How Do We Know?


A Winkle Travelling – Towards the Sea

A recent email conversation:
Mark: I’ve added one more photo to the Dropbox folder – ‘Winkle travelling’!
Me: Thanks. I’ve not had much of a chance to do the post I intended to do. Hopefully, things will ease here and I can continue with posting. As I like to do. BTW That was quite the ‘catch’ if I may say so.
Mark: I had plenty of time to frame the shot. They always travel towards the sea. I wonder how they know?
Me: How do they know? Perfect fit for my current thinking around our knowing more than we know we know.
Mark: Ah – synchronicity…
Me: Indeed! Coming fast at me this morning.

Threads of thoughts and insights have been coming together over the past weeks. It was this article by Norman Doidge a neuroscientist, that contributed a great deal to the ‘stew pot’ of my thinking on ‘knowing’. In this article, Doidge talks about unconscious knowledge, in particular the (other) immune system we don’t know we have.

Just as the Winkle knows to travel towards the sea we, with the shortening hours of daylight, reflexively turn towards our ‘inner life’. That’s probably less so for those of us who, of necessity, have engaging lives. Busy lives, however I find myself ‘drawn in’ and reflective at this time of year, that’s in spite of there being lots-to-do all day long.

Interesting isn’t it that our response to the dark season is to quieten and move within. There are many reasons this happens but are we applying reason when we quieten into the darkness? Do we know something we don’t know we know, like the Winkle heading seaward?

I relish the nights here, to walk in the dark and when the stars are clear – magic!

Thanks to Mark Rowan for the photograph, and all the other ones I have stored away in Dropbox.


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