The Art of “Knowing”

Who – What – When – Where – Why – How — it matters

Nearly all of us have heard the phrase “knowledge is power,” but what I’d like to add to this is that understanding is direction.

I mean, think about it. Your car can have the most powerful engine there is, but if that car also lacks a steering wheel, good luck driving it!

Knowing “what” and/or “where” does you no good if you don’t also know “how.” You can know you bought the best car there is (knowing “what”), but if you don’t know how to drive that car, it will just sit there and look fancy in your garage, being of no functional use to you. As another example, you can know “where” you want to eat (let’s say Chipotle), but if you don’t also know how to get to Chipotle, you’re still going to be hungry and unable to fill your craving for what you want to eat.

Sure, you could argue that someone else could drive you around in your fancy new car, or your phone could tell you directions to Chipotle — and you’d be entirely right. However, as you can see, you’re in a place of having to rely on someone or something outside of yourself because you do not know “how” on your own (which kind of sucks).

It may not seem like that big of an inconvenience because cellphones help us out a lot, but if you run out of data without a wi-fi signal, or if your phone dies and you forgot your charger, and you’re all by yourself then the struggle seems a bit more “real.” At that point, you’re probably turning around to get your charger, or debating buying a new one somewhere, which is added inconvenience to you either way.

The point here, is without knowing “how,” you’re left “stuck,” and not getting anywhere all on your own or without assistance; you feel unable to move forward towards what you want without having to rely or depend on someone or something else. Not knowing “how” can often times leave you feeling frustrated, trapped, and paralyzed in a sense.

This might sound like a rather dramatic description with the more minor calamities I’ve used as examples here; however, if you don’t know “how” to successfully obtain things in life like “personal fulfillment,” “emotional comfort,” or “mental clarity,” you can likely begin to see where these feelings may begin to manifest.

On the flip side, knowing “how” without knowing “what” or “where” can have the same “stuck” result, although it may come to manifest in drastically different ways. You can end up “stuck” in place if you don’t know what you want; having enough money for a car but not knowing what one you want to buy means you’re still stuck without a car. The other possibility is that you can find yourself “stuck” chaotically wandering about in circles; not knowing where you want to eat while you’re driving around and looking at different options means you’re still wasting gas in the mean time.

The point here, is whether you’re stuck “still,” or in motion, knowing “how” without knowing “what” and/or “where” keeps you locked in whichever place/state you’re currently in. To move forward, you must know “what” you want, “where” to move towards, and “how” to get there.

Knowing “what” and “where” go hand-in-hand most of the time, but not all the time. You can know you want a cheeseburger, but you can be unsure of where you want to order the cheeseburger from. You can know you want to get an oil change, but not know which place is best to go for one. You can know you want to feel better, but not know where to turn to in order to make that a reality for yourself. There are more and less complex examples of this seemingly everywhere, as you can see.

Knowing “who” can be crucial too. If you enter a restaurant and you don’t see anyone around working, who do you talk to about getting food? You’re uncertain at this point — and you’re still “stuck” being hungry until someone shows up. Not knowing “who” is less common, but if you know you want to talk to someone about how to change what is bothering you, but you don’t know “who” to talk to, you’re still “stuck” in your own head about whatever the situation is.

Knowing “when” is sort of like knowing “who.” If you show up to Chipotle at midnight, no one is going to be there to serve you, and you’re still going to be “stuck” feeling hungry. Knowing “when” to show up can be crucial in getting what you want sometimes. Not knowing “when” can keep you “stuck” in your current state, just as who, what, where, and how can, or it can cause you to feel anxious. Not knowing “when” can also keep you in that same feeling of uncertainty as not knowing “who,” because if the place you went to eat is closed, you’re now uncertain on where to go for food.

Not knowing “when” can cause you to “miss” things, or time yourself improperly, leading to various degrees of frustration. Furthermore, “waiting for when” can keep you stuck, anxious, or both at once!

What I’ve noticed, is that the easiest way to avoid this type of frustration from occurring is to make your “when” always “now.” When you choose to make your “when” always “now,” things are always in motion — so even though Chipotle is closed at midnight, you can still find food and settle for Taco Bell or Wendy’s if need be. When you make “when” now, things may not always happen/go as expected, but things do get done somehow, some way.

The only exception is if another person is required in the process, and their “when” is not simultaneously in the “now” along with yours. We all know you can call your doctor’s office at whatever time you want — however, we also know that your appointment is not getting scheduled or set up without a receptionist there to book it for you, even if you leave a voicemail.

You can see how knowledge of who, what, when, where, and how, is important, and how most of that info is basic stuff we’re taught throughout life as we grow up. All that is left to cover at this point is “the art of knowing why,” and all that this entails. This is the part where the conversation becomes much more interesting!

How important IS it REALLY to know “why”? Is it even important? Why is “knowing why” important to know?

Well, I’ll tell you. Because knowing “why” gives purpose and meaning to life. Knowing “why” gives and adds VALUE and meaning through it. All of us need to know “why” to make life “worth it” or “meaningful” in any way.

Consider what happens when you don’t know “why” in life. You might ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” — and the next thing to follow is usually, “What’s the point?” — right? Without knowing “why,” there is usually no point to things! No value!

Knowing “why” and “knowing the point” in the present gives a sense of value in the present — when we like the reason (why) and the point/purpose of it, we move forward or towards things confidently. When we dislike/disagree on why, but see the point (the value), we can still continue moving forward — usually after we convince ourselves that why IS favorable after all, and is important because the “point” has value. For example…

“WHY do I have to go to work?”
To make money…
(Money is stupid, screw money, I don’t care)
“What is the point of making money?”
To survive (in general)…
(Okay, I DO enjoy surviving, so I guess I understand why making money is important)
I suppose I understand why going to work has purpose, meaning, and value in my life, so I’ll do it — but late because it still sucks and I dislike it.

When things lack value or significance, we tend to stop doing them, ignore them, or cut them out of our lives. We often move away from them or shift our attention towards something else. Many times we leave.

All of us innately understand this and if you don’t think so, ask anyone who has been left by someone they love for someone else how they feel. Aside from any anger being expressed, you’ll probably hear that person explain how they feel, “worthless, meaningless, not important/valuable, insignificant,” right? This is most often the case.

All of us are alive; we all woke up this morning, thankfully. We exist in life even if we’re lying there alone in an empty room, but the idea of lying alone in an empty room for your entire life likely sucks, right? (unless you’re overworked perhaps). Because there is no value in laying there in an empty room and doing nothing for the entire time you’re alive; nothing is significant. We wake up only to experience nothing around us? That wouldn’t mean much. If an infant was born and immediately put in that situation, it would probably die soon after, even if it was magically self-sustaining and required no food, water, or medical attention. The infant would not develop or grow — it’d be stuck simply existing there until it ceased to do so because it lacked meaning to do so, until one day it simply no longer existed.

Value, meaning, significance, purpose — these things literally keep us alive and “going” through life. These things keep our consciousness from leaving our bodies. They are found and occur naturally — through interacting with the world (people, places, things) around us. If that same infant were to exist in nature without any other human interaction, it may still allow that infant to live a little longer because it wakes up and experiences the world around it each day.

Even if the infant was raised by wolves and there were no other human beings left on Earth, the infant’s consciousness is interacting with other conscious beings, and although the baby would be raised as a human-wolf baby, it would still manage to survive that way. Of course, that infant wouldn’t be the only human being on the Earth because other people DO exist! That is how you even got here isn’t it? So, you probably don’t live life being raised with a wolf-mom (once she’s had her morning coffee).

What I mean here, is we exist as humans — among many other humans in the world! Yay! We are never “alone” as a human being in this world because there are others, and we interact with them because they’re here on this earth too, so they’re with us. More than that, these other human beings are “like” us in our being, and we enjoy that! We are attracted to, we connect with, and we relate to other peoples’ life consciousness, because in all humanistic regards, we are the same as them.

Mutuality in consciousness allows for shared experiences to occur — you can’t describe “smelling” to a being without a nose! The experiences shared by and between beings add value and purpose to our lives — that is why we do it!

Continuing on, these shared experiences among people we connect with can suddenly stop. If these connective experiences stop due to someone dying, we’re sad (usually) if we knew the person. However, if this connection ends due to someone’s choice to leave or “cut ties,” we feel that “void” or that “lack” from the other person moving forward without us. Some people don’t know how to “move on without him/her” because their connection to the individual who cut the connection provided so much value to their own life through experiencing it.

When we’re abruptly abandoned without knowing why, we don’t know how to feel and/or perceive the void and the lack of the connection. Is it somehow because of me? many of us wonder. Am I that insignificant? On a more subconscious level, we may wonder whether to allow ourselves to continue to feel value exists from that connection. A lot of how we ultimately decide to perceive any “value” (or lack thereof) depends on knowing why a connection ended.

You aren’t going to value a loved one who chose to abandon you in the same way as a loved one who passed away. Reason being, the loved one who chose to leave made you feel less important or valuable on a personal level, and it devalued your life — and that hurts a lot. Someone who chose to hurt you is not going to be valued in the same high regard as someone who left without choice or intention of doing so, at least not right away. With death, you still feel loved and valued and you grieve not being able to connect with that person mutually to continue sharing that experience. With abandonment, you feel unloved and devalued, and grieve your own worth of not being enough” as a person (in value) to continue sharing in that connection.

Abandonment is experienced as “I am worth less than something/someone else in value,” and you believe that as being the reason “why” you were deserted — you believe that this is what the person who left you acknowledged and believed as well and that they, too, saw you as insignificant and invaluable. Of course, this is all subconscious, and we only usually experience this in the way that it feels. From that point, you either overcompensate to prove your value/worth moving forward, or, you completely stop trying to “matter” to anyone because you don’t have any value left for them to see. If the latter is true, you consequently settle for getting treated like you don’t matter and like you’re worthless, because, well, you believe that is true of yourself as a person.

The distinction here is in how much worth you believe actually exists within you. You’ll settle for getting treated like shit if you believe you hold no value at all. You accept that “you could have done nothing to keep that person from leaving because there is no worth to prove/show them.” If you believe there is still worth left within you, just less of it, then you’ll fight to prove it and compensate for the deficit you experienced by that individual leaving you behind.

What you believe about how much worth you’re “left with” hinges on how valuable that person made you feel prior to leaving you. If that person made you feel like you were unimportant, unlovable, unworthy, meaningless (or otherwise insignificant), only to then abandon you — you’re going to fully believe you’re not worth shit. However, if that person made you feel loved, important, valuable, and significant when they were around (prior to leaving), you’re going to believe there is still value within you left to see and you’re going to fight however you can to prove that value is still there and to ensure everyone around you sees it.

If you fall into this second category, it is likely that you will then try to figure out when you lost value enough to be left, subconsciously asking yourself, “What did I do wrong?” “What did I not do well enough to continue mattering?” If you perceive something, you’re going to prove how great you are at that, and you’re going to do it often — as often as you can. If someone comes along to make you feel like you’re still “unable” or “lacking” at whatever this is, you’re going to conquer that perception and/or feeling both within yourself and within that other person, if applicable.

You do this to completely disprove this sensed inadequacy in order to continue keeping your own sense of personal worth intact. For some people, this may manifest violently through literally conquering that person, by making him/her seem “inferior” to you in some way or regard that the individual personally experiences or can be seen by others. Our sense of knowing “why” presently is crucial in what we believe of ourselves and of others, and of life moving forward because it guides the entire perception of how we experience emotions.

How about knowing “why” in the past tense? It allows us to control outcomes and experiences within our own lives. We learn why things happened so we then “know” what to do (or not do) as “how to do things better” to prevent similar outcomes when those outcomes are unfavorable, or promote outcomes that are desired. Knowing “why” in the past tense helps us “know how” in the future tense. This is the art of “knowing better” (for next time) and “learning from your mistakes” — it assists by helping you to govern future choices and decisions.

“Knowing why” establishes our perception of people and events in life — it shapes our attitudes and beliefs in many regards, concerning ourselves and our own inner worth as well. Knowing “why” helps us assign reason, value, and meaning in order to understand present and future events and govern ourselves within them. “Knowing why” in comprehending others’ actions or choices establishes a sense of reason/logic to the cause and effect of decisions and events.

When we know why someone chose to say or do something, we can establish that “A” happened because of “B.” However, if “B” is never reasoned or revealed to us, we assume its position because what happened or what we are experiencing is affecting our own lives personally. So, if nothing else is the reason “why” within our own awareness, yet we’re still experiencing something painful within our own conscious state as a human being, we consciously (or subconsciously) conclude that we must be the cause of the effect taking place in some way or another. We naturally assume this because WE are experiencing that personal effect within our own reality.

If you notice, when we “don’t know why,” it’s often the same as “I don’t understand,” and when we don’t understand, we often say, “I don’t know how to feel.” We can also say this because we have clashing or multiple perspectives and experiences to recall from and we cannot yet distinguish or discern the most suitable one to choose as a reference within our current frame of mind.

However, “not knowing how to feel” as a result of “not understanding/knowing why” tells us something important: our understanding in life impacts what we do with our emotions. Understanding can potentially determine which emotions are experienced more distinctly and consciously; however, our understanding is more involved in what we DO with emotions and where we direct them.

For example, we often feel angry as a result of feeling hurt. Understanding why we got hurt doesn’t make us feel less hurt or less angry, nor does it prevent anger from arising as a result of pain. However, our understanding of “why” does change:

  • How we delegate emotions in terms of our personal worth.
    • How much we internalize/externalize our pain and/or anger.
    • Our perception from our sense of understanding also governs whether we experience more of the primary emotion (hurt), or reactionary/secondary emotion (anger).
  • How we delegate emotions in terms of our perceptions of others’ worth.
    • How we react to others based on how deserving we perceive them to be of “earning” this reaction/response from us.
    • Whether we display the primary or the secondary feeling

More or less, our understanding guides how we channel primary/secondary emotions and establishes and grounds our perspectives of how deserving we (or others) are of experiencing emotional effects/aspects/aftermath. Furthermore, how deserving we have determined ourselves and/or others to be is the effective extent to which we tend to internalize/externalize our reactions and emotional responses. Also, if we believe through our own understanding and perception that someone hurt us intentionally, we’re more likely to externalize anger over hurt, and we’re more likely to show hurt if we feel it was inflicted unintentionally by someone. In doing so, it releases the pain and diminishes the evolution from pain to anger, blunting the anger significantly.

If we internalize pain but resist it, it turns to anger; resisting pain is “not accepting and/or surrendering to it,” meaning we continuously internalize how/who/what could have prevented the current hurt we may be experiencing or “how/why we didn’t know better” than to do whatever resulted in experiencing the pain we feel in the present. Once the pain turns to anger, we may still internalize it — but at some point, that anger is eventually externalized or directed at someone or something, even if that person or situation would not typically warrant (or deserve) this type or intensity of a reactionary response from us. This is where we get the sayings/phrases, “the straw that broke the camel’s back,” “lashing out in anger,” and “he/she just snapped one day (over the smallest thing).”

Anger over seemingly insignificant things is better understood as “small amounts of self-anger being released (slipping through) and exposed or channeled out from within to be cleared/removed.” All of these potentialities can combine and manifest differently in different individuals as well.

Ultimately, knowing “why” impacts how we experience and perceive life inside and out, as well as how we choose to (or seem to) react to people and situations around us. Knowing “why” plays a central role in governing our conscious and subconscious belief system that guides our human experiences, awareness, perceptions, choices, and interactions. Knowing “why” governs how we direct ourselves and moves through life in all regards and allows us to sculpt and establish what is significant and meaningful within our lives. It allows us to know what drives and guides our inner purpose that we seek to live out consciously within our lives.

In essence, knowing “why” is a natural result of our intelligent consciousness as humans, and one way or another, we DO establish some sense of “why” within our lives, whether it’s taught or naturally assumed. We, as humans, are programmed this way, which means knowing “why” and how we come to do so is incredibly significant! The way we understand determines our quality of life as we experience it…it programs our entire hard-drive through which our lives are personally programmed.

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