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I don't understand

  1. Jul 11, 2004 #1
    I don’t understand

    There is a great difference between knowing and understanding. Everyone can answer “yes” when asked if they know music. Of course, ‘all god’s chilin’ know music. We receive answers that go on forever when we ask a teenager if they know music. We awaken instant and sentimental memories when we ask an older person to tell what they know about music. A great deal of emotion is contained in our ‘knowing’ about music.

    Silence and puzzlement is our response when we ask a person “do you understand music?” Occasionally the question “do you understand music?” receives an expression of delight and a verbal outpouring. The person who understands music--they are few and far between--has studied music in a way very few of us have. I suspect such a person is not only a lover but also a student of music. I do not understand music but I do understand the meaning of “understanding music”.

    I create this musical metaphor for the purpose of illuminating a state of affairs of which we are seldom conscious.

    Our formal educational system teaches us the knowledge required for making a living. Our formal education does not teach us the understanding required to live well. The development of understanding is something each of us must create on our own. If we do not recognize this fact we will not pursue this understanding and if we do not pursue this understanding we will remain intellectually naive.

    We start our formal education experience as intellectually naïve children and end it twelve to eighteen years later as well informed intellectually naïve grown ups.

    After formal education ends our understanding begins. The task of understanding is a private enterprise by me and for me. Understanding begins with this recognition and continues as one creates a process for the solitary activity of self-learning. I think a person could look at self-learning as a hobby, it could be one of your hobbies like tennis or golf, just a few hours each week and I suspect after a while it will become a very important part of your life style. Developing a sophisticated intellect is a solitary study lasting a lifetime.

    Carl Sagan is quoted as having written; “Understanding is a kind of ecstasy.”
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 11, 2004 #2
    "We start our formal education experience as intellectually naïve children and end it twelve to eighteen years later as *well informed intellectually naïve grown ups*."

    I don't think it could be put better.

    "I think a person could look at self-learning as a hobby"

    Many of us do, but in such environment as we live in, there are some things we better pass by not even being aware of them.

    If i'm completely aware, how a 10 or 8 year old thailander works every day 12 hours in a factory that is in ownership of NIKE or COCA COLA, or if i can vividly imagine what the newest bomb can do crashing into a civilian house, tearing apart arms and legs, boy watching his mother being torn apart, just a split second before shrapnel tears into his own stomach, and then seeing him running around with his insides in his hands, screaming in agony?

    but such things are ineviteble product of our current system.

    So i think that most of people don't WANT to understand such things. Because for one who comes home from weapons factory this is his bread and bread for his family.

    If he EVER saw what the bomb he makes does, or even had enough empathy to imagine it...and so is will all other things...

    and last but not least, it is our capitalistic system that takes toll on the countries of the third world and on our less-fortunate comrades, they are our instincts, who still drive us to do things...

    it is no secret, everyone could be aware of such things if one wants, but it is the NECESSITY that drives us toward making bombs. And the same neccessity forces you to stick your head into sand, not wanting to know what you're doing. The neccessity that is derived from the dynamics of our instincts and relationships and our basic primitive goals.
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