Latin introspectus, past participle of introspicere to look inside, from intro- + specere to look
Introspection is the self-observation and reporting of conscious inner thoughts, desires and sensations. It is a conscious mental and usually purposive process relying on thinking, reasoning, and examining one's own thoughts, feelings, and, in more spiritual cases, one's soul. It can also be called contemplation of one's self, and is contrasted with extrospection, the observation of things external to one's self. Introspection may be used synonymously with and in a similar way to human self-reflection. It is used greatly as a spiritual examination.
Introspection is like the activity described by Plato when he asked, "…why should we not calmly and patiently review our own thoughts, and thoroughly examine and see what these appearances in us really are?"
In Eastern Christianity, some of the concepts critical to addressing the needs of man such as sober introspection, called nepsis, are specific to watchfulness of the human heart and address the conflicts of the human nous, heart or mind. Also [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noesis noetic understanding can not be circumvented nor satisfied by rationalizing or discursive thought (i.e. systemization)