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  1. #1
    Senior Member Smilephantomhive's Avatar
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    Default Order of Introspection

    Okay so when people want to introspect to help them understand themselves, and eventually solve problems/stop bad habits/negative coping mechanisms that are deeply ingrained in the, do you think the person should think back to as early as possible, or think about more recent things, and uncover layer after layer?

    In other words, should it be chronological or reverse chronological?
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  2. #2
    Paranoid Android Video's Avatar
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    Default

    I don't know, but want to bump this thread because it's interesting.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Smilephantomhive's Avatar
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    Default

    Hmm I think I naturally just do what's currently bothering me, and kinda go all over the place in terms if past events.
    "Avoid getting too preoccupied thinking about what you’re going to do, to actually do it."
    — Rachel Wolchin

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  4. #4
    Dream without Hesitation Dreamer's Avatar
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    Default

    This process tends to work for me, but I usually begin by getting myself in the right frame of mind. Stupid daily chores or whatnot has to be taken care of first otherwise I'll just be thinking about the pile of things I still have to do and the anxiety that comes with it. Then I put on my headphones and situate myself in a place (usually in public somewhere like a park) and let my mind do the navigating. Meaning, I don't steer my thoughts, I sort of allow thoughts to come to me. When something does come to mind, I always work backwards. Start with the issue as it is now, then think of possibilities of why I may be thinking/feeling that way, either by previous events, previous emotions, I don't know. Nothing is classified when I'm doing this and "stuff" just sort of falls into place after a while. Sometimes it'll take more than one session for the more convoluted issues on my mind, other times, rather quickly.

    You were probably looking for more concrete ways for me to describe my introspection process, but I think keeping it abstract is what allows things to fall into place, almost on their own. Sometimes I find that how I make sense of something, is not how it's naturally supposed to be understood and I end up going in circles on issues.

    I feel like I'm starting to sound like a hippie so I'll stop here.

  5. #5
    militat omnis amans magpie's Avatar
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    Default

    It depends on what exactly you're introspecting about and why (aka your end goal). I've found it easiest for me personally to go in reverse chronological order. This is because it's easiest to peel off the outermost layer of an onion first in order to get to its core. In order to truly get to the core of an issue, you have to process it over and over from different angles, bringing different aspects of the same issue into conscious awareness. Eventually you'll find that all your problems, bad habits, and negative coping mechanisms originate from the same core issue, which is made up of all experiences that have subconsciously reinforced your mode of thinking throughout the years. Once you've brought what's subconscious into conscious awareness, you are capable of changing it, controlling it, and choosing to do / react / cope in whatever way you think is best.
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  6. #6

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    I never think of a strategy when introspecting. It's mainly just a bunch of jumbled events that come and go as they please. Sometimes it helps me understand the situation better when it's randomized in that fashion, but that's probably just my crazy self occasionally preferring out of order sequences. Although, I do tend to go far back as possible in order to get to the root of the problem, but just not exactly in the same order the events took place. What I typically do is I first think about the situation and then uncover multiple reasons that could possibly be connected to it. However, as long as you somehow come to a conclusion, then it shouldn't matter about the process. I think both examples you gave could work just fine imo.
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  7. #7
    sifting Hard's Avatar
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    Introspection for me is not linear, and thus I don't pay attention to time. I go with the flow and see where it takes me, and connect dots when they seem connected. I honestly couldn't describe it well. In many ways my environment drives it more than I do.
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  8. #8
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Default Exquisite

    Just as the work of a soldier is to bring order to chaos on the battlefield, so the work of the contemplative is to bring order to the chaos of the inner life.

    So both the military and contemplation are fascinating occupations.

    My own experience with contemplation has led me from the tactical to the strategic. At first my thoughts pour on just as soldiers pour on to the battlefield, they battle with one another, they struggle to breathe, they are triumphant or defeated, but slowly, over time, the outlines of the battle take shape, the battle is limned, and then everything changes.

    All of a sudden it is not what I am thinking but how I am thinking. I move from the rational way of thinking to the imaginative way of thinking, I suspend my disbelief, I revel in my imagination, until I have had my fill, and then the unimaginable happens, the battle ceases, all of a sudden, without warning, all my thoughts cease completely, and there I am in the middle of the battlefield, in complete silence, completely awake, with no words, no sound of battle.

    What can I tell you without words, all I can say is that it is exquisite.

  9. #9
    Mind Wanderer Zeego's Avatar
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    I don't think there's any one right way to do it. Introspection is by definition individual, so use whichever approach works best for you.
    We will meet again in Etruria.

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  10. #10
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeego View Post
    I don't think there's any one right way to do it. Introspection is by definition individual, so use whichever approach works best for you.
    The order of introspection is as important as the order of battle, but once the battle starts and once introspection starts, all order disappears.

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