Not-Knowing and Opinion…

Photo courtesy of: ‘On the top of the world’ by Philippe Sainte-Laudy – Flickr

Not-Knowing and Opinion…

Everyone MUST have an opinion! How else are we to feel substantial, that we have value, that we’re like, SOMEBODY? Really? We tend to gather beliefs and opinions like bundling leaves… they tend to pile up inside. Even though they may not be substantiated by positive knowledge or proof… but if they seem to be prevailing in our communications with others, we tend to align ourselves with a ‘public opinion’. There’s a deep seated anxiety that goes way back that not-knowing is to not exist, to be empty or deficient… it feeds feelings of inadequacy or unworthiness. However, if you accumulate enough dead leaves, it actually feels good to remove them…

“Both ‘ordinary knowing’ and its correlate ‘not-knowing’ can be thawed or cultivated to yield this luminescent quality.”
Time, Space, Knowledge’, by Tarthang Tulku, p. 281

Inquiring into an issue, and discovering, AND admitting to yourself, that you don’t actually know, that you really only know what others have said… is a revelation. You can educate yourself on an issue, become more informed, and still not-know, and also not need to feel deficient or inadequate. The way I interpret Ken’s poem below, is that not-knowing is the home we come from. It’s good to visit home now and then… it can be positively luminescent…

By Ken McKeon

I don’t know what to say to the blistering air
That surrounds you guys
When you stand together
And begin murmuring my name,

What you say sounds like a threat,
An invocation of harm
Directed at me,

But I don’t even know you,
I’m a stranger, I washed up here
After my life sank,
Where was I to go?

It had to be somewhere,
And I ended up here,
I tell you what,
I’ll catch my breath-

Just saying that makes me smile,
It’s so welcoming,
It’s like coming home-

And then I’ll walk on by,

Take care.

About David Filippone

I have been a student of Tarthang Tulku’s Time, Space, Knowledge (TSK) vision for over twenty-five years. For the past twelve years, I’ve studied TSK and Full Presence Mindfulness with Jack Petranker, director of the Center for Creative Inquiry (CCI). I have also participated in programs offered by Carolyn Pasternak of the Odiyan Center. For the past several years, I have curated the CCI Facebook page, which is often TSK-focused, and I serve on the CCI Board of Directors. The CCI Facebook page can be found at the following link...
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