.