Youth / Page of Swords — Spiritual Message of the Day
Recently, while reading Who Would You Be Without Your Story? by Byron Katie, I came across this quote, which brought to mind the Page of Swords: “There’s a lot of freedom in ‘I don’t know.’”
It’s a short little quote, but it suggests some remarkable things.
First, “I don’t know” is a wonderful place to start a journey of discovery. It’s a prerequisite to having a “beginner’s mind,” which means that when we study a subject, we should strive to be open-minded and to avoid preconceptions. To quote the popular Zen master, Shunryu Suzuki:
In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few.
Also, IDK may indicate a profound realization because we usually assume that we know things that actually we only believe. As the nineteenth century humorist Josh Billings said:
The trouble with most folks isn’t so much their ignorance. It’s know’n so many things that ain’t so.
Or consider this quote from Confucius:
Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.
IDK can also be the humbling and freeing realization that some things can’t be known. Perhaps they can be experienced, felt, and taken on faith, but many things, especially things that are profoundly spiritual, cannot be known.
In the interest of stability and security, we try to convince ourselves that we know everything… or at least, most things. But realizing that there is a whole lot of unknown in our lives can make life more interesting, more fun, and more fulfilling. (For a great article about this, see “If you don’t know, just say so.”) For example, “What happens next?” may be the most ubiquitous unknown there is in our lives, and it can be a bit scary, but it’s also exciting. And which of those things we experience — the fear or the excitement — is up to us.
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