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

For more than 25 years I’ve been a 'student' of the Time, Space, Knowledge vision (TSK), not a teacher. And I write from an inquiring student's perspective neither proclaiming nor declaring. I figuratively sit in awe at the feet of a master, Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche. For the past 12 years, my personal TSK guide has been Jack Petranker, Director of the Mangalam Research Center for Buddhist Languages, and the Center for Creative Inquiry (CCI), past dean of the "Tibetan Nyingma Institute", and author of "When It Rains Does Space Get Wet?", "Inside Knowledge", and other TSK related books and articles... I've also received TSK instruction from the late, Carolyn Pasternak of the Odiyan Retreat Center... As a volunteer for the past several years, I've been curating the often TSK focused, CCI Facebook page at...
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