Letting go of knowing
I smile as I look at my spiritual journey. From birth I have jumped from one belief to another, figuring out what is “true,” only to be disillusioned and pushed or drawn to another set of “truths” that once again could be the foundation of my life. What a hoot in retrospect. But only in retrospect. While I was in these spaces holding on to the “truth of the day” seemed crucial to my survival and identity, and I would feel threatened by anyone challenging my old or newfound set of beliefs about the Cosmos, God, Self, and Life.
Such a life is pretty defensive, clinging to teachings I was taught by people I trusted, coming to trust revelations in writings such as the Bible or Pathwork Lectures or by Ken Wilber or whatever. When coming from the outside in, nothing is very secure. I would easily feel threatened and become testy.
Pathwork does not want to foster such a clinging dependence, even on its own teachings. The Guide, the “author” of the Pathwork Lectures, almost mockingly says, “Death is not real, but how could you know that. Knowing that for sure is beyond your human capacity to understand. So such a teaching as, ‘death is not real,’ does you little good and brings you little peace. At best it creates a sense of wishful thinking — ‘Good, there is no death,’ but on your deathbed clinging to such an external belief will provide little solace.” Not really a Pathwork quote, but this is the idea.
So the point is to grow into a place of development where I can let go of the need to know. Stop jumping from one “savior” to another. Rather, relax into a state of unknowing. Let the experience of life reveal itself reveal itself to me. As I sit with this a relief and peace comes over me. There is nothing that I have to believe to be safe in the world, or in death. Just be open to the experience of life in each moment, unfiltered by a set of teachings, beliefs, or dogmas that interpret my experience, forcing it to fit into a particular worldview of life. This so relieves me. I do not have to defend, mostly to myself, the verity of Pathwork or any other spiritual path. Just let life teach me!
There is an anonymous work titled “The Cloud of Unknowing,” probably written by a monk in the 14th Century. I have not as yet read the book, but have always been drawn to this title and have owned a copy for years. When I discovered that Ira Progoff (the creator of the Journal Writing methodology Pat and I are so into these days) had translated it, I immediately had to have his version. For now I sit with the truth of the title and wait to read it in the next few weeks.
But let me go on. I notice that when I let go of knowing I open the door to Knowing. This deeper Knowing is relaxed, open to all possibilities. Such peace arises from this place.
Pat is in a program titled Awakening Into Presence, a derivative of Tibetan Buddhism. It is rich with visualizations which feed her and open her up. I was not up to these visualizations and dropped out of this program to stick with Pathwork. But what I see is that her program and its daily practices have built her capacity for Knowing Truths that are beyond normal human capacity for knowing. This is how I experience Pathwork as well. And perhaps all mythology has this affect. I use the word mythology in the higher sense that it paints a picture beyond our human reason and prepares us to Know deeper Truths.
And perhaps all religions began with this purpose in mind, to give the human vessel the capacity to Know beyond the cloud of unknowing. And perhaps when we get stuck in literalness of these mythologies, the dogmas that some religions so cling to and war over, is where we misapply them and interrupt our spiritual growth. This certainly happened to me in my brand of Christianity. I got stuck in a lower level of consciousness and could not expand into a more mystical space where Knowing happens. Everything in my life plays a role, and this too. But I am so thrilled to have shed my need for “truth” so I could be open to experiencing and Knowing Truth.