The Disease Of Introspection.
by Chris Kamalski
Sunday, I posted a few thoughts on metamorphablog.com regarding a powerful phrase that I have been chewing on for the past week, “The disease of introspection.” Enjoy a clip below, and follow the link for the whole post:
The Disease of Introspection (Click Here):
Some of us “Walk Beside Ourselves”seeking to always compare how we are doing with other people. We can never be who we are as we are always watching who we are. “The Disease Of Introspection” is a consistent gauging of who we are to such an extent that we can never be fully present within any experience, as we destroy an experience by analyzing it to a destructive extent.
Chris, I know you well enough to feel rather strongly that you are projecting and universalizing with this post. What you offer here is very applicable to a relatively small portion of the population – those who, for various reasons, learned that they needed to turn inward, usually very early in life, and found the space within either lonely or chaotic. For such people, like yourself, turning inward is a habit that must not be abandoned, but needs to be tamed and grafted into relationship as opposed to its usual place in isolation.
However, to the remainder of the population, it is dangerous to refer to introspection as diseased. It encourages many who already shun self-examination and the consideration of deeper emotions, desires, and motives to shut themselves down further. This further precludes the possibility of love getting to places that need exposure and healing.
I suspect that the majority of people (at least in American culture) need more introspection (in wise relationship and community) rather than less. Your posts seem to discourage this.
Hello Matthew, my friend!
Excellent (and needed in a move towards a balanced discussion) points all around!
The manner in which you describe introspection is spot on, and my main point in the original post stemmed from the fact that you so accurately point out–those who are prone to introspection, particular negative ‘dwelling’ forms of it, can actually take what is a healthy, needed, and consistent discipline of transformative growth (I’d actually go so far as to say a major means of relational connection with the Spirit as we are formed in His image) and begin to turn a healthy thing on its head.
The point you make on my personal blog is also helpful to remember in this discussion, as generally as an American/Western culture we do tend to radically eschew (great word!) most forms of introspection and simply posit (another great word!) ourselves externally all the time. An important thing that both you and Fr. Mirabile mention is the relational invitation that God extends to us to look inward WITH HIM, which I failed to mention.
Brilliant (and needed) thoughts as always Matthew! -Chris