What Do I Mean by Self-Empowerment?

It starts with me, but it’s not about me. In considering our personal relationship to the world, we usually discover the possibility and perhaps the necessity of qualitative ‹self-optimization›, not only the quantitative increase of our cognitive, emotional, and volitional abilities.

On the one hand, this presupposes a certain degree of ability to view contexts objectively – which requires us to train our thinking processes. On the other hand, individuals can only discover what is most precious to them when they «truly grasp their strongest feeling […], what moves their innermost». (Martin Buber, ‹The Way of Man›) This in turn requires the ‹cleansing› of our affective life, a kind of sentience that goes beyond mere personal reactive concern. For here lies the temptation of the obvious, identification with the interests and desires that our everyday I hopes to fulfill. At this level, the field of work of self-leadership in the emotional realm opens up, which I have discussed in detail in the publication. (Rudy Vandercruysse, ‹Ways of the Heart›) In this regard, it is not a matter of suppressing but cultivating our affective life, which makes it possible to deepen and existentialize our intellectual life, and finally strengthen and warm, even fire up our will. Translation: Simone Ioannou

From Rudy Vandercruysse, Where Are You? The Way of Man and the Inner Practice of Self-Leadership. Stuttgart 2021.

Image: Sofia Lismont

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