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Knowing better (2): How we know

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,
That you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone?

Joni Mitchell – Big Yellow Taxi

*Skippable stages – in that we don’t pass through them in order, and they don’t necessarily replace or supercede each other

I'd love to hear your thoughts and recommended resources...