The art of understanding…


Throughout our life we have seen successful people and failures, rich and poor, happy and sad, winners and losers et cetera. But this article is not about them. It is about people who understand everything and others who don’t. There are people who we think know everything.

Its not necessary that they are rich, or successful or winners but to us they come out as really knowledgeable people among other hoi polloi. They appear to be very equanimous, quite composed, spiritually elevated et cetera. We feel a positive and a reverent aura around them. We don’t actually see the gloriole at their heads, but they still appear quite saintly. We feel, these are the people who actually know everything and have solutions for almost everything. The truth of the thought is that they don’t actually know everything. No one does. Knowing everything is not possible. But the little they know, they have understood. We have been instructed from elementary school, “don’t read the next topic, until you understand the one you are reading.” We have all been apprised of this rule. But the difference between people who understand and people who don’t, is that, the former have ‘understood’ the advise and the later have ‘learned’ it. Its very easy to learn things. But it requires mastery to understand them. Now how to master the art of understanding?

Someone once said “the answer is the question”. It does not mean that the answer is actually the question. No. It means the way towards an answer is through the question. Further explaining, it means, a right question is a path towards a right answer. We all have, throughout our lives, accumulated enough knowledge to help us answer the most diabolic questions of life. Even if not, we still are spiritually connected to the soul of the world so intimately and intensely, that answers hidden in the soul of world, are available in our own souls as well. If a water from a jug is poured in five different tumblers, the properties of water in all the tumblers will remain the same. It wont change. So when a single soul is divided into many, the knowledge of the single soul is still in every soul which is only a division of the principle soul. So how to carve out the answers from the principle soul?

The answer to both the questions, how to master the art of understanding? and how to carve out the answers from the principle soul? is same. ‘Right question’. The answer to a question is behind a locked door. And the key to that door is the question. The locked door requires a right key. If the key is slightly awry or not perfectly crafted, the door wont open. If the question is slightly defected or not perfectly crafted, the answer wont arrive. But how do we know if our key is hunky-dory ? Before actually asking a question, we need to understand what we are asking. We need to understand the question, analyze it, examine it, re examine it, formulate a question, reformulate it and finally decide if it is actually the exact question you want to ask. If not, repeat the process. Only when you know what you are asking, would you be able to get a correct answer to your question. The answer is like a building block, that would fit only in its perfect match. When we link a perfectly crafted question to its answer, they would fit like they were one piece. When the answer and the question fit together, the outcome is complete understanding. Many times we ask questions without understanding what they mean ? We try to fit two different blocks that aren’t meant for each other. Try as hard as you can, but they wont fit. These situations when we are not aware of the question and try to link it with a different answer, only throws our minds into disarray. Take for instance, I once asked my teacher to tell me about the political impact of Turks in India. I actually wanted to know the administrative impact of Turks in India . Polity and administration are different terms with similar features. They are similar only up to some extant but they are different terms that are used for different purposes. If they were the same, there wouldn’t have been two terms. In no language, two terms mean one thing. There is always some difference that we don’t always understand. So, my question was about ‘political impact’ while as I was expecting answer for ‘administrative impact’. I got the answer for political impact and I tried to link it with the administrative impact. My key, my question was wrong and I was trying to open the lock of a different answer with it. It only confused me more. This is a minute example. In our lives, we ask similar questions and try to link it with wrong answers. We end up confusing out thoughts even more and make a wrong decision. So the first step to master the art of understanding is to ask a right question in order to get a right answer.

There are certain times in life when we, even after trying hard, don’t know what the question actually is. We don’t know what to ask. We are stuck even after analyzing multiple times. We don’t know what our question is. In such situations, we need to form any ‘relevant’ question and then know its ‘right’ answer. We have to be sure we are asking a well analyzed ‘relevant’, I repeat, ‘relevant’ question. But be aware that you are not linking this answer to your ‘confused’ question. After opening the door of our relevant question we’ll find the closed door of the actual answer we were looking for. Its like the Wikipedia page we open. When we open an article on Wikipedia we get a list of relevant articles and we find the article we were actually looking for. Sometimes you have to open many articles before finding the actual article. Wikipedia is limited, but your knowledge is not. Be patient and you will reach the right answer. So you have to de-colligate the question with the answer till you find the actual question and the actual answer.

Almighty has bestowed us with a precious gift of discretionary intellect. We all posses intellect, but some make use of it and others don’t. Our minds are composed of infinity wonders and to discover them we need to make use of it. If you are looking for the art of understanding, well, this is the key, to the closed door, beyond which lies the ‘art of understanding’.

Moin S. Hakak

28th day of May 2017

01:12 AM


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