Others are the same and others are different

Knowledge is good when it contributes to our understanding of how to live our life.

Image by  Will Simpson

Image by Will Simpson

Contradictory notions held at the same time. This is hard and we seem to be wired to do crazy things when confronted by two opposing notions. We likely chose one to stand with and one to vilify. But what if they both are true?

We all are subject to the curse of knowledge. What we know, we think everyone knows. When someone around us does or says something we know is wrong or will lead to negative outcomes, we think the person somehow knows better but is freely choosing to go against what they know to be true. We ascribe malicious to their behaviors rather than notice that they are but uneducated and if you had their level of knowledge you’d do or say the same.

The second notion to hold at the same time is what Seth Godin calls asserting anthropomorphism. Creating a homunculus, a person pull the levers of our life, a puppet in the brain. Someone behind the curtain that benevolently and accurately to life’s rewards. We are quick to say our “puppet master” steers us towards truth and virtue but not so easily see how this must be how everyone else’s “puppet master” is steering them. 

In the first example we see everyone as the same and problems of compassion arise and in the second example we see everyone as being different and separate and have more problems of compassion arise.

Two opposing notions held at the same time. What we know everyone knows and we are guided by truth and virtue but we are not so sure about others.

What is the antidote? 
See things as they are.
Don’t project.
Look and see the illusion we call the “puppet master”.
Realize we live in "a complex system, one we can understand a bit better if we test and measure and examine it closely."

Hope you have an awesome day!

Credits — Seth Godin

This journal is meant as a reminder to encourage my future self. Where I work on my mental fitness and ‘adulting’. A reminder to him to operate in the world with love and compassion and some tips put together in a moment of clarity to help him when he is less clear and caught up in stuff the he can’t control.  Continue the conversation anytime: will@kestrelcreek.com.