America was always there, long before Columbus 'discovered' it. Penicillin killed bacteria long before Fleming discovered it. We could go on to list numerous discoveries which could have benefited mankind long before they came to our attention.
It has been said that when the student is ready, the teacher appears. We can say the same thing about discoveries: they become evident to us when we are ready for them.
Just what constitutes this state of readiness is still a mystery. While technological advances are usually contingent upon earlier progress, many other discoveries were right before our eyes, but we did not see them.
This concept is as true of ideas and concepts in our lives as it is true of scientific discoveries. The truth is out there, but we may fail to see it.
In psychotherapy, a therapist often points out something to a patient numerous times to no avail, until one day, "Eureka!" -- a breakthrough. The patient may then complain, "Doctor, I have been coming to you for almost two years. Why did you never point this out to me before?" At this point, many therapists want to tear out their hair.
Just as patients have resistances to insights in psychotherapy, we may also resist awareness of important ideas and concepts in our lives. If we could sweep out these resistances, we could see ourselves with much more clarity. We must try to keep our minds open, particularly to those ideas we may not be too fond of.