November/December 2008 Cosmic
Being Clueless: The Empty Field of Not Knowing
by Norma Gentile
I was talking with a client about stubbornness. Not just the kind of stubbornness that makes us insist on doing things our own way. Rather it is a stubbornness of releasing the need to mentally control our lives.
Our culture prides itself on thinking. But thinking is not reasoning. Turning an issue over and over in your head merely spins your energies into a tangled web. "If this happens, then that will happen" becomes your mantra. You lose touch with the flow of life that is naturally occurring all around you.
As I was sharing this with a client, I began to see a picture in my mind's eye: a vast field. Sitting in the center of the empty field was a pure line of sight where I could see the horizon in each direction. All was visible in this empty field of not knowing.
As human beings, we are uncomfortable with not knowing. We are all on an accelerated learning curve. One of the lessons is learning to be comfortable sitting in a space of openness, where the old is gone but the new isn't yet in sight. We are sitting in the empty field of not knowing.
When we sit in that empty field, we can actually see it all. We can see any motion, from any direction. The moment something starts to move in our life, we will see it. There is nothing of the old to block our view.
In contrast, when we sit in the densely populated forest of our mind, which says "I know it all, I have it all figured out," we can't see a thing of what life might be bringing us. Each tree represents an idea, an object or a habit that we continue to hang on to because we believe that we must keep it. And each thing, idea or habit blocks our view. Here we sit, our minds full of thoughts, each thought keeping us from hearing or seeing what our spirit is trying to tell us.
I find that thinking is highly over rated. I certainly learned how to sit in the forest, but it no longer serves me.
Feeling that something must happen indicates you are sitting in the forest of your own ideas. When you feel clueless and experience thoughts such as, "I don't know what is going to happen next," you are in the empty field. In giving our minds permission to think along these lines, it might be useful to invoke your sense of humor and innate connection to spirit.
So repeat as needed:
"I'm going to sit here and just know that I am as clueless as I feel, and it is all right to feel clueless. As long as I sit here in the empty field I will be the first one to see what spirit and my soul do want to have happen."
There is nothing wrong with that sense of emptiness and not knowing. As children, it was ingrained into us that we should have a plan. And a backup plan. And a backup plan for the backup plan. But our soul says throw out everything and get out of the forest of your plans. These trees are planted only in your head, and they are blocking your view. Get yourself out of the forest of planning everything, so that you can see what spirit is sending your way.
A deeper sense of knowing love happens in the empty field of not knowing. This is where you can have your new experience of love. As long as your brain is relishing the knowing, absorbed in its own circular thinking, your mind can't appreciate the more subtle emptiness of possibilities.
The empty field contains all the possibilities that lie before you in your life. And you can't sense these possibilities already being within you when you are admiring the trees in the forest. Be brave. Take a walk into the center of your empty field of not knowing, so that you may know your soul's next step.
Norma Gentile, a sound shaman, presents a concert and workshop in Portland on Dec. 5 and 6. For details, visit www.healingchants.com.