By Dr. Keith Beasley, Faculty Member here at the BodyMind Institute
Main Website: www.onereality.co.uk
Blog Website: beyondthought.today
Blog Website: knowinggrowing.blogspot.co.uk
Last night I was watching the BBC QI programme, with Stephen Fry. It’s a very popular show in the UK, though I don’t know if you get it in other parts of the world. It’s a wonderful mix between ‘factual’ and comedy, where Fry’s guests discuss whether a given apparent fact is true or not.
The topic of the episode I was watching last night was knowledge, a very pertinent one for me. Fry started by sharing a well-known idea even within medicine and science: that every fact has actually got a very limited lifetime. The chances are that within a few years, if not a few decades, it will have been superseded. That is, every so-called fact or theory has a half-life . . . and is by no means as fixed as we might think it is!
Here’s an example given in the show: “‘How many Moons does the Earth have?’ The answer is almost certainly hundreds, rather than two (as we said in a previous series) or five (as we said in another previous series).”
This really struck me as a very important piece of reality: that facts, as we call them, are not really facts at all! They are only theories, only conceptualisations. Unfortunately we tend to get attached to them, such that when the information changes we don’t necessarily change with it.
Contrast this with a deeper ‘knowing’ . . . about the reality of the present moment. This might embrace intellectual knowing (and the so-called facts) but also includes an inner knowing, a deep feeling of what is – now, in this moment. And isn’t that really what matters? Surely what we need to know is what our current reality is – not some fact that’s going to change soon anyway!
So, if someone tries to insist that something is true, do remind them of the half-life of facts.