If you can’t explain it, you don’t understand it

Posted On: June 26, 2020

“The person who says he knows what he thinks but cannot express it usually does not know what he thinks.” — Mortimer Adler

You are a human being, the most advanced species on this planet. You are born with the ability to understand and you have invented tools that make understanding easy for you.

Life for you is to understand and live, and how well you can live depends on how well you have understood everything. For instance, a language is a tool that helps you to communicate.

You have learned the words and you have understood the meaning and concepts behind those words. Using the tool of language, you share the mental pictures you form in a specific part of the consciousness where all activities happen (CHITH) with others. Only when others are able to have the same mental pictures in their (CHITH) that you have shared, is the transfer of information complete. As a result, the understanding of both of you is aligned.

The reality of water is that it quenches your thirst. As a human being, you understand it. Now if the word used for ‘water’ is changed to something else, does it change the reality of water?

Learning or memorizing the words isn’t enough. Understanding the concept, the reality behind every word is. Everything in existence is in order and there is no random theory. There is no uncertainty or ambiguity. Everything is following natural laws and processes.

Human beings just need to understand the whole. Suffering is when the incomplete or wrong understanding. To be successful in life, you have to widen the horizon of the vision and get a clear understanding.

Does the education system provide you understanding… 

The result of learning in our universities and colleges is inadequate. The education system does not measure or describe what actually a student has learned. Academic education is just a process of providing degrees and certificates. In terms of learning, the whole education system serves the limited purpose of giving exposure to content that is limited by a framework.

The purpose of education should be to help us understand the actual reality of everything, including life and existence. Any knowledge is not complete if it does not enable us to see something from all possible infinite angles. 

education system
Image by Mark Mags from Pixabay 

When is understanding complete?

You understand something totally when you know it in all entirety which includes form, characteristic, behavior, and nature. Every element has these four inseparable parts. Forms and characteristics can be seen and analyzed using elementary senses and the brain. Behavior and nature are experienced. When you know all these parts of something, you understand it. 

This has not been comprehended by Science yet, as it has not been able to accept consciousness where experiencing happens. Science has only focused on studying the brain and the brain is not the place where understanding happens. Life atom/consciousness needs to be understood as an e existential reality which can be seen by everyone.

Consciousness is too abstract for the matter-oriented, logical deducing minds to grasp. Science has to look beyond the visible world that is limited by the physical senses (eyes, ears, touch, etc.)

We understand much more than what we can see or hear. The sun is a ball of fire even though no one has seen it or been there. Still, we all understand it thanks to science and education. Now we need to move beyond the same to understand human beings and their purpose.

Like a computer, the brain is merely a hardware, the life-atom/soul is an operating-system. Beliefs and opinions are softwares that can be upgraded, updated. Knowing the process of understanding will be incomplete until both the hardware and operating system are accepted as they are with their respective functions. Once the consciousness, its role, and functioning is understood, many puzzles of existence will be solved.

Takeaway ~

Current belief: – Understanding is memorizing.

Supported by – Andrei Lyskov 

Andrei in his article has mentioned some really good tips on how to learn. Recalling, chunking, practicing, dynamic practicing are all great tips that can be followed by everyone. However, when talking about understanding something in totality, more context is needed in Andrei’s post.

According to Philosophy of Coexistence understanding equals living. You have understood something:

  • When you can express it in your own words.
  • When you are able to illustrate it with a real-life example.
  • When you can apply it in your own life, live what you have understood.
  • When you are able to explain it to a kid or even an 80-year-old person.

The best way to validate your learning is to share your lessons with others as soon as you learn it. Teaching is knowledge’s oxygen.