Do you know what you know because you read it? Maybe in a text book, an academic study, a newspaper report, on-line in a blog or on social media?
Do you know what you know because someone told you it was true?
These are both verbal exchanges. Auditory. They are spoken, written, heard or read. Stories if you will. The exchange of knowledge through written or spoken communication. Someone else provides their knowing and we hear or read it and accept it as knowledge we will also hold to be true. It is, in a sense, second or third hand knowledge. Knowing we agree to add to our own knowing. Or not.
Our acceptance of this knowing involves an unseen process of convincing. Maybe I accept it because I trust the author. Maybe I trust the method by which their knowledge was acquired? Maybe I trust the method of conveying the knowledge to me?
Do you know what you know because that’s the widely accepted truth?
It’s the word of the society, culture, religion, community, organisation… the word of the system if you will. In a sense, story, tale, myth, evidence become fact, truth, reality through the weight or volume of saying it. If enough people speak something, it tends to absorb a validity or truth amongst others. This is how customs and culture are formed.
Maybe I am convinced of this knowing because I have heard it many times from different sources within the system? Maybe I accept it because doing so affirms my belonging to the group? Maybe the groups I belong to therefore narrow my ability to know?
Do you know what you know because you have assembled a truth, through collecting, filing, connecting new data, new knowing, into your own existing knowing?
I know for example that many people see images in their heads. I know this because I have read about it, I have heard about it in training sessions, I have experienced it through coaching many people who can vividly describe the videos or stills in their mind’s eye, I have personally seen pictures in my own head. I have experimented with this knowing to extend, broaden, widen and deepen it. I have purposefully sought out additional knowing, making sense, making patterns and making new neural connections to create an enriched personal knowing.
Maybe I readily accept this knowing? Convinced because it fits with other knowing I already have?
Maybe what I know already, informs what I seek to know? I am, in a sense, blind to new knowing because my existing knowledge guides and channels me to seek knowing which corroborates knowing I already have.
Do you know what you know because you have experienced it and therefore know it to be true? Do you know what you know because you have seen it? Seen it with your own eyes? Tasted it with your own tongue?
I have tried coriander, and I know I don’t like the taste. I have in a sense created my own personal knowing. Others may also have this knowing; but a hundred, or a thousand people not liking coriander doesn’t make coriander something nobody eats, a poisonous food. We are happy to create our own version of knowing, a personal truth.
In fact through all of these methods, we create our own version of truth, our own subset of knowing.
Whether our knowing comes from historic sages, from trusted texts, from reliable friends, from assembled self knowing, from tasted, smelled or observed personal experience, our knowing comes through a hidden process of filtering, selection and trust which makes our knowing personally true. Often this process makes others’ knowing false as a result. That’s how arguments, wars start.
We should be curious about our own personal process of knowing.
How we know what we know. Our hidden process of validation and acceptance. Our process of exploring knowing to expand and develop it. Learning, if you will. This matters, because if our personal process is flawed, broken in some way; if we are blind to certain pieces of knowing, closed to experiencing certain knowing or inexperienced in different ways of assembling knowing… then we are limited.
If we are limited, we are not fulfilling our human potential.
… and that’s worth knowing.