Years ago, I found myself in a moment of unadulterated “I don’t know.” A spiritual teacher had asked me a simple question. I heard her say, “How are you?” though with hindsight I realize she may have asked, “Who are you?” At any rate, it didn’t matter, for it wasn’t an answer to the question that came forth but something else altogether. My initial response was a programmed one, “I’m fine.” But she looked at me queerly and asked again. In that moment everything shifted. I felt like I was on a razor’s edge. If I fell one way, it would be back into everything I thought I knew, and if the other to someplace unknown. I waivered on the edge looking into my teacher’s eyes and then had a sudden insight that in reality I knew nothing at all. As I felt the deeper truth and resonance in not knowing, I fell . . . inward.
What happened afterwards was indescribable, transcending the bounds of the body, mind, and self-identity to merge into an undifferentiated unity with all that is.
I found myself standing in the hallway alone . . . I had no sense of time. My attention widened, like a river overflowing its banks—spreading in all directions at once. I began walking, although it felt more like floating, toward a sound coming from a source I couldn’t identify. My mind was free from the need to label my surrounding. I registered “beautiful sound,” but not “song.” Next I found myself sitting in a courtyard in an ineffable state of emptiness that defied explanation. The “I don’t know” state had consumed my being and left my mind undistracted and unrestricted. There was absolutely no fear present in my being. I felt like a newborn, innocent, yet curious and fresh about taking in my surrounding, but lacking any need to question or analyze. Good and bad had no reference. I was resonant with all. To the extent that there was any feeling to the moment, there was only a hint of unrepressed joy, as though I was smiling inside. I felt I was touching my own essence and that it was shared by everyone and everything.
~excerpt from More . . . Journey to mystical union through the sacred and the profane
In the years since that singular moment of fearless unknowing, I have re-taken on the cloak of knowing often. Attention has once again been grabbed by the objective world before me. Ego/I succumbs to worldly ambitions. Ego/I listens to the conditioned, often righteous, voices in my head telling me what to worry about, how to protect myself and others, how to plan for the future.
Because I have committed to discovering the underlying Truth, however—or, perhaps because I have once pierced the veil—eventually it dawns on me that in my zeal to correct everything that is wrong in the world, I am overlooking the fearless, irrepressibly joyful, perfect Now. I am missing the source of unimaginable love and goodness and kindness—a source that contains and thus has the real capacity to heal everything else.
And, when I am in touch with that source, I feel a strong yet supple warrior spirit within—one that is not motivated by fear of the future—one that does not bring to battle a sense of righteousness or a finger-pointing blame, but rather vibrant aliveness marked by open curiosity, acceptance, love, innocence and a willingness to not know what’s next.
What’s going to happen next to this suffering world we live in?
I don’t know.
But standing in the Fearless Now, I see goodness through and through.