The one who claims to have discovered his or her “true self” has surrendered to the grasping mind. Look around you – which objects you perceive are mastered by your knowledge? There’s not one who can rightly claim to have successfully interrogated the rock or the cloud for its essence. How far, then, are all of us from understanding trees, the people we love, ourselves, or God? The only truthful claim we can make is of the power of not knowing.
We are excellent sorters and stackers, to be sure. Given a pile of Legos, I can rightly claim to architect imposing castles with the best of them. But the materials with which we work are dust and illusion. The physical objects of the world are forever on the other side of faulty, humble human perception. The spiritual essence is masked even more deeply by the physical. We cannot rightly be said to have objects, experiences of objects, or even experiencers. No, all we have to work with is the ongoing experiencing and the mental bricks that we conjure in our minds.
Where we can imagine a process in the world, take actions, and then perceive the imagined consequences of the process, we have done nothing more than overlay our imaginations on our perceptions. This is the height of worldly achievement.
But, in the inner landscape of mind and spirit, there is a higher achievement. We can rightfully claim the power of not knowing, and that is a gift of grace. Our imagined processes may not manifest as we hope. Our lives may not lead to the scenery we desire, our clinging may not keep our worldly treasures at hand, and our refusal may not deny the tumbling transformation of the forms of love. But we can assuredly give acceptance and bear witness to the unfolding. We can, at our best, ask for our daily bread and give thanks for it when it arrives, regardless of whether its form corresponds to our imaginations.
Let us, today, stop imagining we have divined the true essence of each other. We can bear witness that our machinery of perception presents parts of our minds in the forms of other people, but that draped veil and life lesson does not disclose the lit candle of divinity in them. Each loving hug and kind glance is a miracle! Every interaction reveals what we have built in our vistas of mind, and allows us to deconstruct our conditioning. We do not know what we uncover in ourselves and others through love and compassion, we can only feel the warmth of the gleaming holy light that spills forth.
Let us, today, stop imagining we have divined the purpose of the world or all the physical objects within it. We can bear witness that a machinery of ordered process and fields has descended so that there might be life, but the purposes and final destination are deeper than our eyesight can penetrate. Every laughing flower and singing bird is a miracle! Every interaction reveals that we can be destroyers or stewards, and so it is we can choose to lend our will to the mysterious and miraculous or to refute it with charts and timetables. We can seek to reveal our own gleaming holy light here, in this garden, and bloom as laughing flowers ourselves.
Above all, let us stop imagining we have divined what it is we are. We are not self-determining temporal objects, clearly, but each wanders as a waterfall of experiencing. Nothing remains the same except the unfoldment. No roles, ownership, or hierarchy lends us permanence of any worldly measure. We cannot lay out our own course of learning, but the unfolding majesty of the world and ourselves unfailingly brings us the proper instruction. No manuals will ever suffice, for the Teacher customizes each lesson to each learner – and there is another miracle! A profound one, that we have not been left to fall wholly into false worship of our own imaginations.
God is unbounded, and the power of faith arises from the power of not knowing. You are unbounded, and the powers of compassion and love arise from the power of not knowing. All these wondrous winds and tides, the scents of flowers on the breeze, our families and the warmth of hearts – they are all unbounded, and the power of bliss and the miraculous come from the power of not knowing them. Rather than know them, dive wholeheartedly in! Love until the blinding light spills forth, then lose yourself utterly into it.