milky-way

Today we ask that you recognize your limits.

Recognize your limits.

What does this mean?

One of the wisest things any human can do is to accept that he does not, and cannot, know everything. This acceptance is the beginning of true intelligence.

If you spend time with children, you will often observe that they act as though they know about things they do not know. Given a small amount of information, a six year old can spin a fabulous yarn about the way reality works. For adults, such stories can be amusing, or frustrating, depending on the situation.

But what adults do not understand is that they are not really any different from children in this regard. Given a small amount of information, an adult can spin a fabulous yarn about the way reality works. The adult might speak this fabulous yarn with great conviction, so much that he persuades other adults to believe what he says.

Some religions begin this way.

Children often have a hard time admitting that they do not know things. Adults find it even more difficult to admit that they do not know things.

In the past hundred years, scientists have begun to perceive that you dwell in a universe so vast that it is utterly impossible for the human mind to grasp its scale.

Physicists have begun to perceive that the laws underlying this universe also cannot be grasped by the human mind.

Humans will continue to expand their understanding of the nature of reality. There are Einsteins yet to be born. And yet even as humans perceive more, aspects of your reality will remain utterly mysterious and vast beyond the scale of human comprehension.

So just sit with this.

Sit, for a moment, in the vastness of the universe. The countless stars in the sky, the countless undiscovered worlds and realms.

Do you really think you can know things, in such a universe?

All your opinions that you are so very right about. All these ideas that you need to argue about and defend. All these issues that you attack other people about.

Are you really so sure that you are right about everything? 

Six year olds believe they are right about everything. They are very certain about how the world should work.

Twelve year olds are also very right about everything, and very certain of how the world should work.

Perhaps it follows then that “being right about everything” and “being very certain of how the world should work” is not a sign of maturity. It is a clear sign of childishness.

When you meet someone who openly admits how little he knows, rejoice. You have met a wise person.

So that is one meaning of recognizing your limits.

Recognize the limits of your perception.

Recognize the limits of your intelligence.

This awareness will, paradoxically, increase both your perception, and your intelligence.

It is important also to recognize the limits of your physical body. You are neither a machine, nor a superhuman. You require rest, and sleep.

Children like to think they don’t need to take naps or go to bed by a reasonable hour. Parents know better.

Adults also like to think they don’t need to take naps or go to bed by a reasonable hour. They think they are “getting things done” and “being productive.”

Wise people know better.

So that is another way it is good to recognize your limits.

You are a human, with a human body and a human mind. It is a beautiful, miraculous thing. Most of you are far more powerful than you believe you are.

When you recognize and accept how little you know, it will be much easier for you to access that power.

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