The Basis for Intrapersonal Reflection

As many of us have feared as kids, night time has conjured images of scary monsters, weird creatures, and unknown beings, lurking around, waiting to attack us. We would keep a nightlight around to ward off these demons, have our parents check under our beds, and maybe even adopt small rituals to keep us safe. What’s so scary with venturing into the unknown, though?

Growing older, I’ve found a certain tranquility that comes with night time. It’s the one time of the day that many are starting to slow down, relax, and even go to sleep. At night, the air is more still, and it can be felt more than it can be during the daytime. It’s very true that night is seen as its own separate entity, as some may believe.

More importantly, I find night to be an excellent time for reflection, and thought. Much of the day, we worry about what people think of us, what we’re doing for others, what has to be accomplished. We must interact with others, using our interpersonal skills, whether it’s at our jobs, at school, with family, with friends, or even at other social gatherings. Night time allows for one to home in on the self, focusing on the more intrapersonal aspect of our human experience. Our mind finally relaxes, releasing any thoughts of others, and we have the freedom to block out others.

As Macauley brings up in Elemental Philosophy, Taoism views the night as a place of enlightenment, despite the irony in the word “enLIGHTenment” itself. I strongly agree with this statement. I feel that us, as humans, let our sight block further understanding of some things. Without the use of our sight, we’re forced to use our other four senses: touch, taste, smell, hearing. There is also an arguable sixth sense, the “gut” feeling, that comes more into play.  Reduced to these senses, they become strengthened, allowing us to be more sensitive to the things around us, including ourselves.

I feel that we must learn to embrace the night. While it can be scary, and we don’t know what could be hidden within, we should learn to trust in ourselves, as well as our other abilities. Periodically robbing ourselves of our own sight can possibly help us answer our personal questions that we can’t seem to answer when we see. In other words, we might need to blind ourselves in order to see the truth.

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One Response to The Basis for Intrapersonal Reflection

  1. wcturgeon says:

    I love that seeming contradiction: night brings enlightenment. But yet, as you so aptly point out, in the dark our other senses gain strength and get a chance to “shine”–ah, so difficult to get away from the light metaphor!

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