Do we REALLY know ourselves, others, this crazy world?
Updated: Sep 4
[The person] who knows not and knows not that [he/she] knows not is a fool; avoid [him/her].
[The person] who knows not and knows that [he/she] knows not is a student; teach [him/her].
[The person] who knows and knows not that [he/she] knows is asleep; wake [him/her].
[The person] who knows and knows that [he/she] knows is a wise [person]; follow [him/her].
Attribution: Persian Proverb
Do we really know ourselves? I mean, really? We ascribe all of our thoughts, emotions, reactions and behaviors to being “I” or “me.” Someone once shared with me about giving a presentation and asked all in the audience to “point to themselves.” You can try this as well. When you point to yourself, hold your finger there. In a majority of cases (if not all), people point to their upper chest. What’s there? The heart! People seldom if ever point to themselves by pointing at their forehead (or the mind which thinks stuff).
Humans are heart people. We are made to be fully human by the ability to feel strongly, have compassion, have anger.
I am starting this blog to invite you and I to travel this path together.
The willingness to know for each of us that “we know not and know that we know not,” will allow us to take a view of wonder (“I wonder...”) and that to truly see our neighbor as struggling with his/her own ego challenges. Compassion for oneself and our own struggles naturally brings us to compassion and empathy for the person next to us.
A spiritual teacher of mine once said that “certainty is the beginning of unforgivenness.” The ability to know that I can be wrong and still remain valuable and smart and dynamic and worthy was such a key for my growth. But please know that I am not any different than you. I still fall asleep to my true self a thousand times a day. But it’s in those moments when we do catch ourselves, let go of the need to be right (and the judgment of our selves and others as a result) brings us to freedom, or for those that like a spiritual bent, a slice of heaven.
Many of you know that I am in seminary full-time. This is not, and will not be, a blog based on religion. But the freedom from our psychological cages is very much a spiritual journey for each of us by shedding the layers of our “false self” one by one, and revealing what is in EACH of us, at our core…our common human nature that is priceless, worthy, equal and wanted in this human race.
Will you join me?