Self correction

Self correction is perhaps the greatest of all abilities. The ability to correct one’s own thinking, emotions and actions, to correct one’s own path or one’s own goals to whatever one wishes. This ability relies on not having to defend oneself or any methodology.

To the degree one is defending self, one is glued to one’s own past and self correction suffers. To the degree one is defending a methodology, one is less able to self correct in that area.

An example pops to mind; the Scientology upper levels (the OT levels). As a person progresses up the “Bridge to Total Freedom”, he may get gains. These gains may lead him to defend Scientology. And to that exact degree he will shut himself off from self correction. He may feel “on top of the world”, making him ignore signs of own inabilities, failures, even depression. He feels that “nothing can hurt him”, making him cover up his emotions where he is in fact hurt by another. He may feel obliged to be rational, leading to blind spots of own irrationality.

But Scientology is just a one of a million examples. Every religion and every methodology injects this liability in its adherents. We see this in science where scientists cling to a theory. Energy, effort and IQ is spent defending that theory rather than seeking refinements or even better theories. We see this in marriages where a man is eager to defend his ways rather than improve them. Politicians are perhaps the worst of breed.

Defense weakens the ability to self correct. Loosing one’s need to defend can open up new areas to self correction.

59 thoughts on “Self correction

  1. Excellent post, Geir.

    I have found too that when I really look at what I have an immediate impulse to defend, I can let go of it – and at the same time, I can see what’s right about it. but freely so. This is the first time I’ve put that general phenomenon into words. πŸ™‚ <<< VGI's πŸ™‚

    1. This lady is definitely NOT a tramp, people! Not only does she have “class”, but, has an “upward mobility” these days too, just to add a nice finishing touch! πŸ™‚

    2. Oh yes, here’s a little “nudge crutch”, (if things start getting unwieldy, ya know?)

      — “The 3 G’s: … Get it! — Got it! — Gone!” — (courtesy of racing’s tool-box)

  2. Superb and timely posting Geir. IF their is any one thing I would include, that would be the ol’ faithful — “a need (desperately sometimes, too) for problems.” πŸ™‚

    It seems we just CANNOT do without the suckers, no matter how inept or unhelpful they be.

    — Just HAVE to have a ‘problem’ (game), — no excuses accepted! (such as being quite happy, content, life going smoothly, etc, etc.) – NO way, Jose, Nadda!!!

    And certainly, doing some ‘self correction’ on that score, wouldn’t do any harm with one’s sanity ‘quota’ either, methinks ! πŸ™‚

  3. Funny story.

    I signed up for the Stoic Philosophy Seminary. While reading Epictetus’ “Handbook” I came to a realization.

    The book aligns with Steven Hassan’s B.I.T.E. model if taken literally by a new practitioner. IMHO, the book is dangerous if read by an unstable individual and could cause depression if its instructions are followed to the letter as it alienates people from a lot of socially powerful support mechanisms.

    SHORT EXAMPLE LIST: Epictitus disses laughter, going to sporting events, talking about philosophy to non-philosophers, saying ANYTHING more than the VERY least you can say, not hugging a grieving individual at a funeral or grieving INWARDLY, and includes plenty of thought-stopping techniques or “pre-set” algorithms of thought with NO option to not comply.


    Now, he DOES have some amazing notions. The Stoic Fork is one of them.

    I pointed this out to the leaders of the new Stoic movement. Some had PhDs in Philosophy and Psychology.


      1. Really. And it will please Tom Cruise to know that the Psychologist was the WORST.


        I was patient. I didn’t invalidate. I pointed out information. I explained the model. I pointed out the positive and negative. I told them over and over I wasn’t calling the modern stoic movement a “cult” and was only pointing out that it was likely that once in its history it WAS cultish and that they should be careful with how the Enchiridion was promoted.


        I have since resigned my studies from the Stoic Seminary. Modern Stoicism is moving toward a cultish mindset. The way their leaders handled this dissonant, reasonable information was proof for me.


        Racing, IMHO Cognitive Dissonance Theory POINTS EXACTLY AT the heart of human ignorance and the biggest barrier to human harmony. It is some robust psychology that effing aligns evidence with reality.

        We humans HATE to face information that obviates a core belief. We will typically do anything to avoid facing information that creates cognitive dissonance. It ruins our certainty of life and we typically align our certainty with our ability to survive.

        So we typically feel we need to be RIGHT so we can feel CERTAIN so we can SURVIVE. Because those that are RIGHT about the lion behind the bush live longer than those who are WRONG about the lion behind the bush – so being right is FUCKING IMPORTANT.

        But …

        We can experience being a self-existent certainty anytime we want whether or not it is actually true.

        Just choose to FEEL and BE certain anyway and fuck the lions. True data and false data are both JUST data.

        Remember the Far Side Cartoon of the two bears in the circus where one takes off his muzzle ….

        “Hey, these things come right off…”

        1. Yes Kat, It’s just soooo horrible to watch. I mean, STABILITY is just everything, man!, See “the” … claw! – claw! – scratch! – kick! – shout! – scream! – protest! – protest – dramatize! – waaah! – MOMMEEE!! – whimper! – sob! —- (sulk, sulk!)

          It’s wot “we” do, right?? πŸ™‚

            1. So right! Gentlemen (and others). Perhaps we could technically put it this way: Becoming “UN-hinged”, removes the co-axial for the flanges, right? So then they’re no longer confined into a fixed rotational motion.

              As a result, free to move in ANY direction they ‘choose’

              So mebbe coming apart (or unhinged), has at least SOME merit of ‘sanity’ to it, as opposed to the enforced ‘stability’ of being strapped into an institutional straight-jacket (or worse) the mind-fuck of the CO$ LOL

              ‘People’ don’t easily get this analogy, since they are actually terrified of ‘instability’, Imo, it readily ‘keys-in’ the fear of possible madness, insanity, and mental derangement. But get this. It’s the FEAR of powerlessness, suggested by the concept of ‘madness’, that inhibits their ability to simply confront what their ‘mind/s’ consist of, WHO is responsible for creating it and HOW to go about CHANGING it!

              Geir’s ‘Anti-Fragility’ posting, gave a great approach to actually letting go of the whole ‘safe-haven’ stability craving ‘machinery’, that we cooked up, in order maintain our ‘tenuously fragile grip’ on an orderly, protected existence.

              As he already covered in myriad of other terms, ‘letting go’ and especially ‘Play’, might just be the easiest gradients on offer, to handle that wildly bucking, doubt-creating critter called “the mind”

              As for the rest of us? — Bring it onnn, baby!!!

  4. Step 10 in the AA twelve step program…..Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

  5. Lent is the period of a 40-day long Christian holidays leading up to Easter. During these 40 days, it is tradition to which reflect on the sacrifice of Jesus and to also sacrifice something of personal value such as a favorite food or alcohol or swearing or some such. I like to joke that I’ve given up self-improvement and it’s worked out so well that I’m now doing that year ’round.

  6. Self correction absorbs my focus and curiosity. I wonder at it quite a bit. Possibly there are categories of self correction for example, “fixing mistakes” as different from “shaking drug addiction” as different from “learning and applying good manners.”

  7. Great article, Geir.

    I would only add one thing, you can’t trust your analytical mind, or the conscious thinking mind that you hear talking in your head, to tell you in which direction you should self-correct.

    I have come to see that human beings are not rational. They are not necessarily irrational, they are actually a-rational. They do not operate on logic, or reason at all, necessarily.

    We want what we want, and that is all there is to it.

    Those wants and desires are not reflected in the voice in your head, but in your heart, where they communicate with emotions and feelings and “reactions”.

    One way that I was taught to self-correct in Scientology was to listen to my conscious mind because the emotional, feeling, and reacting part of me was “bank” which I should always at least ignore, and always work to erase it completely with Scientology auditing.

    So the irony is that self-correction always required us to listen to our reactive minds and to follow what it tells us, and to use our analytical minds to figure out the best ways to get done what your reactive mind wants you to do.

    So if you want to know in which way you need to self-correct: listen to your reactive mind!


    1. Al, this has exactly been my passion of late. The books “Predictable Irrational” by Dan Ariely and “Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior” by Leonard Mlodinow pimp slapped me like nothing I’ve read before. I’ve been listening to them in my car.

      Wait a sec … um … WHAT’S HAPPENING? … OMG AL! … I’m … I’m … Oh my gosh …


      “I …. JUST …. REALIZED that I’m mocking up my rational mind and that I’m not doing that anymore!”

      Wait a sec …

      Did I just go OPAQUE?

    2. And IF the self doesn’t exist as the Buddhist say, How can we expect a non-existent thing to be rational?

      What all-the-way-to the fuck?

      1. Kat. The ‘eternal’ quandary stands. How do you ‘prove’ to someone, that you are

        ==================”NOTHING but potential?” ———————————–

        (Though, that one IS ‘aware’, IS decidedly provable, with very little BS / effort)

        Here’s a clue, perhaps: Just as an exercise (process) — Create a ‘thought’, that you have never come across, or imagined before. Go ahead….. !

        — Got it? Sure? — Great! Now mock up another! –Good! Now another.VWD!

        Any conclusion/s? – (Btw, elements of “fuck-(ing)” may (fore)play the part, of lubricating the process LOL!) πŸ™‚

    1. Nice stuff Sg. (Of course, ‘here’, you ARE allowed to) And If that sometimes seems a little wordy, one could even accept:

      — Creator (You too!) πŸ™‚

  8. “I love the teeth that shred me.
    I vex the joy false hope enables.
    Insouciance, your water flows from me.
    Certainty free from facts and fables.” – KG

    1. I can’t say that I resonate with the philosophy of this poem, but as a poem it is beautiful. Wow. ❀

      1. It was the last assignment of my Stoic class – to write one statement that sums up one’s view of Stoic Philosophy. It’s about accepting and loving even the worst things that can happen with courage and rejecting delusions and honoring ones self experience.

      2. I wrote it as an assignment for my Stoic class to sum up Stoicism for oneself in one sound bit.

        It bugs me and doesn’t sit right.

        1. It’s delusional. “A certainty free of facts and fables” sounds nice, but in reality is a mad notion because certainty is deeply aligned with reality in the human condition.

          You can be certain and wrong.
          You can be certain and right.
          Both feel the same.
          But is factoring out the feeling of certainty good algebra for humans?


            1. In “1984” the last thing Winston did was he finally loved Big Brother. So, “loving that which shreds me” also aligns with madness.

              The poem works in theory.
              We are not theories.

            2. KG, that was a moving series of posts – you are even more a seeker of truth than I thought! And truth is more beautiful than even a beautiful poem. This time it resonated. πŸ™‚

            3. Kat, take a whole bunch of kudos brother. πŸ™‚ You hiked through the journey, tried the obstacle courses and supposed revelations, and interacted with your compatriots on the same path. Your conclusions (in many ways) have similarities to many of us ‘exes’ of differing paths. The element of ‘slavery’ also happens to align nicely with those who wish to ‘control’ others.

              Not much new in the zoo, bru! πŸ™‚

    2. We could have another thread on “hope.” As in should we embrace the idea of “. . . abandon hope all ye who enter here.” (Casting aside “hope” as a human abstraction?)

  9. Rationality, the quality of two integers having even ratio, is a human abstraction. It seems to me to be more of an ideal than something which can be found in Nature. When we use the word irrational to describe substandard reasoning, it seems to me that we are exploiting an error in our assumptions. It seems to me that Nature is irrational and that a better assumption for our thinking would be to embrace Nature’s irrationality.

    1. That is correct. That statement is of the same order that there are no absolute certainties. There is no absolute certainty of thetan and free will. We can only have approximations.

      1. Thank you for the gold star Vinaire, I need them. I’m using the word “certainty” less frequently these days and learning to live with it.

  10. Yes. I agree with the article. I have just realized that a person is never totally correct, but he can always be willing and able correct himself. A person is never 100% certain because absolutes are unobtainable, but instead of the fixation on a certainty and rightness, a person can always be willing and able to recognize that he was not correct and therefore he can learning and improving. I think alo that the conceiving of one’s own weaknesses is the driving force of improvement…

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