The Dunning-Kruger Effect in Nonduality
From the “Psychology Today” website:
What is the Dunning-Kruger Effect?
The Dunning-Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people wrongly overestimate their knowledge or ability in a specific area. This tends to occur because a lack of self-awareness prevents them from accurately assessing their skills.
What causes the Dunning-Kruger effect?
Confidence is so highly prized that many people would rather pretend to be smart or skilled than risk looking inadequate and losing face. Even smart people can be affected by the Dunning-Kruger effect because having intelligence isn’t the same as learning and developing a specific skill. Many individuals mistakenly believe that their experience and skills in one particular area are transferable to another.
Why do people fail to recognize their incompetence?
Many people would describe themselves as above average in intelligence, humor, and a variety of skills. They can’t accurately judge their competence because they lack metacognition or the ability to step back and examine themselves objectively. In fact, those who are the least skilled are also the most likely to overestimate their abilities.
Let’s say that we are seekers trying to wake up, finders trying to wake up “again,” or finders attempting to gain or regain more clarity than we are presently experiencing. One of our most common and grave errors is overestimating our knowledge, abilities, and clarity.
I know something about this phenomenon because I spent 10 years as a seeker before I ever had an authentic seeing of the truth. My staggering new understanding that would change the world lasted about 15 minutes—if I’m generous. Ego almost instantly hijacked that awakening and used it “against me” for the next 14 years. That’s a long time for such a hard comeuppance, let me tell you.
Shortly after the startling recognition that there was/is no Fred, a new beast was born; the Lazarus Effect rose up. Ego will gladly pretend to be slain, but the problem is that it will not stay dead. The patterns of conditioning we thought we were and which we expected to “wake up” do not and cannot do so. Awakeness Itself “wakes up,” and this so-called event has little to do with the body.
(I am here defining unit conditioning as the DNA and everything that’s happened to the unit that the DNA brought forth.)
I see the effect in clients and students regularly, and it was nearly universal when I was doing individual Awakening Sessions. I had it, too, so I’m not throwing stones; I’m just telling you how it is.
Our ignorance is so deeply embedded that we don’t know what we don’t know, and our arrogance is so complete that we are unwilling, sometimes even in the face of being lovingly badgered, to be corrected or perhaps even to be open to a different point of view.
I can’t direct anyone to a place they think they already are. If people are seriously stuck on the value and accuracy of their views (opinions), they can fail to overcome the Bubble of Self-Reflection—ever. I will only briefly dance with a seeker who is firmly down their self-created rabbit hole. After a few test drives, I will then reserve my energies toward more hopeful students.
Over the years, I had often stated that the only qualification a client/student has to have for a “successful” Awakening Session was for them to be willing and able to tell themselves the truth when it was presented to them. That’s still true as far as it goes, but I see now that it doesn’t go far enough.
Humility is the name of the game. Anyone who’s spent time with the unit typing this knows full well that humility is not its strongest suit. However, in this one area, due to being tortured into submission, it is willing to accept the following:
- I know “Who” I am, but I don’t know what That is. I can easily see that This cannot be other than “Me,” but I can just as easily feel that all of manifestation put together does not equal this so-called “Me.”
- Since I don’t know what, if anything, I really “am,” I have to confess, (chiefly to mySelf) that I have no idea whatsoever what’s going on Here.
- Given that I don’t know what I “am,” and I don’t have a clue as to what’s going on Here, there is no possible way that I can tell myself a believable story about what “should” be going on here.
There is no such as “should.” Find the humility to open up to that truth, and you’ll find that the Truth has always already been here simply waiting for your oh-so-simple acknowledgment. Which is why I say that this teaching is the “study and teaching of ‘duh’.
THIS very This is It.
I love you,