The More I Learn, the Less I Know
There's a paradoxical conundrum of life sometimes expressed as a homiletic by persons who intentionally and purposefully pursue enlightenment, that phrase goes something like: The more I learn, the less I know.
I think life is a continuous experience of lessons, and enlightenment occurs when I become aware of the lessons. When I believe I've discovered the Truth, there's no lesson to learn and enlightenment wanes.
My understanding of myself, others, and god evolve, expand, and change when I intentionally pursue enlightenment.
I am imperfect and my ability to comprehend and understand is limited. All information and experience is processed through the filter of my perspective.
My perspective informs and creates my reality. When I set aside my reality and allow my perspective to be challenged, I create an opportunity for my thoughts, opinions, and beliefs to be altered as my heart and mind are opened to enlightened understanding.
When I attempt to shield my ego by believing and declaring I know absolute Truth, I limit truth and stymie enlightenment. When I share my thoughts and feelings as nothing more or less than my understanding at that moment, I open the door to learning.
I think life is a journey, not a destination. I believe understanding is a pursuit, not an achievement. I understand NOW based on my capacity NOW to understand. In my experience, enlightenment is a dynamic, not static, human experience for those who pursue awareness of life's lessons.
I have many thoughts, I experience many feelings, I hold many opinions, I embrace many beliefs. I am passionate about some and ambivalent about others. I regard a few as truths. None are indisputable or absolute. I think Saul of Taursus may have been experiencing an enlightened moment when he told the folks in Corinth, "We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But when we transcend our current state of being the weather will clear and the sun will shine bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as god sees us, knowing god as directly just as god knows us!” I don't think I can know absolute truth as long as I'm "peering through a mist." So, for me, enlightenment occurs in the misty moment.
When I hold belief in absolute Truth I limit my ability to learn. In other words, belief in absolute Truth creates a fallacious analytical process in which I work backward from a presumed truth and only accept information and experiences that support my presumption. For me, that approach creates confirmation bias that stymies enlightenment.
Many presumed truths have changed substantially in the course of my life. When I consciously suspend my reality I open myself to an altered perspective and an opportunity to learn; I open myself to enlightenment. And, the more enlightened I become, the less I know.