The default balance between conscious and unconscious tends to be wrong, we are incentivised to let too much of who we are happen in the unconscious.
As a general point, we need to make heroic efforts to correct the imbalance and bring more of our lives into the conscious realm.
’The problem is that knowledge of our own neuroses is not at all easy to come by.
It can take years and situations we have had no experience of.
Nature has structured us so that self-awareness comes very late on: you only have to study how children are to know that an awareness of self is a very late evolution of character.
In general, we can argue that we suffer because a little too much of how we behave happens unconsciously – when we would benefit from a closer grasp on what was going on.
Two: The Emotional and the Rational Mind A traditional way of conceiving of our minds is that there’s a small rational bit and a far larger, more dominant emotional bit.
Plato compared the rational bit to a group of wild horses dragging the conscious mind along.
One of the greatest privileges of being on one’s own is the flattering illusion that one is, in truth, really quite an easy person to live with.
With such a poor level of understanding of our characters, no wonder we aren’t in any position to know who we should be looking out for.