Most of us dismiss our confusion. We don’t like it because it makes us feel like the child in the midst of an adult conversation. However, confusion is really important because it’s the gateway to gaining knowledge, and that moves us closer in proximity to the truth.
It’s all about categories. If we possess certain categories, we can correctly connect bits of information into them. If we don’t possess certain categories, then we don’t know what to do with unconnected bits of information. This is why children require special communication. It’s why things need to be explained.
I know that this blog confuses people. My goal is not entertainment, but transformation. Entertaining blogs treat set the bar low by connecting very closely related categories. I find these very boring and predictable. They follow the typical binary formula that looks something like:
“How to AWESOME without SUCK”
I come along and tell you that SUCK is the path to AWESOME. Those lacking the necessary categories to connect such axioms get confused and dismiss what I’m saying. I’m always connecting seemingly unrelated categories because once we make these connections,our worldview is never the same.
These are two frameworks. One is a binary framework and the other is ternary. People in binary frameworks see the world as black and white, right and wrong, good and bad, valid and invalid. It is the tell tale sign of immaturity. I do not say that as an insult, only that we all begin in a binary framework but not all of us progress out of it.
Maturity is simply the increase in the number of categories that we employ to make sense of the world. It takes a bit of work sometimes and perhaps that is why some give up. Yet everything that you have ever truly enjoyed and appreciated from art, food, engineering, science, sports, or academics came about by connecting diverse categories. There is nothing wrong with simple. Simple is the lack of nuance.
Back to confusion. If someone is stringing together multiple categories then they will require far more nuance. For example, a cookie recipe with equal parts of each ingredient is not nuanced. A cookie recipe with only three ingredients is simple (not bad) and thus cannot possess as much nuance. An immature cook will see the small amount of baking soda and think it can be omitted. A mature cook appreciates the nuance because it matters.
Confusion then is directly proportional to maturity within each subject matter. In my work I know doctors who are brilliant, but they can’t run the business side of their practice. They are immature in business and mature in medicine. The only way out of confusion is to gain the categories.
Someone who doesn’t want to gain new categories is what we would call “Stuck in their ways” or those who “think they know better.” Scripture calls such people “the Proud” (Proverbs 16:19). When such a person begins to diminish the categories of another person, this is called “a scoffer.”
“A scoffer does not like to be reproved; he will not go to the wise.” (Proverbs 15:12)
See how this all comes together? Seeing is understanding (Matthew 6:22). So far in todays recipe I’ve combined confusion, categories of understanding (seeing) , binary and ternary frameworks, maturity and immaturity, and the proud and the scoffer. Some may have already deduced that this post is an object lesson about confusion and pride are directly linked.
Some will need a few more categories in order to see. Most categories require metaphor to be grasped. Let’s not skim over our confusion. Metaphor is the only language of spirituality. We can only access that category via story. If we lack the story, our default mode is to trust the categories we have are sufficient. They never are.
Each of us is like a flame of fire in varying brightness. If I join my flame to yours I do not lose my flame, but both flames are strengthened. When we will not learn from another we are like a flame who thinks we are bright enough on our own. This is scoffing and a rejection of the truth. We not only live in limited light, but we keep the world from obtaining its full brightness by withholding our contribution. This is the essence of pride and it is the greatest sin possible.
Let us learn to warm our hands to everyone’s fire. This will bring forth the necessary questions required to dismantle our prideful fundamentalism, and teach us to see that the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true (Ephesians 5:9).
Seeing by that light will end all confusion and bring unity to our world.