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To Know Another is to Know Thyself

Dr. Daniel Siegel, author of Mindsight, notes that “our awareness of another person’s state of mind depends on how well we know our own.” (62).  From studying mirror neurons and the insula we now know that we map others’ experiences to our own internal experience and the brain perceives we are actually having the same experience.  The insula draws up the internal state of our body and maps it in the mind.  Dr. Siegel points out that “people who are more aware of their bodies have been found to be more empathic. .. When we can sense our own internal state, the fundamental pathway for resonating with others is open as well.” (62).  Perhaps the next time you’d like to point a finger or even make a judgement of another first take a moment to note what is going on inside your own body.  What new approach to others is available if you understood more about what was going on inside you?

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