Journeying into Understandings

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Understanding is gained in the process of journeying and reflection. By                      grand design understanding must be sufficient but never complete.

After giving the above response to someone’s tweet I began wondering about the nature of understanding and of the process of journeying into understanding. I think that in the initial phase of our journey we have certain understandings of the world and of phenomena which are premised on some fairly generic principles. These principles inform our assumptions, joys, sadnesses and our acceptance of certain people or ideas as opposed to others. Nonetheless understandings are never fixed but mutate in the course of journeying

Image result for confused When put to the test in the wake of the churnings and breakings life inflicts on us, our generic principles sometimes prove inadequate. That is when they must either mutate or atrophy into irrelevance and ineffectiveness. The uncertainty and confusion that results from contextually inadequate principles propels us to grope for an understanding that fits.  It is in this process that lucidity awakens and with it the joy of understanding. But the cycle begins again.

It seems then that it is the grand design that understanding should be sufficient but never complete to allow for continuous journeying and arrivals on increasingly elevated platforms of understanding.

Find parallel thoughts in the poem No Entiendo from my book Splendor from Ashes

 No Entiendo (2012)


gazing toward the horizon

with youthful investments of confidence that

in time we will understand.

Get a handle on the puzzle.

Be better at strategizing

for living and loving and being.

Surely like fine wine

wisdom will increase in the school of aging.

Surely early stumblings will decline

in the midst of the unfolding surge.


poised mid-staircase, we’ve still not arrived

’cause we’re still locked on the platform of reaching,

locked in the embrace of youthful yearning

for life’s beautiful things: understanding, clarity—

which we no more possess now than when we first began.

At the finish as at the start,

we’re condemned soldiers of the dark,

questing for that ever receding light.

24 thoughts on “Journeying into Understandings

  1. You poems are truly thought provoking. When gazing upon a three dimensional object one’s perception of the object changes with the angle of view even though the object had not changed at all. Understanding is like this. It changes with the perceiver’s point of view which is influenced by his or her own past experiences. Therefore complete understanding can never be achieved because it is not possible to evaluate all possible points of view simultaneously.


  2. This made me think of all the challenges I am confronting right now. I do understand whats going on, but that only goes so far in figuring out how to deal with them the you take in emotions, pride and forgiveness too.


  3. understanding is a huge part of communication. I find that in today’s fast-paced world people come to conclusion too soon. This is often the case when you cut people of during a conversation. Taking the time to listen is essential to understanding others’ point of view.


  4. There are times when others are incapable of understanding a situation, but they can instead have empathy. Feigned understanding is disrespectful and can occasionally be seen as callous at worst.


  5. I believe that understanding does not come with age but rather through how much life experience you have had. That was a beautifully written poem though and extremely poignant as well!


  6. I think this is why I love traveling so much. It increases my world view, but also my understanding. Being something that continues to evolve motivates me to stretch my understanding.


  7. locked in the embrace of youthful learning… Isn’t that the truth. I see it every day in the schools. Watching the journey into understanding is a privileged place to be.


  8. Ahhhhhh, the journey we all call life. While we try to figure out how to enjoy and maximize our time here, I’m glad to know that I’m not doing it alone. Thank you for your contribution.


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