Nothing so obvious it is obvious

I found this on Errol Morris’ blog:

This may seem hopelessly obvious, but I have this saying – and I believe there’s something to it – that there is nothing so obvious that it’s obvious.

This is a good reminder for me who tend to stop myself because something seems too easy or too obvious…

I have quit many things because they seemed too easy and too obvious at the time, only to regret it somewhat later on…. relationships that worked very well, psychology studies, art, a great job in sustainability, and much more.

It is too obvious. What is its reversal? It is not too obvious.

Reversal 1: It is not too obvious to me.

True, in several different ways. If it comes up in me or my life, it is not too obvious for me. Whatever comes up has an invitation in it to appreciate it as it is, and also to explore it further.

  • It is always new and different. If it seems similar to something from the past, something known and familiar, then that similarity or sameness only comes from a story. What is arising here and now is always new and unique, even as a story may be saying it is similar to a memory.
  • It may appear obvious on the surface, but reveal surprising things when explored a little further. My experience is actually that just about anything that seems obvious or easy on the surface, is not so when explored a little further. It reveals itself in new and different ways, and in complex and simple ways too.
  • In general, I notice a tendency to see whatever comes up in me often seems obvious as soon as it is there, or at least as soon as I get familiar with and used to it. It is good to notice, and also know that there is more to the picture than this.

Reversal 2: It is not too obvious to others.

Also true, and maybe more clearly so.

  • We all experience and express our world in different ways, so what comes up here in me is different from what comes up in anyone else, even if it may appear quite similar on the surface. In that sense, nothing of what I say or do is completely obvious to anyone. There is always an element of surprise and difference there.
  • In a more conventional way, I see that much of what seems obvious to me, such as the majority of what I write about here, may not be all that obvious to many others. It may be obvious to me, yet still be of interest and value to others.
  • Even if it appears obvious to all of us, it may not be. By stating the apparently obvious we may discover something else there. There is an invitation to explore it further, to ask ourselves is it true?

All of this too seems pretty obvious to me. A story, comparing this to a memory, tells me that I knew this before writing about it. My thinking knows that nothing is too obvious. Yet, my feelings are not quite on board. It is not quite real to me yet. It still feels like something can be too obvious… not quite worth exploring or sharing.

Seeing and exploring this in more detail, in different situations in my life, may invite a shift in how it feels to me. And also acting differently, as if nothing is too obvious, may invite a shift. Seems like a good practice for me in the coming weeks.

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