It seems to be getting harder to count on established sources of truth, justice, and knowledge necessary to deliver the clarity, confidence, and safety needed to navigate life.
Parental wisdom drops off when we reach adolescence, organized religion at about the same time, the court system fell away after O.J., pollsters after 2016, some friends after covid theories, and respect for rational thought in general after the 2020 elections. Guru figures, charts, numbers, designs and maps come and go along the way.
Fortunately we can still rely on science to deliver solid understandings of objective reality through peer reviewed research, but wait…this from the New York Times, April 7, 2021 “A sub atomic particle, the Muon, has been found to behave in an unpredictable way and there is strong evidence that the Muon is sensitive to something that is not in our best theories… The result, physicists say, suggest there are forms of matter and energy vital to the nature and evolution of the cosmos that are not yet known to science.” A misbehaving particle and decades of established scientific theory come into question and, for some reason, the researchers are totally delighted by it.
If you can’t rely on physics for reliable enduring truth, what can you rely on? Surely the oldest spiritual tradition on the planet, the Vedic tradition of India, whose knowledge is derived from the internal cognitions of seers exploring within their own subjective awareness, they will know…
This then from the concluding 10th mandala of the Rig Veda:
“He from whom this creation arose, he may uphold it or he may not (no one else can); he who is its superintendent in the highest heaven, he assuredly knows, or if he knows not, no one else does.”
When I first read that passage 35 years ago I could relate to Dorothy’s surprise and disappointment when the curtain was pulled back on the ‘all powerful’ Oz.
Even God may not know for sure.
Today, more than ever it seems, we are coming to grips with the limits of authority and trying to hold, in our own ways, the uncertainties of not knowing.
I recently revisited this Vedic quote and found myself seeing the expression in a different light. I felt a sense of joy, and liberation that life is intrinsically indefinable and unknowable and that this resonates with the part of us that is also free and unlimited and uncreated.
Through the ongoing process of helping each other to realize facets of truth about ourselves and our challenges, what persists over time is not so much the ‘who that knows’ or even ‘what is known’, but the relationship generated between the two. The relatedness that connects parent with child, teacher with student, friend with friend, scientist with search, artist with creation, lover with beloved, devotee with God.
A not knowing of the mind becomes a holding within the heart.
Dorothy didn’t find an omnipotent wizard to solve her problems but, through her journey, she and her companions manifested heart and mind and courage and love. And she did find her way home.