Have you ever found yourself in a situation when everyone was discussing some topic, let’s say – existentialism, and you couldn’t feel more embarrassed for not knowing what it was? Being well-versed in common philosophical issues is useful not only for showing off with fancy words to make a great impression on the person you are talking to, but it also allows you gain deeper understanding of your inner self, what place you occupy in this world, and why you cannot be sure that your world is real. So, let’s delve into the mysterious waters of philosophy and see where it takes us.
The importance of introspection
To start with, given that you are reading this article, most probably the notion of introspection is not something unfamiliar to you, even if you didn’t know the word for it. To put it in a simple way, introspection is a tendency for people to question their beliefs and opinions. One can also refer to it as observing oneself from the side. Even though people must face the fact that we cannot truly see ourselves the way other see us, we can at least try.
Inborn Internal Pluralism
As a rule, we tend to be pretty inconsistent in what we do. It took me quite some time to come to terms with the fact that it is natural to have doubts, argue with oneself, and question every single decision. In fact, it proves that our psyche cannot be identified with singularity. To understand it better, you can refer to one of those cartoons where they show how every person has a special committee in the brain that is responsible for making decisions, and while some members of that committee stand, for one thing, the others don’t lose a chance to contradict it. Sure, it’s a metaphorical picture, but it actually sheds light on how our psyche works.
The Bitterness of Existentialism
When introspection goes too far, or to put it another way – when you think too much, to the extent when it makes your life unbearable, probably you have hit the existential crisis. The more accurate description of it would be as follows: you reach a point when your world shatters into pieces, nothing you believed in makes sense anymore, you begin to understand that there is no single “universal truth” and desperately try to stick to the things that somehow help you think that your life is not pointless. That pretty much describes adulthood. If you have never felt anything like that, sweet child, you definitely will.This was a brief introduction to some of the philosophical notions. Now, when you find yourself struggling to make an important decision, understand what your life’s purpose (if there is any) is or whether anything in this world makes sense, you will know that it is totally natural for people to do that, and there is nothing wrong with you.