To Know or Not To Know?


I wonder if we stopped trying so hard to ‘get somewhere’ and, instead, turned towards what is here, if we would start to see the magic right in front of our noses?

I don’t know the answers. I certainly have lots of questions, a belly full of curiosity, my own subjective experience and a willingness to learn again and again.

I like to live the questions, sometimes with an overwhelming need to know, others with a vague interest and, I am sure, many slip by me. There is something about living the questions that brings life alive for me. What is life if I am to know the secret of everything?

It’s not about dumbing myself down or pretending I don’t know. It’s about seeing clearly, about being open to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, my perception of how things are isn’t all there is, and so I ask again… what is true? What is true?

And when I have a deep sense of knowing I feel that knowing coursing through my body in that moment. I can choose my course of action based on that inner knowing – that inner knowing that, paradoxically, doesn’t rely on really knowing anything at all – except for what is real for me in that moment.

And what I have known to be true in that moment is not fixed. It is bound to change, as all things tend to do. And, from this knowing, arises another question that demands illumination of another aspect of my being, another facet of the whole that I am yet to see clearly.

“To be enlightened is to be intimate with all things.”

Zen Master Dogen says. To be intimate with all things is to behold all that is within me with an open curiosity that lets those things be as they are in their essence, all important aspects of the greater whole. And, perhaps in allowing life to be thus, we can unlock some of that magic that is and was always there to begin with.

I love what Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen says about ‘knowing’ at the end of this video. It’s always useful to notice when we have become fixated in our beliefs. It’s one of the issues I have with spiritual texts by very rote of them being written down. They become fixed in our perception of what we are supposed to be like if we are spiritual… What if we were to stop trying to live up to a spiritual ideal out there and hold ourselves accountable for what is true for us in our own lives and through our own experience? Don’t get me wrong, teachings are so invaluable and so useful on so many levels and this is not about throwing them away at all…. rather calling into question how we relate to them in our quest for Truth. Anyway, that’s another question for another time….. in the meantime….

“How do you know you know?”
As Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen says here.  Enjoy!
(Art by Sheryl Benjy)


‘To be of the earth is to know 

the restlessness of being as seed, 

the darkness of being planted, 

the struggle toward the light, 

the pain of growth into the light, 

the joy of bursting and bearing fruit, 

the love of being food for someone, 

the scattering of your seeds, 

the decay of the seasons, 

the mystery of death, 

and the miracle of birth.’

John Seuss


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