secret to clarifying confusion


208_0299_1 (Photo credit: Kucherov)

learning to ride a bike - _MG_2933

learning to ride a bike - _MG_2933 (Photo credit: sean dreilinger)

the secret to clarifying confusion
The experience of life can range between clarity and confusion. Confusion is an essential stage of the process of learning, for confusion can be humbling and intriguing, yet also very challenging. So, the following “secret” to clarifying confusion may be distinctly valuable to you.

Confusion is not the same as mere surprise. Confusion requires both a surprising new experience as well as a prior model of how life is, with the new experience challenging the old model.

Confusion involves a failing of the prior model of how life could be to predict whatever surprising new development just happened. So, confusion is an experience that indicates a new opportunity to learn something that goes beyond whatever prior model(s) may have previously been sufficient.

Some of the responses that may arise after an experience of confusion include: embarrassment, withdrawal, blame, argumentativeness, defensiveness, anger, resentment, ill will, villifying, animosity, hatred, shaming, despair, and desperate hoping. We may target confused blame at our parents, our companions, our associates, or basically anyone prominent, such as any public figure or any group (government, corporation, religious denomination, race, etc…).

Note that while all blame is an expression of confusion, some blame may be relevant. None of the responses expressing confusion are totally irrelevant. Each has it’s relevance. However, none of them are clarity.

Enlightenment / Iluminación

Enlightenment / Iluminación (Photo credit: . SantiMB .)

Further, clarity is not just the absence of confusion. Clarity is, ironically, the fulfillment of the opportunity to learn which has been presented by an experience of confusion.

So, be clear that distinguishing confusion is not another instance of shaming. Distinguishing confusion is

Learning is (the official view) (Photo credit: dkuropatwa)
not shaming shame or blaming blame or condemning condemnation. Distinguishing confusion is clarifying all of those as well, recognizing the value of those prior models of behavior, but also acknowledging that other behaviors may be relevant now and in to the future.

Now, beyond reactive responses in confusion, all of which have their relative value, there is also the possibility of actual learning. Here is the possibility of clarifying what before may have seemed confusing.

However, note that nothing is itself inherently confusing. The experience of learning establishes that some development or pattern may seem confusing in one instant and then clear in another- even for the same person, even only moments apart in time!

Again, confusion requires not only a surprising new experience, but a prior model that does not fit current developments. The inadequacy of the prior model is the issue, that is, the opportunity.

So, here is the secret to clarifying confusion: recognize that the suprising new experience may be something to simply accept and futher that the old model, as valuable and relevant as it may have been, may not be as valuable or relevant now as some other model- or even no model at all! The secret to clarifying confusion is recognizing the presence of an old model that did not predict whatever surprising new development arose, then opening to learning.

Confusion may be resolved simply by repeated exposure to whatever was initially surprising. In other words, some confusion is very close to mere surprise. However, some confusion cannot be resolved simply. Some confusion may arise such that it is relevant to involve someone with distinct competence and expertise.

Learning is (the official view)

Learning is (the official view) (Photo credit: dkuropatwa)

208_0299_1 (Photo credit: Kucherov)
For instance, we can imagine a car engine that is working but then stops working. If I know at least a little about car engines, but I do not know enough about car engines to resolve or even understand a particular challenge, then I might contact someone with more experience than me. I might eventually learn a lot about car engines, but that is also not essential.

Just because I am confused about something does not mean that I should be clear. Maybe I just want the car to work again and I am not interested in learning how or why. Confusion is merely an opportunity to learn.

However, most fundamentally, confusion is an opportunity to adapt. In other words, confusion is just a type of surprise. The existence of some prior model that is apparently not relevant… is itself irrelevant.Confusion ultimately is just a surprising new thing, plus an irrelevant prior model. Confusion is just an opportunity to adapt. Learning is just one type of adapting. other forms of adapting include: embarrassment, withdrawal, blame, argumentativeness, defensiveness, anger, resentment, ill will, villifying, animosity, hatred, shaming, despair, and desperate hoping.Note that all responses to confusion are all adaptive to some circumstance. Clarifying which response is relevant is called learning. Sometimes, the only relevant response is discarding some prior model and being open to being repeatedly surprised until a pattern recognizable as simple suddenly arises from apparent complexity.

English: Brazilian top model Gisele Bündchen, ...

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