‘I don’t really know it.’

October 19, 2009

Stephen Batchelor’s book Buddhism Without Beliefs offers insight into what I see as the current plight to let go of old ways of seeing and believing, to unclutter the highway, in order to uncover a path of pure faith. Buddhism refers to this as the teaching of the Dharma. I quote: “No matter how well we may know something, to witness its intrinsic freedom impels the humble admission: ‘I don’t really know it.’

“Such unknowing is not the end of the track: the point beyond which thinking can proceed no further. This unknowing is the basis of deep agnosticism. When belief and opinion are suspended, the mind has nowhere to rest. We are free to begin a radically other kind of questioning.

“This questioning is present within unknowing itself…The sheer presence of things is startling. They provoke awe, wonder, incomprehension, shock. Not just the mind but the whole organism feels perplexed. This can be unsettling…The task of dharma practice is to sustain this perplexity within the context of calm, clear and centred awareness.”

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