Not Knowing

The only intellectually responsible position we can possibly take is not knowing. ~Casey Capshaw

I have self described as agnostic for about as long as I can remember. As opposed to atheism, agnosticism postulates: how could I possibly know that there is or is not a god(or any number of other religious beliefs)? These things are unknowable given available evidence.

Always seemed like a reasonable position to me, though Buddhist practice has rounded off the edges a bit, offering an injunction or experiment aimed at testing at least one type of knowing—A truth about the absolute nature of reality.

In Zen, the practice of insight is complimented with the practice of beginner’s mind.

As my practice in Buddhism has deepened over the years, this concept of “not knowing” or “beginner’s mind” has rung an increasingly deep bell in me. I am beginning to see how the concepts and ideas about our reality calcify and form a delusional veil over experience that, in spite of their best efforts to serve, actually limit the fullness of our human experience.

The truth is, whatever I think about what is going on around me—whatever I think I know— are merely concepts, ideas, and imaginings.

These concepts, ideas, predictions or imaginings about reality in this moment are mere projections derived from past experiences mixed with egoic preferences.

In this truth, the only intellectually responsible position we can possibly take in any moment is not knowing

Who am I? Not Knowing.

As I have sat with not knowing as a practice its wisdom has crept deep into my being and is infused in everything I see and do.

At the Integral Center, we facilitate a practice called Circling that is all about getting someone’s world — truly seeing them. The experience of really being seen has a profound impact on me and others engaging in this practice.

For me, this insight around not knowing has a profound impact on my experience of connecting with others. From “not knowing,” an almost childlike curiosity arises in each and every moment. I put my “Self” aside and really get what it is like to be someone else, in as deep a way as I have ever experienced.

For me, it really does seem like the older I get, the less I know. I am totally cool with that.

Not Knowing

One Response

  1. YES!!! :)

    Rachel Leber March 22, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

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