I used to think of myself as a pretty introspective person. An earlier website of mine even had a section on it titled Miscellaneous Debris, into which I wrote longish dissertations that were intended as introspective.
To which, of a fashion, I guess they kind of were, for they plotted out in detail that which I was witnessing externally and noticing internally. But – and this is the key – they were decidedly limited in what they saw and, hence, limited in their actual introspection: I could only see what I already knew to see.
I could only witness, react to, and ponder on the already known truths that comprised reality as I perceived it. I hadn’t yet learned that key little piece of information… no, that’s not strong enough, because of course I knew it but only within that realm/domain of knowledge and thus I hadn’t yet gotten it (or groked it) in that way that allows for profound awareness of it…. and so I hadn’t yet gotten that key revelation that my view was nothing more than a view, entirely created by me, and shaped by the views I already had and the truths I already knew.
My ability to reflect was limited as I had not yet been exposed to, and taught, how to be present, nor had I been walked through the process to begin to glimpse the heart of ontology and explore the being part of human being. And, even more so, to begin to glimpse and get present to the, quite remarkable, frameworks that made up the frameworks that supported the frameworks of those views and truths. To reveal what I term the fundamental operating system of being human.
Without that revelation, all I could see and comment on and be so aware of (and even arrogant about) was the results of the frameworks, without ever realizing just how far down the rabbit hole could go.
It was the intensive workshops I took and, even more importantly, the coaching afterwards that allowed my perception and experience to open up and blow through into these new realms. It was only by discovering how circular and shallow my awareness had been, and how righteous hit had been, that allowed my practice to begin.
And through that, allow me to gain a deeper understanding of what introspection really is: the being willing to go beyond and to see the gnarly bits underneath; to be willing to give up the automatic, already, always present to see what’s actually there; to engage in thinking instead of thoughting; and, ultimately, to give up what we already know for what’s possible.