In Zen there is a sharing called “Don’t know mind.” I always liked that position as a philosophy but lately I realized that I was not paying any attention to living in “Don’t know mind.” It’s helpful in not developing opinions and conclusions. Except being human means I am conditioned to have opinions and conclusions that are difficult to see but have a big influence on my attitude and behavior.
Some of this post is inspirted by friends in Nigeria and Australia who were kind enough to share on the ground information that helped clarify some of my confused beliefs.
After some contemplation I came to this conclusion, “Just because I believe something doesn’t mean it’s truthful.” Looking at this I realized how much of the things I “believe” in are driven by information from media sources instead of life experience. It’s a little disconcerting. When I take the time to ask the question, “How do they know that?” and it’s sibling, “How do I know that?” the answers are pretty clarifying. I take a lot for granted and I suspected I needed to look at that.
I base a lot of opinion and conclusions on what I believe. Ouch, that hurts. Particularly when the beliefs are built on something that was presented from the media or social engagements with friends.
I tried making excuses for myself but they didn’t hold up. I know that if I care about something I find the time and energy, lack of either is not an excuse for my avoiding the work of checking what I believe. We are almost drowning in information and it’s very difficult to keep our heads above the flood of information. But I can see that keeping abreast of things isn’t going to be at all helpful if what I believe in isn’t truthful. In the movie “Prometheus” a character, when asked why she believed in something, shared that “It’s what I choose to believe.” Knowing that I chose to believe means I did the background check to see if it was something that had value and worth the investment of belief. That means it may or not be actual but I’ll use it as a belief.
In my opinion we need belief. Beliefs can be very personal and motivating. But I think I need to go back to realizing that there is value in “Don’t know mind.” I made a list of the things I know for absolutely sure. It’s short. I can assure you the list of what I don’t know is endless.
To those of you who keep me balanced, Thank you! It’s an awesome thing to have these kinds of friends. To all those who’s posts I read and follow, Biggest, deepest, bowing to you!