Lifestyle Knowing yourself: the key to changing the world

Knowing yourself: the key to changing the world


Lasting social progress must be based on the personal growth of each citizen. The tuning with our vital impulse allows us to transform the world.

Through processes of personal transformation and life change (starting, without a doubt, with my own therapy) I have repeatedly encountered the same questions.

At the beginning, when I was a lawyer, I witnessed them in the so-called “street youth” who had all kinds of difficulties; and later, as a therapist, in assisting numerous adolescents and adults from all walks of life.


Over time, I have understood that if we settle into a life that does not respond to our deep vital impulse and we avoid voluntarily asking ourselves those famous questions to review our choices, readjust our priorities, abandon old scenarios and open ourselves to new ways of being, we are nurturing First, frustration and then bitterness.

In this way we inevitably fall into subtle violence against ourselves and others (irony, contempt, cynicism), or compensatory forms of escape (spending too much, eating too much, drinking too much, working too much, doing too much sport).

But life, which seeks our good, often manages to shake us. Thus, a blow, such as a separation, an accident or an illness, can make us sit down with ourselves.

Whether voluntary or not, this stop allows us to immerse our conscience in the well of interiority to extract from there a safe resource: the wisdom that, as all traditions have taught us for millennia, awaits within each one of us. that we consult it.

Today, after assisting as a therapist for more than twenty years people and couples in the cycles, seasons and meanders of life, I have acquired these two convictions:

  1. Faced with a difficulty, what we lack are not resources, but access to these
  2. What poses problems for us are not so much our living conditions as the conditioning of our mind; It is not so much what happens to us, but how we experience what happens to us.

We therefore need to learn to know our resources (“Know yourself”) and review our system of thought in order to transform or allow ourselves to be transformed by what happens to us.


But there is usually a problem. Despite their good intentions, our family, school or even religious education has not provided us with the keys to the process of listening and of critical observation of our systems of thought.

The “transforming interiority” is the ability to withdraw within ourselves to raise our level of consciousness, focus on our own vital impulse, grasp what traditions agree to call “the breath” and allow ourselves to be transformed by what happens to us.

If we do not access this transforming interiority, we run the risk of finding ourselves in one of the following mechanisms (or even both):

  • The mechanism of the pressure cooker, which can be immediate or delayed explosion. By dint of being very nice, we forget to be authentic, we swallow disagreements and frustrations until we explode aggressively. The pressure cooker can also implode: since the lid of our conditioning is so tightly closed, we explode inwards with a violence that turns against ourselves, in the form of diseases, the burnout syndrome (syndrome of professional burnout or “To be burned”) and depressions.
  • More or less socially admitted compensation mechanisms alcohol, drugs, television, work, control, power, pornography, consumption and money in which we can easily find ourselves trapped.


The physical, psychological, verbal abuse wreak havoc at all levels, as well as the compensation mechanisms that lead to addiction (toxic hobbies) and phenomena of hoarding .

Contrary to a widespread idea, an essential part of all the problems that humanity faces could be solved if we were able to understand that most difficulties are not in the order of having, due to the scarcity of resources, but in the order of being, since most of the shortages have been artificially produced by world social relations destined to compensate for the malaise of the ‘possessing’ minority ”.
Patrick Viveret, Counselor of the Paris Court of Accounts

The real issue, then, resides in the inability of those who have access to possession and power to cope with their existential anguish.

When an inner life is not developed that allows to grow in confidence, feel part of the sustaining world, find a meaning to one’s existence and extract inner resources… the risk is that the individual seeks his security outside himself, accumulating and hoarding foreign resources.

And what is valid for having and goods, is valid for power and control. When we do not give ourselves measured recognition, we risk spending our lives desperately searching outside for inordinate recognition, trapped in the ego.


Citizen interiority means, first of all, that a pacified citizen is a pacifying citizen. It is not passive: it leaves behind a trail of benevolence, co-creation and synergy.

  • Already as a lawyer I understood the importance of each person being able to acquire a minimum knowledge of himself, assimilate some notions of emotion management and clarify his reflections on the meaning of life.
  • Later, as an animator of young people at risk, I was able to confirm my intuition that the interior life does not belong to the private sphere, since our interiority not only orders, but also fertilizes our action in the world.
  • Finally, by doing my own therapy and accompanying many people as a therapist in theirs, I have understood that self-knowledge is a public health issue that should be taught in schools from childhood, with the same intensity that is taught to read, write and calculate.

The citizen interiority also means that a citizen who has discovered the best of himself puts it at the service of all. Those who have learned to align themselves with their own life drive and have discovered their creative capacity inevitably become a participative and creative person who likes to share what they have.

Transformation can manifest itself in the discovery of an ignored or repressed artistic talent. Or also, and this often happens, for the “simple” fact of rediscovering the joy of a life in common, in belonging and no longer in struggle. Examples abound:

  • mother of a family who comes out of her depression and finds the pleasure of welcoming her children happily around a table.
  • An accounting expert who takes up the pleasure of helping social projects materialize.
  • An entrepreneur who decides to transform the management of his company by replacing the stressful patriarchal pyramid system with shared decision-making in a responsible circle (sociocracy).
  • Or that other employer who invests in your company to achieve zero carbon emissions in a few months.

Today, humanity faces a common, global, historical challenge: change or disappear. Faced with this enormous challenge, an increasing number of individuals are realizing that we cannot collectively transform our relationship with nature and the natural resources we use if we do not individually change our relationship with our own nature and with our personal resources.

The society that we have created, which is revealed to be deadly in many respects, corresponds to our systems of thought, beliefs and interpretations of the world; that is, to our programming. We cannot have a lasting impact on the outside without transforming our own programming systems from within.

Interiority is the key to this collective transformation. Today, all people who are involved in a deep personal development process contribute to lasting social development. Interiority is civic.

MindFixes Staff
MindFixes is dedicated to promoting mental health, preventing mental disorders and advocating, educating, and serving all people with mental and substance use conditions. MindFixes is determined to persevere, learn, grow, love and laugh through our wellness journey and we invite all to join.


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