Not Knowing

Here is something from someone
with nothing to say.

Because there is nothing to say,
one might wonder, why bother?

The truth is, I don’t know.

Between “I” and “don’t know”
there is an infinite space.

The whole universe could fit within it
and not even be noticed, like a grain of sand
randomly dropped on the floor of a vast auditorium.

In that enormous room there is a brightly lit stage,
upon which numerous actors are playing various roles
that constitute all the dramas which we call “life”,
and to which we grant an unquestioned reality.

However, what if that whole grand commotion
in which we have invested so much energy and attention
actually amounts to nothing more than a passing thought
which we might idly entertain, as we sit in the audience
daydreaming about possible choices for snacks?

Maybe not even that, maybe even that
would be imputing more significance to the issue
than is even warranted — the issue of the appearance
of anything at all, as well as its inevitable disappearance.

After all, despite our best efforts, we can’t even account
for the appearance of consciousness — of how we
just happen to be able to experience the feeling
of being itself, rather than nothing at all.

Of course, scientists claim it is all in the brain,
but they cannot really account for the brain.

They know all sorts of stuff about the brain,
but not what it is. What it is, they can’t say.

Nobody can say what a single thing is.

What it is.

For example, a dog sees a squirrel,
and gleefully chases it up a tree.

If we tried to explain all the components
of that brief event, it would require an eternity,
since the basis for anything is everything.

Just so, if we tried to say what we are,
we couldn’t. Not even Einstein, not even
Jesus, not even Buddha could say.

And yet, somehow, we are.

If we tried to trace back to the cause of it all,
it would be like a thought trying to trace itself
back to before it first became a thought.

Where would that effort take it?

Perhaps to where we are right now,
blissfully not knowing?

When we try to contemplate
what a thing is — anything —
the mind goes silent.

Within that silence there is
no knower, no knowing, no known —
the same state in which we now exist.

What is prior to consciousness?

The answer cannot be found in consciousness,
singing and dancing on a stage, performing so well
that the audience unanimously believes it is real,
bursting into applause when the curtain comes down.

Some want their snacks salty, some want them sweet,
some crunchy, some chewy, some hot, and some cold.

Likewise, there are all sorts of metaphors people employ
in attempting to describe what can’t be.

Humans are funny that way with their words,
though they complicate more than they clarify.

I won’t trouble you any further with mine —
I’ve already said too much here.

Whether we think we know or don’t know,
we can all relax and enjoy the show!



About Bob OHearn

My name is Bob O'Hearn, and I live with my Beloved Mate, Mazie, in the foothills of the Northern California Sierra Nevada Mountains. I have a number of blog sites you may enjoy: Photo Gallery: Essays on the Conscious Process: Compiled Poetry and Prosetry: Verses and ramblings on life as it is: Verses and Variations on the Investigation of Mind Nature: Verses on the Play of Consciousness: Poetic Fiction, Fable, Fantabulation: Poems of the Mountain Hermit: Love Poems from The Book of Yes: Autobiographical Fragments, Memories, Stories, and Tall Tales: Ancient and modern spiritual texts, creatively refreshed: Writings from selected Western Mystics, Classic and Modern: Wisdom of a Spirit Guide: Thank You!
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