In other words, though we’re smart, our communicative and cognitive behavioral center, i.e., the determined ego-function, gets in the way of our ability to think independently, to be objective, rational and fair. Happily, our study of autonomy and life is designed to provide an encompassing descriptive and practical force with respect to examining and managing the mechanisms internal to the determination.
For example, we can’t help but think that we are in charge of our lives. We live in a free country and even if we didn’t plan our lives, we know we could have. And though we may think we could have studied more, invested smarter, exercised longer and eaten more fruits and vegetables, we were in command of our choices, decisions, etc. Weren’t we?
Let’s apply the perspective and vocabulary of our discipline to what may have been our reflexive conclusions. We do have opinions, beliefs and convictions about what’s true and what’s false, and most may be firm, even vehement and uncontestable. But how did we get them? Did we spend time in debate clubs, read the best and brightest minds on the subject at hand, or do we feel these convictions in our hearts? Our bones? Our guts? Sometimes we hear a parent say to a child, “Who put that idea into your head?” How did our opinions and beliefs get into our head?
Moreover, although we may have spent little time thinking through our strong ideas or certainties about what constitutes right and wrong or good and bad, we probably have standards by which we judge others. What makes us so sure?