The space between what you know and what you don’t know is a curious boundary, and to my mind one to be ignored or explored at your own peril.
To explore it takes a sense of courage and curiosity rather than certainty, and to ignore it takes a sense of continued self delusion, ignorance and apathy.
The challenge is that to become aware of what we aren’t aware of, we have to be aware that we aren’t aware of it.
This is the paradox.
We only know what we know, because to know what we don’t, we have to know about it first.
This can be both an empowering and uncomfortable place to inhabit in a world that values answers more than it values questions. This is the human predicament. We’re too caught up in what we think we know, we don’t notice that which we don’t know.
Some may experience this ‘non-awareness’ as a vacuum. A void containing nothingness, not visible or audible, hardly worth paying any attention to in the day to day in the land of mundane awareness.
“If I can’t see it, or hear it, or touch it, or smell it, or taste it, it’s doesn’t exist”.
But you will experience it.
Some may experience it as an emptiness or hunger. An intuition that there’s more to living than what we’re currently experiencing and a thirst that can’t quite be quenched by the material experiences in life.
When things do appear in this space of ‘nothingness’ they can at first seem ridiculous, frightening or even mundane and uninteresting.
We quickly scrabble around our current paradigm to see what this ‘new thing’ relates to and what we can use to identify and label it within what we know already.
We’re taught very early in our lives to focus our attention outside of ourselves on systems, processes, facts and figures. Yet inside all of us are whole worlds of experience we haven’t really explored.
Worlds we know profoundly affect us all on a daily basis, yet somehow we don’t recognise their potency or give credit to their reality and impact on our everyday lives.
It seems our fickle obsession with the physical experiences in life have trained us well to search outside ourselves for answers to many of the challenges we face.
Much like swallowing a spider to catch a fly we can impose solution after solution until we’ve become so detached from our individual and unique experiences we are no longer aware of our connection to them and often too short sighted to see the effects.
Some may think of it as a place for mystics, mental patients and drug users to inhabit, whilst the rest of the ‘normal’ people carry on with the ‘sensible’ stuff in life like paying bills and going to work.
The fact is everyone of us experience the world around us from our own understanding of what we know and what we don’t.
I think if the world needs anything right now, it’s an openness to knowing we don’t know everything and a willingness to collaborate with others to explore the pieces of the bigger picture.
After all wisdom comes from multiple perspectives.