Function of Reflection
What is reflection required for? If something is impossible, one neither needs to think about whether to or how to do it, nor does one need to communicate about it (“Shall we spread out our arms and float into town?”). The same applies when something is indispensable (“Should I open my mouth to eat today?”). Reflection directs the question to what is possible (also different). If, for a system (psyche, family, team, organisation and others), something could also be different, the actual situation becomes questionable, i.e. it must be justified. To put it another way, reflection thus serves to reassure a system in its uniqueness (=identity!): “This is how I am, this is how I emerged from yesterday, this is how I wish to be tomorrow.”
Therefore, through reflection, a system gains freedom, which makes it clear, which decisions have resulted in how it has become as it is. If it emerges in the process that these decisions impede life in the present environment or make it impossible, it can decide to recognise this dependency. Then one organises oneself anew and re-orientates oneself. The system learns on the basis of its own reflection. If it does not reflect (and holds tightly to itself and its identity), then the environment must adapt or the system goes under.
Therefore, reflection works on the poles of ‘retaining’ or ‘learning (adapting)’, in which the system makes itself the topic of reflection: “Can it or can I remain as I am or must I or it change something or wish to change something?”. With this particular question something very important is decided: no matter how long and intensively a system reflects, it does not come to closure. Always, it ends up only with a decision! And with it, it never arrives at an absolute truth, an essential core, a necessity, but always with a settlement (which could also be different!).