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Introspection (aka Re-inventing Ourselves)

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introspection is not a bad word.

essentially it is what we do in this forum. take any topic, and it is an affirmation, query or denunciation of current values. which, to me, sums up as introspection.

i think this is our strength. that we are able to talk it out, agree, disagree, and in the course of the discussion, find a way that is agreeable to us.

barring a few souls, the bulk of us are selfish. it is our children, our parents, us.. we look out for the interests of folks in this order, i think, by and large.

the first life defining challenge, i think, probably comes, when we are seeking out our careers, and come into direct/indirect conflict with the said/unsaid interests of our parents.

most of us, jump this hurdle, appealing to fairness, opportunities lost, discrimination, quotas and what not. atleast i think so.

i agree, that there are a few children, who would sacrifice their ambitions and goals, and subject their life to the will and secure sense of their parents. but not most. i think so anyways.

the other more complicated phase comes when the same situation comes with our children.

compared to our parents, i think, that most of us consider ourselves liberals in attitude, religion and above all a confidence in adapting ourselves to the everchanging world.

the snag here is, that the goal post seems to have moved... here we are hep mom and dad, keen on avoiding those restrictive and unpleasant parent/child reprimands..

and what do we find..

our children have moved the goal post beyond our reasoning and logic!!

let us welcome ourselves to life's everchanging facets presented to us in simple complexities, which can only be resolved, i think, by ourselves... introspecting and re-inventing ourselves.

to tell you a story.... it has been consistent in my family, as the male head of the household ages, the talk among the females often flow around, how the head has mellowed and put to rest or pickled his கோபம்.

apparently கோபம் has been the prerogative of all the pattar males i know, in their youth, of the past generations. age apparently, is the ghee, which removes the sting of the முன்கோபம் and changes these erstwhile tigers into pussy cats!!

i severely beg to disagree.

i do not intend to sound a boring monologue here. :).. it is a wide open thread.. we reinvent ourselves all the time.. as a community, person, careerwise, familywise... & so on

the progress of this thread, will depend on feedback from the public...

thank you.

ps.. we haven't even scratched the surface here.. it is reported that the average human reinvents his career skills 5 times over his lifetime.. ie the skills he graduates with after school/college is 5 times removed (as i understand it) from what he retires... but all this comes later.. :)

thanks folks..
Introspection.....but mostly comes at a later stage in life. Introspection by amd large consists of nostalgia and " if I had ".Does it help in going forward?

Excellent thread about introspection. How true! Introspection and self examination mean the same.Is it not? We do not introspect when we have success. When we gfet a defeat, we try to introspect. It is also true that introspection in most cases comes at a later stage in life. But still there are many youngsters, probably our own children who are very patient and try to examine their ownselves and correct themselves and proceed and achieve.
Introspection at every stage will take a man forward, no doubt.
One philosophy or one great thinking which can be cherished for ever by any one might be Theedhum nanrum pirar thara vaara, meaning that good and bad are not given by others. Is it not the height of introspection?
Introspection is a very good aspect of self realisation. It helps not only the spiritual path but also in the regular day to day activities. It will help in self development.

An internal SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, Threat) analysis is required for every body at regular intervals. If we avoid our weakness areas and careful about the threats, we can grow much better. I am sure one can lead a better life with proper internal analysis.

This will better understanding in family life also. Unnecessary frictions in day to day life could be avoided to a great extent.

எண்ணாயிரம் ஆண்டு யோகம் இருப்பினும் கண்ணார் அமுதனை கண்டறிவாரில்லை உள் நாடி ஒளி பெற உள்ளே நோக்கினார் கண்ணாடி போல கலந்து நின்றானே
I think it does

Introspection.....but mostly comes at a later stage in life. Introspection by amd large consists of nostalgia and " if I had ".Does it help in going forward?

I agree with you that introspection is a lot about "what ifs and buts". But I dont think it comes only at later stage. You introspect/analyze at every stage in life. Be it school or college or work or being a parent or grand parent you introspect, thoughts evolve. People mature. Things that made perfect sense few years back may sound stupid now. Without introspection you will be repeating all faux pas you made earlier.

the way i see introspection, it has nothing to do with nostalgia.

to me nostalgia is a sentimental passive rumination of things past. there is a bitter sweet element in nostalgia, in that, it was believed to be nice, but time has stolen it away forever. it cannot be recovered.

introspection, on the other hand, to me, is a constant active exercise, whose end product is the re-invention of ourselves without limitation, to go forth and find harmony with the pace of the world.


i think, it is even more important to deliberately introspect on our successes.

our successes are evidences of what we do right. if we could capture the essence of what made us succeed, that would be 'our way of doing things' to achieve our goals.

perhaps, these are the nuggets from our successes, that we pass on to our children as invaluable advice.

here is another take on the same topic.

my ever present proclamation to my children, is to tell them in detail about all my failures.

my point here, is to familiarize them with my mistakes in life, so that they do not repeat the same.

they can take advantage of the lessons that i have learned. go forth and make your own mistakes, is my clarion call to my progeny.

i can think of ego as the biggest obstacle to introspection, as the latter involves addressing any issue from 360 degrees, and perhaps coming to some unsavoury conclusions about our capabilities or morals.

how many of us can take dinks on ourselves, administered by ourselves, and still continue to maintain a level of self confidence?

so perhaps we appeal to our ego to protect us from a sense of insecurity by being bullheadedly stubborn and end up stupid.

thank you.
When introspection meets with experience, the result is supposed to be wisdom. I do not have much wisdom, but over the years I have noticed how my life experience colors my introspection. Without knowing it, I now realize that my life experience has dragged me in to the current Vanaprastha stage of my life.

It used to be when I was young I started out with the question, 'What am I?', which progressed to 'How am I?' to the current question 'Who am I?'. It is actually fascinating!

My father was my best guru.He told me at a very young age,to introspect every 24 hours of the day.To this day,i still do it.There is so much peace of mind for me,from this simple but yet effective advice.எஙிரந்தலும் வாழ்க் appa .


Mr. Kunjuppu had put it very nicely. Introspection also involves unbiased evaluation of one's own acts from third person point of view and see what are the omissions and commissions which need to be corrected. It is a skill to isolate you from yourself and evaluate the actions which is essential for introspection. Otherwise like normal soul we will keep searching justifications for our actions. The KPMG survey on fraud indicates that person committing white collar crimes in 80s used to feel guilty and whereas the persons committing same crime in 2000s justify the actions with many reasons. I gave this example just to highlight that there is a gross failure of introspection. Persons actually search reasons to justify even a criminal act. A person taking bribe justifies his action by telling himself that every one in the office is taking and why should I be an odd man out or this is the only occassion I take because for critical medical emergency. If a person introspects he will know his action is wrong.
Introspection is an act of mind and not of heart. Hence it is an unemotional validation of an action by the person who has done the action.
I think we should start with Ramana Maharishi's question `Who am I'. If a person starts this question at the very young age, probably after Upanayanam, it will lead him to a peaceful life throughout his career.

I started following Ramana's teachings only in my mid-career but I am able to lead a detached life within Grihastasramam. I am on the verge of retirement and I am sure it will lead me to a much more peaceful life in the future.

I earnestly feel that solutions to my problems lie within myself. Detachment is the best way to lead a peaceful life. I am able to develop detachment by the questioning `Who am I'. Lord Buddha's teachings துன்பங்களுக்கு காரணம் ஆசை (Attachment is the root cause of all problems) holds good. Some of my relatives who have not given up attachment are all in problems.

எண்ணாயிரம் ஆண்டு யோகம் இருப்பினும் கண்ணார் அமுதனை கண்டறிவாரில்லை உள் நாடி ஒளி பெற உள்ளே நோக்கினார் கண்ணாடி போல கலந்து நின்றானே
Good discussion. If character development is part of the Path towards Self-realisation, surely introspection is key. I like the ideas of putting yourself away from yourself to watch yourself. So really it is the Self doing the observing.

You can tell who has been active this way when you meet an old friend for a conversation after some time, like 10 or 15 years. One of two comments usually happens, with the latter indicating introspection.

"You haven't changed a bit."
"God, you've changed."

Aum Namasivaya
In one of the poems, great poet Pattinathar requests Lord Shiva as detailed below,

`I have a Komanam to wear,
I have torn clothes to cover my body,
I have lot of plat forms (திண்ணை ) to live and sleep,
There are lot of water tanks (குளம்) and rivers to bath and clean myself
I have a begging bowl
If I sit infront of your temple, lot of people are offering me food
I have every thing in life.
I only require the mind which always think about You.'

Another poet Kulesekara Azhwar requests Thirumalai Perumal as follows:

`If I have another birth, I should be born as Grass at your feet,
or I should be born as a worm to be touched by your feet,
or I should be a pillar in front of your Sannidhi,
or I should be born as a fish in your temple tank,
or I should be born as a water spring in your temple tank
Whatever way I get a rebirth, I should always be with You'

Great composer Thiagayya composed a song on Lord Rama starting with
`nidhi sala sugama' in Telugu meaning `will money give me pleasure as compared to your lotus feet'

When I read such literature and pursue instrospection, I am able to get detachment from worldly pleasures.

எண்ணாயிரம் ஆண்டு யோகம் இருப்பினும் கண்ணார் அமுதனை கண்டறிவாரில்லை உள் நாடி ஒளி பெற உள்ளே நோக்கினார் கண்ணாடி போல கலந்து நின்றானே
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Sri KRS ji,

It seems to be a combination of few lines from Kulesakara Azhwars Divya Prabandham and Rajaji' composition `Kurai Onrum Illai Kanna'. It is really nice.

I think this is the right way of promoting bakthi literature as well as music.
Our carnatic musicians should listen to our request.

எண்ணாயிரம் ஆண்டு யோகம் இருப்பினும் கண்ணார் அமுதனை கண்டறிவாரில்லை உள் நாடி ஒளி பெற உள்ளே நோக்கினார் கண்ணாடி போல கலந்து நின்றானே
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