Step 1: Know Nothing

“I know that I know nothing”

I love that I’m rejoined with knowing that I don’t know. That I know I’m wrong more than I’m right.

I know that I know a whole lot about math, and that I know almost nothing about art. Where should I begin making connections? How should I even begin looking at art?

As a math nerd with an epsilon’s worth of knowledge about culture, and everything that fills the spirit with a harmonic vibrations connecting ourselves to the world we really live in, I have no idea.

The one thing that I do know that I know is that listening to others is important. Even if a lot of sewage flows from their mouth, it’s worth the listen. You get a glimpse into that person’s mind. Familiarizing yourself with the many different possibilities of a personality is just the beginning.

The exchange of ideas between groups without judgement allows perceptions to be transmorphed and enlightened. Thought processes are altered. Understanding that we all really don’t understand what it’s like to be embraced with insight of what life is like for most people should be more of a common thought. It’s a mountainous endeavor to consider; so many nations, cultures, languages, colloquialisms. Each person is so distinctly unique. For one scary second, consider who we are on the cosmological scale. Unravel on your trip back down how many possibilities there are. For everything. Confining oneself in a set mind seems like a silly punishment in comparison.

None of us really have a full grasp on the human condition. If I haven’t convinced you yet, then maybe Du Bois can. Even he, a renowned intellectual, acknowledged, internally processed, admitted, and corrected himself when he was wrong. Bornstein gave us insight on Du Bois’ intellectual humility when his opinion on Jews changed with time. He saw the similarities in suppression between the Black and Jewish communities and had sympathy for them. He knew he made a mistake having the echo of Antisemitism ring throughout his lyrical liberation of “The Souls of Black Folk.” He showed that “the willingness to openly change his mind shines through with similar sanity.” We should all be on some type of sanity hunt (but aren’t all college students anyways?) within ourselves. Do we know that we are probably wrong? Do we even accept that we could be wrong? Or that our knowledge is fairly limited due to sticking inside one discipline?

I want to allow others to understand where they may have communication mishaps with, say, mathematicians or those in affiliated work due to different points of view.  This already stands in theory as a very daunting idea because personally I feel spiritually inferior to those who hold the knowledge of history, literature, art, and culture, and I generally don’t tend to vibe with people who do. I see processes, underlying structures and foundations, and organized groups before I see groups of people with emotions and complicated personal experiences. I tend to think of engraved neurological pathways when I think about another’s personality, and I’m not noticing their ability to thoughtlessly just be kind, conscientious, or empathetic. I may be quite stubborn given a set of equations, but in terms of living life with flamboyancy, I admit the lacking nature of it with humility. My math brain is hardwired in, but I’m currently searching for an expansion pack to add full of art, diversity, and free-flowing thought.

My brain works as follows:

  • The Kinetic Gallery.
  • The Gallery of Movement.
  • The Movement of: our artist; the charcoal on the walls; the trio; thoughts and ideas; the students, professors, and professionals filling the room.
  • The Movement of crossing the room from one side to the other. From uprooted to uplifted.
  • Thought movement from being hidden, to a current issue, to resolved, and then gone. As we ascend and rise spiritually and consciously, so did the thought.

I’m sure this is not what any other person would think of upon hearing “The Kinetic Gallery.” That’s okay. Every single person’s impression is contrasting. That’s what makes this interesting.

Listening to everyone discuss the lines during class struck me the most thus far. I was astounded at the amount of people that could not accept that a line goes on indefinitely. This was my immediate thought, even before class glancing over (and halfway smirking at) the definition of a line. My mind exploded into pictures of different lines, shapes, dimensions, number universes, and line equations. If I were asked for a secondary definition of a line, I’d suggest the checkout line, something I consider to be finite.

We broke down our thoughts about the line, but did we really take that tool we were given, or was it left with the lines? Can we, as a cohesive whole, break down and truly think about each thing that really sparks joy (!) in us as we learn more about Steve? or even something that sparks a deep interest in us as we learn more about the past and current socio-economical/ political/ cultural/ etc world that we will explore? An immense amount of thought was put into Steve’s work, thus it’s worth pondering.

I want to understand how others see the world. This was merely a glimpse at how something so simple is conceived so differently by others compared to myself. My goal for this semester, and forever, is to be open and listening to other’s ideas about anything, and develop a better understanding of how different perceptions overlap or never cross and the reason why.

But this is just the beginning. We all get to choose which line of thought we stay on (or in, if you prefer).

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