possibility thinking

When Proof is Not Enough

 “Know thyself.” – Socrates

Proof versus Possibility Thinking

As I get older, and more comfortable with who I am, I have realised that while it is important to acquire and utilise knowledge – quantified, objective facts – to enable sound, decision-making, sometimes knowledge is just not enough. Sometimes the truth (and the right decisions that may ensue) has nothing to do with knowledge but everything to do with qualified, subjective know-how. Sometimes – above all else – one’s gut is the best tool to rely upon!

Having a Science background, I used to struggle with the notion of proof (truth) versus the unknown (possibility of truth). If it’s not evident, it is not the truth, right? But haven’t we all – at some time or another – been mystified by truths that we’ve experienced – perhaps felt, and even though not seen nor heard, we believe to be real nevertheless? What about the feeling of love? What about faith?

Moment of Truth

Funny thing happened (well, not so much) when I moved into my present place. It is a rehabbed house – just the right blend of old and new – with all the charm and character that comes with houses of a particular era. Everything was going great in this house, until one night I was startled out of my sleep. I couldn’t put my finger on it – I wasn’t able to see (or hear) anything once I turned on the light (nor could I remember hearing or seeing anything in my “dreams”) – but the certainty that I was not alone in my room – as if something/someone had touched me – was very real and anything but a dream. After convincing myself I was being paranoid, I shut the lights off and closed my eyes. Fast forward two weeks later and I was startled out of my sleep yet again – and again, given there was no proof (nothing seen nor heard) – and after looking around and reassuring myself I was being paranoid, I settled back into sleep.

Well imagine my surprise the morning after when a slight, furry critter scurried from underneath my dresser. (There are few things I can bare, but a mouse …. I just can’t!)

Listen to your gut

For a couple of weeks I sensed that something was not right during my sleep. But given I had no proof, and after sharing my “dreams” with others, eventually, I had to admit that “I was imagining things!” I thought – “is it my subconscious telling me something?” And if so, “what is it?” The instant I saw “Minnie” was bittersweet! I wasn’t paranoid (thank you!) – but I was unnerved to think a mouse was sharing my dwelling with me and in my bedroom no-less. While no “groundbreaking” decision was made, “Minnie-gate” was just the antidote needed to remind myself that one’s gut is seldom wrong.

 

I’d be interested in hearing your experiences in which you went against any knowledge of such, only to follow an instinct – a strong one no-less – that guided you to think for yourself. Did this thinking facilitate important decision-making?

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