Grok

stranger in a strange land

To grok is to share the same reality or line of thinking with another physical or conceptual entity. Author Robert A. Heinlein coined the term in his best-selling 1961 book ‘Stranger in a Strange Land.’ Grokking is the intermingling of intelligence that necessarily affects both the observer and the observed. According to the novel: ‘Grok means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed—to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience. It means almost everything that we mean by religion, philosophy, and science—and it means as little to us (because of our Earthly assumptions) as color means to a blind man.’

To grok something is both to comprehend (relate intellectually) and to apprehend (relate emotionally and spiritually) its quiddity, its essence, its being. In an ideological context, a grokked concept becomes part of the person who contributes to its evolution by improving the doctrine, perpetuating the myth, espousing the belief, adding detail to the social plan, refining the idea or proving the theory.

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