Fear and Education 2

From careful observation, one can learn some amazing truths about the universe. In our previous discussion, we spoke about me using my observation of the defensiveness of others to learn valuable insights about myself. Sounds good, huh? But there is a problem – a quantum one.

“Observation is the active acquisition of information from a primary source.” (Wikipedia)

Studies into Quantum Mechanics have shown that it is extremely difficult to observe something because the act of observation affects that which is being observed. It’s called the quantum measurement problem – the observer affects the observed because the observer is part of the system that includes the observed. It’s a bit like using a word to define itself.

Judgment involves evaluation of observed data. Yet, one cannot observe without affecting the system in which both the observer and observed exist. As I am the observer of my world, my thoughts affect what I observe – which affects what I think about what I observe – it’s circular!

Human (my) observation is, in effect, a subjective judgment disguised as objective.

How Do I Get an Education, then?

By focusing on PROCESS rather than VALUE, I can limit the amount of interference I introduce into my observations. For example, I might observe that someone is exhibiting a behavior that appears to me to match what I understand about a certain defense strategy. Yes, it is a judgment as I’ve made an evaluation based on my own understanding (it’s circular, remember?). Yet, this kind of judgment is far less intrusive than an outright judgment of, for example, “They’re being defensive!” – which is more likely transference than observation.

In the process of learning from fear, the more agreement I give to defense, the more likely I am to interfere using judgment rather than gaining education through observation.

Just to be clear again – it may be impossible to purely observe without judgment. Yet, there is a difference between saying that, “the sun has now risen above the horizon,” and, “it’s a beautiful morning.” In the same way, “They’re behaving defensively,” is different from, “They are behaving in a manner that appears to me to match my understanding of a defensive strategy.” – which is NOT the same concept extrapolated out to a longer sentence – it is the very difference between observation and judgment.

With observation, I’m much more likely to learn something useful. Whereas with judgment, I’m much more likely to justify and solidify my own beliefs, values, and misunderstandings.

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