Understanding understanding

Ghadi asked:

Is the understanding process considered endless?

If so, does this give value to ”repetition” which may seem on the surface useless with no additions, but it is a chance of a better understanding, to level up?

Is it possible to understand the understanding process?

Answer by Hubertus Fremerey

Understanding in logic and maths usually is a flash event. So not endless. But with works of art it may be endless. You can encounter works of art a thousand times and always find them fresh and surprising as ever. So what does “understanding” a work of art come to?

Compare it to meeting a person dear to you or alien to you: When would you ever be sure to understand that person?

There is even “you really cannot understand me!” How could that be? You both use common words. Understanding should be easy then. But, surprise!, it isn’t, it can be impossible. You are both using common words but you frame them differently, and as long as you don’t agree on the hidden frame you will not understand each other.

Works of art are different. They are like puppets for the child: You speak to them and they seem to speak back. And you always speak differently. So they always speak back differently too. Because of that your talking is endless. As in any good interpersonal relation. But sometimes it dies and ends.

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