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Knowing yourself
December 16, 2013

That is a good question is it not – how do you go about knowing yourself better or even at all? I had reason to ponder that this week and as I did so, I realised that for most of us most of the time, there is only way. And that is to contemplate and see ourselves in relation to others. I saw with greater clarity and understanding than I had ever done the wisdom and absolute requirement of the human need to give and receive attention.

Attention is well emphasised by Human Givens teaching and seems a slightly strange one. Thus, you would never put attention needs on the same level as say the need for intimacy or satisfying work. Yet attention is truly essential and one can get a sense of just why it is by considering this question “how can I know myself?” Because there is only one way – and that is in relation to others.

This is the point I am labouring to make. It is that at a deep unconscious level, all of us, all of the time in all of our daily relationships and connections to all we meet and interact with are asking these questions and finding answers. How are they, what makes them tick, what are they saying and how? And why are they reacting and behaving like this and what does it mean? And how is everyone reacting to me and how am I reacting to them?

Without this constant self referencing and learning, how would we know anything? We would instead be existing in a vacuum of nothingness.

I have been pondering the nature of human needs recently and don’t believe the Human Givens formulation is as good as it could be. If you are interested in my Needs Pagoda, then click here

best wishes

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Andrew Richardson

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