“𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗯𝗮𝗱 𝗻𝗲𝘄𝘀 𝗶𝘀 𝘆𝗼𝘂’𝗿𝗲 𝗳𝗮𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝗶𝗿, 𝗻𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗼 𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗴 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗼, 𝗻𝗼 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗰𝗵𝘂𝘁𝗲. 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗴𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗻𝗲𝘄𝘀 𝗶𝘀, 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲’𝘀 𝗻𝗼 𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱.” — 𝗖𝗵ö𝗴𝘆𝗮𝗺 𝗧𝗿𝘂𝗻𝗴𝗽𝗮
The journey of awareness has been, in my experience, a graduating tolerance for uncertainty. Recently, this discussion has come up a lot — so I figured I’d make a graphic for it here. ☺️ Like any evolution process, it is not linear, but these are the levels as I’ve lived & observed them — offered with the caveat, of course, that I know absolutely nothing.
I have experienced these levels much like the stages of grief — we do not really move from one and stay in the next, but rather hop between them all. Heck, sometimes even all in the same day. Even if we can touch the top level of uncertainly with peace and grace, residing there is aspirational, but problematic (here I think of Ani DiFranco’s song: Happy All the Time 🙃) And in fact every time we find ourselves back in the basic admission of l DON’T KNOW, there is in itself cause for celebration. The best part is, I believe our capacity for tolerating the unknown is directly correlated to our ability to receive miracles — or at least to be pleasantly surprised. 😌
𝙄 𝘿𝙊𝙉’𝙏 𝙆𝙉𝙊𝙒 • the point of entry
Sometimes this comes with a shock — often with loss or failure. It is the crack in the veneer of the presentation of an orderly, predictable life where chaos, impermanence, and vulnerability seeps in. It’s natural that we grasp and strive at this point, often somewhat successfully, if temporarily, patching over the crack and going back to confident ignorance. This is the most pervasive and sweeping level, as we find it threads through many aspects of our experiences — admitting it in one area leads to another, and another. Many people resist the ramifications of “I don’t know” so hard that they struggle with this level most of their lives. This statement alone takes tremendous courage.
𝙏𝙃𝘼𝙏 𝙄𝙎 𝙉𝙊𝙏 𝙆𝙉𝙊𝙒𝙉. • where sh!t gets real
As we learn to accept uncertainty in ourselves, we may try to seek elsewhere. We arrive at this level by way of disillusionment and disappointment seeing someone you admire (a lover or teacher or religious/social institution) fall off a pedestal and into their humanity. We become acutely, often painfully aware of hypocrisy — in others first (usually), and then, with any luck, also ourselves. This level asks us to give up authority, righteousness, agendas, judgements. We give up collective certainty, often pinging between belief systems trying to find shelter or soothing while we learn how to be naked. We’re learning to ask better questions. Rightness gives way to undefended preference.
𝙏𝙃𝘼𝙏 𝙄𝙎 𝙐𝙉𝙆𝙉𝙊𝙒𝘼𝘽𝙇𝙀 • the ecstatic unraveling
While this level may hold a certain amount of existential dread, it also holds tremendous peace, and as we tickle the edge of it, even occasionally, we may start to feel immense relief. We become better acquainted with paradox. No one is flying this circus, which can feel scary, but also liberating. Old. religious paradigms dissolve into a more direct and personal perception of the Divine. I think of the poem Tripping over Joy by Hafiz, the face of the laughing Buddha, and optimistic nihilism. This is the shift of perspective from “no one cares.😞” to “no one cares!🤪” Understanding anticipation is folly and even that even asking creates limitations, we may swap “manifesting” practices for those of acceptance and surrender. We may pray not for abundance but for provision — our asking gets much more simplistic, and our expression much more expanded… because, why not?
“𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗼𝗻𝗹𝘆 𝘁𝗿𝘂𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝘀𝗱𝗼𝗺 𝗶𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝗸𝗻𝗼𝘄𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗸𝗻𝗼𝘄 𝗻𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴.” —𝗦𝗼𝗰𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲𝘀