We humans have many personal experiences that shape our individual biases, things we think are true. How about differentiating The Truth from my truth, realizing that these are ever so different from each other. The inability to see the difference is a historical problem that is expressed on the international scale between tribes and countries. It is expressed more individually in our relationships. There is a mechanism in our hormones that likens “knowing” to being safe. Conversely, “not knowing” is interpreted biologically as NOT being safe. Therefore, we would rather think we know than admit we do not know. Once we have attached our well-being to what we think we know, all else in unknown and therefore not safe.
This plays out as resistance to change. The uncertainty of new ideas and new vistas makes the journey into the unknown feel unsafe. If you doubt this, try having a political discussion with a friend. Unless you agree and “know the same truth,” complete with opinions and biases, that person may not be your friend for long! Agreement seems to be the cement among people, whereas disagreement creates foes.
When we realize that what all of us have come to know is colored by our individual experiences, we can admit that we may have part of The Truth, which is usually a step along the way to discovery. Ultimate Truths seem to be fueled by curiosity and humility. True scholars are some of the most courageous among us, teetering on the brink of the unknown. The research journals in many fields state fragments of discovery ready to be invalidated or revised. The act of discovery, making friends with the unknown, seems to contradict human nature.
Maybe in the New Year, we can resolve to be skeptical of some of our closely held beliefs? This will probably make each of us better listeners.
With love and Wishes for a Glorious 2023,