This is a extension of sorts from the previous post.
Introspection is an extremely powerful tool for getting to know oneself. However, the adventurer must be prepared for what she finds. Sometimes it is best to live in ignorance. When we are unsure of the balance of light and shadow that lives inside of us, our predisposition may paint a picture that is palatable but untrue. Just as I thought I was made of light before my own introspection, you may think the same as well. Maybe you are correct, maybe you are not. The combination of our own identity and the expectations that society places upon us can lead to a haunting realization if one finds evidence to the contrary in their own introspection. If you introspect, you must be prepared for the possibility that you are opening Pandora’s box.
A tenet of 1920s pulp horror was that ignorance is bliss, that one would go mad if they knew exactly what lay around them unknown to their sight and mind. Introspection can be the same way. It can be truly haunting to know that everything you believe may be false. I always knew that I was not a warm, inviting person, but I never acknowledged my antisocial side. It was only when doing deep reflection and introspection that I discovered such and it nearly broke me. I can only imagine what such revelations would do to others who are weaker-willed.
This introspection need not be dangerous for only the awakening psychopath or otherwise antisocial person. What of the person who is looking inside to determine how they feel about religion? What if they turn away as a result and lose the assumptions of life and death that they once held? What of the CEO that looks inside and realizes that he simply cannot do the measures required (i.e. massive layoffs) to save the company from bankruptcy? He may realize he and business may not be as close as he previously thought. There are many more examples. The danger of introspection is that you may come to realize that the thoughts and assumptions you’ve held of yourself for years or decades may simply not be true. It takes a strong mind to resolve that disconnect.
Not only can such revelations hurt the psyche, they can lead to changing behavior. I believe that my diagnosis of psychopathy can lead me on two different paths. I can be a more destructive force, fully realizing my potential and my skills. I could be a more restrained entity, knowing what my proclivities want me to do but knowing that it is not in my best interest to do such things. Knowing more about oneself will change the way that they behave and progress as a human being. Ultimately, responsibility for good or bad actions must lie with that person alone.
I choose to introspect because I truly want to know myself. I believe that what I know today about myself may be false tomorrow. Without constantly looking inside and reevaluating who I am and what my principles are, I may become an outdated caricature of myself. I acknowledge the risks of finding out who I truly am, but I believe that such knowledge far outweighs any emotional distress from possibly unearthing uncomfortable truths.