I Want A Spirituality That Helps Me NAVIGATE The Unknown

Hello friend!

In case you missed it, you can read Part One of this post right here.

Now let's keep exploring the unknown, shall we?

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Fait Vs. Being Sure:

Some of the more intellectually honest among us will admit that we are working on ‘faith.’

That we're believing in what we can’t know, that we're following a path out of the sheer probability that it’s right - according to our bias’, upbringing, observations, experiences and observed results. This I feel is a more grounded place to work from when it comes to spirituality. To be able to admit that we are choosing something and following it, not because we KNOW FOR SURE it’s IT - but because it’s the closest thing we can observe from our current vantage point to being something that ticks enough boxes for us.

For me personally, I’ve come to a place where I’m learning that what seems to be more pragmatic for creating peace, is to make peace with the things I may never know.

I’m at a place where I don’t claim to have any special knowledge of where consciousness comes from, where we go or what happens after death, what the ‘best way to live is.’ Rather I'm happy to continue to LEARN through pain and pleasure what does and doesn’t seem to enhance GROWTH for myself and those around me. I’m happy to have no working model of rules for how the Universe functions beyond pain = degradation, pleasure = growth and everything is showing me something new to understand about the structure and nature of reality - which I will never fully understand.

I’m learning to ride the paradox of being endlessly curious and open to learning what I didn’t know before, so that I can take control over the outcomes of my life in the ways I can while also making room for all those things I have no control over, and allowing for the reality that there are going to be LOTS of things I simply never, ever know.

When people come to my content, they often tell me that they think I should have millions of followers. I personally don’t think this will ever happen - because I’m not selling the ONE THING people want.

I know I don’t know.

So I don’t sell that I know.

I know I’m here to be constantly learning, failing, having pain, suffering, figuring things out, having control, taking control, not having control - riding the waves of this incredibly complex experience.

I can’t promise transcendence from pain. I can’t promise a perfect heaven. I can’t promise perfect knowledge. I don’t project my own ideas of what is ‘right and wrong’ enough to give people a rulebook for life. And thus - I will never be what most people WANT in a spiritual teacher.

That’s the reality.

I have peace about that reality, more and more.

I’m not here to tell anyone how to live. I’m not here to claim that I have any special access or knowledge. I’ve just been working off of pain and pleasure, results, faith for a while to give things a try, then abandoning or carrying on based on outcome.

I’m just fumbling my way though, having figured some things out, having may other things left to sort through, and plenty of blind spots and things I know I will never see or understand.

I’m human. I don’t claim to know what I can’t know. I don’t even claim to be SURE of what I think I know right now - because I know that new evidence could always present itself and I want to be open to changing when that happens - and that means I can’t adopt any rigid sense of knowing.

With this, I don’t want to follow anyone who claims to know things I KNOW they can’t actually know.

I want to walk beside the people who are humble enough to know that they can only know what they’ve experienced, and who make room for others experience to be different from theirs - equally true - as well as not claiming to know Ultimate Truth.

I hold the Ultimate Truths I ‘think’ I know with an open palm. Always. I allow for the perspectives of others to expand my own, no matter how contradictory they seem to be. 

I don’t know.

I do know.

I hold it all with steadiness because this life is so much more complex than I will ever be able to grasp.

For Me, The Source Of True Peace Is The Capacity To GROW, Rather Than The Capacity To KNOW:

What gives me peace is my capacity to adapt.

To change.

To grow.

To learn something new and shift my way of being.

I don’t know that I can ever prevent all future pain - but I can do my best to lead a life that seems to cause pleasure and growth now. I’ve learned to trust the process of pain and pleasure - and for me, that’s enough. 

I will always be seeking, always learning something new, never looking to arrive.

Never looking to tell others what to believe - only how to FEEL so they can sort things out for themselves.

Now, this doesn’t mean that I NEVER succumb to my own quest for security in the known. That I never look to be RIGHT and to have TRUTH that I can PROVE beyond a shadow of a doubt. That I never project my current assumptions about reality onto others as THE WAY IT IS. I get preachy sometimes. I project MY assumed ‘reality’ onto others as though it’s fact and not just my current working model. I lose my footing, get scared, want answers NOW - just like everyone else. I want to believe I know more than I do sometimes. I want to believe I have more control than I do sometimes. I want to believe in the mystical experiences I’ve had - that they mean there’s more to me, that I go on after this body expires, that there’s something connecting all of us. I get all this. I experience all of this. I go there. I have pain too. I want to make it go away. I have confusion too. I want to know. I have struggles I want explanations for so I can feel like I can control them/prevent them.

AND.

I’ve learned how to comfort and soothe these parts without telling them something I can’t verify. I’ve learned how to be with the pain I can’t control. How to be with the conditions I can’t predict. How to navigate the grey’s in life. I’ve learned to operate as far as I know until I know different. I’ve learned to make peace with the fact that I’m GOING to be wrong, destructive, chaotic and victimized sometimes. Not in a ‘transcended’ way. But in a constant processing, feeling, emoting and working through all of the above kind of way. As new things arise, I work through it. As uncertainty happens, I process. Continuing to find that balance of accepting what I can’t change, changing what I can, and surrendering to what’s coming. Again, observing outcomes and adjusting to what seems to be most supportive of growth/least harmful. Always willing to change. To learn that my perspective was too limited. 

I don’t want a teacher who KNOWS.

I want a teacher who GROWS.

I don’t want a teacher that tells me how to live. Rather I seek for one who is getting good results, results I want, and I look to understand their methods and patterns. I want to be supported in my growth and discovery process, not rescued from my fears, doubts and concerns so much. I want to be given room to struggle through what I don’t know. I want to be left sometimes to figure it out on my own. I want to be loved for who and what I am in any moment, not treated as something that needs fixing.

I want to be a teacher who grows.

I suppose I believe that in reality, this life is just going to be mostly uncertain.

It’s going to be a LOT of doing what we can in the moment.

It’s going to be having systems that allow us to continually KNOW MORE, to evolve MORE, to understand MORE - which creates the capacity for more and more organization, predictable outcomes, creation and expansion - mixed in with becoming more aware of how much we DON’T KNOW just as we are discovering things that we DO.

Almost like the more aware we become the more aware we will become of all we’re not aware of. 

It seems to me that peace isn’t found in security.

It’s found in accepting and surrendering to how vast everything is. To how much we aren’t ever going to know while being ever willing to learn new things and master what does work.

The paradox.

Not one or the other.

I think it’s also helpful to accept that there really isn’t a ‘rulebook’ way of life.

There isn’t an auto-pilot we can put on.

That we have to be present and aware and conscious in each situation, determining what’s uniquely of value in each new moment - rather than looking to have a general ‘this is always how it’s done’ kind of map.

Accepting the complexity and learning how to have peace WITHIN it, rather than looking to make the complexity go away. That’s what’s serving me.

That’s where I find my security these days. Allowing for the chaos and knowing I won’t ever know - then learning what I can. Making room for all the experiences. Feeling it all. 

It’s the mess that makes it beautiful. It's the complexity that keeps it interesting. It’s the unknown that keeps me humble. It’s the known that allows me to grow. It's the patterns that give me a platform. It’s the things that DO work that allow me to discover more about what does and doesn’t work. The pain and pleasure are never going anywhere - and I learn to dance with them both as permanent fixtures of being alive.

What about you? Where are you on the scale of wanting to know vs. allowing for growth?

I’d love to hear.

<3

perceptiontrainers

Author perceptiontrainers

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  • Mary Anne Hoffman says:

    …..to night I am thankful …..I sent Christmas cards to my mom and 7 aunties today….I waited until Advent to send them to be in the “season”…..so many seasons….always changing….always bringing change. It has been my tradition to send, exchange cards at Christmas…since the Transitus of Chris I haven’t sent cards-the first Christmas he was gone I didn’t open the cards until months later….I have cards from passed loved ones that I keep because their signature and a few written words are on them….the same with pictures….old hard copy pictures. And that’s what I did this year….send a card, with a picture of that person and a separate greeting with “My favorite memories of You”. I don’t remember a time in my life not knowing these people. I have memories of them I want them to know. Why did I do this? This year I wanted to. Maybe in the past I wanted to but it was perhaps part of that “to do” list of Christmas to send cards. This year I remember and reflect about all these women who have brought experiences to my life that caused learning, growing and evolving. I am thankful for them all….they are in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s….my mom is 92. This gives me pleasure. It’s good to feel sincere pleasure….so good….and maybe more than pleasure I am feeling peace. Neurologically the last three years have been a roller coaster….I have road the waves of grief and I now know I always will.

    I looked up the word degradation, degrade and degraded…..treated with contempt, disrespect….deteriorate….lower rank as punishment…reduced in quality, inferior….breakdown chemically….reduce energy to a less readily convertible form….YesThis….I am going with the last one to night. How I am able to convert my energy is the most meaningful activity in my life….like the exchange of a Christmas card…..I am converting my energy to express love, exchange love, give and receive love. No matter the level of degradation, suffering, sorrow, grief or pain….I am a rock of love…..the wearing down of “this rock” by degradation will still yield….love.

    That’s all I know for sure. I know I don’t want to live any other way. I find so many delightful people to connect with along the way…and I do seek….and I do find. Thank you for being you Aliyah….a pleasure and a gift of Love to a world of humans, who I pray will grow and evolve in Love….all other creation just does….even that degrading rock🥰. Namaste💗

    • perceptiontrainers says:

      You ARE such a rock of love. And one that is so deep in it’s character and awareness of true, lasting, non-degrading love. You doing what matters to you, that’s healing for all of us. That’s healing for you.

      I see you. Thank you for sharing with me. Those who receive your cards – they are truly blessed <3

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