One of the things that sets us humans apart from other animals is our deep desire to know things. It is this tendency, along with our incredible capacity to learn and preserve knowledge, that has enabled us to do miraculous things—like fly through the air in planes, instantly communicate with anyone in the world via cell phones, and even leave the planet altogether to explore space. There is nothing inherently wrong with this wanting to know; and yet, it’s useful to realize that it has limitations and can even be counterproductive in some circumstances.
An example is in the arena of human relationships and communication. We often assume that we know what another person is thinking or feeling, while in reality, we have no idea. The problem is that when we think we know what another person is experiencing, we project our assumptions onto them and can no longer see through the smoke screen of such projections. We then miss truly seeing and learning from the real and unique person beforeus—which can, of course, lead to difficulties and even suffering.
Thankfully, there is another option. We can choose to temporarily surrender our power of knowing and instead, commit to not-knowing. To simply showing up in life without an agenda. You may feel a certain anxiety or even terror upon hearing this suggestion and that’s ok. I assure you that it is possible to practice not-knowing even in the presence of anxiety and terror, and in fact, that may be when it’s most needed.
In my experience, there is something very special that happens in the space of not-knowing. The mind quiets down, awareness is able to expand, and intuition deepens; all quite naturally, without effort. This is the awakening of something deeper and more nourishing than knowledge. I call it wisdom or innate intelligence.
If this idea resonates with you, then I invite you to exercise your power of not-knowing and I’m curious to learn what you discover. Please share your experiences and insights on our Facebook Page by clicking this link.
Dr. Casey Frieder
Chiropractic Primary Care Physician
Siskiyou Vital Medicine