I would say some do, yes.
(Photo by Jonathan Denney)
I seek to understand.
All my life I’ve been trying to understand. Everything.
I’ve been trying to understand simple things like radios and walkmans and more complex things, like relationships and human behaviour in general.
In most situations, I don’t follow the normal route of action or reaction, because I want to understand its insides and unbiased results of my alternate route.
Some people call this strange or weird. I suppose it is. If nothing else, it is not ordinary, and that is against which everything is judged, is it not?
Is it merely a tendency of thoughtful insight? Is it an abnormal hunger for something I’ll never be able to attain? Is it the way I learn, or is it learning itself?
I’ll tell you what it is.
All my life I’ve been searching for reasons. The reasons I never knew my parents as parents together, but parents apart. The reasons why I felt like I didn’t belong. The reasons why I didn’t have to try too hard…yet should have tried so much harder.
Anyone can justify anything. Virtually anything can be related to anything else.
Forget that for now, because we need to understand.
Understanding is relative of course, but we’ll forget that too. Let’s just say understanding is absolute.
Perhaps this is my ‘seek to be understood’ phase?
True understanding is not easily gained. Often we say we understand, only to scratch the surface of the given issue’s complexities. I believe a paradigm shift must occur for true understanding to occur.
A person must rearrange their beliefs in favour of new and unfamiliar ones. The mind must be absolutely open to accept that another way, beyond your current path, is possible.
The Art of Understanding is made up of many parts. Here are some of the points I will touch upon in my quest to (understand and) be understood:
The Empty Cup – Live as though you can fill your mind with knowledge at any given moment.
The Message and the Medium – The path you must take towards understanding must follow some assumed constants. A message can be overshadowed by improper use of a certain medium of communication.
Listening and Sensitivity – Inflections in the voice, tone, body language, rhythm and the words you choose to use are all apart of active listening for greater understanding. Being sensitive to minor abnormalities or changes gives you greater insight into the true meaning of what is being communicated.
The Sum of the Parts – Understanding how smaller parts fit together to create or make a larger entity or situation will bring you closer to an understanding of the sum.
Think Like Them – Role playing, judging actions and reactions, understanding character and motivation, incentives for behaviour and their processes to better understand the world. Knowing your subject allows you to execute your skills effectively.
The Tidy Box – Your perfect image, their perfect image. Each play off each other, causing a lifetime of inaccurate responses and feelings. Break away from your tidy box and see through theirs.
Look From the Outside, In – Keep a good perspective as though you were not immersed in the situation. Seeing how the greater picture of how things relate to each other and how they might affect each other will only prove to improve your understanding.
Think From the Inside, Out – Understanding the core values that make up your own and other people’s true selves will help you gauge motivation and bias.
Find the Pattern, Break the Pattern – Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is crazy. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is crazy.
Learn, to Teach – We often push ourselves, or force ourselves into a different state of insight when we take the perspective of a teacher. Whatever we are seeking to understand, will often come through stronger when using this technique.
Imagine – There is no greater weapon than this, to be used in the path towards understanding.
Changes are Constant – Changes must be embraced. Change is important for growth.
These are only brief explanations. I will expand and give examples to illustrate each idea.
Does this make any sense so far?
I think the answer may lie in your inability to distinguish the true emotions from the false emotions. (I’m not accusing you of anything, merely speculating.)
Of course, both are real responses, but the fundamentals of each are very different.
For example: a basic emotion such as fear can exist, without prejudice. The emotion exists, and it does not care whether its reasons are valid or not.
Take a misunderstanding or miscommunication, and you can easily have the emotional response of fear. We often fear that which we don’t understand.
Would the response be ‘false’, given that you don’t fully understand the situation and there may actually be nothing to fear?
True or false?
If you were standing on the edge of a cliff without a safety harness, fear would be a natural response. Is this response more accurate or ‘true’?
Is there a way to fully understand every situation, and every reaction a human being can make?
On what terms would you be able to understand? Scientific? Spiritual?
If you could understand every situation and subsequent reaction, would you cease to emote or would it be a truer form of emotion?
Would it be an enlightened state of being? Does it really matter?
Could it be that we are worried of what damage our image might take if we stray from the tidy box we’ve presented ourselves to be?
Your subconscious mind allows you to live freely. It allows you to feel like there is something wonderful going on. It is your unencumbered thought and imagination.
Your conscious mind acts as your security, your monitor, your public relations person. Things you are good at, passionate about, they become harder to get to as your conscious mind messes you about. Your conscious mind would have you believe you must act a certain way, appropriately for each situation.
Can you see?
Is your subconscious able to foresee the future or is it just good at predicting outcomes or is it just good at letting you know what you actually feel? Either of the last two could be called foreseeing the future, because one would never actually ‘see’ it.
Is it an ability to see the future or does it merely condition you to shape the future to your liking and/or expected outcome?
Expected outcome? Future? What is the actual difference between the two?
One may not be the same as the other, but if the expected outcome was based on very accurate observations and judgments, could it not be the same? Is that the limitation we must overcome to move forward?
Don’t limit yourself
Our conscious mind – remember? To consciously say or think we have limitations is a defense mechanism of the conscious mind, much like the defense mechanism kicking in when we need to lie about our true feelings to save face.
We cannot understand this situation well because we are very much immersed in it.
Just like you cannot see your forehead without a mirror, you cannot see your condition (of this defensive limiting) without an external guide or clue to gain you a different or greater perspective.
Who’s winning inside your head?
When we are children we have open minds. Our minds are impressionable and limitless.
That magical feeling you got when you watched science fiction (believing it could be real) or Peter Pan, flying (knowing you could do it with some practice) is the young conscious mind at work.
The young conscious mind is not-so set in its ways, not so judgmental, and not so adverse to new, and perhaps, illogical ideas.
At this point in our young life, very few systems exist to curb our actions and thoughts beyond what our environment has told us thus far (depending on age and experience, possibly very little).
Along with this lack of thought methodology you have negatives (or are they?) because learning things like ‘fire burns’ or ‘electricity shocks’ can be useful and, of course, have been helpful in your survival.
Intelligence is your guide
Intelligence is partially structural, or made up of many systems to help test life, to learn. Systems measure things, restrict things, guide you in learning, and help you feel solid and grounded in knowing them.
Imagination is non-linear and can help surpass those ‘intelligent’ systems. We use our imagination to search for something better, though we may or may not return something useful all of the time.
Imagination sets you free
Freedom of thought can help break through inaccurate or out-dated systems. It can help you deal with complex thoughts and feelings on death and life itself, and it’s meaning.
Both imagination and intelligence are necessary to development of the mind. One could not have a sense of progression without having a system to gauge the process in which you measure your success.
In searching for this meaning of existing or understanding of the mind, I’ve yet to truly ‘know’. These are the thoughts and ideas that flow through my brain, driving neurons and sparks of electricity to collide.