"The wise heart is not one that understands everything--it is the heart that can tolerate the truth of not knowing. Wisdom comes alive in the presence of the mystery, when the heart is open, sensitive, wholly receptive."
~ Jack Kornfield, After the Ecstasy, the Laundry
I love Google.
Or perhaps, better said, I love the ability to pull out my phone at any time, open up the Google search engine, type in a question and almost immediately have more information than I could possible use. I can't tell you the number of times my wife has asked me a question and my response has been, "I don't know. Let me Google it." I feel empowered, as if I have access to all the knowledge of humankind at my fingertips. Yes, I know there's a lot of garbage out there as well but don't rain on my parade.
Consider this: Yes, this allows me access to a wealth of data and knowledge. But this assists me only so much along the path of the awakening heart. At some point, I have to take my theoretical knowledge and transform it into action. And no matter how much I have read and researched and planned and Googled, it's all intellectual until I put it to use.
Knowledge is transformed into wisdom through the forge of experience. It is one thing to read about taking a trip to Nepal. It's quite another thing to actually take the trip.
This becomes important for two reasons. First, we have to make sure we are actually walking the path of the awakening heart--facing the fears; confronting the limiting beliefs; expanding our compassion--and not just reading about it. It's so easy to read a book (or a blog), attend a webinar or watch a video, listen to the stories and experiences of others, and yet remain securely entrenched in our cocoon of familiarity. We have to get off the couch and get out onto the field.
Second, let's not kid ourselves. No matter how much data we have access to; no matter how much we think we know; we--at best--see the tip of the iceberg. We walk around in our little bubbles of "the known" and we simply assume that this is the way the world is. In spite of all our wondrous advances through technology and science and philosophy, etc., I would wager that we can liken it all to being on a small island surrounded by a sea of Mystery. Of course, no one knows how much we don't know. But I do get the impression that many people assume we know quite a lot and I just don't know if that is true.
Yet I do know this: On the path of the awakening heart, we will be confronted time and time again with the Mystery. Our growth will carry us straight into the Mystery and all our conceptual understandings will do little to save us from that. There will be many times when we are called to walk into the unknown and I have worked with many people who, being uncomfortable with the Mystery, have stalled out along their path. They are waiting for the right time, waiting for certainty or a sign or a guarantee; waiting until they "know what to do."
And that's fine. We all make our own choices and we will change when staying the same becomes intolerable.
Or, we can just get comfortable with the Mystery. We can trust that we are never left alone or left to completely fend for ourselves even when it feels like we are. We can look forward to the Mystery because that is where potential lives; that is where the magic happens; and that is where we are transformed.
Our job, apart from continuing to move forward, is to trust that it will all work out well.
How? How will it work out?
I don't know. It's a Mystery. It just always does.
Peace, blessings and joy.
If you have been reading this blog the whole time, then you have gone through thirty-four days of data and knowledge. Have you used it? Have you lived it? Have you put it into practice?
Perhaps today is a good day to look back and reflect on what you have done and become during this series. Perhaps today is a good day to look forward and reflect on where in your life you are being called into the Mystery. Perhaps today is a good day to take one step into the unknown, trusting that the way will be shown.