KEW Episode 65: How Do We Know if We Really Know What We Think We Know?

To some, this is a ridiculous question steeped in pointless naval gazing. To others, it’s a comedic take on people who ask the ‘big questions’. To others this is a reasonable assessment of what we want to understand. To me, it’s all three at the same time. And maybe that’s the point.

And like most rhetorical questions, I don’t really want to KNOW if I really know what I think I know. Rather, I’m curious about how this questions makes one think a few steps ahead. It’s not about what we know. It’s about the idea that we think we know in the first place. Like, what makes us think we are so awesome that we can understand the very nature of a thing? What makes us think we are so special? Why are we the only living thing on the planet that can ‘know’? Or is that even a logical thought in the first place?

So, yeah, wondering whether we can even really know things is interesting in and of itself. Perhaps even more interesting than the simple question of whether we are right or wrong. Because that’s the nature of knowing, I think. Knowing implies we are correct. And like my buddy Paul Gadola says, we all think we are correct. So knowing is a bit biased to say the least. We ALL think we know. And we often disagree. And modernity has brought, if nothing else, an ever increasing number of potential explanations to things which means the options of knowing what is right are becoming more and more infinite.

In other words, knowing, or being right, is increasingly more impossible. And, more importantly, does it even matter? If there are ‘subjective truths’ (which I believe are really subjective realities, and not truths at all) then REALLY what does it matter? Can’t we all be right? Doesn’t everyone get a trophy?

What follows, then, is my curiosity in the knowing itself. Not whether or not I know. And how did I arrive at that knowing? One of the major assumptions of the Are vs Should Problem is that much of what we think and believe was simply inherited, so why do we connect so much of our identity with this inherited ‘knowledge’?

Moreover, isn’t it the capacity to think we know stuff far more interesting than actually knowing the stuff? Were the ancient Greeks correct to ‘know thyself’? Isn’t that the first step, anyway? How can we know ANYTHING without first understanding how we would even begin to know in the first place?

Podcast audio download here: https://pdcn.co/e/https://chtbl.com/track/CGDA9D/www.buzzsprout.com/530563/9261427-kew-episode-65-how-do-we-know-if-we-really-know-what-we-think-we-know.mp3?download=true

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YouTube video link here: https://youtu.be/9qGAvcDwg6M

Here are two links to the Toltec and Taoist ideas of ‘not doing’ and ‘non thinking’:

Preview video below:

KEW Episode 60: The Are vs Should Problem – Jobs and Careers

When I was a teenager I realized I would be working for the rest of my life. This hit me like a ton of bricks. This realization LITERALLY left me feeling like I had fallen out of a tree and couldn’t catch my breath. Though I’d experienced physical pain by this point in my life, fully coming to understand that I was going to have to spend a significant part of my life doing things I didn’t want to do was disturbing.

And it wasn’t so much that I had to WORK. I didn’t mind working. I had my first job at 13 and was gainfully employed when I had this epiphany about work. It was more that a big chunk of MY TIME was spoken for.

I felt like I was seeing my future, and part of it was already planned out. It wasn’t so much about the WORK thing, it was the CHOICE thing. My future was, at least in part, not my CHOICE. And I don’t know why this created so much dissonance. But this was a true blindside. I didn’t see it coming. I felt like I lost my whimsy.

And so that is, in huge part, what led me to explore the Are vs. Should Problem. Why do we struggle between the person we ARE and the person we feel like we SHOULD BE? A big part of this SHOULD is related to having to work and to have a career. A huge part of our youth is being on a path that gets us to that point successfully and to a greater extent than our parents or grandparents. From early on we are chugging along a course related to some place we will be in the future that will steal our time.

And the best we can hope for is to love the career so we are not wasting our time. To sort of ‘double up’ and get paid AND find pleasure in our job.

Well, how many of us got there? How many of us arrived at the place where we can’t BELIEVE we’re getting paid to do what we love? How many of us LOVED spending all that time studying, and interviewing, and kissing up, and missing out. . . . How fun was that?

Sure, some people do find a path they enjoy and a career that fulfills them. But most of us don’t. And this investigation intends to figure out why it happened and how we can change it.

Full podcast episode download here: https://pdcn.co/e/https://chtbl.com/track/CGDA9D/www.buzzsprout.com/530563/9074066-kew-episode-60-the-are-vs-should-problem-jobs-and-careers.mp3?download=true

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Full Youtube video here: https://youtu.be/fyQyDC7FXUo

Preview KEW Episode 49: Who Are You?

As we approach 50 episodes at Knowledge + Experience = Wisdom I have been reflecting and preparing for a shift; a pivot, if you will.

The last few episodes, 48: Unlearning, 47: Changing Behavior Changes Beliefs, 46: Values, going back to 41: The State of the Podcast, really have been building to something . . . . . new and more organized.

I feel like the first 50 Episodes combined with the Curiosity Interview Series have allowed me to get a few things off my chest. I also feel like it is time to condense, focus, and integrate these ‘things’ (ideas, directions, and themes) toward some sort of product or products.

In this Episode I come all the way back to the beginning. What’s the original purpose of KEW? Who is this for? What do I want to accomplish? What question(s) am I trying to answer?

All of that begins with the simplest and most complex question of all: Who Am I? Who Are You?

Full Episode this Friday at http://www.chrisburcher.com

There’s one more installment in the Curiosity Interview Series coming June 11, and Episode 50 will release June 18.

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FLASHBACK! KEW Episode 34: Self

Many people try to define and argue about what a ‘self’ is, or even whether or not we have one. I’m not too worried about getting it right, but I do think it’s worthwhile to ponder the concept of self.

Basically, it’s a ‘Who Am I’ question, or part of that thought process.

Some people spend a lot of time on that question, others don’t understand why anyone would waste their time asking it.

I think it’s neat to wonder. To be curious. And the ‘Who Am I’ question is stimulating.

And more than that, it’s HELPFUL to ponder such questions – because though the questions might not provide definitive definitions, it does provide INSIGHT. And this insight helps me live my life as well as I can. It helps me understand my wants and needs. Knowing ABOUT my SELF is beneficial to me and those around me.

Moreover, I can’t imagine living a life where I would have questions but not be allowed to pursue answers. Or to have curiosity but not have the wherewithal (is that even a word?) to TRY to answer my questions.

So this episode is a bit about exploring what the self is, and not at all about trying to find a definition:)

Original post with links to podcast audio and YouTube video here: https://chrisburcher.com/2020/12/18/kew-episode-34-self/

Preview of KEW Episode 34: Self