One of the ways we can see how indoctrinated we are from school is by looking at what we don’t usually think about, or what issues we avoid thinking about, or what issues we prefer not to address. Beyond everything that refers to sexual drive, there is a diversity of aspects of reality that we normally ignore. The phrase let’s talk about anything but religion or politics’ is common. Thus, out of social politeness we could not express ourselves as we want, not say what we feel and not do what we want to do without even being aware of it.
This failure to realize the indoctrination to which one is subjected has a first mediate consequence, which is the repercussion on the generation that follows and starts from one’s own children. From the name we give to our children, often a copy of a copy of the name of the father, the mother, the grandparents, to the pretension that they do the same sports or artistic activities that we do, everything goes through the imposition of layers and layers of doctrines, in which we make sure to repeat models, affirming the goodness of some as the evil of others, without teaching us to doubt.
Thus, we may come to a point where we feel a burden that we do not know, do not understand, have no idea of its origin, its cause – more than one may call it an “existential crisis”. This burden may occur because we are living a life that is not the life we would “naturally” lead if we had had the necessary training early on to know ourselves better and, based on this self-knowledge, made the most assertive decisions to be where we are. That’s why a change in diet and exercise isn’t usually enough.
Self-knowledge becomes even more complex, even more difficult when one admits the existence of the “unconscious”, that is, of that part of us that cannot be defined and to which, perhaps, we can only approach. However, nothing is more essential than the search for ourselves, than knowing ourselves as much as we can, to avoid the neurosis of doing that which is not natural in us on one hand, and of depriving ourselves of doing that which is what “fits” us on the other. Here, we could review concepts such as “success” or “failure”, in order to understand what it means to know ourselves.
The problem is that without self-knowledge, you may come to believe something that is not, to ignore things you should know. Many parents think they are excellent, when in fact they are raising their children very badly. Many teachers who have no idea of pedagogy are convinced that they are good at teaching. There are priests who believe they are following a vocation, ignoring that they are going to pedophilia. The common thing is that no one wants to hear about their mistakes, let alone whether they have lived in error. The truth is that self-criticism is necessary for self-knowledge. And we haven’t been trained in that, have we?