The hardest thing to learn is something you think you already know. – J. Krishnamurti
In my Zen and Taoist training this was a constant teaching. And in the Shamanistic traditions it also holds gravity. So what does it mean?
Finding that clearer view is challenging. I guess that’ s the point of practice and adopting some process that will allow a view that is fairly unobstructed.
Seeing my own reactions, and being honest with myself about them, is the initial task. It’s something that I often overlook. If I have a serious reaction to information that is emotionally strong, I need to see that reaction, and allow it to fade before I can make any assessment of new information.
When I experience a negative reaction it almost always points to attempting to process information from an already formed conclusion. Now this, at first, seems like something that I could easily overcome by paying attention to my beliefs and conclusions. But it’s not so simple. Almost all of my conclusions are based on conditioning that happened as a child and teen. This conditioning was societal and culturally based. It’s close to invisible to the person who has been indoctrinated. It’s a glass wall through which I see they world, but cannot see myself.
When I react from a conclusion about new information it means I am protecting my little piece of turf that I think has to be true. Plus it’s mine! Ego says my conclusion must be right, not because it is, but because I own it.
Yet, if I just stay with my conclusions and never challenge them I will never grow. I will be like a fish in a glass bowl, only able to grow to the size of my own limitations. I honestly feel that I’m seeing far to many of us sitting on our conditioned conclusions about each other with our already drawn and sharpened opinions.
I find it’s good to examine those things I resist instead of resisting just because I was conditioned into believing a certain way. And I know that sometimes I find a new direction because of that willingness to shatter the glass and see what’s on the other side.
Be well and take care of you!