Tuesday 23 July 2013

#375 Self-development, Self-knowledge, Wisdom & Overcoming Self-centeredness

     "Quests for self-realization, self-actualization, maturity, & autonomy, and even the quest for wisdom might initially be motivated by a desire for a stron­ger self, yet it is precisely through the process of self-development & self­ knowledge that people start to realize the illusory nature of the phenomenal self
     The self is not a substance, an unchangeable essence, or an "individual," but a construct that is created through social interaction. According to the liberative model of adult development, the self may be thought of as a construct of attachments & aversions, which need to be transcended. Self-transcendence can be achieved through nonattachment, patience, and in particular self-observation and self-knowledge. A person in search of wisdom will eventually come to the realization that what is conven­tionally called the 'self,' the 'I,' or the 'ego' is an illusion that enables one to construct a stable image of oneself. It is the attachment to the self that creates the ego. Through the practice of self-examination, self-reflection, & mindfulness the ego grows quiet, which allows a glimpse into reality beyond the self and consequently results in greater wisdom.
     It should be noted that wise people's selflessness is not equivalent to low self-esteem or low self-confidence. Maslow even maintained that 'the best way to transcend the ego is via having a strong identity'. A dialectical relationship exists between selflessness and self-knowledge insofar that only individuals who know who they are can over­come their self-centeredness."
         Ardelt M. Self-development through selflessness: The paradoxical process of growing wiser. in Wayment HA, Bauer JJ eds. Decade of behavior. American Psychological Association, Washington, DC, 2008.

     More from Ardelt's chapter: http://www.johnlovas.com/2013/07/wisdom-awareness-self-transcendence.html


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