WE DON’T KNOW WHAT WE DON’T KNOW
What we know consists of what we have been taught, observed, experienced, read about, a combination of wisdom and knowledge. Each of us as individuals have a unique knowledge and understanding of the world based on all of this. No two people have a collection of the same information inside them. Our attitude and perspective adds color to who we are, what we know and how we respond to the world around us.
We internalize things in our own way too. Some bottle it up and it explodes unexpected, sometimes hurting others as well as themselves. Some react without thinking, and that too can cause regret. Still others have that slow, taking in and letting it settle before responding, sometimes missing the opportunity to respond at all then frustrated that they hadn’t and keep going over in their head if only I’d said …. At times, if the situation seems to hit a nerve, the response is passionate and heartfelt and can be loving or rage. Some people have the gift to access the situation and act upon it with grace and ease. I envy those people and wish I was one of them.
Our collection of knowledge and wisdom is our arsenal for dealing with everything in our lives, but it’s important to acknowledge that it’s impossible to know EVERYTHING, no one person does and that we need to be open to expanding our awareness beyond what we already know because we don’t know what we don’t know until we know it. Francis Bacon is quoted to say “Knowledge is power.” The more you know the better for you in making more informed decisions. At one time you may make a statement and believe it as truth with all your heart. Years later you cringe at that very statement because over the years you have learned and experienced life that expanded your perception and you now believe something totally different. It’s okay. At each stage of your life, you came from who you are at that given moment in your moment of truth. Nothing is set in stone. We evolve. At least I hope we do. It’s sad to watch people who THINK they know everything and close their mind beyond their own bubble of information in their head.
But Einstein also said that “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” That may ease the thought that you can’t know everything. It’s our imagination that allows us to come up with things that haven’t been yet … creating something new. The greatest discoveries have come from failure and re-imagining what caused it. Our imagination is a toolbox of unlimited possibilities to pull from when we don’t know what we don’t know. Sometimes it’s a good thing that you don’t know what you don’t know when you are trying to create something new, better, revolutionary. Side Note: Those who are compelled to delve into the creative process and find themselves into new territory, often come up against such opposition that it’s a real struggle to keep going, which is the hardest part of creating something that hasn’t been before. Finding others who understand, let alone support you is rare and most think you’re wasting your time or are a little bit crazy. I know this is easy to say but hard to do but, hang in there and don’t give up. Seriously.
Sometimes we don’t know what WE DO KNOW! Have you ever been in a situation where no one seems to know what to do and you instinctively step in and handle it without any thought? That’s where our intuitive powers (gut instincts) kick into gear. We absorb so much each and every day from every little thing that touches our lives, both consciously and unconsciously and it all becomes a part of us at different levels. That statement could be an entire subject to explore but right now it’s to make the point that what we are exposed to -- beauty and horror, both are part of the make-up of who we are. It’s important to understand that we need to be more aware of what we choose to expose ourselves to have in our lives because there are also plenty of things that we see or experience that we rather we didn’t.
The point I am making is that if we realize we don’t know what we don’t know, we can open ourselves to knowing more, accepting that we don’t know everything but that we can always learn, do and be more because we are now aware of the fact that we can’t know everything. And sometimes, not knowing can give us an edge when it comes to innovation because we are using our intuitive faculties along with our knowledge to create something that doesn’t exist in the physical world yet.
In my workshops and what I firmly believe is that it is not only important but essential that we use both sides of our brain -- the analytical and the intuitive in every part of our lives. The analytical takes what we do know and makes sense of it and the intuitive derives from the unconscious to instinctively know without thought and allows ourselves to go beyond who we are and open us to who we can become.