Seeing beyond the obvious is to understand that there are phenomena that exist “below” the information that comes through our senses. To conquer this opacity it is advisable not to comply with the accessible and understand the background of the situations.
While people with high intuition can see beyond what is evident, not everyone develops this ability. There are professions that base their exercise on this type of thinking. Doctors, psychologists or investigators or judicial experts have to know beyond the apparent facts or evidence, to conclude with a final conclusion. And we can all practice this kind of thinking.
However, seeing beyond the obvious is an obsolete art. When we receive information about a problem, we tend to simplify its approach, almost automatically. And we do it regularly.
Trying to look for other more complex alternatives to some approaches is uncommon and would not be consistent with the principle of cognitive economy. That natural propensity of people to process the information we receive as economically as possible.
As if that were not enough, every time not only the answers to certain problems tend to make them simple, but, thanks to the accessibility of technological development, in some way, the problems have been simplified and with them, their approaches.
However, this may prevent us from seeing beyond the obvious and approaching the truth. Therefore, to see beyond, it is necessary to develop and practice complex thinking.
Develop complex thinking to “see more”
This need, to see beyond the obvious to approach the truth, is studied by the French sociologist and philosopher, Edgar Morin. According to him, the greater the complexity, the more details we must consider about the society in which one lives. Otherwise, it is easy to ignore those that are priority or relevant.
Thus, due to the characteristics of today’s society, it is necessary for a person to have a well-founded opinion, carefully reflect the information he receives. This reflective ability is what he called complex thinking.
The person should not think about reducing what they are living.
Instead of falling into a simplistic thought to approach the truth, he advocates otherwise: increase information. The person should not think about reducing what they are living, nor should they opt for a position based on one or a few facts.
However, complex thinking has the disadvantage that it is not innate. You must educate on it and enhance its application.
The pedagogy philosopher Matthew Lipman believed that it was extremely necessary to instill this type of thinking in children and at an early age.
What is not seen, quality of complex thinking- The term complexity, within the thinking of Edgar Morin, can be represented as a kind of great network, whose thin threads intertwine and relate its components. Threads are events, actions, feedback, determinations or chances.
Although the founder of this type of thinking his predecessor, Leonardo da Vinci, in the 15th century, already studied it and proposed strategies to develop the complex thought that is observed in his theory of complexity. His works, based on this vision, provoking the viewer, the search for information on non-obvious aspects.
Greek philosophers used noetics, the philosophy that studies thought, especially the objective and intelligible. However, sometimes we ignore information or do not have access to it.
The word noetic comes from the Greek verb now, which means ‘to see discerning’, from which “thinking” is derived. The Greeks used this verb with the meaning close to «intuit», in the sense of seeing intelligible.
Understanding that there is information that we do not know is the first step in developing complex thinking. Seeing beyond the obvious is accessible to all. However, to see beyond the obvious, one must have more intention than intuition. To see the obvious, you should first see the not so obvious.