Going Deeper …
This is an edited version of the video on this page.
I have a tongue-in-cheek joke that I tell people. I say “I know the ultimate truth in the universe. It’s something that is true in all circumstances and is the most important thing to know in every circumstance. Do you want to know what it is?” Then I pause and when they say yes, I say, “There’s more to it than that!… That’s the most important thing to know in every circumstance.”
Every circumstance has that dimension – and that’s the truth that underlies this pattern. So this is essential for wisdom: When you want to take into account what needs to be taken account, you can’t oversimplify things. You can’t jump to conclusions. You have to stay open.
And, ideally, whenever there’s a hint that there’s something you should pay attention to, you take the hint, go for it, look for it, check it out.
Of course, we’re constrained by time and situations – all kinds of things constrain us. But we need to recognize that there is that “more-ness” out there – the “more to it” in my joke – waiting to be seen, reflected on, acted on, engaged with.
So whenever we find ourselves not having resources, not having the energy, not having the opportunity, not having the time to actually continue to expand our understanding, we need to acknowledge that that’s a limit. It’s not a time to decide that we’ve finally understood the situation. If we can, we want to stay open to whatever else we should be learning about that’s going on.
And so, given all that, when we make a decision, we know it’s always premature. We know there’s always things we haven’t taken into account. And because of that, we then stay open to what reality will be telling us about what we’ve missed. Because reality has a habit of telling us what we didn’t take into account. So let’s be open to getting that feedback.