Yesterday I had a day off so I met with a friend for a coffee. I haven’t seen her in a while and we always ask ourselves why is that, since we always finish our talks with words of awe towards how productive the conversation was. Maybe we kid ourselves or just like to make the other one feel good and we’re hypocrites, I don’ t know and I don’t care, because I am genuine when I say that I really feel charged up when I talk to this girl.
So this time we were doing the same thing, talking in such a philosophical manner that it might have gotten out of hand but no one was there to stop us. Even if that was the case, I was really surprised when I had to go the bathroom and left some explanation in the air. It was about her bachelor’s paper and we were going over the thing that we had already talked about a couple of months in the past.
When I came back, she told me that she thought about my last phrase and how she didn’t agree with it (in the past we had the same argument and she ended up agreeing). The difference was that this time because I left, she took it seriously and had time to think about it on her own – to build her own premises, her own arguments, and her own conclusion. She then told me the exact thing that I told her last time and meant to tell her this time after I returned from the bathroom. She and I were finally on the same page and I didn’t even need to use so much oxygen again.
For a little background, when she reached half of the required number of pages, she gave me her paper to give some impressions. After I read a couple of pages I came to the conclusion that I always arrive at when I read something from a student of a humanistic profile. She didn’t have any direction, nor’ did she handle clear concepts with which to operate. Everything was an ideological and theoretical chaos. This was how my paper presented also and many others.
It is the lack of mentorship that a student encounters in certain educational institutions. From my own experience, I told her that she mustn’t worry, because I know how these academics think, and they won’t understand I think but will be pleased that it sounds good. I told her that if she wants to grow, that will be a study-at-home task and no institution will give her direction. She is very smart and it’s easy for her to get lost in all the different ideas she develops. She did not listen to me, got scared, but still continued with what she had already written.
After I matched up what she had said that day, and told her that it is the exact same thing I’ve been repeating to her all along, she filled up with joviality and was genuinely amazed at how different it felt to actually understand something because you entertained the idea yourself. It was about the mentality of modern man, that he thinks of himself as his body even though he says he believes in the soul. Her hypothesis was that people already think that they own a body, not that they are one – a thought which is far from the modern day paradigm even with the famous “western Buddhism” concepts.
It is a great feeling indeed to think something for yourself and finally understand where the other is coming from. Although I had my suspicion that even intelligent people don’t actually do this very often, I carried on thinking that maybe they did but often came to different conclusions. Her realization made me reconsider my prejudices and actually maintain it. The act of acquiring certain concepts and then extrapolate them in other dimensions of life is still an occult action to take for the high technology low conscience human of today.
I found myself exercising this practice only because my need for new and my imagination forced me to see other implication than the boring ones to the things I already learned. Games tied my neurons and fantasy made it extrapolate. This is how nerds or geeks find the interesting in what the common folks consider boring.
Train your brain however you can and everything will change in your life. On the one hand, you will express yourselves better and good communication supports healthy relationships. On the other, whenever you acquire a new piece of information, you will be able to get more value out of it, given to your exercised capacity to apply, extrapolate and change. In order to build a new world, we need new perspectives, but no mind can shift to new perspectives until it had understood the already existing ones fully.
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