What I knew, I’ve un-learned in the past two years. What I know now is that I know nothing at all.
I’m not a studend of psychology or medicine, so I couldn’t begin to tell you the physical or mental mechanisms behind the acquisition of notions in human beings. However, what I observed in my life lead me to the idea that to know is the result of a process. A very long and deep one, actually.
The premises of knowledge are learning and understanding, but in itself they too have different stages and require work. One’s body and mind interplay with one another and with the world that surrounds us and it is what comes from this interaction that leaves us with the first step on which we can build our ideas: experience. Such experience can be more or less physical (i.e. hurting yourself compared to reading a book), but it is the first brick with which we can build our reflections.
You touched the fire and now know that it can hurt, but you also learned that it is sacred.
Some people rely more on their brains, when processing information, other make much more use of their feelings (MBTI typing relies on this concept). I’m among the latter: to me things sometimes aren’t right just because they feel wrong, or make me feel badly for some reason and I can’t bear it.
However your brain makes sense of things, you’ll end up understanding something. You’ll end up with a new concept, a new idea, a sudden realization or a new belief. Or you won’t understand at all – and that’s part of the process.
There many things you can use to build the house of your knowledge: books, for example, are good material. The experiences of other people. New perspective gained through dialogue and discussion. Sometimes nature itself gives me an impression on which to build my own thoughts.
Let yourself be inspired by the world, but don’t be fooled: to know is not to have ideas engraved in your head, repeated at heart everytime you need to be reassured that they are true. You change, the world changes and in the end what you know will change too.
So build the house of your knowledge and use you experiences as foundation, but be ready to demolish its walls when you’ll need to.