The Courage to Live without Knowing How - Science and Nonduality (SAND)

The Courage to Live without Knowing How



The truth is that I don’t know. When I don’t just blindly believe my thoughts and the socially accepted beliefs about who I am supposed to be or how I am supposed to live, I fall into an abyss of not knowing. Usually it is socially unacceptable to admit that we don’t know or how lost we really feel. We are all longing to come home to a sense of Oneness and Boundlessness, but we have no idea that not knowing is the way. Not knowing is considered dangerous, frightening, threatening, weak, stupid, but underneath all those beliefs, the truth is that no one knows. We don’t want to appear vulnerable and unprotected. We are all desperately trying to know, to cover up that vulnerability and sense of lostness. We try to fill that wide open empty gap with as much as possible, so that we don’t have to feel the discomfort of what is really here. For so long we have suppressed our feelings, our fears, and our longings, that it can feel like if we start to acknowledge it all, it will be like a tsunami that will destroy us. But it can be even more painful to live desperately trying to keep a lid on everything. Eventually the pain of suppressing becomes bigger than the fear of exposing what has been suppressed. It can feel like such a relief to finally admit to what you really feel and what you really know or don’t know.

Not knowing has been believed to be a problem to be fixed, and to mean that it is a gap that you need fill with thinking you know.  We have worshipped at the feet of the mind and have believed that knowing in thinking is the truth. But when we admit that thinking is unreliable, and only a kind of superficial knowing, we are left with a wide open space. It is this wide open space that is truly the freedom, aliveness and love that we are all longing for, but perhaps does not come in the package that we imagined or hoped for. There may be uncomfortable feelings, there may be fears, it may feel overwhelming at times, but at least there is honesty with what is really here. The effort of trying to cover it all up is too much to bare. From this wide open space in not knowing, comes the real knowing and the courage to live as that. No longer worshiping the mind, but instead sensing what is real, what is really known beyond thought. Moving and navigating from a much deeper knowing that comes from not knowing.


Courage comes from not knowing. Courage to acknowledge what is really here. Not knowing has been believed to be a weakness, but actually it is a well of strength, power and courage. Real courage is not pretending to be tough and strong, but in acknowledging that you don’t know and exposing vulnerability, knowing that this is not a problem but only more freedom and openness. It is the courage to live in line with the truth of who you are, rather than what you think.

Living courageously from not knowing how to live, comes from that willingness to feel and sense what is here. To finally listen to the innocent but wise signals that come through these bodily senses. Without adding a thought interpretation or thinking you know on top of these signals, but really listening and risking responding to life circumstances and experiences without needing to understand what it means. There is so much freedom and love that can be felt and and known when we finally drop into what has always been here just patiently waiting to be acknowledged. When we are willing to risk not fitting in with society, or risk being hurt or rejected, we come into our own authority to know how it is in this direct experience. No one else can tell you how it is for you. The truth is that you are alone with whatever is real for you, and your experience can never really fit into what other people say or think. Acknowledging this brings so much freedom from trying to fit in. Then you are free to live, express and feel whatever is true, no matter what that means or what others may think. It brings a deeper sensitivity to your own feelings but also to those around you. It brings an innate knowing of the Oneness of all beings beyond the boundaries of what we think.

When we are no longer trying to force life into what we think it should be, a flow starts to happen. When we stop trying to fit who we are into what we or others think, there is a great trust and relaxation that opens up. Somehow life responds to that by showering surprising gifts. These gifts can come in all forms, and not necessarily in the forms that we like or think should be here. Life will endlessly continue to challenge our beliefs about how things should be, or could be. The flow of these gifts come out of the blue. Just when we truly give up hope, then something happens. Just when we are happy where we are, a door opens to move. Just when we think we are lost, we discover we are found. These gifts are always here but when we are so wrapt up in our thoughts, we overlook what is right under our nose. The flow of life is always happening, but so often we are trying to direct it or control it according to what we think or fear. Letting go and free-falling into life, may feel like we risk death, but this is when we really start to come alive. When we stop trying to find love, freedom, peace by manipulating ourselves and life, the real thing starts to pour in. It has always been your nature, you have always been Life itself, but when Life is finally consciously acknowledged, there is a celebration of itself.

Unmani, 23rd June 2016

Unmani will be speaking at SAND Italy 2016

Visit Unmani’s website



#81 Ecology of Care

Podcast with

Exploring the vital intersection of healing arts and indigeneity with Egyptian international interdisciplinary sound artist

Rabbi Cat’s musings on Parsha Tazria

Article by

As I think about what is happening today in Israel and Palestine, I think about the challenges we all face when we are confronted with stories different from those with which we were raised and that held a lot of meaning for us

Flower Fresh & Mountain Solid

Video with

A breathing exercise and meditation from the revered Zen monk.

Lalla Fatma N’Soumer

Article by

The Kabyle resistance fighter who challenged the French colonial army

#80 Awakening Hope

Podcast with

An exploration of Hope in trying times and RevD's upcoming courses.

The Rising Voice of the Feminine

Video with

Mirabai Starr in conversation with the audience at SAND18 US.

My Orphan Country

Video with

A poem by Palestinian refugee Nibal Khalid

Indigenous Solar Eclipse Stories From Across Turtle Island

Article by

From rodents of unusual size to flaming arrows, communities across North America share solar eclipse traditions

Support SAND with a Donation

Science and Nonduality is a nonprofit organization. Your donation goes towards the development of our vision and the growth of our community.
Thank you for your support!