An Understanding

At night, curled up on my side, I can hear my heartbeat. When I first noticed this (over a year ago), it sounded most like my pulse against the pillow case. I’d assume that’s the case, but I really have no way of knowing. It distracted, disturbed and lulled me to sleep.

Now, I hear it just as well – if not better because of my emphasis of study – but it doesn’t distract, disturb or lull me. No, it has become something similar to a nightly habit. If I am unable to hear it, something isn’t right, and it takes longer to fall asleep.

I don’t know how many times I’ve had to learn the functions and course of blood flow through the heart. It never stuck in my mind, and I was ever confused. Eventually, I just gave up and satisfied myself with my minuscule amount of knowledge. After all, I knew where it was, a small amount of its physiology, what it did, etcetera. Why would I need to know more?

Unfortunately, this is/was the case for many things that I learned. I studied, studied, studied, but never truly understood. It should have bothered me much more than it did. It should have bothered me enough to figure out exactly what I didn’t understand – it should have bothered me enough to cause me to be unsatisfied until I understood.

I can’t help but wonder if this is a large part of my growing up. No longer am I satisfied with the bare minimum. When time only allows that to be understood, it’s frustrating (and that’s an understatement).

Now, when I hear my heartbeat at night, I can only marvel at what I’ve learned – what I’m hearing. Once, I was afraid that learning the science would make things less wondrous, but this isn’t the case.

The more I’ve learned, the more I’ve wondered.

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11 thoughts on “An Understanding

  1. What kind of wonder. Hm . .

    When I knew little of the science of the heart, I wondered and marveled at it’s Maker and how He made it.

    Now, I wonder even more strongly at how easy all of that was for Him. I wonder at how, while all of this is difficult for my feeble human mind to understand, He knows even more about the make and physiology – not to mention the many other things . . .

    “The more I learn, the less I know.”

    With all of the knowledge that I’ve acquired (not much, really), the more intricate and amazing it becomes.

    Of course, I could perhaps be answering your question in a way that wasn’t completely the point.

  2. Isn’t it a little like building a self-destructing staircase to those new heights of understanding? You arrive, surely, but you can never go back or refer to your previous attitude.

  3. No, I cannot. But being here, why would I wish to go back? Once I’ve tasted the sweetness of this, why would I go back to what I did not realize was slightly sour?

    And . . . I’m curious, how is it self-destructing?

  4. My point in asking at first, now that I remember it (not so strange anymore, how easily I forget), is to question whether wonder itself is good enough. Yes, learning, you wonder more–and surely increase is good–but is the increase of the kind of wonder brought on by the particular knowledge equal to any other?

  5. No, you didn’t.

    I am saying that there is more than one kind of wonder, and not all kinds are equal. I’m either not convinced of, or am playing devil’s advocate against, the wonder of scientific knowledge’s being altogether just as good as any kind of wonder. If it is, good: I’m glad for you because of the truth of this post. But what if it isn’t?

  6. Well, I’d be loath to say that it’s just as good as any kind of wonder. All I’m saying is that compared to the wonder that I had before, this is so much better.

    And this wonder is good, because I was so sure (like most people who don’t know too much science think) that I would pretty much be incapable of wonder after immersing myself in science.

    There’s a very good chance that the wonder I had before this for the human heart was a very bad, perhaps even uninterested kind of wonder. Of course the wonder I have now is something I wouldn’t trade for that.

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