The Magic in Emergent Knowledge

“Call it what you want. Call it belief, faith… stepping out and making a commitment without necessarily knowing what the outcome is going to be. But really leaning into it in good faith. And then you’re along for this beautiful journey of emergent possibilities and learning things and deepening your knowledge of another person and being known in a deeper way than you’ve ever been known before… The fruits and the benefits have been totally different than I thought they would have been before I did it, and I only know them because I did it. So there’s emergent knowledge… that relied on a decision. How often is that the case, where we have to make one decision in order to learn the next thing, or even the benefits of that thing?” Luke Burgis: The Power of Mimetic Desire [The Knowledge Project Ep. #138]

This journey of transformation that we’re all on begins with a decision. We choose our path in subtle and profound ways that we don’t fully realize when we decide. Burgis’s description of a beautiful journey of emergent possibilities is a lovely way of phrasing what happens when we finally decide what to be and begin to be it.

A decision is the cornerstone of the bridge we build to our future in an instant of resolve. That bridge crosses a gap in our knowledge that we aren’t fully aware of in the moment. Isn’t there magic in a decision, and doesn’t that set the table for all the subsequent enlightening moments that follow?

We gain immeasurably through our decisions—the good ones and the bad. Good decisions reveal themselves in marvelous moments of discovery. Bad decisions aren’t usually so bad that we can’t pivot towards something better. Knowing this, why do we let ourselves be paralyzed about making a decision? There’s something to be said for visualizing the worst case scenario, for it places us in a position to embolden ourselves when we recognize that the worst ain’t all that bad.

We all ought to unfold the emergent knowledge that comes with acting on bold choices. We all ought to opt for more. For the magic lies between here and there.

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