This is much longer than the first post but hopefully will shed more light on what I mean by introspection/extrospection in the present or what my friend calls real time analyzing. Even though it is much longer, it may be well worth the read for you. I decided to put up a separate post for these examples instead of adding them to the first post. I am hoping I can share an idea that is more clarifying of how to start it for those of you that are interested. Some of these excerpts are directed towards certain individuals that I’ve talked with privately. For those of you who do read it, I truly hope it makes more sense on how to start it.
But first I wanted you to read this excerpt and to keep it in mind when reading the rest of this post.
This one is from Ayn Rand Library Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand
"This is not to deny that a person's ideas can have effects, positive or negative, on his mental state. If an individual accepts a philosophy of reason, and if he characteristically CHOOSES to be in FOCUS, he will gradually GAIN knowledge, confidence, and a sense of intellectual control. This will make it easier for him to be in FOCUS. After he practices the policy for a time, FOCUSSING will come to seem NATURAL, his thought processes will gain in speed and efficiency, HE WILL ENJOY USING HIS MIND, and he will experience little temptation to drop the mental reins."
"On the other hand, if an individual ACCEPTS an anti-reason philosophy, and if he characteristically remains out of focus, he will increasingly feel blind, UNCERTAIN and anxious. This will make the CHOICE to focus harder. After a while, he will experience focus as an unnatural strain, his thought processes will become relatively tortured and unproductive, and he will be tempted more than ever to escape into a state of passive drift."
"If you avail yourself of the power of a rational epistemology, you do not have to fear new data or new ideas. Every new item you integrate into the fabric of your knowledge will mean that much more fact on your side, that much more weight to YOUR CONCLUSIONS, that much more conviction to the total of your cognition. By this method, you will soon discover what, in logic, should have been the popular wisdom: that the more you learn, if you LEARN IT PROPERLY, the more CLEAR you become and the more you know."
“Ask yourself how many INDEPENDENT CONCLUSIONS you have reached in the course of your life and how much of your time was spent on performing the actions you LEARNED from others……”
While you are out and about in your daily life right now discover what you are feeling and why and what your actions are and why or question your pain that you are experiencing and figure out if it is justifiable and if it is UNEARNED pain. I’m not saying do all of these at once. Say for instance, if you have a watch with a timer on it, set it for 10 am. At first, this probably won’t come natural to you and it will take effort on your part at first, you know, “volitional consciousness.” When the alarm goes off at 10 am, stop what you are doing and ask yourself a question; such as, Why am I doing this and then answer the question honestly. Don’t lie to yourself. No one needs to know the answers except you. This is all about individuality and inner conflicts. When you’ve answered that question, ask yourself another question of the answer you just gave yourself in an attempt to narrow it down even more. If you can answer the question the first time without any problems and are able to draw an accurate conclusion regarding it (remember right now there are no set right answers or wrong answers, that will be fixed as you go along) etc., then continue with what you were doing before you asked yourself the question
Then set the alarm on your watch again say for 2 pm. When the alarm goes off at 2 pm, stop what you are doing, ask yourself a question, think about it, and then answer it honestly. If you can’t answer it with the first question, think of another question to ask yourself in an attempt to invoke more thought regarding it and then try to answer the question. And keep doing this. Eventually you won’t have to use the watch anymore to remind yourself to ask questions. It will become very natural To Think this way. You are slowly building your tree. It will take time. But before you know it, that tree will be gigantic. As time goes on, you will eventually stop asking yourself questions. If you have a thought regarding something you did, etc., you just know why you did it.
Here are the excerpts from Atlas Shrugged. Some are intended for those I’ve talked to in private about some of these aspects.
“She whirled to him at a sudden thought, but she cut the motion and the words in the same instant: the next words would have been the ones she did not want to say to him. She stood looking at him with a slow, bright smile of curiosity.
Somewhere within him, he knew the thought she would not name, but he knew it only in that prenatal shape which has to find its words in the future. He did not pause to grasp it now—because in the flooding brightness of what he felt, another thought, which was its predecessor, had become clear to him and had been holding him for many minutes past. He rose, approached her and took her in his arms.
He held the length of her body pressed to his, as if their bodies were two currents rising upward together, each to a single point, each carrying the whole of their consciousness to the meeting of their lips.
What she felt in that moment contained, as one NAMELESS part of it, the
knowledge of the beauty in the posture of his body as he held her, as they stood in the middle of a room high above the lights of the city.
What he knew, what he had discovered tonight, was that his recaptured love of existence had not been given back to him by the return of his desire for her—but that the desire had returned after he had regained his world, the love, the value and the sense of his world—and that the desire was not an answer to her body, but a celebration of himself and of his will to live.
He did not know it, he did not think of it, he was past the need of words, but in the moment when he felt the response of her body to his, he felt also the unadmitted knowledge that that which he had called her depravity was her highest virtue—this capacity of hers to feel the joy of being, as he felt it.”
This excerpt has nothing to do with the above excerpt. This is further long in the book
“He thought that he had been made to hide, as a guilty secret, the only business transaction he had enjoyed in a year’s work—and that he was hiding, as a guilty secret, his nights with Dagny, the only hours that kept him alive. He felt that there was some connection between the two secrets, some essential connection which he had to DISCOVER. He could not grasp it, he could not find the words to name it, but he felt that the day when he would find them, he would answer every question of his life.”
This is Dagny. As she is going along performing the introspection and extrospection and the more she is learning, the more she is understanding, she is starting to SEE more clearly. She is more observant about her surroundings and of people. There are things you can’t SEE now because the hierarchy of knowledge hasn’t been built up enough. It’s similar to having knowledge that only enables you to understand pre-algebra but all of a sudden you are expected to solve Trig problems. You’re not going to be able to do it because you don’t understand enough to solve the problems.
“Then you will please apologize to Miss Tagart, said Rearden. Dagny caught her breath, cutting off all but the faint echo of a gasp. They both whirled to him. Lillian SAW NOTHING in his face; Dagny SAW torture.”
This is Francisco at Cheryl’s wedding with Taggart.
“Francisco bowed to Cherryl and offered his best wishes, as if she were the bride of a royal heir. Watching nervously, Taggart felt relief—and a touch of NAMELESS resentment, which, if NAMED, would have told him he wished the occasion deserved the grandeur that Francisco’s manner gave it for a moment.”
This is Dr. Ferris with Hank
“Dr. Ferris did not notice the sudden look on Rearden’s face, the look of a man hit by the first VISION of that which he had sought to SEE. Dr. Ferris was past the stage of SEEING; he was intent upon delivering the last blows to an animal caught in a trap.”
“What Dr. Ferris was SEEING in Rearden’s face was the look of a luminous serenity that comes from the sudden ANSWER to an old, dark problem, a look of relaxation and eagerness together; there was a youthful clarity in Rearden’s eyes and the faintest touch of contempt in the line of his mouth. Whatever this meant—and Dr. Ferris could not decipher it—he was certain of one thing: the face held no sign of guilt.”
“He sat in a pose he had never permitted himself before, a pose he had resented as the most vulgar symbol of the businessman—he sat leaning back in his chair, with his feet on his desk—and it seemed to her the posture had an air of peculiar nobility, that it was not the pose of a stuffy executive, but of a young crusader.
I think I’m DISCOVERING a new continent, Gwen, he answered cheerfully. A continent that should have been discovered along with American, but wasn’t.”
Danagger with Dagny
“But you know, you knew it this morning, that it’s a battle to the death, and it’s we—you were one—against the looters.
If I answer that I know it but you don’t—you’ll think that I attach no meaning to my words. So take it as you wish, but that is my answer.
Will you tell me the meaning?
No. It’s for you to DISCOVER.
You’re willing to give up the world to the looters. We aren’t
Don’t be too sure of either.
She remained helplessly silent. The strangeness of his manner was its simplicity: he spoke as if he were being completely natural and—in the midst of unanswered questions and of a tragic mystery—he conveyed the impression that there were no secrets any longer, and no mystery need have ever existed.
But as she watched him, she saw the first break in his joyous calm: she saw him STRUGGLING against SOME THOUGHT; he hesitated, then said with effort, About Hank Rearden….Will you do me a favor?”
This is Hank talking to himself and the pronoun “I” when asking yourself questions and answering them has now changed to the pronoun “You.” It’s not an actual voice. As you get further long into it, the questions you ask yourself will be put in the pronoun YOU rather than I. The drummer from Rush also writes about, I hear the voices. This is what he is talking about. Some of the excerpts below also make reference to a voice. It’s not an actual voice. It’s just your mind is now addressing yourself and those questions as “You” and not “I.” When you start to question your actions, your emotions, your pain, you will ask yourself questions such as Why did “I” just do that or Why do “I” feel this way and What is it. As time goes on, you will start to ask yourself questions such as “Why didn’t “YOU” give me a chance to tell “YOU or What did YOU expect to happen.”
“He tried to choke the words in his mind, knowing that it was useless to think of them now. But the words were there and they were like words addressed to the dead: No, I don’t damn YOU for leaving—if that is the question and the pain which YOU took away with YOU. Why didn’t YOU give me a chance to tell YOU….What? that I approve?…no, but that I can neither blame YOU nor follow YOU.
Closing his eyes, he permitted himself to experience for a moment the immense relief he would feel if he, too, were to walk off, abandoning everything.”
Hank questioning his horrifying marriage to his wife.
“He remembered his brief glimpse—on that morning in the Wayne-Falkland Hotel—of a flaw in her scheme of punishment, which he had NOT EXAMINED. Now he STATED it to HIMSELF for the first time. She wanted to force upon him the suffering of dishonor—but his sense of honor was her only weapon of enforcement. She wanted to wrest from him an acknowledgement of his moral depravity—but only his own moral rectitude could attach significance to such a verdict. She wanted to injure him by her contempt. She wanted to punish him for the pain he had caused her and she held her pain as a gun aimed at him, as if she wished to extort his agony at the point of his pity. But her only tool was his own benevolence, his concern for her, his compassion. Her only power was the power of his own virtues. WHAT if he chose to withdraw it?
An issue of guilt, he THOUGHT, had to rest on his own ACCEPTANCE of the code of justice that pronounced him guilty. He did NOT ACCEPT it; he never had. His virtues, all the virtues she needed to achieve his punishment, came from another code and lived by another standard. He felt no guilt, no shame, no regret, no dishonor. He felt no concern for any verdict she chose to pass upon him; he had lost respect for her judgment long ago. And the sole CHAIN still holding him was only a last remnant of pity.
But WHAT was the code on which she acted? WHAT sort of code permitted the concept of a punishment that required the victim’s own virtue as the fuel to make it work? A code—HE THOUGHT—which would destroy only those who tried to observe it; a punishment, from which only the honest would suffer, while the dishonest would escape unhurt.”
This is Hank with Ragnar
If you want to read the entire section, it’s page 527 –535, these are small excerpts from that section. Poor Hank, he’s been through so much. I remember that feeling of numbness. You have been through so much and have suffered so much, you wonder how much more of it you can take. It does get so painful and so drawn out to the point you no longer can feel anything. But it does get easier.
“Rearden listened, feeling numb. But under the numbness, like the first thrust of a seed breaking through, he felt an emotion he could not identify except that it seemed familiar and very distant, like something experienced and renounced long ago.”
Later on in the same section
“Rearden GRASPED the nature of the emotion he had forgotten. It was the emotion he had felt when, at the age of 14, he had looked at his first pay check—when, at the age of 24, he had been made superintendent of the ore mines—when, as the owner of the mines, he had placed, in his own name, his first order for a new equipment from the best concern of the time……”
This is Dagny
“Somewhere on the edge of her mind—like the wisps she saw floating on the edges of the prarie, neither quite rays nor fog nor cloud—she felt some shape which she could NOT GRASP, half-suggested and DEMANDING to be GRASPED.”
Dagny with Galt
“A dim pulse, like the recoil of an antagonist, made her want to check on what strength was left to her. She could move her arms and legs; she could lift her head; she felt a stabbing pain when she breathed deeply; she saw a thin thread of blood running down her stocking.
Can one get out of this place? She asked
His voice seemed earnest, but the glint of the metal-green eyes was a smile: Actually—no. Temporarily—yes.”
This is Dagny getting heavy into her introspection and extrospection and asking herself question after question and answering those questions.
“She lay still, her arms about him, her head on his shoulder, and she thought: for just a few moments—while this lasts—it is all right to surrender completely—to forget everything and just permit yourself to feel……WHEN had she experienced it before?—she WONDERED; there had been a moment when these had been the words in her mind, but she could not remember it now. She had known it, once—this feeling of certainty, of the final, the reached, the not to be questioned. But it was NEW to feel protected, and to feel that it was right to accept the protection, to surrender—right, because this peculiar sense of safety was not protection against the future, but against the past, not the protection of being spared from battle, but of HAVING WON it, not a protection granted to her weakness, but to her strength…….”
“She remained silent. She noticed that she had asked questions about every subject, but not about him. It was as if he were a single whole, grasped by her first glance of him, like some irreducible absolute, like an axiom not to be explained any further, as if she knew everything about him by direct perception, and what awaited her now was only the PROCESS of IDENTIFYING her KNOWLEDGE.”
“But there was neither cruelty nor pity in his face, only the level look of justice. Our first rule here, Miss Taggart, he answered is that ONE MUST always SEE for oneself.”
“Love is the ultimate form of recognition one grants to superlative values.”
“Well, when I looked at that court order on my desk, I had a vision. I saw a picture, and I SAW it so CLEARLY that it changed the looks of everything for me. I saw the bright face and the eyes of young Rearden, as he’d been when I’d met him first. I saw him lying at the foot of the altar, with his blood running down into the earth—and what stood on that altar was Lee Hunsacker, with the mucus-filled eyes, whining that he’d never had a chance…..It’s strange how SIMPLE things become once you SEE them clearly.”
“Then, on one night when they chose to cheer me, I stood before them on the stage of a theater, thinking that this was the moment I had struggled to reach, wishing to feel it, but feeling nothing. I was seeing all the other nights behind me, hearing the WHY which still had no answer—and their cheers seemed as empty as their snubs.”
“I won’t. We’ll tell you whatever you wish to know. We won’t urge you to make a decision. He added, and she was shocked by the sudden gentleness of his voice. I said that kind of indifference toward a world which should have been ours was the HARDEST thing to ATTAIN. I know. We’ve all gone through it.”
“They had finished their breakfast. Danneskjold lighted a cigarette and watched her for an instant through the first jet of smoke, as if he knew the violence of the CONFLIICT in HER MIND—then he grinned at Galt and rose to his feet.”
“She looked at the room like a restless beggar, pleading with physical objects to give her a motive, wishing she could find something to clean, to mend, to polish—while knowing that no task was worth the effort. WHEN nothing seems worth the effort—said some stern VOICE in her mind—it’s a screen to hide a wish that’s worth too much; what do YOU want?…..
She snapped a match, viciously jerking the flame to the tip of a cigarette she noticed hanging, unlighted, in the corner of her mouth—WHAT do YOU want?—repeated the VOICE that sounded severe as a judge. I want him to come back—she ANSWERED, throwing the words, as a soundless cry, at some accuser WITHIN her, almost as one would throw a bone to a pursuing beast, in the hope of distracting it from pouncing on the rest.
I want him back—she said softly, in ANSWER to the accusation that there was no reason for so great an impatience…..I want him back—she said pleadingly, in ANSWER to the cold reminder that her ANSWER did not balance the judge’s scale—I want him back!—she cried defiantly, fighting not to drop the superfluous, protective word in that sentence.
She felt her head dropping with exhaustion, as after a prolonged beating. The cigarette she saw between her fingers had burned the mere length of half an inch. She ground it out and fell into the armchair again.
I’m not evading it—she THOUGHT—I’m not evading it, it’s just that I can see no way to any ANSWER…..THAT which YOU want—said the VOICE, while she stumbled through a thickening FOG—is yours for the taking, but anything less than your full ACCEPTANCE, anything less than your full CONVICTION, is a betrayal of everything he is…..Then let him damn me—she THOUGHT, as if the VOICE were now lost in the FOG and would not hear her—let him damn me tomorrow…..I want him…..back……She heard no answer, because her head had fallen softly against the chair; she was asleep.”
“Every man builds his world in his own image, he said. He has the power to CHOOSE, but no power to escape the necessity of CHOICE. If he abdicates his power, he abdicates the status of man and the grinding chaos of the irrational is what he achieves as his sphere of existence—by his own choice.”
“Francisco approached, looking at her thoughtfully, as if WEIGHING some QUESTION of HIS OWN, but some QUESTION that gave a sparkle of reckless gaiety to his eyes.”
“They went on in silence, and it seemed to her that this was a summer day out of a CAREFREE YOUTH she had never lived, it was just a walk through the country by two people who were FREE for the pleasure of motion and sunlight, with no UNSOLVED BURDENS left to CARRY.”
“They were right, the men of Atlantis, they were right to vanish if they knew that they left no value behind them—but until and unless she saw that no chance was untaken and no battle unfought, she had no right to remain among them. This was the QUESTION that had lashed her for weeks, but had not driven her to a glimpse of the answer.”
“Don’t rely on our knowledge of what’s best for your future, said Mulligan. We do know, but it can’t be best until YOU know it.”
“She looked at him attentively, permitting herself no other reaction, but as if groping for an ANSWER to the first point she had not fully UNDERSTOOD.”
This is Dr. Ferris, never to identify emotions or actions while in the present and never to understand them.
“He felt a single, sudden flash of panic, in which, as in a flash of lightning, he permitted himself to know that he felt a desperate desire to escape. But he SLAMMED his mind shut against it. He knew that the darkest secret of the ocassion—more crucial, more untouchable, more deadly than whatever was hidden in the mushroom building—was that which had made him agree to come.
He would NEVER have to LEARN his own motive, he THOUGHT; he thought it, not by means of words, but by means of the brief, vicious spasm of an emotion that resembled irritation and felt like acid. The words that stood in his mind, as they had stood when he had agreed to come were like a voodoo formula which one recites when it is needed and beyond which one must not look: WHAT can you do when you have to deal with people?”
“In that instant, he felt an impulse which he would NOT ACKNOWLEDGE: the impulse to tell them that he knew nothing about today’s event…..”
“Man cannot survive except by gaining knowledge, and reason is his only means to gain it. Reason is the faculty that perceives, identifies and integrates the material provided by his senses. The task of his senses is to give him the evidence of existence, but the task of IDENTIFYING it belongs to his reason; his senses tell him only that something is, but WHAT it is must be learned by his mind.”
“The most depraved sentence you can now utter is to ask: Whose reason? The answer is: YOURS. No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is YOUR OWN MIND that has to acquire it. It is only with your OWN knowledge that you can deal. It is only your OWN knowledge that you can claim to possess or ask others to consider. Your mind is your only judge of TRUTH—and if others dissent from your verdict, reality is the court of final appeal.”
“To the extent to which a man is rational, life is the premise directing his actions. To the extent to which he is irrational, the premise directing his actions is death.”
“Ask yourself how many INDEPENDENT CONCLUSIONS you have reached in the course of your life and how much of your time was spent on performing the actions you LEARNED from others……”
Since I am exhausted now from writing all these, I am sure anyone reading this is also exhausted. This is just to hopefully shed more light on introspection/extrospection in the present, questioning your pain, etc.. Once again, there are more excerpts I wanted to include but just too tired now and don’t want this post to be gigantic as it already is.
More Examples -- Long -- hopefully worth it
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