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Self-criticism as an introspective activity

"Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question:

What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?" - Marcus Aurelius

Self-criticism, in the sense of an introspective, discriminating activity, is indispensable in any attempt to understand your own psychology. If you have done something that puzzles you and you ask yourself what could have prompted you to such an action, you need the sting of a bad conscience and its discriminating faculty in order to discover the real motive of your behaviour. It is only then that you can see what motives are governing your actions.

- C.G. Jung, Dogma and Natural Symbols, CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East, par. 86.

If we can exercise self-criticism, criticism from outside will affect us only on the outside and not pierce to the heart, for we feel that we have a sterner critic within us than any who could judge us from without. And anyway, there are as many opinions as there are heads to think them. We come to realize that our own judgment has as much value as the judgment of others. One cannot please everybody, therefore it is better to be at peace with oneself.

Source - C.G. Jung, The Swiss Line in the European Spectrum, CW 10: Civilization in Transition, par. 911.

You can earnestly search your conscience without lapsing into moral weakness. Anyone who is in bad odour with himself or feels in need of improvement, anyone who, in brief, wishes to "grow," must take counsel with himself. For unless you change yourself inwardly too, outward changes in the situation are either worthless or actually harmful.

Source - C.G. Jung, Depth Psychology and Self-Knowledge, CW 18: The Symbolic Life: Miscellaneous Writings, par. 1810.

Art: Giovanni Tommasi Ferroni

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