Beach Walk 562 – I Wonder

Someone recently turned me on to the Alan Watts podcasts and I am enjoying them.

Today on the treadmill I listened to one on the topic of “wonder.” I think being able to entertain or wonder about things is a useful trait. Today’s episode talks about the intrinsic dilemma of being smart as compared to leaving room for wondering, aka not knowing. Cheryl Colan recently wondered about a few things on her Hummingcrow videoblog and an enormous amount was learned by many people who contributed to the conversation both as speakers and listeners.

Hawaiian Word:
Kupaianaha: wonderful, astonishing

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  1. Looks like a much nicer day there today ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ve always loved the idea of Socrates saying ‘The only true knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing’

    As Bill and Ted said when they met him, “That’s us, dude!” Which is why they went on to create music that brought world peace and a utopian future.

    I suppose one downside is not being confident in how much one does know, and therefore not having the confidence to put oneself forward.

    But that’s what partners are for ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I think wonder and wondering are what keep me sane…

  2. @Rupert – yes, nicer day. ๐Ÿ™‚ And your Socrates quote was exactly to what I was referring. I think a big distinction between consciousness (and authentic wisdom) and just being a smarty, is being able to sit with the vastness of unknowing, to be able to entertain that what has been the same every day for years can actually change in a moment’s notice, to be confident in the things one does know (how to write PHP, how to comfort your hurt child) and eager and curious to learn more, and show up as the ignorant one at some parties and still know you/I have just as much to offer and just as might right to be there. (Assuming of course, it is not some invitation-only thing that costs money and you haven’t paid the ticket or whatever. )

    Part of my message to myself is that I can show up, even if I don’t know what I am doing. That is the confidence thing you mentioned.

  3. JFSD (Jonnie) says

    @Roxanne: …sorry for the stomach ache – hope if got better wiki-wiki.

    Why do we (blatant generality) minimize feeling crappy or being ill? I have observed the same thing about handling stress, as if it’s a trivial and temporary, minimal thing (and I think it’s kinda a show stopper actually)…

    I’m in extreme detail mode today (sorry) – I will shift into a higher altitude soon!

  4. @JFSD – i am of mixed mind on this; one of the coolest things about Beach Walks (IMO) is how real it is. So, yes, it was not bad enough to skip a show and, I like being truthful about what is happening. And, of course I am vain too so adding a little extra info in this case got me off the hook of being “perfect.” ๐Ÿ™‚

    Tummy better, thanks for caring! (Actually, I just did a bunch of headstands in the water afterwards and it resettled things for me very nicely. And for some folks, that just may be TMI. he he)

  5. An interesting one. We may fill our brains with information, but the question I ask is, what do we actually understand? The more we know, the more we have to know to keep up.. and the harder it is to exist in the world. I often wonder why we fill our brains with information and value people on the amount of information they hold in their brains and less so on the quality of a person. We map and label the earth down to it’s deepest oceans but I find myself saying… so what? Knowledge that is understanding, is one thing, knowledge for the sake of labeling our brains with more and more things, doesn’t seem to hold the same value.. in my book.

    One constant debate I’ve had with very well-meaning and very well-learned academics is how narrow their view can become by knowing too much. Particularly in the academic world, where a student’s ‘knowledge’ is learned by walking the same path trodden by their lecturer/professor, who themselves have trodden a path of their own professor/lecturer… and in doing so, what we all call knowledge becomes a little questionable… it’s a view. If they went to a different college/University, would their view of knowledge be the same.

    All that aside, I still like to be aware of knowledge that brings about human, personal a community growth.. and knowledge that brings about naming things for the sake of naming things

  6. @Matt – the quantity of knowledge doesn’t impress me either anywhere as much as how the person uses it and the type of person they are in real life. Facts can be as much of a bully as muscle.

  7. Trish Blount says

    Hi Shane and Roxy!

    It is so good to listen to you and see the ocean! I drive into work – very cold weather – and then I see you in your swim suit and see the ocean and it warms me and brings back such awesome memories of being there were you are standing. Rod was suppose to send you our Christmas letter and greetings, but I don’t think he got it done. I hope you both had a very Merry Christmas and I send blessings for a very blessed New Year. Keep up the WONDERFUL website! Love you both, Aunt Trish

  8. Hi Rox. How did I miss this? What a wonder-ful post – you can groan at the pun, but I do mean it in both senses. You always give me so much to think about.

    I’m about to start teaching a web design class and I’m practicing saying “I don’t know.” I find Matt’s comment particularly relevant as I start the semester hoping to figure out how I can create an environment in my classroom where my students and I take the journey together. Web technology changes so fast, it shouldn’t be a problem, but I find they like me to know all the answers and provide them on demand. Instead I’m looking for students who want to learn to problem-solve, by doing it. We’ll see how it goes!

    Thank you so much for the link and for your thoughts.

  9. @Cheryl – It’s easy to miss a BW – we do so many I get that comment plenty. I think your approach to teaching is incredible. Learning tech especially depends on being able to go out and google your error message to see what the problem is! They will be truly smart at the end of the semester, instead of just knowing some web tricks.

  10. Learning:

    Memorizing makes you a better dictionary.

    Understanding takes you to the next level of wonder.