The Power of Not-Knowing.

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on Jul 28, 2013
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What to my wondering eyes should appear ...

We think we are so smart.

But the heap of knowledge we accumulate can be a burden, because it often hardens into stoic judgments, inflexible opinions and bitter attitudes. There is great power in not-knowing, in returning relentlessly to a Beginner’s Mind.

This is why it’s so refreshing to spend time with children; kids are effortlessly open, pure and curious. For us grown-ups, being truly open to the experience of the moment is quite momentous, and it’s as simple as taking a deep, conscious breath.

My spiritual-but-not-religious yoga friends, let us remember that there is depth in faith. Faith is trusting life despite the fact that the universe is complex beyond our comprehension. Faith is saying, “I don’t know, and that’s okay.” Faith as a concept has been usurped by churches, its true meaning undermined by constant connection to black and white dogmas and doctrines. We the secular have a need for and right to faith, too.

To paraphrase Alan Wattsbelief clings; faith lets go.

Have faith in the sun rising and setting, the rain falling, the babies being born and the elderly passing away. Have faith in the inhale and exhale, the heart pumping, the neurons firing. Have faith in your pinky fingers and toes. Have faith in the ocean and its waves. Cultivate faith in truth and love and happiness and compassion. Have faith that the universe is unfolding perfectly.

Discover life by living fully. Put away the camera and take a picture with your mind. Neglect your inbox and news feeds. If you want juice, juice! Lay down your intellectual weapons. Rejoice in not knowing.

Take it away, Mr. K:

The fact is that truth is life, and life has no permanency. Life has to be discovered from moment to moment, from day to day; it has to be discovered, it cannot be taken for granted. If you take for granted that you know life, then you are not living. Three meals a day, clothing, shelter, sex, your job, your amusements and your thinking process–that dull, repetitive process is not life. Life is something to be discovered; and you cannot discover it if you have not lost, if you have not put aside the things that you have found. Do experiment with what I am saying. Put aside your philosophies, your religion, your customs, your racial taboos and all the rest of it, for they are not life. If you are caught in those things you will never discover life; and the function of education, surely, is to help you discover life all the time.

A man who says he knows is already dead. But the man who thinks, “I don’t know,” who is discovering, finding out, who is not seeking an end, not thinking in terms of arriving or becoming–such a man is living, and that living is truth.

~ J. Krishnamurti, Think on These Things

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About Michelle Margaret Fajkus

Michelle is a believer in the power of poetry, circles and stories. She has been practicing yoga for many lifetimes. She shares a tiny cabin with her partner, daughter, cat and dog at Lake Atitlán in the Guatemalan highlands where she enjoys writing, reading, playing, teaching, learning, walking in nature and daydreaming. Michelle has been a columnist for elephant journal since 2010. Her mindful, inspiring essays, articles and poems can also be found on The Tattooed Buddha, Rebelle Society, LeanPub, and her site, Yoga Freedom.

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