Our Other Body

We spend our whole lives learning. Every experience teaches us something. Over time we accumulate a body of knowledge. That body starts living our lives for us. We see the world through our knowledge body. That body is made of all kinds of facts and opinions. It is filled with connections between events and reactions.  It connects situations to feelings and emotions. It draws on memories and projects into the future. Our body of knowledge takes the vast, unimaginable world and squeezes it into context.

Just like we exercise our regular bodies to keep them in shape, we need to exercise our knowledge body.  Much of what we know, we need to unlearn. Facts are easy enough to unlearn, as soon as we learn a contradictory fact, the old fact is unlearned and the new fact takes its place. Opinions are harder to change. Opinions tend to eat up facts. If we think we don’t like somebody, there is little they can do to change our minds. Emotional reactions are also hard to change.  When we’re faced with a situation, our knowledge body tells us just how to react. If somebody insults us, we get hurt, then angry.

When our physical body becomes infected with bacteria, we get sick.  When our knowledge body is infected with wrong ideas, we become distressed. In order to figure out what ideas are causing us distress, we have to observe our environments and observe our reactions to see what our knowledge body is doing.  We see if our thoughts are about the past, present or future and see if the feelings are pleasant or unpleasant.  We use these observations to make new connections. As as we observe, our knowledge body, evolves. With enough practice, our knowledge will become fluid. Eventually, we will come to know nothing.

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