Which of These 3 Levels Do You Engage at?


I’ve been thinking about how we process what we see and hear, and I think there are at least 3 levels at which we can engage things like seminars (or movies, songs or books – pretty much anything, really). You should note, though, that I don’t consider the levels to be either-or – there’s no reason anyone can’t engage at all 3 simultaneously.

Level 1
Entertainment. You can expect to be entertained. This is probably what most of us go for most of the time. It’s easy to tell. When you hear things like, “That was boring!” or “Man, that was fun!” – that’s the entertainment factor right there. Nothing wrong with it either, but if you don’t go beyond this level, you may not be getting the most from whatever it is you’re engaging.

Level 2
Meaning
. You can go looking to find meaning, or depth. Your senses are alert. Questions are raised that demand that you attempt an answer. As I said, this can happen while you’re being entertained (I prefer it this way, myself), but it’s a higher level. It’s here you hear comments like, “That was deep”, and “Did you hear that line?” or “What a tight concept!”

Level 3
Provocation
. This is the top level: you can seek to be provoked – either by challenging your thinking in some way, or getting deeper insight into it. This is where true change occurs. The provocation may lead to a decision, or some action, or just a different attitude to the subject. Either way, something changes. (Especially when you go with a specific question in mind.) At this level, you hear comments like, “I never saw it that way!” and “Now I know what to do!”

What do you think: do you think this model is realistic? If not, why? If yes, where would you place yourself?

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