The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

It’s clear, isn’t it?

To me, the idea that clarity can be reached in an exchange with others is an illusion.

But the question might be, what do people mean by clarity?

There have been numerous coaching sessions I’ve been in, for example, that I enjoyed and learned a lot from. Whatever happened during the session, it helped us to know more than before and develop a new understanding of the situation.

There seemed to be more clarity than before.

At the same time, the more we looked into things, the more possibilities appeared. And for many of them, there was the potential that we could learn something that would distinctively change what we knew until then.

There was more uncertainty than before.

Whenever the tension between the desire to understand something and the ability to give it meaning rises, confusion will again appear.

People want to give meaning to something and when they cannot they will develop a narrative to avoid that confusion. It’s driven by the effort to avoid doubt, not knowing, or uncertainty. But what it also does is replace the clarity that things cannot be known in all details with an idea of its meaning.

The problem with this isn’t that people may have misunderstood one another. It is that they believe that everything is clear. And as they had it clear, any difference of understanding must have been someone’s fault. That’s a clarity that easily opens the door to conflicts.

It’s eye-opening to ask people what they learned from the exchange or what the most important learning was for them. They rarely have the same idea.






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