The Joy of Not Knowing

I have always found it difficult to admit I don’t know something. To be sure, this is partly a human condition, but it has been strong in me. For some reason I’ve felt it is really important to have the answers. I guess I thought admitting I don’t know something implied a lack of intelligence and/or laziness.


Charleston, SC Waterfront Park

I’ve read a couple things in the last couple of days, which have resonated because of their truth relative to not knowing. The first:

“Almost all my epiphanies have been the same one: I don’t know. I keep having to learn to let go of needing to be the one who knows. I keep having to let go of trying to master life through thinking about it. And every time, the result is the same. Relief. Like relaxing into a river whose current I have been resisting with all my might.” Stephen Cope in The Wisdom of Yoga

I too have proudly used my agile mind a lot, relying on it. No question it is an asset. But I can’t know everything, and it is a relief to admit I don’t, to surrender to the many mysteries of this life.

Then this single line from Rolf Gates in Meditations on Intention and Being.

“If we can admit we do not know something, then we can learn anything.”

What a beautifully humble and powerful  statement. We can learn anything. And if you care about something, then what a thrill to know you can learn, even if it is difficult.

One of the great joys of this time in my life is that I no longer need to know, I am happy being the beginner at many, many things. Life is so full and mysterious and enchanting when you are a beginner. Learning something new opens the doors to so many more things to learn.

So yes, there is a hell of a lot I don’t know and I am discovering  it is pure joy!


Rain slickened road – Orvieto, Italy

This image is in color. Mist in the air and the light made the landscape black and white! This after a glorious thunderstorm.

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