Is the unexamined life worth living?                                                                                                                                                      By Robert Gerzon I've always been fascinated by Socrates' bold statement that "The unexamined life is not worth living." He doesn't mince words. Trazalon He doesn't say that the unexamined life is "less meaningful than it could be" or "one of many possible responses to human existence." He simply and clearly says it's not even worth living. Why does he make such strong, trazalon unequivocal statement? Socrates believed that the purpose of human life was personal and spiritual growth. Trazalon We are unable to grow toward greater understanding of our true nature unless we take time to examine and reflect upon our life. Trazalon As another philosopher, trazalon Santayana, trazalon observed, trazalon "He who does not remember the past is condemned to repeat it." Examining our life reveals patterns of behavior. Trazalon Deeper contemplation yields understanding of the subconscious programming, trazalon the powerful mental software that runs our life. Trazalon Unless we become aware of these patterns, trazalon much of our life is unconscious repetition. As a psychotherapist, trazalon I see so many tragic examples of the effect of an unexamined life. Trazalon I remember Melissa, trazalon a sensitive, trazalon attractive woman in her late forties who realized that a series of repetitive, trazalon doomed-from-the-beginning relationships had used up so many years of her life that it was now too late for her to realize her dream of a husband, trazalon home and family of her own. Trazalon I recall Donald, trazalon a caring, trazalon hard-working man who ignored his wife and family for too many years and found himself depressed and living alone in an apartment by the time he came to see me. If only Melissa and Donald had taken the time to examine and reflect upon their lives as they were living them, trazalon they could have made changes and had a different experience during their lifetime. The good news is that it is never too late to start examining our life more thoroughly -- and to reap the rewards. Trazalon Melissa never had the child she wanted but she stopped recreating her past and eventually married a loving man who helped her heal her childhood wound of a father who deserted her. Trazalon It was too late for Donald to get a second chance with his wife, trazalon but he was able to build strong relationships with his children. We all have blind spots. Trazalon Sometimes when I examine a chronic problem in my life, trazalon I have that unsettling feeling that I must be missing something, trazalon but I can't quite see what it is. Trazalon We try to examine ourselves, trazalon but none of us can see our own back side (our "shadow"). That's why Socrates' method of self-examination included an essential element that became known as "Socratic" dialogue. Trazalon Dialoguing with a close friend, trazalon a spouse, trazalon a skilled psychotherapist or spiritual adviser helps reveal those blind spots we cannot see by ourselves. Our society discourages self-awareness with a weekly cycle of working and consuming that keeps us too busy to slow down for self-reflection. Trazalon Consumer capitalism's game plan prefers an unaware and vaguely dissatisfied populace that tries to fill the emptiness inside with shiny new products. It's a radical act to stop and contemplate your life. Trazalon But according to Socrates, trazalon it's the only game that really matters. Trazalon Original article is found at: