who or what do you think you know?

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.

– Socrates

Do you know me? Do I know you?

The answer is No.

You might think you know me. I may even think I know you. We really know nothing about each other.

We may believe that we know everything about our loved ones – our partners, children, siblings, parents – and others with whom we have spent a lot of time during any part of our lives. Today, we have the added mixed blessing that is social media. We see what others post and believe that we know who they are through what we observe.

We know nothing about who they really are.

Because we spend a lot of time with different people, including colleagues, we may believe we know what to expect from them as a result of multiple experiences over a period of years. We all have habits. We all may have routines that rarely change. These are observable. Do we think we know them?

Even then, we often know nothing about who they are.

What are we missing?

This piece, written for The Atlantic, by Adam Grant  entitled, People Don’t Actually Know Themselves Very Well points out just how well our colleagues know us, in many ways, better than we know ourselves…about some things.

Maybe we have forgotten that each of us has an inner life that influences who we are and affects what we may observe others and impacts our experiences of them. Some people are conscious and others are not conscious or familiar with a deep, inner life – themselves as a soul and human. Those who are unconscious and unaware of the deep sadness, anger or grief they are carrying tend to see other people, through the filters of those aspects of themselves which may be unknown to them.

We observe others through the filters of our past experiences of them, their habits, and perhaps more importantly, the parts of ourselves that we are not familiar with – those unconscious places that harbor our deepest and most painful buried memories.

Do we really know anyone? I still believe the answer is No.

Do we really even know ourselves?

Consider this:

What do you see? (What is the first thing that pops into your head when you look at this picture?)


What do you think you see? (What does your mind tell you that you are really looking at?)


Is what you first saw the same thing that you thought you saw, after your mind got involved in the process of observing?


Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.

 – Aristotle



7 thoughts on “who or what do you think you know?

    • I completely agree with you, Helen. So many are still relying solely upon their minds such that they cannot see the beauty that is in front of them! When we look and listen through the eyes of our hearts (or our gut), we are far better off…in so many ways. It is our internal GPS. 😉​Until and unless we turn off the overthinking which filters so much out, we may find it difficult to get to the gut level of it all…and most importantly to trust it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree Carrie. I have gotten valuable, practical lessons on the value of decisions made listening to the “gut” versus the mind…for example in mundane things like buying homes 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  • I’m studying Art Therapy at the moment and what I love about it is that it works with our unconscious mind. It reveals our truth even when we don’t think we know. Great post Carrie, everything you have said and is so true. I saw a love heart before I saw a shadow of a hot air balloon. 💚💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • Karen, I’m so glad you saw the heart first! That is one of the reasons I like that picture so much! I was intrigued by the shadow while in that balloon and took the picture. I’ve reflected on it many times these last few years… I wish you well in your continued study of Art Therapy. I have always found the concept of art as therapy…for getting to what is deeply held…as an essential part of a healing process. Thank you. 💚💕

      Liked by 1 person

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