philosophic inquiry into life and meaning

...if truth were not for man the desire for truth would not be as a burning unrest in his heart...

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Assisted self-introspection: 1 on 1 Confrontation


The following is an exercise that can be used in a group setting or with one other person. The list of questions could also be used by yourself like a koan to provoke thinking.

Man reflecting under sun, Licensed under CC see asker and one answerer. Answerer should only talk about their self. Keep on point about goal. The Person asking questions should ask in the order that befits the person, don't have to ask in the order the questions are presented, probably better not to ask in the order presented. Questions other than the ones listed below that provoke self-introspection should also be asked.

The asker should take a few minutes to read through the questions. When the asker begins they should keep in the back of their mind and write down as they go along one thing they think the other person needs to know about themselves that they're blind to. Share feedback at the end of the first round. Then, switch and repeat for other person.

The answerer should try to remember to keep an open mind and deeply consider what is being asked then respond honestly.

Most of these questions were pulled from the TAT forums online at

Split into groups of 2. Each person choose 1 question for themselves to be asked and the asker will choose 2 for the other person. Choose wisely. Huge list of Koans/Questions follows...

What do you want out of life?
What's behind the sense of "I am"? Who's living, and who's facing death? Who or what are you, essentially? Will some part of you continue on after death? Is there an unchanging, eternal part of you? Are you a part of some unchanging, eternal essence?
What is your relation to thought? Do you create thoughts? Can you stop thinking? What is the source of thought?
Are you interested in investigation into what you are at the core of your being?
Who are you?
What's your current strategy?
How is it possible that you don't know what you really are?
Is there something you don't want to face about yourself?
Define yourself in terms of your direct experience. Are you the experiencer?
Is your life Real? Are you Real?
What does the voice of nostalgia say to you?
How do you feel about yourself? Why?
Where will you go after you die?
How do you know?
What have you become?
What are you becoming?
What do you see about yourself?
In your everyday life, what gets your attention?
Is there anything boring about your life? What?
What is your purpose in life? If you don’t know your ultimate purpose what is your relative purpose?
Where do you stop and everything else begins?
What's inside you and what is outside of you?
What do you value?
Do your actions align with your values?
What do you trust?
Are you getting in your own way?
Is it possible that you don't know yourself as well as you think you do?
Do you decide your life? What is the basis for those decisions?
Do you doubt you can make the trip?
Do you have faith you can make the trip?
Do you think it's possible?
Who is aware?
Are you living at odds with yourself? Are you living your life honestly, true to yourself?
What are you not paying attention to that needs attention?
Are you a process observer?
Are you an actor in a play? If so who writes the script?
Are you a thinker or a thought receiver?
What does your story feel like?
What do you not accept about yourself?
Are you alone?
What would give your life meaning?
Are you responsible for your suffering?
What will know your-self?
Describe your longing.
What does the pain feel like when you’re in it?
What does joy feel like when you’re in it?
How would you describe your life?
What direction are you going in?
How close are you to your goal?
What’s your current plan of action?
What’s holding you back?
What hurts the most right now?
Is there anything more you can do?
What’s your goal?
What’s missing from your life? What are you missing?
What do you fear?
What do you take pride in?
Who are you?
Where did you come from?
Where are you going?
Who made you who you are?
Describe what you see when you look at your reflection.
What can you take away of yourself and still remain you?
What when taken away would you lose yourself? What would make you zero?
Define yourself.
What efforts have proven useful? What efforts have been a procrastination or a waste of time?
Are you responsible for you actions?
Can you become? Can you unbecome?
Are you a victim of circumstance?
What does intuition mean to you?
What will complete you?
What will satisfy you?
What of you will remain after death?
What will die?
What can you hold on to in this life?
How much time do you have left?
What’s the most important thing in your life?
What’s not important to you?
Why are you here?
What is your opposition?
What does self introspection mean to you? What does it feel like?
What do you not see?
What is YOUR truth?
What are you working towards and what are you retreating from?
What does an intuitive hint feel like?
How would you know you're certain?
Should doubt be inspired or faith?
What are you certain of?
What bothers you?
Are you a thing?
What do you notice about yourself?
What does it take to stop and listen with your heart?
What are you protecting?
Are you willing to awaken right now?
What is the right action to take?
Describe what happens when you listen to your thoughts.
Does comfort impede your true goal?
What would happen if you went into your deepest fear?
What would happen if you realized your true nature?
What’s personal about fear?
What is a thought?
How would you know you're not just deluding yourself?
Are you creating your own obstacles by believing them to be so?
Are you observing or the observed?
What is this?
What is your mind?
Can you look at what’s looking?
How can you live life fully?
What makes you so important to think you could be enlightened?
Are you rationalizing energy or opportunity away?
On which thoughts are we spending most of our mental time?
What part of you is it that regrets non-action?
What are you grateful for?
Are you really separate from everything else?
Are you an individual?
What does your life express? What is your life an expression of?
When you experience a strong emotion, what does your behavior express?
During that behavior, what do your thoughts express?
What do you express in a day, a week, a month, a year, a lifetime?
Is thought incessant?
Are there gaps between thoughts? Can gaps be created?
Are you?
Going by your own, present experience, not by memory, hearsay or imagination, how big are you? What shape are you? Could you be almost any size or shape?
Do you have boundaries? Is there a place where you stop and the world begins? Or is there nothing dividing you from the world?
Are you aware of yourself?
When you are old, what will you want to say about your life?
What would you like to say to a younger you?
When it is just you facing the unknown, where will you find certainty?
Choose a happy, pleasant memory. Can you hold onto this memory? Where is it stored? Who would you be without memory?
What is your calling?
How did you get to where you find yourself right now?
Why are you suffering? Could it be you are suffering because you are a case of mistaken identity?
How do you identify yourself?
How do you work on yourself in day-to-day life?
Why do you study, or why do you work?
Why do you pursue whatever you're pursuing so actively? To get a better job? To get a better mate? To get a better position besides just food and shelter?
Do you long for inspiration?
Is there any spiritual hope unless our intuition sees a possible solution?
Who is it that speaks to you? Who is it that listens to me?
Do you think you will automatically go to a spiritual place after death? 
Will you have the drive and capacity to determine your fate and direction when the body/mind dissolves?
Are you earnest enough?
What are you seeking?
Have you contemplated your own death? Can you do so today, now?
Is your identity dependent upon the body?
Do you define the self as the body?
Are you thoughts? Are you memories? Are you experiences?
Are you the mind?
What problem do you have right now (not in the present or the past)?