The psychological process of understanding, and conversely, misunderstanding, is about relating to abstract or physical concepts and messages described between individuals. The misconception is shared, between different people, on different scales, with varying consequences. Sometimes our communication patterns are very different but learning to work with the various understanding is a valuable and exciting concept.
Types of Understanding
The ability of a person to communicate their ideas well is known as ‘deep’ understanding. People with limited experience are referred to as having a ‘shallow’ understanding. While this develops in individuals with age, it is expected that we have varying abilities to understand different concepts and subject areas. Naturally, our fluctuating ability to understand can result in misunderstandings, both on large and small scales. We can improve our understanding through practice and techniques that alter our perception of thought and how we judge information. Our capacity to understand is often far less limited than we assume.
What limits our understanding?
Sometimes, what we have been exposed to and how our knowledge has been limited or narrowed results in misunderstanding more comprehensive concepts. One problem regarding fundamentalist ideologies and closed-minded people is the inability to understand what goes beyond the self. Spiritual growth must aim to live open-mindedly and acknowledge the beliefs and understandings of others as equally as you recognise your own. Luckily, the purposeful limiting of agreement that restricts us can be undone.
On the other hand, some people misunderstand because they simply cannot relate to the ideas and ultimately the life you have lived. While this can cause problems in communication, empathy is an important lesson when it comes to trying to learn about different points of view. While our own limited life experience can lead us to misunderstand, our ability to constantly grow and learn is something that we should celebrate in our lives as a community.
Aristotle said that humans were merely social animals. While this is true, we should not limit ourselves if we feel like we cannot understand. Allowing ourselves to be crude and ignorant is not a blessing. The ability to learn from others has the potential for losing nothing and gaining everything. A rational thinker will be gaining even better logical skills through communication, both verbal and non-verbal. Learning to understand is about seeking to share empathy and establish common ground with others. This is a pursuit that expands the mind and improves wisdom.
Guided meditation is notoriously mind-expanding. We can learn more through the rational distancing of our thoughts and exerting the power of imagination to activate our subconscious. Our minds are far more powerful than we realise, and by expanding our self-knowledge, we, in turn, enhance our capability to learn from and listen better to others.
Suppose you find that misunderstanding is a common element of a relationship. In that case, guided meditation can be explored together to deepen your non-verbal communication skills and to enhance the ability to understand one another’s thought processes and ideas intuitively.