How do we come to know better?
There are a range of experiences (I hesitate to call them a hierarchy) that lead us from knowing better in our heads (as an abstract idea) to knowing something deeply as experienced truth (i.e. knowing better “in our knower,” to borrow a phrase).
The non-hierarchy of skippable stages* would seem to go:
- Hearing or reading about something;
- Seeing it done;
- Having it well explained;
- Trying it yourself;
- Experiencing it in community;
- Being immersed in a system where it’s normal and works and is taken for granted;
- The inverse of most of these – e.g. experiencing life in a community that does not “know better.”
Don’t it always seem to go,Joni Mitchell – Big Yellow Taxi
That you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone?
*Skippable stages – in that we don’t pass through them in order, and they don’t necessarily replace or supercede each other