June Practice: Not Knowing

Mind-Body-Spirit, Practice

June 01, 2017

Stone Henge at sunset

Photo: Simons41 via Pixabay

As human beings, not only do we seek resolution, but we also feel that we deserve resolution. However, not only do we not deserve resolution, we suffer from resolution. We don't deserve resolution; we deserve something better than that. We deserve our birthright, which is the middle way, an open state of mind that can relax with paradox and ambiguity. —Pema Chödrön

What can and do we really know? What we call the “universe” is vast and mysterious. Even if for a fleeting moment we were to grasp some truth of some aspect of it, what knowing, what resolution would that bring?

Scientists endeavor to put together our cosmic puzzle, as the pieces continually move and shape-shift. The word “research” itself refers to “revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts.”

“Everything you've learned in school as ‘obvious’ becomes less and less obvious as you begin to study the universe,” noted architect, inventor, and visionary, Buckminster Fuller. “For example, there are no solids in the universe. There's not even a suggestion of a solid. There are no absolute continuums. There are no surfaces. There are no straight lines.”

In a world where, in just minutes, we can gather information to bolster our worldview, it’s easy to lose sight of all there is to learn from others, from the world around us, from not knowing. Might there be value in not knowing, in “relaxing with paradox and ambiguity”? Might that attitude open us to curiosity, to wonder, to being more present, more aware?

How might adopting an attitude of not knowing help us shift “from an ego-centered way of being grounded in separation and fear to an all-centered way of being grounded in wholeness and love”?

This month, we invite you to experiment with “not knowing.” Be curious. Ask open-ended questions. Listen. Hold the paradox and ambiguity.