To know what you don’t know. That seems to be a blatant contradiction. But life is rife with contradictions: We may demand compassion and understanding from others, but rarely demand it from ourselves. We may believe in an all-powerful, loving and omniscient God, but accept and nurture a world full of hate, inequality and injustice. We may admire and envy the people we deem great, but fail to realize or even recognize the greatness we each have within our own lives. We may pride ourselves on our intelligence, capabilities, or titles, but shame ourselves to admit mistakes, ineptitude or insufficiency of any kind.

Is the glass half full or half empty? Yes or no? Black or white? Bad or good?

It doesn’t have to be either. The closest to the truth we may ever come to is to admit—to finally admit, that it is both, it is in-between, and it is incomplete. We cannot know everything. It is okay to admit that. It is then that we can truly learn, improve, and find a better way.

Tom Cummings captures that elusive sense of the unknown so eloquently in his piece, Imperfect Information:

I am by no means perfect. If your first thought of me is that I think that I am, you’ve mistaken my intent or, at the very least, my style. I think I’m probably wrong most of the time. I think you probably are, too. Why do I think this is so? Imperfect information. In […]

Please continue reading by clicking on this link: Imperfect Information — Tom Being Tom

(note: image via Tom Being Tom)

24 thoughts on “Sensing the Unknown

  1. Reading these two posts freaked me out, but that’s exactly why I love this blog. It allows you to feel the scary, huge feelings we all try not to think about. To acknowledge the simple fact that we don’t know everything, shows great wisdom. People are afraid to do that, they think it makes them look bad. But really, we look our worst when we are not authentic. One can never be great without being true.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much! Your comment made my day! That you love this work of mine, makes my efforts worthwhile! I made this blog to create/unleash those complex things I could never express in daily life or in normal conversation (often without being labeled something bad or crazy or being “too much”). We seem to have these built-in mechanisms to keep us in predictable circles, maybe they were made with good intentions, but they often lead to a lack of fulfillment. I am seeking a fuller sense of the world along with you. Thanks for joining me!


  2. We are creatures who love certainty and always strive for perfection, so it’s difficult to ignore those innate desires to opt for the uncertainty of imperfection. I’m hoping the older I get the more willing I am to live in that grey haze of doubt.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks for your lovely comment! I couldn’t agree with you more! It’s my struggle as well, I think I have gotten better at it, I used to be much more controlling and was easily disappointed. But I keep thinking about the qualities I like the most in other people (especially in my coworkers or friends) and on the top of the list is a willingness to learn and to listen. Both of those qualities are always present in someone who has a sense of what they don’t know. So I find myself trying to become what I idealize instead of expecting the world/others to become what I idealize!😄

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I absolutely love both articles, thank you so much for sharing, and so eloquently, as floweringink has already said. I’ve often thought about information overload in the realm of fitness and the implications of it – your articles inspired me to actually write some of it down on my Refuel site: Thank you for the inspiration!

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s so great that we can inspire each other! I read your article and completely agree, the information is overwhelming, especially when it comes to health and fitness. I also think about how much my negative view of stress or activity actually affects my body’s response to it. That is such a great idea to think of fitness as a lifestyle not as a duty or in fits and bursts to stress over. I will try to live with those fitness ideas in my own life. Thanks for sharing it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This…

    We may admire and envy the people we deem great, but fail to realize or even recognize the greatness we each have within our own lives.

    … is something everyone’s guilty of. I think it’s because the sheen comes off greatness if it’s too close or easily accessible. We only realize it’s there when it’s gone.

    Great post.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you! I’m totally guilty of it myself, it is still a work in progress. I am easily intimidated and am sometimes too hesitant, but I also often think about people I have known who had been blessed with so many precious gifts but failed to realize that because they were looking at some faraway ideal. It seems my being is more informed by not being!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I enjoy the way you elucidate your point. I was compelled to take a deep breath and ponder over those contradictions in me —I too am guilty in many ways both outright and sophisticated. I read and enjoyed the lucid article this post referred me to. It’s chilling the business of knowing not knowing, and not knowing what we should be knowing. I am afraid there may be a threshold limiting the abilities of our brains. What we are experiencing is surely an overkill, but I also feel we should allow a certain degree of selfishness in the actions of the others for the simple reason those actions or intentions of the other person may be critical to one’s self worth or even one’s existence in terms of his beliefs —as long as it’s not inimical to our own interests.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Your comments are always like a bright ray of light! It is so great what you wrote here, “It’s chilling the business of knowing not knowing, and not knowing what we should be knowing.”

      It seems a total impossibility somehow, but honestly, in this time of massive information bombardment and bombastic personalities broadcasting themselves in all media we could use some more awareness of this and humility! Just a little bit of humility could go a long way! And not the fake kind of repressive humility often pushed on the small and powerless, but humility in the awareness of the enormity of the world, the universe in relation to a single human mind.

      You make a good point, a certain amount of self-interest is beneficial, but to the extent that isn’t at the cost of others, I think here, that knowing of not knowing plays a key role.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you, MP, for the kind words and the share! You are, without a doubt, one of the great writers and thinkers in the blogosphere. To have given you pause, with anything that I have written, brings me great pride.

    I remember writing this piece after having an online argument with a friend and rival. His significant other and I sent texts to each other about the debate afterwards and I remember telling her, in frustration, that he was being arrogant and refused to bend to reason despite the facts.

    She told me, very simply, that they had just said the same thing about me.

    I re-examined the argument in my head and realized, we were both wrong. At least, to each other, we were both wrong. There are billions of bits of facts in the ether and I was using some of them to make my point; he was using others to make his.

    That inspired this write-up and began a long introspection, and evolution. It’s funny that you chose this one, because I have been thinking a lot about it lately in my personal attempt to become less cemented in my own dogma. As you know, it is always my sincere desire to grow, ever grow, as a person.

    Thank you, again, for your amazing work, and this incredible gesture of sharing. For both, I am eternally grateful!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s so great that we can help and be happy for each other’s success! As another writer friend told me, we have to achieve our dreams, we must!

      What inspired you was an argument with your friend! That’s so intriguing because after I read your article, I kept thinking back to a bitter argument I had with a friend years ago about politics. Neither of us wanted to back down, yet neither of us could convince the other. In terms of knowledge and “fact” acquisition, he was going in one direction (grew up liberal, Atheist became more right-wing, strict Catholic) and I was going in the opposite direction! (grew up right-wing, strict Catholic became more liberal, Agnostic). The only thing we had in common was that we were each moving into unknown territory in terms of our own life experience! It was so strange, so uncanny. Truly like ships passing in the night, barely avoiding collision, metal hulls scraping and glancing against each other, drawing sparks, but determined to stay the course.

      We should always respect that we must each set our own course. You recognize that so well in this piece, and have moved to much deeper, more pristine waters. I don’t know about your friend or my friend, for that matter, maybe they moved on too, or they are still there, where we left them, feeling anxious, threatened, believing they know it all and everyone else is simply ignorant. I would never want to be there again.

      Liked by 2 people

Comments are closed.