Common sense is anchor


Active Member
May 23, 2007
Common sense is anchor

We live, love, and learn by metaphor. ‘Common sense is anchor’ is, I am convinced, a useful metaphor for learning.

In what sense is common sense an anchor?

An anchor keeps us steady when we just want to lie on deck either sleeping or day-dreaming. It keeps us safely anchored in place. It is our security. If we put one out fore and aft we cannot move without a great force compelling us to move.

However, the anchor functions as security only in shallow water.

To go to sea, to explore, to discover the adventure of the deep water and distant shores one must ‘up anchor’, one must dislodge the anchor from solid ground and take a leap of faith, we must learn to develop confidence in our instincts and to navigate by the stars. It entails risk; but what form of action can we indulge our self in if we remain at anchor?

All of this is just to set the stage for stating my conviction that we must put on hold our common sense while we explore a new domain of knowledge. I am not talking about what happens in school where the teacher takes us by the hand and shows us charts and maps about other lands wherein we never leave anchor. I am talking about what we must do when our school days are over and we wish to find a new means to reach another intellectual domain.

We must place on hold our common sense while exploring new domains of knowledge until we have gained sufficient knowledge about these new domains to make good judgments. Of course, this requires that we do ‘due diligence’ when choosing our maps and charts before we set out. Seek out the best minds as your guide when entering a new domain of knowledge and then up anchor for a voyage of discovery.

Quantum Theory and Psychology are two examples of domains of knowledge that cannot possibly be explored while clutching a security blanket.

Do you think ‘common sense is anchor’ is a valid metaphor?

Have you ever explored a new domain of knowledge without a teacher at your side?