Self Reflective Consciousness is the distinctive type of awareness that carries within itself the ability to consider and think about ourselves. It's the mind's inner mirror that reflects to us what we're doing and thinking, and lets us ponder that. It provides the capacity for self appraisal, self judgment, self correction, and self guidance.
It's our great glory, and our big problem. It allows us to consider, choose, adapt, and transform our lives. It also lets us critique, doubt, second-guess, and worry about our lives. It's the chief engine of what we know as personal excellence. And it's the chief obstacle to that same exalted state. We need to make the most of it, and equally, to rise above it.
Fortunately, the phenomenon of self reflective consciousness can itself help us to get into a position to leave it behind, as we enter "The Zone" or "Flow" or the "Deep Play" of creative work, athletic mastery, musical reverie, or even a great relationship, at its best.
Is it then a ladder to be climbed and eventually kicked away? Or is it a lifeline that we need always with us, at least in the background, despite our equal need to transcend it?
The top performers in any art, science, or work, in their greatest moments, as they report later to us, rose above it, kicked it aside, and shed its limitations as they soared to their highest achievements. They became self forgetful in order to reach the pinnacle of self fulfillment.
This reflective state of consciousness, this inner mirror and critic, is a blessing when it helps us to find our way, and a curse when it just gets in our way. We need to grow better at using this capacity so well that it will help us to soar far beyond its limiting and commenting chatter.
Then, we enter the realm where we can fly.