Sunday, June 17, 2007

Not knowing - Zencast 102

One of the podcasts in my playlist that I haven't come round listening to for some time is Zencast. I love the dharma teachings, especially by Gil Fronsdal, but I have to be in the right mood. Zencast puts out podcasts that last between 30 and 90 minutes out every week, so it is easy to build up a backlog -- as I have.

I do not listen to all of them. I am particularly fond of Gil Fronsdal, like I wrote above, unlike some of the other speakers. In view of the backlog, I also revert to selective listening, based upon the subject. Hence, the issue #102 of April 29th had a compelling title: Not knowing.

I like counter-intuitive things. Like here, I am so much into knowing, I try to learn all the time, not for nothing i spend almost all of my free time listening to educational podcasts. Not knowing, stated like that, sounds like some imperative, or at least preferred attitude, and I couldn't possibly relate to the good side of that. Well, only superficially. You can't be very much into knowing, without finding out how little you know. And what is more, how much of what you thought you knew, turns out to be prejudice. In that respect, an attitude of not knowing, could mean letting go of prejudice, and there is a lot to say for that.

Dharma teaching is not like ordinary teaching. Not even like philosophy teaching. So you have to tag along and appreciate the associations and conjectural path of the speaker. That is why speakers I do not like can be so off putting. But not Gil, he has never let me down. And what is more, part of Not Knowing, means, indeed, letting go of prejudice. Fine, sofar, it would be just as good as a philosophy session, but the dharma always implies some exercise and the exercise is to practice not knowing. To study all assumptions and approach all question with an I don't know. See where it gets you. Where? I don't know.
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