It knows!

In Insight, Thinking, Understanding

Judy Sedgeman in her recent blog commented about the joke where the pupil identifies the Thermos as one of the greatest inventions to man, because when it’s hot, it’s hot and when it’s cold, it’s cold: It knows!  Judy took a different slant on the joke but to me it speaks to something different.

To the pupil it looks like the Thermos knows.  When we know it’s the science behind a vacuum’s that’s at work, we know the thermos doesn’t know.   So why do we give ‘knowing’ to so many other things and people?

Some examples I heard today:

  • The bike could cause a problem – nope, the bike doesn’t ‘know’ to cause a problem
  • The door hit me – nope, the door doesn’t ‘know’ to hit you
  • The costume offended me – nope, the costume doesn’t know to offend you
  • That Ed Milliband annoys me – nope, Ed doesn’t ‘know’ to annoy you
  • They upset me – nope, they doesn’t ‘know’ to upset you

[Did you find the first four examples straightforward – even the Ed Milliband one 😉 – and then find yourself wincing and disagreeing with the last one? Interesting that isn’t it?]

And I’ll ask you the common denominator question.  What – or rather who – is the common denominator in all of this?  The person having the experience of the thing or other person.

You see, we only ever experience our thinking about the thing in the moment?  And that never comes from the thing or other person – for that to be true, we’d all have exactly the same experience, and that’s clearly not true.  That’s the science behind what’s going on.  But not everyone knows that, you know.  Some people still believe it’s the Thermos that knows when and how to do hot or cold.

Like magic, when you understand the trick, you no longer see the illusion.

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