Whether it be:
- "know thyself" inscribed on the temple at Delphi or
- "the unexamined life is not worth living" uttered by Socrates or
- "if you don't know yourself, you are in poverty and are poverty" written in the book of Thomas ...
... to *examine the unexamined* is an art and skill not taught to humans and yet this skill is so powerful and useful.
When I am asked to "distill" coaching, "examining the unexamined" is what I sometimes say.
Sometimes I get the reply "what is that, and why is that important?"
We *might* experience our lives as a sum total of impact created by habits.
Unexamined thoughts, words, actions
When we remain "unexamined" we *transact* and *abstract* our way through Life ...
... grasping, striving, hurting, complaining, fearing, avoiding, controlling, hiding, pleasing. And wondering why we feel so unsatisfied or denying our impact - being the poverty from which we long to be free.
A habit of *examining the unexamined* is SO pragmatic and useful.
Having a partner (coach, friend, helper) to *co-examine* our impact evokes a potent shift. From habitually transacting life to intentionally living life.
What is the unexamined poverty in you that begs for your examination, Dear Human?
Perhaps the use of this word "poverty" troubles you, Dear Human.
You may see a similar reference to this word in many wisdom traditions in the world. Zen, Sufism, Mysticism all speak to a version of "poor in spirit", or "attachment". The reference in this post is from the gnostic book of Thomas.
When we remain "unexamined" we dwell "in poverty" from a lack of "knowing thyself". In our "poverty", or lack of "knowing" through "examination", we continue in our "drama". And we propagate "drama" into the world.
Finding a "solution" to our personal and world drama goes beyond yoga or meditation. It takes the the act of contemplation. Yes, this is true even for you "achiever" types out there.
Contemplation is a habit of "thoughtfully examining". The focus of contemplation is upon our unexamined nature of being human. That list of "unexamined's" written above.
Do you want a "new" or "different" life? Do you want a "restart" or "do over"? Are you tired of your current reality? Are things going "just fine" but you notice the results you get in life are not quite what you intend?
Until we "examine the unexamined", all we humans actually do is regurgitate the same drama. Or the same "stuff", over and over. And fool ourselves into thinking that it looks different. I have some "bad" news for you dear one. It is the same drama, it's the same "stuff", now in a different color this time.
I also have good news ... we do not need to stay there in that drama and pretend our life is better.
We humans "habituate" our way through life, some of us are aware of this.
This may sound "arrogant" to you. Put that aside for the moment and think about your current habits. What results are you creating (impact and outcome) from your habits? Do you like these results? Do they create basic goodness in your life and in the world? Do your current habits come from living life with courage? Authenticity? Integrity? Responsibility? And Curiosity?
That may seem like "a lot" of traits (courage, authenticity...). I can tell you that those traits naturally activate through contemplation. No extra effort on your part.
To get new results (impact and outcome) takes activating something new.
Examined thoughts, words, actions
Examine the Unexamined (contemplate) to create the results you intend to create. Intention comes from "knowing thyself".
"Know Thyself" comes from Contemplation ... do you see the circular nature? Contemplation leads to knowing thyself. Knowing thyself leads to more contemplation to examine the unexamined such that you are "wealthy" with wisdom leading to ... the results you intend and long to create.
As always, should you desire a contemplation kickstart, check out the services here at Dear Human to intentionally live and create your life.