Three Truths and One Wish

1. Truth: It’s not good to get comfortable in knowing. Just because I know something doesn’t mean I should stop learning, allow that knowledge to become fixed, solid, unmoving. Getting comfortable with what I think or believe makes me stagnant and dumb. Things are constantly changing, as they always and will continue to do, and good people are doing research, finding and sharing new information all the time. I must stay open to this, curious, because if I stay stuck in my current state of knowing, eventually I will be wrong.

2. Truth: Resisting change generates suffering. Resistance to new wisdom eventually turns aggressive, violent. Holding on too tightly to what I want to be the truth, wanting it to remain even when its nature is to dissolve and fall away hurts. And depending on how tightly I cling, how violently I resist, I can become a danger to others too.

3. Truth: Not knowing is better. There’s a teaching in Buddhism, “only don’t know,” which recommends cultivating a state of not knowing, of curiosity, and resting there. The poet Rumi describes it as a field, “beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing” and says “when the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.” Pema Chödrön says,

Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all. When there’s a big disappointment, we don’t know if that’s the end of the story. It may just be the beginning of a great adventure. Life is like that. We don’t know anything. We call something bad; we call it good. But really we just don’t know.

One wish: May we cultivate a state of curiosity, opening ourselves to new possibilities for compassion and wisdom, letting what we knew, what we were so sure of, so certain about, fall away without resistance.

6 thoughts on “Three Truths and One Wish

  1. loveswords5

    Wonderful post. (As usual). Reminds me of something my therapist said to me, “In the not knowing, you will know. In the experience, something will emerge.” Also, I came across a book that might interest you. I read an excerpt on my Kindle, and am thinking about getting it. “Being Wrong: Adventures in The Margin of Error,” by Kathryn Schulz. (if you read the New Yorker she had an article about loss in there last week, which was so marvelous, I looked her up.) I love what you said about being curious, I feel the same way. Thanks for all you do. xo, Jean-Nicole
    (writerallmylife@gmail.com)

    Reply
    1. Teri D

      Thank you for sharing the journalist Kathryn Schulz on Jill’s blog! I would not have seen it and yet timing could not have been better. I was laughing so hard and then Schulz gets to the deeper level of loss in the exploration of its meaning. Jill, your journaling of three truths and one wish this week is something I look forward to reading as I witness you grow. It is important to share yourself and your readers so we all may learn from one another’s experiences on this journey we call life. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/02/13/when-things-go-missing

      Reply
  2. barbranostay

    The “not knowing” part is the hardest – It’s our futile efforts to control the uncontrollable – we really are powerless , except for our attitudes toward the mysteries of Life.Trusting Life (God or whatever you call the energy that makes up the universe ) helps enormously, but it is not the same as controlling our destiny. We can only do so much and the rest is determined by our destiny (the “stars”, God , whatever). Hope this makes sense! Life is complicated and simple at the same time!!

    Reply

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