Wanting to Know

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I want to know what is coming next in my life. When I have been creative or productive, I long to know if I will continue doing those things, with hopes that I will. I am someone who tends to track patterns of good things because I believe they will inform me that those things will keep happening. This is a mental trap for me, and it often takes me some time to notice when I am in a new round of it.

Everything, of course, is always changing, all trends transforming like in a kaleidoscope. I get tricked, though, by my attachment to the things I like. This leads to my desire to know what I will do next which is incongruent with how life unfolds. There is no way to know anything I will do next; only my mind believes otherwise. Strangely, I could not (and did not) know, beforehand, that which I am doing now, although once it occurred, I was given the mental impression that “I” caused it. My mind took credit. This is what it is to be human. We claim ownership of our accomplishments. Since that little “I” in my mind believes it brought about my good fortune, it presumes it can cause more of the same. This is a myth, a pervasive illusion in our thinking process.    

Here is my proof. Right now, I clearly do not (and cannot) have a clue what I will do next, even though I feel like I can recreate past actions or manufacture new ones. However, I was not the causer of anything I did in my past. Only in retrospect, after the fact, does the mind presume ownership of past developments; and, this happens almost instantaneously upon our actions. Because of this mental misapprehension, my thoughts now falsely lead me to assume I can put into motion new things I want. This translates into an internal pressure and frustration to produce in a way that is not possible. I must wait to see what I will do next to know what I will do next.

Oddly, even when I find out the next thing I do, I still cannot know what will come out of my body after that! This discordance between thought and reality is peculiar, but a result of the general way the mind thinks of the future in bulk form, rather than as sequential momentary actions. Regardless of all hope and prediction, I can’t know anything I will do until I observe myself doing it and this will be the case for each moment in time. Consequently, even if I find out now what I did “next” of the past moment, I still have no way of knowing what will proceed that. This infinite predicament will follow me until my last breath. Thus, my work is based in dodging mental trickery, cultivating patience and refining my appreciation of not knowing.

2 Comments

  1. What I find fascinating is how so many things had to happen with thought and reality to bring us to where we are right now. We wake up to the life we chose every day and it all came to be by way of mental and physical choices. Pretty cool when you stop and think about it.

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