Discovery: Diving into the Complexity
Joys of Learning
By: T. Franklin Murphy | September 2018
Our explorations of life in general, and individually, is never complete. There is always more to learn. When fully engaged in discovering the greatness, we open our hearts to others.
The search for the meaning continues throughout life. There’s no destination where we confidently declare, “knowledge is complete—I have obtained enlightenment.” The enlightening of the mind is a process of exposing new unknowns and accepting the vastness of complexity while welcomingly inviting the small nuggets of understanding that deepen and enrich our experience. With increasing awareness—and acceptance—the chaotic appearance of randomness gives way to the beauty of complexity.
Although events are caused, not randomness, the entirety of understandable causes eludes us. Once free from the delusion of perfect understanding, we find peace, accepting our limited role; new discoveries inspire awe, while unknowns spark curiosity. We sacrifice wisdom when we slam simplistic labels onto the complex events of life. Our simplicity conflicts with the natural unfolding of mysteries. We settle only for explanations that are currently unavailable. We compromise reality to mollify our anxieties.
We should seek knowledge. A flow of small discoveries opens doors, softens judgments, and invites compassion. Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, “growth in wisdom can be exactly measured by a decrease in bitterness.” Unveiling the contributing forces behind mind and behavior, softens the impact of biases by widening our empathetic understanding. We seek to adapt solutions, better matched with the complex system of life, rather than burning precious energy with fruitless retaliations.
Learning is a Life Time Process
The process of discovery (gaining insight, decreasing bitterness) is never complete—there is always more. Our biology, social learning, and individual experiences intertwine to create concepts. These concepts are a point reference—used to evaluate life; but also, susceptible to change. The blurred point of reference confuses judgments and alters predictions. This is the heart of complexity, multiple fluid parts acting and reacting in dynamic existence.
We are neither powerless nor all powerful. Environments trigger unpredictable reactions, but the self can also, at times, transcend these external pressures, adapting to the changes while keeping focus on the long-term intentions. We exercise some control over what we do, say and think, and with this self-empowerment, we are an active agent in our own evolution.
"This is the heart of complexity, multiple fluid parts acting and reacting in dynamic existence. We are neither powerless nor all powerful."
Life expands when we transcend reactionary actions, instead of devoting energy pursuing comfy emotions, we work towards a better life. By accepting complexities—both known and unknown—disappointments lose disrupting powers. We still feel sorrow, grief, anger and guilt when confronted with challenges but instead of obsessive ruminations, magical escapes, or fruitless retaliations, we constructively adapt and then move forward.
Lacking knowledge isn’t a sign of stupidity but a necessary step in discovery. Blotches of unknown will always decorate our canvasses. Discovery opens our eyes, welcoming the unknown, widening our perspective, and bringing peace in the face of the complexities. With awe and curiosity, we observe the unfolding drama of existence and discover a little bit more.
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