When was the last time you felt like this boy:
(Disclaimer: I like square roots. I think maths is awesome.)
We have all had our fair share of saying / hearing the likes of:
- “This doesn’t make sense.”
- “I wish it made more sense.”
- “How can I make sense of this thing?”
- “Nothing makes sense!”
- ….you get the idea
Here is the good news: (A) The world always makes sense. As every good news feels lonely without its companion – the bad news – bear in mind that when you feel something doesn’t make sense, (B) what is not making sense is your model of the world.
Note to logical hygiene freaks: Some of you may immediately challenge – “Hey but what you said does not make sense! If both statements (A) & (B) hold, then the logical conclusion is (C) your “model of the world” is exterior to (not part of) “the world,” which is self-defeating if the world encompasses every living organism – your brain (and by extension, your mind) is part of the world.
Fair enough, 5 bonus points if that matters. And now we move on. And yes, I am saying regardless of whether the challenge makes sense or not, I am moving on as if it doesn’t. 🙂
If statements (A) and (B) sound abstract, you may find this analogy below helpful:
Here is what a cylinder looks like in different contexts:
- 3D environment: cylinder
- 2D projection: square / circle depending on the angle of projection
In the 2D world, which is a one-dimensional reduction of the cylinder, we could say that both the square & the circle are “true ‘slices’ of the reality of the cylinder; neither alone give a clear sense of the higher dimensional shape’s reality.” This is inevitable because “they are reducing the reality (without realizing it) to a view that simply can not adequately contain it.“
How should we deal with the seemingly contradiction of square vs. circle? I think Daniel Schmachtenberger nailed it:
The problem of course is in the reductionism. There is no 2D slice of a 3D object that gives a real sense of what it is. Neither is any 2D negotiation of slices going to yield something in 3D. The cylinder is not somewhere between the two reductionistic views: 50% circle, 50% rectangle… It is 100% of both descriptions…which are only mutually exclusive and paradoxical if they are trying to be reconciled in the same plane, which is the essential mistake.Daniel Schmachtenberger, Higher Dimensional Thinking, the End of Paradox, and a More Adequate Understanding of Reality
In the higher dimensional reality the object (cylinder) actually lives in, the simultaneous full truth of both partial descriptions (square & circle) is obvious and non-paradoxical…as is the seamless way they fit together as parts of a congruent whole.
To conclude: when we think the world doesn’t make sense, what doesn’t make sense is our interpretation of it – it could that we are futilely trying to find a 2D explanation that 100% fits a 3D problem, which means we inevitably end up with (i) a paradox that cannot be reconciled and / or (ii) a puzzle that cannot be explained, and (iii) a messed-up mind. Note that I used “and / or” vs. “and” – because (iii) is a “gift” that you are 100% guaranteed to get.
To end with a sentence that I hope makes sense: It’s never too late to make sense of how we are making sense of the world, which always makes sense when analyzed under the model that makes the best sense.