The Wisdom in Not Knowing
My friend, Carolina, posted a Frank Zappa video yesterday on fb.
I’m not too familiar with his music, but I love listening to him speak. There is something profound about this dude that makes me want to know more.
In this particular video, he talks about the music industry and how these old white execs would get a hold of an album they’d never heard before, or anything like it, and instead of passing judgment on it, they would say, “I don’t know. Let’s put it out there and see if the people like it.”
He extols this kind of perspective, and he contrasts it with hippies who the execs would hire, who started to believe that they knew what “the kids liked.”
I’m also encountering the same idea in reading the work of Gurdjieff, a philosopher, in the book, Reality of Being.
I am a slave to my mechanical thoughts. This is a fact. It is not the thoughts themselves that enslave me but my attachment to them. In order to understand this, I must not seek to free myself before having known what slavery is…
I need to see the illusion of words and ideas, and the fear of my thinking mind to be alone and empty without the support of anything known.
We can’t free ourselves before first getting–truly getting–how enslaved we truly are.
He goes on:
Seeing does not come from thinking. It comes from the shock at the moment when, feeling an urgency to know what is true, I suddenly realize that my thinking mind cannot perceive reality…
To understand what I really am at this moment, I need sincerity and humility, and an unmasked exposure that I do not know.
This would mean to refuse nothing, exclude nothing, and enter into the experience of discovering what I think, what I sense, what I wish, all at this very moment.
To be open…
Our conditioned thought always wants an answer. What is important is to develop another thinking, a vision. For this we have to liberate a certain energy that is beyond our usual thought. I need to experience ‘I do not know’ without seeking an answer, to abandon everything to enter the unknown…
When I see that my thought is incapable of understanding, that its movement brings nothing, I am open to the sense of the cosmic, beyond the realm of human perception…
To become conscious I must let go of all that is known.
…before we seek to liberate ourselves from our mind, thoughts and illusions, we first have to recognize the extent to which we are enslaved.
It is attention that gives the capacity to see, he says, …but this state of observation can come only when there is an urgency to understand and to see, and my mind gives up everything in order to observe.
We need attention and an urgency to see.
Seeing, as distinct from thinking, which he says often gets in the way of seeing.
What would it mean to see?
And how bad do we want it?
How bad do I?