Tuesday, September 01, 2020

They Don't Know What They Don't Know

Almost everybody recognizes that the person who claims to know all the "right" answers, usually hasn't even begun to ask the right questions -- or they would not be the foremost "expert" on why things go wrong.  In fact, if they really knew what they were talking about, there wouldn't be a problem -- and getting worse because of what they "know."  The Buddhists would call that the "right understanding," from which the "right effort" naturally flows -- because with the truly right understanding, it would be impossible to do anything else.

That is like experiencing a hot stove the first time -- which ensures that there won't be a second, or subsequent efforts to remind oneself not to touch a hot stove.  But it is another matter entirely, to find out whether a stove is hot or not -- and not assume that it is -- or not, because of what they "thought" they knew.  In such cases, they have to actually find out -- and it is not enough just to know that one should, or should not have left it on.  One's entire life and future may depend on it.

It doesn't matter what the experts say you should have done -- or not done, because the only thing that matters, is what one did.  This metaphor is a lot like what we encounter every day -- and hope to learn to get it right -- unfailingly, as early as possible in life, because not to, has disastrous and deadly consequences.  That may be driving the wrong way on a one-way street for the first time, but hopefully, not the last time.

Life has many such lessons -- of which we hope to know better -- before it is too late.  But that is what life is mostly about -- this learning from day one -- to do one thing, rather than another -- but even in the best of circumstances and precautions, bad things can happen, and that possibility exists, as long as we're alive.  Ultimately, everyone runs out of chances -- and nobody lives forever.  One just hopes before then, to make the best of all one's chances -- before one simply runs out of chances.

In a life of one hundred years, that might be doing and experiencing many things -- or just one thing, repeated every day.  The end result will be the same, so it is largely up to every individual to decide which of those lifestyles one adopts -- with their varying consequences.  The same outcomes, will not be guaranteed for everyone -- but a fair and enlightened society, will attempt to see that everyone starts as equally as possible -- but after that, there surely will be a different outcome for each.  That is life -- in every shape and form of it.

All do not fare equally well from that beginning -- while a few, will even manage to begin many times over -- and get very good at it -- because they practice, and do not settle for only one start, and one race -- and no second chances.  Thus the skilled practitioner of anything, is usually one who has practiced more than all the others -- even to the point that it is no longer practice for such individuals but simply what they do -- until it is so automatic, that it would be impossible to imagine them not doing it unfailingly.

That can be a sport -- but that is just one game among many others one hopes to master in their lifetime -- at least well enough for them to feel comfortable moving on to the next level of challenge and growth.  That entails starting all over again -- learning as though one recognizes they do not know rather than being stunted in their feeling, that they already know all there is to know -- and everyone who does not know what they do, is an idiot.  Usually it is true, that those who know less than they do, are idiots -- but that doesn't make them smart.

Such people think that because everyone else does not know what they know -- that they must be fools, and seldom realize, others may actually know a lot more, and that is the reason that they don't know what one does.  That is the presumption of people who fail to master the right understanding -- and are mystified as to why everybody else does not do the same things they do -- with such catastrophic results.  Of course, we call such people, "dysfunctional" because they fail to understand that one thing is related to every other -- and life does not happen in a test tube free of such variables -- most of which are unrecognized, as well as unmeasured.

But just because they aren't, doesn't mean it may not be even more significant to the outcomes -- so intent was the experimenter, in proving what he wanted to prove, and would not accept any other.  Unfortunately, much of what we know, is predetermined in that way.  That is not science -- but merely authority -- like the Pharisees and Scribes of every time and epoch.  What they say, is what they say, and there should be no other -- by law or custom.  Those who disagree, should be thrown into prison, or very publicly be crucified -- so nobody else is tempted to follow in those footsteps.

Who those will be, is usually taken upon themselves -- to be the exclusive judge, jury and executioners -- although the latter they will usually cede to others, to make it seem more legitimate, and the will of the people -- whom they should tell what to think.  Even better if they can convince the people that they thought of it themselves.

But not everybody can think for themselves -- although all will flatter themselves that they do.  They will say that is what the science or evidence says -- but never speak of any particulars, so one can determine if that is true or not.  The science simply says, or the evidence is overwhelming, but what that is specifically, is never forthcoming -- presumably because it would be too difficult for anybody less qualified to understand.  But that is what real science is -- that even a perfect fool could understand, and not just self-proclaimed and anointed geniuses of our times.

Long before that authority is challenged and questioned, a better understanding is being suppressed -- usually because it is not as profitable -- though it may have greater benefits in the long run, and the bigger picture.  What is actually more desired, is infinitely greater health, and not simply, more and more expensive health care -- to make the vested interests richer.  The greater benefit, is actually to have healthier populations who minimally need acute expensive care -- for those with multiple chronic conditions that plague them all their lives -- and are never cured.

The obviously better answer is that everyone takes better care of their own health -- rather than a few specialists who take care of all.  That is not an efficient way of achieving those objectives -- just like old academia, where a few pioneer the knowledge for all.  That was the old model -- prior to the 21st century, when now everybody has all the tools for research -- as well as publication.  That's a hard one to give up -- for the entrenched status quo.  It's not likely to be discovered by committee, either.  More often than not, the great discoveries come by serendipity -- and merely paying attention.  In such a state of mind, one sees more than what they are trained to see -- which are not simply aspects of reality, but the whole of reality.

But if we only go about it the same way that hasn't worked before, any advances will be merely illusory.  It is only when the mind is totally silent, without the limits of its prior knowledge, that something new comes into being.  And that may be exactly what we want -- and not the failed prototype in one more manifestation.  So when we have a disease that only kills off the unhealthy, one should ask, is anything wrong with that? -- or is that even a problem?  That is the way life works.

The greater question is, how do we get healthier? -- because that is the solution -- and that works for everything else in life.  We need to drastically improve health -- and not just prevent the sick from dying.  That is a real solution.


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