An Allegory of Reality, Truth, Knowledge, Understanding, and Wisdom
We don’t have direct access to reality. We look at it through a kaleidoscope – a confused, fragmented mind. Our big picture of reality looks like a cubist painting.
Is there a single, objective reality? Good question. For the time being, our kaleidoscope is our reality.
Experience delivers reality chips (truth and knowledge) that we integrate into our kaleidoscope.
Truth and knowledge are relative. Every time our kaleidoscope turns and changes context, it re-shuffles its knowledge and truth fragments. When we change from a child to an adolescent and from an adolescent to an adult, a major contextual revolution occurs. As we grow old, we may experience more shifts, for example, from a religious person to an atheist or vice versa.
Understanding is the knowledge of context, how the chips of our kaleidoscope associate.
Wisdom is the knowledge of the kaleidoscope’s mechanism and how it produces the illusion of a subjective reality. Wisdom always works. It is objective because it describes the nature of perception.
Our mental kaleidoscope has more than one lens. We perceive reality through our senses, we react emotionally to experiences, we think and reason, we dream, and can interpret the meaning of experiences. If we want to become more realistic we need to align and improve all mental lenses, not just that of perception.
Enlightenment happens when one or more lenses become transparent.
IQ deals with knowledge. It can get us only so far. We need to improve our EQ (emotional IQ) too and declutter our mind. Sounds tedious? It is. Where to start? Anywhere! There is no linear procedure because our kaleidoscopes are just too complex. Trust experience to guide you and when a mentor reveals himself, trust him too, even if he nauseates you by shuffling your kaleidoscope.
Do you want to do something right away? Use the enlightenment cheat sheet:
If you are a member already, you can access this resource here.