The Need to Know

The Need to Know

Prickly Beauty by Don Graham
Prickly Beauty by Don Graham

This blog offers models of reality to support our journey. However, I’m well aware it attracts readers seeking the “right answer” or “the truth.” The ego-identified mind wants certainty so it can feel in control. It wants closure on any variable.

And yet, we’re never going to find certainty in the field of change. We’re immersed in an absolute field that offers the stability we seek. Usually, turning within is how we first find that. If we’re supporting this discovery, our life’s journey will be one of growth and evolution. Our world view will expand.

Recently, a friend shared a newsletter article by Joan Tollifson on the “compulsion to closure.”

“This living actuality can never be pinned down or grasped. It is moving and changing — never the same way for even an instant. And yet, in another sense it is immovably always right here, right now in this ever-present immediacy or presence that we can never actually leave. This one bottomless moment is infinite and eternal, without beginning or end, without edges or limits. It has no inside and outside. It is undivided and indivisible. There is infinite diversity and variation, and yet it all shows up as one seamless whole. There are apparent polarities, but they only appear relative to each other, and they can never actually be pulled apart.

“”Reality is simple. It is right here. Present experiencing, just as it is. The morning breeze, THIS cup of tea, the beloved dog trotting toward me, the green leaves, the blossoming flowers, the galaxies dying and being born millions of light years away — this whole amazing magic show. And yet, we can never really pin it down, get hold of it, or explain it in any final way. We ARE it. This indivisible present happening is both obvious and inconceivable. It never resolves into any final shape, it never departs from this present immediacy, and we are never separate from it.”
Joan Tollifson

She says it beautifully. Sometimes, in response to “can never be pinned down or grasped”, people describe it all as “the mystery” or similar. However, paradoxically, we can know it because we are it.

Yet the compulsion Joan describes is a barrier to this knowing because the mind wants certainty, whereas real knowing is as described.

There is no “one final truth” because humans are simply not equipped to see as God does. Our role rather is to contribute our experiences to the whole and thus the whole becomes more whole and develops closer to the Divine.

We can develop a confidence and trust in reality when we experience its fullness, its competence, and its reliability. But we have to let go enough to settle beneath our need to control. We can then know enough to be deeply satisfied.

The journey is why we’re here, not the end point.

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  1. Ron

    There has been a lacking or disinterest in spiritual writings for a while now. I’m an uneducated man who incorporated 50 years of daily meditation into a difficult and eventful journey. This post best describes my position as I thought I’d given up and just rested in the silent unknown. Thanks for some comforting words.

    “ There is no “one final truth” because humans are simply not equipped to see as God does. ”

    1. Hi Ron
      It’s common to go through phases where we seek the best concepts, then where concepts lose their luster. Sometimes, it remains that way and sometimes, we return to reading etc to find words to use or ways to frame our experience.

      But you’re welcome. It’s a good sign the mind is no longer dominant.

  2. Harrison Snow

    “that man’s reach exceeds his grasp” is certainly one of the profound mysteries of life and an inescapable part of duality. There is the seeker in me wanting what it wants yet the creation of a seeker and a sought is the foundation of the duality that can’t be fulfilled. Noticing the stillness and silence and letting go and surrendering to it where all the “otherness” can rest is what is calling to me these days.

    1. I believe that’s “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?”

      I’d note the balance of what you describe shifts over time. Then it can be fulfilled. Seeker and sought merge into one wholeness. Desires are more easily fulfilled. Nature supports our intentions.

      But yes, what is desiring also changes when who we are shifts. Surrendering the otherness is a movement towards Unity.

  3. Sharon

    Years ago an energy healer was working with people in a free intro. I asked a question. He replied, why is it so important for you to know. Shocking myself, I burst out crying and said, “Because I don’t know where she is and I don’t know how to get her back.” Sixty years earlier, I had been totally separated from my Mom from age 4 to 6. Just to share that I think it is crucial for seekers with CPTSD or early childhood trauma to balance spiritual perspectives with informed neuropsychphysiological perspectives. And perhaps more importantly, to refrain from comparing themselves and their experiences to those with maybe a less “karmic” path. And especially in the early stages of healing, and especially in self-talk, to refrain from using words like ego and compulsion and control in a less than useful manner.

    1. Hi Sharon
      Yes, it can be surprising when old traumas will surface. I’d also note that it’s rare someone doesn’t have early traumas. Kids don’t have the experience to deal with major changes yet. For example, my father died before my 2nd birthday. As is common for kids, I came to blame myself for his departure.

      I agree it’s important to deal with our stuff. It’s one of the reasons I mention energy healing.

      It’s not unusual for others to be unconscious of those traumas. And for them to be dormant for periods of time. But at some point, life will “tickle” them and try to make them more conscious so they can be healed.

      Comparing yourself to others is always fraught. Others problems are rarely obvious and some have chosen a smoother life. Most of us are slogging in the trenches though. (laughs)

      mmm – self-talk can be problematic on many levels. It’s the height of irony that the ego judges itself and uses words to blame. This actually strengthens it’s hold. You see a lot of this on-line as well, attacking the person rather than what they’ve said. It’s one of the reasons I moderate comments here.

      Many of the words I use here are from a post-awake perspective. Descriptions of the ego’s behaviour and compulsions are often not recognized until close to when it’s seen through and we awaken. When we’re in it, we lack perspective.

      It is useful to know of other perspectives. But applying them incorrectly just leads to distortion. For example, saying “I am one” over and over doesn’t make it so. Using descriptions of ego functionality as blame words is similarly unproductive.

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