On Not-Knowing

GurujiMa  | 

The journey into not-knowing is not a journey for the faint-hearted, for it involves giving up the security of all the labels and roles that have been put in place so that you could find your way in life.

There is a Divine passage that is created by not knowing who you are, that allows you to know who you are at a much deeper level when the passage has been completed. Yet, this passage can be painful and difficult, so many turn away from it and return to their former identity which seems much more secure and therefore more comfortable.

The journey into not-knowing is not a journey for the faint-hearted, for it involves giving up the security of all the labels and roles that have been put in place so that you could find your way in life. “What shall I do without these?” is the question that many ask. The answer is that you shall allow the Divine to guide you and to replace all missing labels with a new and fluid sense of Divine identity.

This replacement, however, does not always come when one wants it to or as soon as one wants it to. There is very often a delay between the letting go of something and the arrival of something else. Such a delay can cause distress for the ego and anxiety for the self that is not entirely sure that the Divine can be trusted. This must be endured.

The spiritual passage through not-knowing cannot be speeded up, no matter how much one would like it to. Of course one can read spiritual books and fill the mind with concepts, but that is not the same thing as ‘knowing.’

For many who seek union with the Divine, there is a time in which it may seem that this goal is further away than ever before, with no possibility of seeing how one can get there. During this time, one may feel alone, cast adrift, desire-less, motion-less, like a ship without a rudder to steer by, or a sailboat without a breeze.

The spiritual passage through not-knowing cannot be speeded up, no matter how much one would like it to. Of course one can read spiritual books and fill the mind with concepts, but that is not the same thing as ‘knowing.’

Such a time of not-knowing can often be felt minute by minute — in not knowing where to go, what to do, how to heal what needs to be healed. It is a time during which many feel lost and alone, however successful their outer lives may be. Unbeknownst to the self that is experiencing this, there is a spiritual passage going on of great importance. It has to do with stripping the self bare of former identifications so that the Divine alone can embrace the self with its own truer identification.

Many suffer great pain in the letting go of the former self, for in its place there is, for a time, nothing to hold onto, no idea, no purpose, no guarantee that things will turn out alright. One must have both faith and courage to traverse this time, trusting that the other side of this indecipherable passage will appear.

Having others that one can share these deep feelings with is an important and often an essential resource to make the crossing bearable. Yet, even with others present, one travels the way alone. Nevertheless, when the former self cries out in great pain, it is comforting to know that others have gone through this and that it can be gotten through. Without others, one can still go through the passage, yet it is made more difficult due to the sense of isolation.

Not-knowing who one is, is a stage of spiritual evolution, generally arriving long after one has acquired the outer attributes of a functioning self. Then, knowing according to these outer reference points begins to lose its hold on the sense of reality, and one begins to look for something deeper as an identity, something more real. It is within this search that the experience of ‘not-knowing’ occurs, in different degrees of intensity for different embodied souls.

As one goes through this process, the pain must be absorbed, the fear that there will never be an end to the process must be absorbed, the longing for the security that has vanished must be absorbed. All must go into a prayerful place of seeking Divine guidance and love so that everything may be held in trust.

When not-knowing opens out into knowing, there is no longer an ‘old’ self there to be dealt with in the same way, even if residues remain for a time. This is its virtue and its accomplishment. What is there in its place is Divine belonging, Divine unity, and a sense of having finally arrived home.

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