"True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us." - Socrates
Eternal - lasting or existing forever; without end or beginning.
Education - the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.
Imagine encapsulating all knowledge into the sphere of the earth. We know knowledge is infinite, however for the sake of walking down the path of understanding Socrates quote, let's start there. Now, I'd like for you to carve out a section that represents all that you know you know. For example, I know my name, who my parents are, where I was born, my weight, where I went to school, when I graduated, who my daughter and family is, etc.,...you get the point. How big does your section compare to the sphere of all knowledge?
Next, I'd like you to consider what you know you don't know. For example, I know I don't know how to perform surgery, fix my car, what it is to be a female, how to play basketball, the origin of the centipede, how to tame a horse, drive a race car, serve in the military, etc.,...you get the point. How big does that section compare to what you know you know? If you're like most human beings, you realize there's much more you're aware of you don't know than that which you do.
Now I'd like you to consider what you don't know you don't know? It's an unanswerable question isn't it? If you knew, it would fall into one of the previous sections of knowledge and awareness. What does that section of the sphere of all knowledge look like compared to what you know you know and what you know you don't know? Your answers may vary, however, I'll just share what mine might look like as a reference point.
What I know I know - About the size of the city I lived in as a child: Mansfield, OH; population 47,534
What I know I don't know - About the size of the the state I was born in: Ohio; population 11,799,448
If we used the population of the world, which is currently 7.955 Billion human beings, to represent the sphere of all knowledge (which is ridiculously limited but for this exercise I hope it illustrates an awareness); that means the combined knowledge of what I'm aware I do know and know I don't know represents approximately .0015% of all there is to know...which again is infinite...
Some may ask, "what does this have to do with whether or not I believe"? My answer is simply, "everything".
Believe by definition means: 'accept (something) as true; feel sure of the truth of'. It's a function of your mind, body, spirit, thoughts, and essence wholeheartedly recognizing an outcome before it manifest itself in earthly physical form. In most cases, there is no evidence of it in the present because it is a clearly distinguished thought envisioned in the future. For many, its twin would be faith: 'the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen'. Those who understand pure belief do not waver in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles because for them it's not a matter of "if", it's a matter of "when".
At the highest levels, those who embrace the mindset of unequivocal belief, manifest possibilities from what was otherwise thought to be impossible. Impossible is only true for anyone wanting to use it as an excuse because they are only considering what they know they know and what they're certain they don't know...in which therein lies the problem. They stay stuck because they are either unwilling to consider another viewpoint that challenges their certainty or their ego (edging God out) protects their delicate self-image by preserving their righteousness. This blind spot doesn't allow them entry to access the unfathomable power of unknowingness where paradoxically belief resides.
Those who truly believe, reach into what they don't know they don't know by questioning what was previously known as possible and asking, "what if I tried something different than what has currently been done?" Their minds remain in wonderment like a child and rather than being stuck, are freed from the constraints of their acknowledged limited comprehension and awareness. The only way you access this wisdom is to embrace eternal education.
Let's take a moment and walk backwards through time to see several examples of what I'm expressing:
The Wheel - There was a time many centuries ago when someone came up with the idea (which hadn't been invented yet) to use a round wooden sphere, put a hole in it to attach to an axel and then attach to another round wooden sphere. This is best estimated to have occurred between 4,500-3,300 BC. Before that transportation and hauling items was severely limited to what you could carry while walking.
The Compass - Navigating this earth and exploration of lands unknown was primarily done through astronomical signs. Then a naturally magnetized mineral called a lodestone was used to make early compasses in China around 300-200 BC. This invention brought humanity into the Age of Discovery which played an important role in the development of European countries in their efforts to rule the world which eventually led to the Industrial Revolution approximately 2,000 years later (circa 1760 AD).
Printing Press - Before Johannes Gutenberg, knowledge was transferred from either oral tradition (generational story telling) or transcribed hand written text. In 1439 he revolutionized the spread of knowledge by devising equipment that would allow ink to be transferred to pieces of paper repeatedly, making the dissemination of information faster and more accessible than at any previous time in history.
Steam Engine - Somewhere between 1763 and 1775 James Watt invented the steam engine that was capable of continuous rotary motion. In 1781 he secured the patent for it and it became the driving force in the explosive growth of advancement in manufacturing, agriculture, and transportation. It was the critical ingredient to support the Industrial Revolution which transformed the world from an agricultural economy to the world we now know today.
Automobile - One of the most powerful and transformative inventions of the Industrial Revolution was the automobile. The invention of the steam engine ushered in a new era of competing transportation vehicles designed to carry people. From 1770-1884 there were various steam powered vehicles developed of which none proved viable for daily personal transportation. Then in 1885 Carl Benz created the Motorwagen. It was among the first gasoline powered automobiles put into series production. In 1908, Henry Ford created the Model-T which was the first automobile to be mass produced on a moving assembly line allowing accessibility to the masses rather than only the wealthy.
Airplane - Though humankind has attempted to fly since antiquity and has utilized jumping, kites, balloons, dirigible balloons and gliders to do so; it wasn't until the Wright Brothers (Orville and Wilbur) made the first sustained, controlled, manned flight at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina on December 17, 1903 that it we finally achieved success. This achievement has changed the world's economies in ways that previously were unattainable and has connected humanity worldwide.
Internet - Previous to the internet, the fastest way to convey information was through telephone, radio, TV or fax. Most homes had at least three (3) of these four (4) sources, however all were limited based on the human factor of time, accessibility and usage. As a result of research at CERN (The European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Switzerland by computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee in 1989-90, the World Wide Web was unleashed. The ascension of its utilization by humanity was breathtaking. By 1993 it was only used by 1% of two-way telecommunications networks, by 2000-51%, and by 2007 it had catapulted to more than 97%.
The amount of occurrences throughout history like those listed above are innumerable. What the few I've illustrated, and any others you'd like to throw in the mix (I.e.-smart phones, television, electricity, light bulb, computers, etc.) all have in common is precisely why this tenet of eternal education is so critical in discovering your full potential. To create or accomplish something that you've never done before, you have to access the indomitable force of belief. In each instance, though seemingly impossible by the standards set before these accomplishments were thrust into our human consciousness; someone had to reach into what they don't know they don't know by continually learning, asking questions, adjusting, challenging norms, and ultimately using their magnificent intelligence to figure out the previously unfigureoutable (yes, I made this word up;-).
The moment you believe you have a pretty firm grasp on how life is and should be, based on your limited certainty, is the moment you start the slow descent into living a life of quiet desperation when compared to limitless possibilities. In contrast, the moment you embrace the unquenchable thirst of continually acquiring and applying knowledge by eternal education, you are then on the path to truly discovering your full potential. As your knowledge increases, therefore expanding all three levels of knowingness, the more you 'realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us''. This is the key that unlocks wisdom and ultimately belief.
You really can have or do anything conceived in your minds eye...as long as you,