To Be Certain is Ridiculous

Just before starting out the door of my home, a feeling comes that I should take an umbrella with me.  I stop and pick it up but think to myself “I won’t need this.  It’s sunny with only a 30% chance of rain.  There’s no reason to take it”.  So I lay the umbrella down, take a step away and the sense that it should go with me ripples through me again.  I think to myself “why in the world am I pulled to take this with me?”.

I have learned to pay attention to such “feelings” and believe in them.  The umbrella incident really did happen recently.  Yes, I did take it with me and sure enough a few hours later it kept me dry as I headed into the grocery store.

There is knowledge beyond wisdom and consciousness that arrives as intuition as solid and certain as fact.  No longer do I question it or wonder where such “feelings” come from.  There is no remaining quandary about whether such guidance comes from my subconscious, a “higher power” and some sense beyond those fully developed within me.  I just know the “feelings” are important and the more I pay attention to them, the more frequent their occur.

There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.  “May be,” the farmer replied.

The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed. “May be,” replied the old man.

The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. “May be,” answered the farmer.

The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.  “May be,” said the farmer.

Sometimes I wish I was a wise old monk who grasps more completely the meaning and is capable of living fully the wisdom of such teachings.  My appetite for life is too broad and my will too insatiable for such quiet resolve to fill in all the space within me.  However, the ability to embrace insight and allow it to benefit me has taken strong root. No longer do I ignore a ‘feeling’ to take something along with me or that I must do something particular.  I pay attention even though I don’t understand.

Not agitating the world or by it agitated,
They stand above the sway of elation,
Competition, and fear, accepting life
Good and bad as it comes. They are pure,
Efficient, detached, ready to meet every demand.
They are dear to me who run not after the pleasant
Or away from the painful, grieve not
Over the past, lust not today,
But let things come and go as they happen.
from the Bhagavad Gita

Belief and faith do not require facts in order to be.  Truth is truth whether it can be verified or not.  The best of life such as love, passion and compassion need no proof beyond their existence to conclusively show they exist.

Confidence for what cannot be proven factually is the very essence of faith in whatever manner it manifests itself.  Accepting “what is” and paying attention to what I feel are two of the key teachings I have come to accept in recent years.  What great and wonderful life changers!  My gratefulness is weighty and solid for the knowledge and direction that comes from a source I believe in but can’t prove.  But most of all I am thankful for the faith that connects me.

To be uncertain is uncomfortable, but to be certain is ridiculous.
Chinese saying