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How to Understand More

How to Understand More

How to Understand More

To understand more, remember this:

  • Nothing is ONE thing. Everything consists of a larger number of component parts.
  • Nothing is isolated. Everything sits with a surrounding context.

1. Nothing is ONE thing. Everything consists of a larger number of component parts.

In order to fully understand anything, break it down into its component parts; give each part a name; then figure-out the internal relationship that exits between the component parts.

Re-iterate the process; because each part you named, is itself made up of its component parts, and can be resolved into its subsets, then named, and their internal relationships established.

Each time you re-iterate this process of analysis, your level of understanding increases.

For example: The human body is not a single entity. It consists of a number of sub-systems:

  • the skeletal system
  • the circulatory system
  • the digestive system
  • the muscular system
  • the nervous system, etc.

When you have resolved the human body into its component sub-systems, you have completed a first level analysis, achieving a higher level of understanding than you had when you started.

To increase your understanding still further, you could make a second level analysis.

For example, the nervous system is not a single thing either. It too is a system of systems: the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system.

And the third level analysis would take the central nervous system and resolve that into its component parts.

Each time you resolve something into its component parts and name them, you increase your level of understanding.

This is an endless process, since you wont live long enough to become all-knowing.

General Development : How to Understand More

2. Nothing is isolated. Everything sits within a surrounding context.

Analysis is the act of "burrowing down" into a thing, or idea, to understand it in ever greater detail.

There is an opposite process, called synthesis.

Synthesis is about looking at the big picture.

Everything is part of a bigger whole. And you gain a full understanding only if you grasp how a thing fits into the bigger picture, (its context).

You must never think of anything as if it sits alone, in splendid isolation.

Everything is affected by its surrounding context. And everything forms part of the context for the other things that surround it.

For example, each individual human being is surrounded by a social, physical, historical, technological, political and economic context.

To FULLY understand what a human being really is, you must first figure-out how the human being fits into its larger context.

  • Always take the context into account.
  • Never take any fact or statement out of context.
  • Your brain can perform both analysis and synthesis.
  • Analysis is the act of breaking things down into their sub-set parts.
  • Synthesis is the act of putting parts into larger wholes. (Larger holes?)

To understand anything better, practice the twin arts of analysis and synthesis.


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