What Do You Know?

Have you ever asked yourself, “what do I really know?” I emphasize the word know here because we all have our own beliefs, values, and theories of how the world actually works. But, do we really know anything for sure?

I mentioned in a previous blog post that I grew up in a very dogmatic religious family who believe they have a monopoly on the one and only truth. I managed to find my way out of that tangled web of beliefs but I am often finding myself trading it in for a different set of beliefs that I hold just as firmly.

Every once in awhile I take a step back and take stock of what it is I really value and believe about life and what its all about. I realize that as a limited human being in a world full of thousands of beliefs and theories, I know absolutely nothing about how it all works. I can guess, theorize, and believe but I cannot know.

When I come to this realization, I find it so liberating that its hard to put into words the feeling of freedom that comes with it. I had this type of realization yesterday suddenly and out of the blue as I was walking around Spencer’s at the mall. Every time I browse that store I feel stress free. There is something liberating about the irreverence displayed on their shelves.

It always reminds me that life is not to be taken so damn serious all the time. This is a reminder that I personally need all the time. I believe it is my upbringing and indoctrination that is to blame for my desire to know the truth. Each day it is my task to unlearn this behavior and to accept life as pure mystery.

  1. I think lots of people have a skewed sense of certainty about their own perspective, and it’s most present in fundamentalist of all types: religious and non. I find mindfulness to be helpful in giving me perspective on the disconnect between what I believe and what I actually experience. Mindfulness, the way I’ve practiced it at times in the past, is about connecting with your actual experience – hitting pause on the dialogue in your head and stepping into your actual experience. I agree with you that when it comes down it, there’s very little we can ever really truly know, in the most complete sense of the word, and I’ve found mindfulness to be a good way or reminding me that the dialogue in my mind is disconnected from the ground under my feet.

    1. Yes, you are absolutely right. Well said, I appreciate your sharing this. I will keep mindfulness in mind when dealing with this as well. I think remaining humble in life helps a ton too.

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