Years ago, I began to notice that I was incapable of truly being in-the-moment while speaking — or even while thinking! When I’m speaking, I’m not reporting from an immediate state of knowing. Rather, I am passing on what I’ve already thought thru somewhat. Speech references past experience, if even only a second ago — not now. Yet, now is all I can truly know; the rest is only partial views and after-thoughts arising from previous moments and tainted with my own partiality. On the other hand…
I speak and think, to know what I know
I think and speak to understand what I know. How does this comport with chapter 56’s, One who knows does not speak; One who speaks does not know? To paraphrase chapter 2, Knowing and speaking produce, complement, offset, harmonize, and follow each other. The knowing is that dimly visible essence we feel yet can’t nail down in words. On the other hand, speaking abandons deep knowing. For example, saying, “What a beautiful sunset!” leaves the now moment behind.
We need to speak, think, or write in order to understand what we know. By understand, I mean almost literally to stand under in order to look up and observe what we feel we know. Certainly, we lose much of the intuitive knowing by speaking, thinking, or writing, yet by giving our knowing a tangible side, we can cognitively work with it. Like a carpenter sawing lumber and nailing it together, thinking what we know allows us to nail something together. Fortunately, we can even preserve sanity and balance if we follow chapter 71’s, To know yet to think that one does not know is best. Otherwise, Not to know yet to think that one knows will lead to difficulty.