Questioning our understanding

When we confidently know something, we are in big trouble. Our certainty is missing whatever is far from obvious, off radar, unexpected or mysterious. We can only get out of this trouble with skepticism, suspicions and questions about our understanding. Our way of challenging what we're taking in will remain in the same trouble until we challenge how we are taking it in.

Our limbic system and neocortex are like the devil and deep blue sea. Both facets of our mind get us into trouble. The limbic system keeps us alive by jumping to conclusions. We develop "autopilot flight patterns" and "tactical assault maneuvers". In limbic mode, we can only react to appearances and obey our emotional urges. We feed the struggles, antagonism and anxieties with our limbic survival patterns.

The neocortex intervenes in our limbic circuitry. We develop emotional detachment and more evolved thinking abilities. We reason with rational logic and models that reduce happenstance to simple causal explanations. However, we stop over-reacting emotionally by falling into analysis paralysis. We break out of patterns of abuse by breaking into intolerance, condescension and self-righteousness. Our emotional confidence and rational certainty are prematurely convergent, overly reductionistic, epistemologically flawed and predicated on fear.

When we question our understanding, we look for these two kinds of trouble. We experience no relief and anxiety reduction to realize we are free of our limbic survival patterns. We stop placing confidence in our thinking abilities within  the neocortex part of our brains. We realize we've got a ways to go here.

When we then know not to freak out and also not know what to think, we are free of both troubles. Rather than lower our anxiety by rationally analyzing the danger, we get serene with our curiosity. Instead of rehashing our answers, we enjoy our questions. Rather than figure out what to do, we face the limitations of our limbic and neocortex processes.

When we really question our current understanding, a different understanding occurs to us out of nowhere. When we don't know what to think about this, more creative thinking dawns on our minds to see this in a different light. When we have the presence of mind to neither stress out or figure out our next move, we become presented with an unforeseen alternative.

No comments:

Post a Comment