Not Knowing

It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work, and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings. ~Wendell Berry

My mind is certainly employed this morning! How do I break through resistance and protective barriers to be in full and intimate relationship with myself, my husband, my friends? I think this may be the real work in which I need to be engaged at the moment. Can I embrace (or at least shake hands with*) the not knowing how to get there?

Sam Keen says, “Hope is rooted in trust in the unknown. Work, wait, and hope. That is enough.” And from Einstein: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

It is so tempting to feel comfort in knowing, though! Rousseau reminds us, “We do not lose our way through what we do not know, but through what we falsely think we know.” May I let go of what I think I know, open to imagination, and at least shake hands with not knowing in order to make space for possibility.

*thanks to Whitney for this notion of compromise!


2 Responses to Not Knowing

  1. I came across your site after googling David Whyte and unknowing, so it seems like a gem of a site, heretofore unknown to me!

    Your comments apply to self, but they also apply to the earth around us. We live in an overly interpreted world, with both science and rationality seeking more and more knowledge of the world, rather than adopting a stance of real encounter.

    Not knowing, and seeking to be with the mystery and magic of the earth, as opposed to one that assumes there is more and more knowledge to be garnered, will add to our intimacy with self, others and the earth.

    I look forward to reading more.


  2. Whitney says:

    Thanks for the mention! Also, I really enjoyed this blog and found the opening quote very meaningful. I love quotes myself and am always thrilled to find others who do as well. Quotes are often like little poems–encapsulating so much in just a few words.

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