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GANTALAO, JOHANNA MARIE R.

Understanding the Self

BSN-1B

MTh (2:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m.)

4 Reasons Why Self-understanding is Essential

(intuitivehaven.com May 11, 2018)

ERAE

Experience- Before reading the blog, I was in a state wherein I certainly believe that I already know
myself and I would always deny that I was a sensitive soul. Whenever I feel doubtful, I usually turn a
blind eye on this feeling and just keep on going. But after reading this blog, my mind was really
enlightened. And I had a moment wherein I’d stop reading for awhile and think “how accurate is this?”
and start applying the wisdom mentioned to my experiences in life. While reading the blog, I pondered
on things like how I actually reached college despite all the struggles I’ve been through, the
repercussions of the actions I made in the past, the toxic relationships I endured for quite some time
before realizing these were degrading me, and the like. As a matter of fact, it took me 45 minutes before
finishing the blog because I had to take pauses and just reflect about my life. Overall, my experience
while reading the blog was noteworthy. I felt enlightened, motivated, encouraged and all these sorts of
feelings just in one seating.

Reflection- As I was saying in the experiences on how I took many pauses while reading the blog
because I had to think and ponder on my life. The thoughts of the hurdles that I went through and how I
almost gave up because I felt so exhausted on the mental and emotional distress, immediately crossed
my mind. I also thought of how my purpose changed as time went by. As I grew older, my goals have
also altered just like myself. It is because of all the experiences as well as the relationships, may it be
healthy or toxic, that I had. Also, from being a child whose fear envelops her whole being, I learned how
to harness my confidence and trust in myself. Although it took me quite some time before finally
realizing how great I am at some aspects and building the trust wholeheartedly. Reading this blog
brought so much memories in me, it made me think how brave I am to conquer my eating disorders
alone, without my parents knowing it. And how I was and am always trying to be the best I could for my
family and friends, for the world, and especially, for myself.

Actions- I believe that there was really a significant reason of why we were tasked to read the blog. And
I think because most of us have felt hollow especially this quarantine. With all the societal issues, the
pandemic, the controversies, and all the problems that were thrown to us all at once, it made us really
anxious to absorb all of these. Reading this blog surely gave us a sign to be gentler with our sensitive
souls. It takes courage for us to genuinely accept ourselves without the fear of invalidation from other
people and I think this blog just made it easier for us to comprehend the value of understanding one’s
self. After reading the blog, I immediately read more about my personality since I have tried the MBTI a
year ago, yet I did not really think it would matter not until now. I am an INFJ-T. It was amazing to know
how my personality correlates to an advocate. Knowing this made me really determined in being active
with my environmental organizations and be a voice to the youth regarding my advocate in
environmental conservation.

Evaluation- The blog was really illuminating. It enlightened my mind, heart, and soul. I think it’s the best
way to introduce us all to the course, Understanding the Self. Through this blog, the anxiety left in me
slowly faded and was replaced by a positive energy to genuinely explore myself more. Also, through this,
I’ve learned how myself is like a carrot planted under the soil. What people see, including myself, in the
outside is not as significant as what I am inside. The essential part of the carrot is still under the soil,
what we see are just the stem and the leaves. This blog really meant so much to me. It thought me how
to value myself even more because from this, healthy relationships will branch out. It also showed the
significance of being a gentle and sensitive soul. From the four reasons given, hundreds of lessons and
ideas can be cultivated. Also, it does not only apply to the youth or those who are facing their struggles,
but it applies to each and every person in this world, regardless the gender, race, culture and beliefs.
Understanding the Self: Introduction by Ryan Corona

ERAE

Experience- Watching the 10-minute video just went quick yet so engaging. While understanding
carefully what sir Ryan was trying to encapsulate for the whole semester, I found myself imagining all
the self-related activities that we will be taking and how all these can be of paramount help for us to
better explore and understand ourselves. Also, the video was informative, at same time, it was filled
with wisdom from all the sayings and quotes that were shared. All in all, I had an interesting and
fascinating experience watching the video.

Reflection- The introduction for Understanding the Self by Sir Ryan Corona was a great way for us to
have an overview for the course. Before watching the video, I had so many “what if’s” bothering me for
so long but after watching the video and understanding each saying that he shared, the “what if’s”
became “so what?”. I’ve learned that transformation is essential yet we need to transform not for other
people but for ourselves. Understanding the self does not necessarily mean changing the self. Also I
have learned that sometimes what we want and what we are do not correspond and it is perfectly okay
because if we focus on what we truly are then we will discover what we truly want. This video and the
blog were similar in many ways. Both discussed about the YOU-niqueness each of one possesses as well
as the thought of giving what we do not have. I really had great time reflecting on this video.

Actions- After watching the video and fully understand the wisdom it taught me, I immediately
searched some of the resources mentioned in the video like the book “The Art of Talking to Yourself”
and I am planning to read it on my leisure time to be able to understand more on the value of self-
understanding. Also, I learned that planning is important in exploring one’s self, so I am planning to
continue my 2020 planner which I started but decided to stop because of lack of motivation.

Evaluation- The video was really useful beneficial for us to have a bird’s eyeview on what Understanding
the Self is really about. It also gives us an idea on how, as early as today, we should start doing small
steps in exploring and transforming the self as well as preparing for the future even in simple ways like
having a planner or having a reflection within one’s self. Thinking is also one of the highlights of the
video, as the saying goes “I think therefore I am.” As early as now, it is best to think of good and positive
things because as what I’ve learned so far from both the blog and this video is that, if you attract
positivity then positivity will surely be attracted to you
Philosophical Perspective of the Self

ERAE

Experience- The main highlight of the video is the introduction of the famous philosophers and each of
them addresses the Self under different and influent philosophical perspectives. Knowing their different
perspectives was interesting and it surely provoked my attention. Watching the video has a significant
impact to me, as a freshman taking up Understanding the Self as a course as well as a human who is still
finding her purpose in life and trying to explore and understand herself. Overall, I had a fascinating
experience being able to know the philosophical perspectives of various philosophers about
understanding the self.

Reflection- Most of the Philosophers that were mentioned were very familiar. Actually, two of them are
my favorite, Descartes and Aristotle, which also had an impact on science. It appears in the information
about the famous philosophers that were given, philosophers in the debate or in seek on self-
understanding, whatever their motivation, all seem interested in the same phenomenon, and thus
appear to address the very same question, formulated in different ways. And in a sense, knowing that
they have lived and bestowed themselves in Philosophy in different era really stirs up the thought of
how to distinguish their own way of explaining self-understanding from other kinds of ways. I have also
learned how philosophy is essential in understanding the self. To understand the self fully, we have to
question ourselves. And that is the beauty of Philosophy.

Action- After grasping ideas and philosophical perspectives from different philosophers, it is a great way
to use all the knowledge by applying or comparing it to my own perspective about understanding the
self. From my view understanding, I can say that the thoughts that I have are opposite with Sir Rene
Descartes regarding one’s self. I always think that my way of thinking determines the opposite outcome
of everything. There are many instances in which I think negative yet the outcome would be positive. So
every time I join competitions and the announcement of winners are starting, I always think that I would
lose but that does not mean I always win. It’s just a matter of coincidence yet I still live this belief until
now.

Evaluation- The video was helpful as an introduction and a guide as to who are the significant persons
who are behind the remarkable philosophical thoughts, ideas, and perspectives that will soon be
discussed deeply. Also, knowing as to how the views of the philosophers vary and how they perceive the
nature of self in different ways will stir up arguments and be able to enlighten all of us.
Eastern Philosophy: The Buddha
By School of Life

ERAE

Experience- Watching and understanding the life and perspective of Buddha was literally an experience
of Enlightenment. Learning, once again how the transformation of Buddha, from being a person filled
with convenience to someone who is willing to experience suffer and distress really stirs up my thoughts
and emotions. His life was really an interesting and remarkable one. Somehow, it really made me think
of the misfortune that I’ve been through and thought how all these are just a part of life. All wisdom
given were impactful to me. It inspired me to be appreciate and have contentment of what I have in my
life and thrive harder to become better.

Reflection- I consider the part where Gautama was becoming Buddha as my favorite part of the
passage. Especially when he exhibited the various approaches to suffering. The Four Noble Truths are
really accurate especially at this time where everyone experiences misery and blame it to other people.
The thoughts of memories of my ungrateful self in the past crossed my mind. It made me ponder how I
sometimes blamed all my problems to people who I considered as toxic or unfortunate. But that was a
long time ago. Like Buddha, I have also discovered my own enlightenment and developed discipline and
respect not only to other people but to myself as well. Dissatisfaction is one of the things that we
possess unconsciously. Even if I refuse that I feel discontented sometimes, it’s a truth that can never be
denied. With this, the eightfold path taught me to always choose what is right despite anything. Lastly,
my favorite grasp which is also my mantra in life is that, “everything changes and keeps on changing
continuously.” And somehow, even this video changed my perspective on various things about my lfe.

Action- It is a great way to reflect and have an epiphany within one’s self after watching the video. The
learnings I got were applied as I tried to look back on the times were I felt ungrateful for all the
misfortune and the dissatisfaction that I felt for no significant reason. And I am just glad that I can now
compare my experiences with that of Buddha. Experiencing Nirvana from all the good and bad
encounters in life. Thinking of ways on how to be grateful and contented while still striving to become
better is the first step that I will be taking after I watched the video.
Evaluation- The video was of paramount importance especially in taking small steps towards
understanding the self holistically. It served as a guide and an example for all of us that whatever
troubles we encounter within ourselves and the environment around us, will play a huge role for us to
discover and develop ourselves more. Knowing Buddha, his life and perspectives, is really an amazing
experience for me.
Eastern Philosophy: Lao Tzu

By School of Life

ERAE

Experience- The whole experience while listening to the video was so uplifting. Before watching, my
beliefs were really opposite than those of Lao Tzu. It's ironic how he actually talked and focused on
being patient and before I was about to watch the video, the pressure was really high and I stressed
myself too much with all my responsibilities. Yet, for the whole duration of the video, I noticed how my
stressful self slowly became calm and peaceful while just listening to the person narrating in the video. It
was a great opportunity for us to be able to know and comprehend the perspective of Lao Tzu about the
importance of patience and serenity in one's life. Especially that we are entering the realm of actuality
of life and it is encouraging to know that it is perfectly okay to take a break sometimes and to empty
ourselves from all the misery, dissatisfaction, and desires. What also amazed me is the fact that the
belief of Lao Tzu was far different from other philosophers yet when we come to think of it, his
persepective is absolutely significant in our lives.

Reflection- After watching the video, a thought crossed my mind about how sometimes I like the taste
of carrots and how sometimes I hate just even its presence to the dish. It is like how the Philosophers
have their different views and how each of them sticks to their belief throughout their lives. I, on the
other hand, am literally like myself eating the carrot. Having a certain belief at times and having the
opposite belief at some point. But with Lao Tzu's perspective about life, I think this would be view that I
won't ever ignore. Especially at times when I feel weary and tired of life like how Lao Tzu's abandon the
Zhou Court and had his journey exploring his true purpose. Although as for me, I will not abandon what I
have, but I will surely take a break and just live the moment.

Action- Living up Lao Tzu's principles, I took an oath to myself that when the time comes wherein I am
feeling like giving up and would like just to disappear, I will stop what I'm doing and start living according
to what my heart truly wants and not just because of what I needed to do or comply. I will also start
taking breaks especially when doing requirements and make sure that the breaks that I'll be taking will
really be beneficial to myself. At times when I feel empty, I will never blame nor be discouraged but
instead, I will start listing thing of what I am, what I have, and what I can be. These are just small steps in
living up to the exemplary principles of Lao Tzu but I believe doing these small steps can yield a great
impact on understanding myself more.

Evaluation- Lao Tzu is one of the greatest philosophers with the excellent principles. His beliefs were
outstanding because it applies to all people regardless the differences each posseses. Also, the way he
lives his life and treats everything as naturally changing makes us reflect and rethink on how we live our
lives and how we should change our ways of living not because Lao Tzu told us to but because that is
how it should be. It is great that we were reminded by this video to take things slowly, never rush. Good
things take time and the emptiness of one does not that one is not as useful as those who feels fulfilled.
All in all, Lao Tzu's principles are my toptier among all principles given by different philosophers.
Eastern Philosophy: Confucius
By School of Life

ERAE

Experience- I have encountered studying Confucius in various Values subjects and listening again to his
life and beliefs is really nostalgic as well as meaningful since you really have to think and reflect as to
what the perpective really implies. Since most of his principles are quite strange to some people,
including me, it is a great way for me to become rational in terms of thinking yet still dig in profoundly as
to it what it means.

Reflection- I always consider Confucius' principles as strange and ancient, but this is what ultimately
makes them all the more significant and compelling. We need them as a corrective to our own excesses.
The modern world is almost surprisingly opposite as to how Confucius views it. The society today is too
informal and full of innovation. So we are conversely at risk of becoming impulsive, irreverent, and
thoughtless without a little advice from Confucius about good behavior. Also the Golden Rule, which I
believe most of us are familiar with, will always be a principle that will live forever. I usually take into
consideration this rule before doing any decision especially when there are others who are involved.
Aside from this, respecting and honoring the parents is really an important principle but arguments such
as abusive parents or parents who have abandoned their children will stir up the essence of this
principle especially when the Golden Rule will be applied. Also, the inequality that Confucius was trying
to apprise his people was complex especially combining it with his Golden Rule. I think I just need to
read more to be able to understand him fully.

Action- The passage on Confucius was simple yet if we dig deeper and correlate each of his principle,
like what I did, we will surely be perplexed. I tried to understand why many some of his principles do not
conform to others, there are some which negates the others. What I did after watching was to seek for
answers on my queries. I searched if others also found it strange. And yes, I found others who also
perceives Confucius’ principles the same as mine. Also, I did small steps like motivating other people
especially those who really have no will to study or even do their requirements, in this way, I am also
motivating myself to continue on complying what’s needed to be complied.
Evaluation- Learning about the life of Confucius along with his principles was really meaningful because
it offered ideas that were not known and familiar to me. Also, it served as a reminder that we can not
expect something if we did not work for it. Just like with the Golden Rule, you can not expect others to
treat you with respect if you do not respect them. From this, I learned that to be able to learn to treat
everyone with respect, we should start it with ourselves. Although with some principles that I do not
totally agree with, I still consider these as a way for me to accept and understand the differences in
thoughts and views that we all have.