The true self is realized a number of ways and all of them require honesty. Honest work over time will yield good results. An honest attempt at dream interpretation, over and over again, will yield results. Thinking about our childhoods, practicing empathy for that person of the past, and allowing difficult realizations is another path. Confronting people who have wronged usually informs us of our noblest self.
All of this work is difficult. Anything good in life requires strenuous activity. This doesn’t mean we have to become a busybody. A lot of people’s pursuits don’t serve them and they have a miserable, difficult time clearing their plates of these pursuits. This is doubly difficult when a sense of identity is attached to the pursuit that doesn’t serve the person. This is do with the false self.
People generally avoid the view that as adults, they are still works in progress. People bound by shame have to “play it cool” and never betray any sincerity or vulnerability. When shame bound, it becomes extraordinarily difficult to self-reflect or morally improve. The years go by, the heart withers, and the intellect grows in its place. People become unhappy, nightmare versions of who they could have been when their youth still held its promise.
The path to the true self is filled up with the Devil’s landmines: easy answers and easy influence. There is no easier way to feel like a good person than to become a joiner and latch on to some form of non self-reflection. In today’s age, this is most often found in the form of left-wing identity politics. This is to say that people politicize the traits they were born in to, thereby and inevitably giving themselves a reason to be lazy and not pursue the true self. There is no substitute for the hard work of becoming real.