Originally posted by twhitehead
I am not entirely sure what you are saying. Is this related:
Why do Christians constantly need to reassure themselves of obvious facts such as going around saying things like "God is great"?
Surely the "I know" bit is similar reassurance due to lingering doubt?
Partly, perhaps. I’m feeling my way with this a bit.
But it’s more about how when one says, “I don’t know”, it’s as if they’ve lost something—and I’m speaking particularly to metaphysical matters here, or spiritual ones. Those “in the know” sometimes seem to see that “I don’t know” as some kind of defeat, when in fact, the person who says “I don’t know” may well be onto something...
The Zen master: can someone who doesn’t “know” what happens when we die be enlightened? Might he perhaps be more enlightened than one who says “I know”? Can that “I don’t know” indicate knowing the difference between what is metaphysically knowable to us, and what is not?
There seems to be in religion a notion that one must know all such things. That certainty is a requirement.
Some one says: “Shiva exists.”
Someone else says: “I believe that Shiva exists.”
Someone else says: “I know that Shiva exists.”
Now, would the first person make that statement seriously if they didn’t believe it? Would actually saying “I believe” (or “I know” ) add anything?
Or does that “I believe” uttered by the second person simply indicate that one has concluded something is so without being certain of it. Perhaps such a person is making that statement on the basis of what they take to be a preponderance of evidence, but not sufficient evidence to remove all reasonable doubt.
The third person adds the words “I know.” Does the addition of those words carry any weight? Perhaps it is a matter of reassurance, precisely because they don’t want it to be thought that they “don’t know” (perhaps they don’t even want to think that themselves).
What is sometimes called samadhi
, what I sometimes call clear-mind, what Nakagawa Soen roshi simply called present mind
—Seung Sahn roshi calls don’t-know mind