We don't know a millionth of one percent about anything.
~Thomas A. Edison
It begins with knowing that I don’t know it all.
It continues to knowing that there is no one who knows it all.
All is not known.
I recently went through an attunement to become a Reiki practitioner (with Jodi Lebrun). I have long known about Reiki and understood it as something I would like to try. Going through this attunement (and corresponding learning) doesn’t necessarily mean I will be giving Reiki to others; simply that I want to understand it on a deeper level and wish to practice on myself.
Simultaneously, I did two classes as part of the WILD workshop. In one (Hali’s), I am working on a painting while exploring my senses…including intuition. In the other (Tina's), I went through a meditation and received feedback (from Tina) on the meanings behind colors in small bottles that corresponded to my birthdate and this year.
Outside of those experiences the past few days, I’ve had dreams, insights, and “odd” experiences with color and stones that go beyond my understanding.
To say that my understanding of the world and who I am in it has been blown apart is an understatement.
"A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born."
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
THING 1 and THING 2
Allow me to acknowledge that I grew up in a VERY logical household. (One of my favorite things to do was to have logic debates with my father.) In college, I started exploring alternative viewpoints (including paganism and beliefs that alluded to the “unity” of all beings). However, all explorations were done through the lens of the almighty Logic. Even if part of me believed it, if I couldn’t make mental sense of it, I eventually let the belief go.
Over the past ten years or so, I’ve revisited various practices and beliefs that aren’t necessarily steeped in logic. I’ve studied holistic wellness, yoga, Aryurveda, transpersonal psychology, many religious beliefs and traditions, meditation, and dabbled in energy work (similar to Reiki). My creative growth as an Awareness Artist has relied heavily on releasing many logical ideas and trusting my own intuition.
This recent exposure, however, is by far the closest I’ve come to surrendering to what I do not know. And it is SO uncomfortable.
Many would understand this as a battle between head and heart. But in explaining it here, I want to avoid using those terms. They often come laden with their own connotations (like thinking heart is “good”, for example). So for the sake of the conversation, we’re going to refer to Thing 1 and Thing 2.
Thing 1 tells me that everything is connected even if we can’t see it. Thing 1 says that everything is some form of energy – including colors. Thing 1 says even I am energy and while traditional science can’t explain it, things such as distance healing, chakras, and energy fields are just as real as the things I can touch and see. Thing 1 says I am missing out on so much of life by limiting myself to what can be proven. Thing 1 says things are real because I feel them to be so.
Thing 2 says bullshit. Thing 2 acknowledges I might not know everything, but to try and make up some theory to explain what I don’t know is just being lazy. Thing 2 says sure, energy might be real, but these “new age-y” trends are just attractively-packed ways to circumvent true understanding. Thing 2 says question, question, question – and if you can’t find an answer, don’t believe it. Thing 2 says things are real because I know them to be so.
At this point, you are probably gravitating more towards Thing 1 or Thing 2. Or, like me, you might be feeling the pull from both.
The crucial thing to understand here is that there is no right and there is no wrong. Thing 1 (i.e. the “heart”)’s reasons are perfectly valid. So are Thing 2 (i.e the “head”)’s. Some fields (like science or religion) will try to take one side or the other and base their findings in these reasons. But let’s remember: We do not know it all. Because of this simple fact, there is no way to know for sure if logic or feeling or both or neither are guiding us towards “THE truth”.
Letting go of right and wrong truly takes away gravity. Suddenly there is no pull towards a ground and we are left to decide where and how we will ground ourselves.
I’ve been in Rumi’s field beyond right and wrong for some time, exploring how to make life work while hanging out here. I try not to judge any point of view – just to experience it. This recent experience with Reiki, color, and sensual exploration (not to mention other synchronous occurrences that aren’t able to be explained but have had profound impact on my life) has me spinning in circles.
While preparing for, during, and ever since my Reiki attunement, my hands have been buzzing. I feel the tingle on the surface even now as I type this. The color reading awoke memories within that I’ve not had for years. Working on the sense-focused painting, I was swept away into another realm of existence where everything but the smell or taste or touch was whisked away…and I simply WAS the sensual energy I was experiencing. A stone I recently came across (which I subsequently made into a necklace) has stirred within me feelings of peace and universal connectedness that are deeply affecting yet beyond logical explanation.
The logic part of me, Thing 2, is cringing is I type this. And yet, I know what I experienced. I can try to come up with logical reasons (I stimulated some neurons, for example)….but WHY? The more I try to back my experiences with logical reason the more I strengthen the divide between feeling and truth. I further support that all experiences must have some basis in logic…..even though logically I know that I don’t know everything.
If I follow this path, this means I can only experience what I know. Everything that I experience that I don’t know (i.e. can’t explain) must not be true. In this way, I box myself forever into those things my logical brain can grasp. But even that logical brain knows that I will be missing out on some things if I live this way. Even it knows its own limitations.
There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.
KEEPING OPEN THE LINES OF COMMUNICATION
If you are still with me at this point, I commend you.
This is not something easy to process…and yet, Thing 1 and Thing 2 are the drivers of our experiences. It is crucial that we at least acknowledge they are there.
As I delve deeper into Reiki, creative awareness, stones, and energy work (and I promise you, I will be), I will be facing my own challenges. Logic and whatever is beyond logic simply must work together. I will not discount either one. Easy to say – nearly impossible to practice.
Simultaneously, I deal with what they think. Even acknowledging that I have experienced the tingling deliciousness that is Reiki and wear a stone that taps into an inner awareness means I lose the attention (and respect?) of those who are squarely in the Logic camp. I’m not as worried about "their" approval or disapproval as I am about losing a potential line of communication.
Because we are all in this together. Thing 1’ers and Thing 2’ers – whether the heart guides us or the head, we’re all bumping into one another on this earth. If we stop communicating with one another, we have no hope for survival – spiritual or physical.
We’ll destroy ourselves and one another in the pursuit of RIGHT.
So now I ask you: Whether you believe crystals are just stones in the earth or that they hold strong powers, whether you believe Reiki is some feel-good form that relies on the placebo effect or that it is a proven way to balance and heal an aspect of being that has been too-long-ignored, whether you believe that it is better to live life driven by the head or the heart, please keep listening.
Listen even when someone else tells you something although you immediately want to dismiss it.
Listen even when your intuition speaks up although you immediately question it.
Listen even when logic demands attention although it's too hard or you're too tired or you simply want to ignore it.
We don’t know everything.
When we think that we do, or judge anything as beyond-doubt Right or Wrong, we confine ourselves to doing as we’ve always done and being as we’ve always been. And given the trend of our world, this way of being is not sustainable.
So I invite you (implore you?): Stop. Listen. Breathe. Communicate with yourself and others without judgment.
Let’s see where this gets us.