Know This Love: On not knowing
Is there a place in our world anymore for not knowing?
Do I have to be certain about everything? Am I obligated to have an opinion? Does everything have to be safely confined by my beliefs and labels to avoid my being vulnerable?
Some days I don’t know much. I can write inspired words in some moments, and feel love for every atom of creation pulsing through my body; in others, so much sadness or anger is moving through me that I can do nothing but lay on the floor and breathe deeply.
Sometimes I feel absolutely, irrevocably, cluelessly dumb.
They’re impulses passing through me, not objective truths. One is no less valid or admissible than another.
Still, my mind doesn’t always want to accept that. It demands to dictate what happens in each moment. It wants to know what’s going to happen, to be able to control the future by … well, by imagining it to death.
Being uncertain — and therefore vulnerable — used to be terrifying, but I’ve since come to appreciate and love it. Vulnerability has one great benefit, which is that it is, when fully embraced, the most peaceful of experiences of yourself, because it means finally, truly opening to receiving love.
We have all kinds of teachings and advice and systems and books and affirmations from all kinds of people who have propped themselves up as gurus of one thing or another, convincing us that they know best in their particular subject.
They tell us that if we follow their way, we will achieve our desired outcomes. But they’re simply reflecting the truths that they’ve come to know from their own experiences. Every one, I assure you, has had days of self-doubt and conflict.
As Socrates said in his characteristically simple way:
“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”
Only real teachers know that they don’t know much. Anyone who claims never to experience anything human — sadness, anger, doubt — is either lying to you or has advanced to a place far beyond what most of us know.
In the former case, he’s probably trying to sell you something, either a product or his ego’s vision of himself. And in the latter case — well, there aren’t many people like that.
It’s through the cracks in our certainty of mind that beauty shines through and fills the heart. That’s how these gurus learned what they learned in order to teach what they now teach. That’s how you will learn what you came here to learn.
So stop trying to avoid uncertainty. It’s a part of our human experience, so embrace it.
It’s the days that I think I know anything with certainty that I’m blinded. The best I can do is to follow my heart and do what makes me happy in each moment.
My “little me” analytical mind still serves as a useful tool, but it no longer leads. Why? Because it would demand to know everything. Because knowing everything isn’t possible, and pretending otherwise is exhausting. Because I’d rather know nothing except peace than know everything but it.