Know Thyself and Know Nothing at All.
I’ve been trying really hard lately to replace all of my I knows with I agrees or I disagrees.
It’s really hard to add water to a vessel that is already full.
One of the Pastors during a Sunday service said that if you don’t believe in religion, spirituality, a higher power, or God in general, just to simply ask the universe for some understanding.
It seemed like a ridiculous thing for an atheist to do.
I mean, does the universe really have ears?
But, after further analysis of myself, I found that the real question was, Do I?
Have ears , I mean.
The truth be told, my internal dialogue sometimes deafens the external world of teaching moments and opportunity.
I can’t tell you how many times I sat through a class in highschool rolling my eyes to the top of my skull in an effort to block out the words of a teacher that I had already heard or I already knew.
My thoughts, back then, normally took the guise of excuses.
“If I listen to this stuff I may actually get dumber!”
I would often say.
But, the real dialogue that was going on inside my head was more complete. It probably rang more to the tune of,
“I already know this stuff!”
The problem is, I KNOW is a hard stop. Learning done.
I am not an atheist. Ironically, I am a Gnostic. Which technically means one who knows.
Curiously, and repetitively, what a Gnostic knows is that he actually knows nothing besides himself. In such a knowing, he always remains an empty vessel, ready for another fill.
Possibly, this explains my weakness for alcohol and the ever-present danger of becoming an alcoholic.
As long as I keep filling my cup with knowledge, I’ll stay dry.
It’s only when boredom sets in that I start turning the tap on the firewater.
And it all has to do with your outlook.
For example, if I am sitting through the same annual refresher course at my career, do I sit there for three or four hours repeating in my head,
“I know this stuff already. This is stupid. What a waste of time?”
or do I nod while the instructor says verbatim the same thing she’s said three years running, and say to myself,
“I agree. That’s a good point,”
and possibly get a fresh understanding?
The truth of the matter is, when I do the latter, I always find new gems during the course because I am a whole new person this year. I understand my job in new ways than I did last year.
My brain downloads different bullet points from the same material.
Did you know that it is impossible to memorize a series of objects while you recite the ABC’s?
Go ahead try it.
Start reciting, out loud the ABC’s over and over, and try and memorize the following objects:
That last one was a joke. But you can see my point.
It’s like a computer’s hard drive.
You can either write info to it or read info from it. Try and do both at the same time and the bits crash mid-stream and cancel each other out.
So basically, you can be talking or you can be listening. Never both.
And that goes for the loud mouth inside of your head as well. Just because no one can hear you but you, doesn’t mean you’re not speaking or spewing vocal diarrhea; and you’re definitely not learning.
Yes. It’s a blind dinosaur.
Point is, even when someone is saying something I’ve heard a thousand times, I never tell myself I know.
I may say I agree, or I disagree, but those brief words don’t end the influx of info.
I Know is never brief.
It starts with two little words, and invites the ego to go on a tantrum.
Next time you find yourself about to tell yourself I know, instead just say I agree and keep listening to the speaker. I will bet you they are about to tell you the next thing they learned after knowing themselves.
And that you can build on because anyone who knows themselves, probably knows better than you…
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Jay Horne is an author and publisher out of Bradenton, Florida. He is a husband and father of four.
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