One of my favorite Zen puzzles, otherwise known as koans, is: “Things are not as they seem, nor are they otherwise.”
It’s a reminder that life always has two sides. The side of personal perception is the way things seem to us from the position we’re looking from. Every vantage point has its built in biases and is never the whole picture. The other side is the whole picture that includes everything beyond what we see - beyond what they seem.
The answer to this and most koans is that there is no way out. Our view is always limited by the point in time and space we’re in. This view is always real, valid, and accurate for what it is. And there is always more. This explains why we are smarter together; that truth lives in the intersection of curiosity and conversation.
Things are not what they seem, nor are they otherwise.