Don’t Know

I remember sitting in a Zendo and hearing the teacher say, ONLY GO DON’T KNOW. What if we could stop our easy judgments and accept that we don’t really know the whole story? Whenever I am able to do that in a given situation, what follows is almost always a sense of freedom. My guess is that has been so for lots of us. To allow the now, our immediate experience, and let it inform us (shape us inwardly) is to both know and not know (think, project, assume) at the same time. It’s hard to live that transparency most of the time, but how lovely when we can.

Phrases Posted on Facebook. July 2019

I may have shared this before. It is the story of a young girl who wrote a prayer asking God for what she very much wanted. Her list ended this way, Thank you for all this, and I’ll be glad to take something better. This story always makes me smile. It reminds me that if we trust the Love at the heart of the universe something better is sure to be in the unknown beyond our spoken desires.
Truthful and perhaps disconcerting is the fact that a great deal about us is completely unknown to us. We are sitting on a treasure trove of capacities we know nothing about. Only little by little do they surface as we meet new circumstances in our days. A deep desire (that’s not an addiction) does give us a hint about the gold inside. And aren’t we to share our inner wealth whenever we can?
We often fear the unknown, but what if we could live trusting it? Have you ever said a thank you prayer for something that feels right for you but has not happened yet? In such before-hand gratitude, not knowing ceases to be felt as an obstacle. Instead, not knowing can be sensed as a storehouse of goodness that will unfold, as it will, for our ultimate benefit.
When we are fully present to the Present, neither ahead of ourselves or seeking refuge in the past, neither trying to avoid anything or attach to anything, we live unfolding, trusting what is yet unknown to us. This trust-living always seems to bring more flow and freedom.
Some people have a knack of knowing how to fix things without instruction. They have a know how though they may not know how to spell or read or balance a bankbook. The reverse is equally true. Don’t you love that your don’t know how lets other people shine in their know how.
I am sure you have looked back on things you were able to accomplish in the past and had the thought, I don’t know how I did that! At the time you moved mountains. How? You’ll never know. You just did it. That’s both a mystery and a wonder.
Can we be gentle with ourselves when things are confusing around us and in us? There is so much we don’t know and can’t know. Suspending self-judgment really helps us to tread more gently over foreign ground or over familiar ground that still brings old pain.
Any time someone disappoints us or things turn out to be different than we expected we have a chance to count on not knowing. It is a paradox that to count on not knowing, not assuming, not judging, opens a space for us where we can take the next small, sensible step. It’s a way to keep living in discovery . . . that is, in a creative way.
We know now through science that all living things are interdependent. Hence we are always affected by the whole. Being just human there is no way to know the whole of it, but we can perhaps learn to trust that no matter how dark the times are that we are living, there is unfolding. The whole knows its trajectory; we can just take those little steps that belong to us to take.
Have you ever plopped a stone in a pond and watched the ripples move further and further out? Meanwhile the stone is sinking to an unseen bottom. For me this is a metaphor of what our actions are like–they make ripples. We won’t know on the surface what effects they will have on us and on others. On a deeper level our intentions sink to some fundamental level. On the surface and in depth we will be unknowing about what we have set in motion. But we can be more and more about love and blessing. That is never a mistake.
Here’s a quote from All the Days of My Life by Marv and Nancy Hiles. We are overdosed on data and underfed on the mysterious. Our brains inflate while our souls wither. Constant interference by interpreting and explaining can distance us from life itself. Good woos us into the wildness of unknowing where we are tempted by deeper senses.
July is almost over. This month has flown by. It’s time to be grateful for sun and flowers, for beach-sand in our shoes and watermelon drips down our shirts–no overcoats and galoshes! Every day we will be in unknowing, because it is uncertain how long we have to live and fully enjoy our days. How many little daily thanks can nestle in our hearts?
It’s new moon time. Something is beginning to grow in the dark the way the moon does in the night sky. Slowly it comes out of invisibility. When we have dwelt in the darkness of unknowing long enough, we, like the moon, may discern a sliver of new light begin to shine. What can that be? What is ready to shine in our lives?