I was reflecting to other day on how often I say “I know”. It comes out quick and habitually and often I do not know. Wouldn’t it be great to adopt saying; “ I thought I knew, I might have known, I do not know, if only I knew, I could know, etc” The thing is, most of the time we do Not know, we think we know and there in lies the story of Adam and Eve. Her great sin was eating from the “I Know” tree. Her small deliberate action enabled her to know the knowledge of good and evil. We all know how the story goes. She is Out along with her friend Adam to wander in the sea of mind, the mind which thinks it knows, good from evil and right from wrong.
Imagine your life and all that surrounds you; all the thinking, creating, emotions, worries, expectations and more. It is a daily hurricane of thinking. Buddha says “knowing” comes from the mind, when the mind is serene and detached we are awake, illuminated. To know you cannot even have a thought. Ironically, according to this paradigm to “know” is to not know.
Knowing has nothing to do with being.
In the garden of Eden, there they were walking around, they are “being” with no-mind until they got hungry or curious? Maybe that being thing got boring and tree of knowledge represented endless entertainment through thinking. So where they are first created in a state of detachment; awake and illuminated without desire to know and then something slipped? That first unexpected thought must have felt like complete otherness, like when you walk out of a movie theater into sunlight, you are nearly blinded.
What do you think?
Stories in the Bible and the Bhagavad Gita both involve a tree. For the Buddhists, enlightenment is found at the base of the Bodhi tree. The Buddha had stopped the mind from thinking it knew. For the Christian, a life of worry and endless creative options is the result of eating from the tree of knowledge. Both spiritual teachings make us people of the mind, “I know, I do not know, I thought I knew, I want to know”.
How hard it is to change ourselves and stop the constant I know. My sister always said, “we cannot change ourselves only God can”. Wow, I used to get so mad at that! The absence of me thinking! Never happen. For me to stop the “I know” would allow everything to be known newly in God , I have no idea how that could happen to me, but I love the idea. Perhaps she is correct, only God can change us.