Growth

I’d like to take some time to talk about human limits. In particular, I’d like to talk about a barrier to growth. The barrier arises out of the very real difference between things and our ideas about things. More precisely it arises out of the mismatch between our mental pictures of reality and reality itself. It is illustrated in the following story:
A drunk was staggering across a bridge one night when he met a friend. The two of them leaned over the bridge and began to chat.
“What’s that down there,” asked the drunk suddenly?
“That’s the moon,” said the friend.
The drunk looked again, shook his head in disbelief, and said “Okay, okay it’s the moon, but how did I get way up here?”
We almost never see reality. What we see is a reflection of it in the form of thoughts that we mistake for reality.
The world we live in is largely a mental construct, a construct built of and upon our beliefs. Our interaction with reality and our interpretation of reality are constrained within the limits of our belief systems and the knowledge built upon those belief systems.
Belief systems are boxes, necessary boxes, but boxes nonetheless. They provide context in which to interpret our world, context that is essential to learning and growth. But belief systems are not reality, and they limit our ability to experience reality. Only by changing belief systems can we transcend those limits and experience more of reality.
Ideally, internalizing a new belief system broadens our exposure to reality. When this happens, we begin to grow, expanding to fill the available space. But because we grow our new belief system eventually becomes a prison, and it is time to transcend that belief system. We repeat this process many times during the course of a lifetime. It is the process of growth.
The important thing to remember is that our current box is just a box. Moreover other people have their own boxes. None of us has the truth, but sometimes we pretend we have it in order to feel safe.

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