What Lies Behind The Surface?

What's beneath the surface

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Looking behind the surface is discovering what is hidden, for what is seen is not always the reality. To prove the point, stand in front of mirror and lift your right hand. The image peering back at you is lifting its left hand. I know you don’t believe me, so go to the mirror and try it out.

Convinced? What you did and what looked back at you were two different things. This is proof that we need to take time out to consider what is behind the surface.

Greatest Asset and What Lies Behind the Surface

Visual sight is one of our most valuable assets, but it has limitations, unless we consider what is behind what we see. It’s fun sitting in a row of seats at an opera, ballet or a play, but give a thought of what goes on behind the curtain. What is on the stage only exists because of all that goes unseen. There are months, or years of preparation for a few minutes in the spotlight.

What is on the surface is merely an indication of hidden depths. Water flows to the surface of the earth, but often there is a deep underground river flowing that you don’t get to see. So, it is with nearly everything we do in life, from boarding a plane, to washing our hair in the shower. There a thousand and one things that take place before the actual act.

Hidden Depths of Relationships

Relationships are no different. There are a thousand actions and memories that bring you to the place of having a conversation, or relationship with someone – good or bad. If we take things only at face value we miss out on so much and more than not misinterpret things. It’s like looking at an iceberg, glistening in the Arctic sunlight. Looks magnificent on the surface, but lurking in the depths of the ocean is the other 90% of what can prove to be a lethal iceberg. The fact is that ice has 90% more density than water so the majority of the iceberg remains submerged.

If you end up in a heavy discussion with someone, there is 90% more hidden beneath the surface. A wise person will take time out to use insight in an attempt to gain a greater understanding of what is driving that other person. Not only that, you also have 90% hidden that is your driving force. Past experiences and, memories, as well as cultural influences affect how we react to other people.

Words or Actions

Back to the image in the mirror. Not only the hidden 90% affects how you react, but, what is happening can also be in the reverse. “I am sorry and forgive you. I love you and agree with you.” Is that for real, or is it just surface?

The old saying is, “Actions speak louder than words”. It is actions that say we are invested in the outcome and believe in what is being said. Actions demonstrate commitment and dedication, while words can simply be empty promises, or claims with no real meaning.

Food for Thought in Discovering What Lies Behind the Surface

People can be often divided into three basic types. The factual, the fanatic and the materialistic. These are important to recognize when you are discovering what lies behind the surface.

Those who only see the factual have sense contact, looking at life mainly through the senses. To truly consider the reality is to see what lies behind the surface. This is what the senses cannot touch. Just as AIs can gather information, they do not have the ability to assess deeper meanings. The human ability is called insight.

Realists are focused on detail, survival and self-help. They believe that selfishness, an appetite for power, and the inability to trust others, leads to predictable outcomes.

The Fanatic

The fanatic sees only what they perceive is reality and ignore the actual, often operating with tunnel vision. They have little tolerance for contrary ideas or opinions. Their life is full of extremities in a passionate way that goes beyond normality. They tend to live more intensely. Passion, effort, and commitment rule who they conceive they are. You find them full of obsessive enthusiasm.

The Materialist

As humans, we live in a material world where we need food, water and shelter to survive. An old Chinese proverb says, ‘The nature of water is to seek depth, while the nature of human beings is to seek heights’.

The materialist frequently ignores reality. They are very competitive, constantly comparing themselves with others. Someone once said, ‘Competitiveness is the thief of joy’.

Making money is a high priority and having many possessions. The image they project is important to them and they crave popularity and are never satisfied. Having money is their rule of success, yet this proves to be liquid and hard to hold on to. They often have a low self-esteem, are unhappy and find it hard to maintain healthy relationships.

Finally the Wise Person

The wise person lives in a world that is both factual and real but has the insight to discern what that reality is. This takes patience and a deep desire to understand the world around us.

As women it gives us the ability to have a greater sense of empathy with those we come in contact with, though it does not mean we have to accommodate fools gladly. It means we have the ability to act with measured behaviour, rather than constantly reacting to the numerous pressures and demands of life. The ‘Why’ of something is often far more important than the ‘What’. Be proud of who you are and wake up every morning saying, “I make a conscious choice to live today to its fullest”.

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