I’m convinced that I know a lot of stuff. After all, I’ve lived a good long while and made lots of mistakes, faced many gob-smacking situations and somehow done okay. Learned from it all. Have wisdom to share. Sometimes lots of it. I find it pleasing to believe I know most of the answers to Life’s Big Quiz Show.
Problem is, sometimes I miss stuff. When people I think I know well are talking, I might not hear what they’re really saying because I’ve already figured out for myself what’s going on in their heads. So I tune out or I finish their sentences. I’m not saying I used to do that, before I grew and knew better. I’m saying I still do.
Even after all the times I’ve asked “Is it true?” My mind seems to be very convinced of its own infallibility. And it’s stubborn. No matter how many times it gets busted, it comes back yet again with one more convincing lie.
It’s innocent, just like my dog Calvin. Calvin has convinced he has figured out his jobs in life. This includes waking up to be petted for a long time, going out to secure the perimeter from squirrels first thing every morning, and so on.
The mind simply things it’s supposed to keep a fat folder of all the information about you and the world it has collected all these years, and then to put it all together in a nano-second, composed into the Right Answer.
Problem is this, in the words of Leo Tolstoy. “The simplest thing cannot be made known to the most intelligent person if he is convinced that he knows already, without a shadow of a doubt, what is before him.”
I want to the simple things to be made to me, I realize ever more deeply. The only way I know to do that is to engage in practices that open the mind. Like inquiry. Like not knowing.
I don’t know what the prizes are for winning the Don’t Know Quiz Show, but I from what I’ve seen it’s a currency that can’t be valued. Relationships that teach me when I listen, the deep awe and calm of a mind at rest.
AND I don’t know.