the exceptional heart of not knowing


A priest’s daughter asked him

where he got his ideas for his sermons.

‘From God,’ he replied.

‘Then why do I see you scratching things out?’

asked the girl.

…Father Anthony DeMello

we cannot define truth yet we seek it anyway….

We’ve reached that time of night when repetition

starts to look like the best kind of argument,

so I keep insisting it was wrong- meaning

what they did to the remake of Cat People.

No, my friend replies, just different,

more attentive to the worries of the moment.

But I prefer the old worries: rustling branches,

footsteps in the fog, the hiss of the bus

that wasn’t a panther, but will be.

Why do we need to see so much?

To know what we’re afraid of, he says,

and since it’s late I tell him this is like

the beginning of philosophy all over again-

one proposition, then another,

and after a few thousand years we’re back

to what’s true, or only seems to be:

flickering light on the wall, that confusion

of shadows. How still the room becomes.

A little rain touches the windows, and both of us

mention other movies in which not even love

could repair the past. Then the snow

mixes in. And yet, my friend says,

by morning all this could change.

No nagging doubts, no secret afflictions-

as if the light had burned them away.

And a man might find himself

wondering about the sky instead.

Why is it so blue? Why do we feel

different when the sun grabs hold of us?

Why do we need to be sure of anything?

….Lawrence Raab

we are mythological, illogical, contradictory and full of fierce courage in spite of our fear…..we cannot separate what is not meant to be separated…..and when we take our commitments to heart, we learn about deep humanness….we easily distort this precious life into something too tight……and when we release our hold, the heart moves again….

Only our own searching for happiness prevents us from seeing it. It is like a vivid rainbow which you pursue without ever catching it, or a dog chasing its own tail. Although peace and happiness do not exist as an actual thing or place, they are always available, and accompany you every instant. Waiting to grasp the ungraspable, you exhaust yourself in vain. As soon as you open and relax this tight fist of grasping, infinite space is there- open, inviting, and comfortable. Make use of this spaciousness, this freedom and natural ease. Don’t search any further. Don’t get into the tangled jungle looking for the great enlightened elephant who is already resting quietly at home in front of your hearth……Gendun Rinpoche

4 thoughts on “the exceptional heart of not knowing

  1. Truth vs falsehood, you touch on a point here that is perhaps the very foundation of consciousness, of all human thought. The mind is so naive that discernment of truth falls by the wayside to the acceptance of the ego, and the influence of the others around us – our sphere of influence … How then do we know truth? One thing I have learned is that “by their works you shall know them” . I was raised in a Christian faith, and when we were taught the 10 Commandments, we got to the “thou shall not kill” part, and we were taught about the exceptions, for war, and for police … It did not sit well for me, and was the beginning of my search for truth … the heart knows … But it is often lost or co-opted in translation!

    • oh, the heart knows doesn’t it? yet, it’s a subtle language, easily drowned out by whatever convention we follow…..I, too, have been grateful for my intuitive need to question the status quo…..may we always be gentle in our judgments yet firm in our knowing…..have a beautiful and restful Sunday g.f.s….

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